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Favourite/best Preservation Moment

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Chris86, Mar 24, 2020 at 9:57 PM.

  1. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    As others have said there's a lot to choose from. There have been some high speed runs that I wish I had been on. One of my best moments was on GBIII diverted up the Lickey, with hundreds of folk watching us. But then there was also being steam banked up the Lickey on The Midlander on 11-12-1999. And Vintage Trains' Aquae Sulis on 15-10-2011 when we were given a clear road through Swindon through to Foxhall Jn. That was also the last time I travelled with a friend who is now deceased.
     
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  2. jsm8b

    jsm8b Part of the furniture

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    As others have said there are so many favourite moments it is really hard to pick one and for me certainly hard not to pick by default something north of the border where over the years mainline steam has created the chance not only to see steam at work in places we never thought possible but also to relive the memory of happy childhood holidays in Perthshire with the highlight of days spent at Perth or Gleneagles stations.

    But I'll stay closer to home, where after moving to Shropshire in 1985 the regular drive up the A49 to visit my parents in Warrington took me past Beeston and Tarporley's old station. Tantalisingly there was a picture here to be taken but would it ever happen ? Then with the coming of the North Wales Coast trains in 1989 the chance was there -- and on 30th July 1989 35028 passed Beeston on a glorious midsummer evening. No thoughts of social distancing that evening with a small crowd of fotters occupying a very small area by the end of the old down platform.






    32ct89c213 35038 Beeston and Tarporley 300789.JPG
     
  3. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    It'd have to be an impromptu guided tour of the loco shed at New Romney, when I was still really no more than an ankle-biter, back in the mid 60s. At the time, I had no idea who the kind gent named George was, but I doubt I'm the only one with fond memories of Mr Barlow, as I got to sit in the cab (OK ... the tender!) of Southern Maid ..... Deep Joy! The packed 16 coach trains of that era were something to experience and I often ended up making trips in the black 'pram and luggage' vehicles, which I think were conversions of the original 4w stock. In Hythe, there was an odd old 'junk shop', which had an original RH&D brass nameplate for sale (thinking back, I believe it was from Hercules), but the quite modest price asked was well beyond my means.

    Not strictly 'preservation', but in southeastern France, the line from Nice to Tende (which goes on to Cuneo in Italy), via Breil-sur-Roya, with it's fierce gradients and long tunnels, a couple desribing spirals between (and viaducts across) adjacent valleys, is truly spectacular. When I knew it (1986), it was a struggling secondary line through the Alpes Maritimes, still run by the classic SNCF 'Autorails' (those 'Oh, so French' low slung units with buffing gear a fair way up the bodywork) and only still open, on a wing and a prayer, owing to the money spent on its postwar rehabilitation. Thankfully, still with us, nowadays, it's marketed as the 'Train des Merveilles' and well worth a visit if you're down that way.
     
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  4. 46223

    46223 Part of the furniture Friend

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    For me the most memorable day was 29 June 1985 when I was unexpectedly invited to ride on the footplate of 46229 when she was running out of Marylebone on the 'William Shakespeare' to Stratford upon Avon.
    A shot taken as we approached Aynho Junction.

    np_1_1.jpg
     
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  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    So many, but this one sticks in my mind: I wrote it up about 6 years ago in the context of another thread; what I didn't say at the time was it was more or less a description of the first part of my firing test. I think I'd do some things a bit different now, but I'll put it in unedited as a memento of that time. It was a time when the Bluebell was fairly short of large engines, so we were running the Golden Arrow with a pair of P tanks; a happy time for someone who was described by @30854 elsewhere on another thread as having the "well known role as Honourary President of the Harry Wainwright Appreciation Society".

    (BTW - it's a long piece. But face it - what else are you planning to do for the next few months? ;)

    Tom
     
  6. Penricecastle

    Penricecastle New Member

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    Standing in the dark at Blackwell, summit of the Lickey incline a few years ago. Leander came positively up the bank from Bromsgrove and past with a triumphant whistle at the summit. Looking to the back of the train, six coaches I think, for the expected Rood Ashton Hall which was due to be the banker.......and the Hall wasn't there. I think there had been some sort of paperwork mix up and the Hall was unable to leave Tyseley.
    Leander was allowed to go it alone and she did it in great style.
     
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  7. Linesider

    Linesider Member

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  8. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    One which will always stick in my mind, not particularly spectacular, but it felt special at the time. I'd been a member of C+W for several months but this was the first time I'd been in for the whole day, and also the first time I was entrusted with painting top-coat. It was also the last day of normal operations in October, in fact it was Hallowe'en. It was probably getting on for 6pm, the last train had gone by an hour ago, I was just finishing off and it was only me and our head painter left. We were just packing up, switched all the lights off, and we suddenly we heard a faint noise of a steam loco approaching. We rushed to the nearest door and, seen only by its own firebox glow, was Foremarke Hall gracefully clanking by, on its last day of service before withdrawal, bringing one of the rakes down for annual maintenance completely unexpected (by us). The unexpected nature of it, the fact that it was Foremarke's last movement for some time, first time I'd experienced steam at night, and it being the end to a personally satisfying day to me, has always made it something I won't forget.
    There's definitely something special about steam at night, and my other favourite memories are probably connected to the SVR's autumn night running. Absorbing all the to-ing and fro-ing at Bewdley at 11pm is a truly special experience, and likewise waking up at around 6am in a comfy carriage seat, with steam going past the window, knowing you're somewhere on the Valley, not quite sure where, but it doesn't really matter, is a definite highlight.
     
  9. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    The traditional railway at night is just such a wonderful thing! I still have a pang of regret I couldn't get out for the end of the 37's on the Wherry lines last summer, but still I got to have a play with loco hauled trains, semaphores, signal boxes, crossing keepers and holiday trains to the seaside! That though is another story!
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020 at 10:47 PM
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  10. Thompson1706

    Thompson1706 Member

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    Riding the footplate of 7298 at Rocket 150 and shunting the other locos in Bold Colliery sidings.
    Firing the same loco at Port Sunlight in 1988, topping and tailing with a small prairie from the Severn Valley.

    Bob.
     
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  11. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    Mine is a nighttime memory too; working Swithland box late one evening with the darkness shutting out the modern world, dining train simmering quietly in the Up Loop, DMU charter passing on the Up and a wedding charter passing on the Down. Nobody saw this scene but me, but the atmosphere was magical; I wasn’t around during the steam era but this was about as close as I could have got.

    (Having been heavily involved in the Swithland signalling project, this was also the complete vindication of many years of my life invested in it.)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Member

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    My abiding memory was also at night on the GCR when I was having a Driver Experience on Sir Nigel Gresley....but not when I was on the footplate. It was being on the veranda of the attached brakevan, looking up at the steam with sparks in it and the reflected glow from the fire as we went quietly through the darkness. My father had recently died and my mother was on the platform at Rothley.
     
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  13. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    That was 4566, a friend of mine was able to take a photo of it on its low-loader on the way home emitting some Clag down the M6!
     
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  14. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Well-Known Member

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    Which day was that Bob? If it was Sunday we were on the same Cavalcade, I was on 3205.
     
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  15. Kylchap

    Kylchap Member

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    IMG_1719.JPG The Tyne Tees Streak, 5 December 2013. The weather was atrocious. All trains north of York had been cancelled due to the high winds. York station was crowded and most of us feared the worst: cancellation. After a long wait, our hearts leapt with joy to see steam as Bittern backed onto the coaches. The northward run to Newcastle was approved but restricted to 50mph. At least it was running.

    Later, in the afternoon, we left Newcastle on the return journey, prepared for another 50mph plod. Soon afterwards, we heard the announcement, full of emotion, that the speed restriction had been lifted. I tried to hide my face from those sitting opposite me as I felt the silent tears rolling down my cheeks.

    The rest is history that I'm sure many of you shared with me. The dash past Darlington on the avoiding line was epic, and still the speed kept rising. Those of us on the train know just how fast Bittern went on that memorable day. According to the announcer it was the fastest ever steam-hauled train between Newcastle and York.

    That was my best day of steam in preservation. Maybe it will be rivalled by the joy I will feel when steam returns to the main line after Covid19, as it surely will.
     
  16. Thompson1706

    Thompson1706 Member

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    It was 40 years ago but I seem to remember that it was the Sunday. We had a B.R. driver from Garston turn up wearing a really scruffy uniform with 70's style cap.
    He jumped onto the footplate and said that it's a few years since we was on on of these , and promptly grabbed the reversing lever and threw it into forward gear without holding the clip. If looks could kill he'd have been well dead. He did behave himself after that though.

    Bob.
     
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  17. bluetrain

    bluetrain Member

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    Thanks for that Tom. A couple of things struck me from your account.

    Firstly, the need to keep very close watch on the boiler water level on a line with hilly or switchback gradients. I have read that one of the reasons for the success of the Welshpool & Llanfair 0-6-0Ts (quite close in size to Ps and Terriers) is that they have short boilers, again making water level management easier on the steep climb out of Welshpool and frequent gradient reversals. Further afield, short boilers have been reported as highly desirable on the railways of the Andes, with some of the most ferocious gradients on the planet. 2-8-0s seem to have been especially favoured there.

    Secondly, you seem to have had to feed lots of shovelfuls of coal into this very small engine. In 1901, my grandfather was serving (as the ship's blacksmith) in the light cruiser HMS Thetis. On Census Day 1901, the ship was at St Helena on the way home from the South African station (Where she had been involved in some of the earliest radio trials, while patrolling the Delagoa Bay area to stop gun-running to the Boers through Portuguese East Africa). The Census returns show a crew of 267, of whom about 80 were stokers. If nothing else, the later change from coal-firing to oil-firing saved the Navy an awful lot of stokers!

    I suppose that my own most memorable moment on a heritage railway was my very first visit to one, at Buckfastleigh in (IIRC) 1969. Things were very relaxed in those days and we could clamber over engines in the yard. I remember my parents' urgent demands for me to get off the running lines when they heard the whistle of an approaching train!
     
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  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Small shovels! I reckon with that load you would probably get two round trips out of a bunker with a bit to spare, which is quarter ton per 22 mile round trip. We were steam heating four carriages as well.

    You are right about water level and short boilers. Even so, a six inch drop in level over our summits wouldn’t be unusual, particularly on the Chatham engines which seem to lift the water a lot when the regulator is open. That effectively means when going forward on a north facing Chatham engine you run almost all the time with the water out of sight when the regulator is open: a rule of thumb is that if you can see the top of the water in the glass as you approach the summit, you probably have too little for the following descent. So most of your judgement of water on the Chatham engines is by feel: how long have I been running the injector vs. how long has the driver had the regulator open.

    Tom
     
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  19. Johnb

    Johnb Resident of Nat Pres

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    I was one of those photters, I must scan that slide
     
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  20. MG 7305

    MG 7305 New Member

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    Didcot, summer 1975 or 6. Eating my breakfast in the sunshine outside the buffet listening to a link with BBC Radio Oxford. As I ate my sausage and beans the radio played Neil Diamond "Beautiful Noise" and 5900 Hinderton Hall came past us; paradise.

    Julian
     
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