Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fitness To Run

Saturday morning, Lockerbie station. The train for Edinburgh (one of First TransPennine Express's new Class 350 EMUs, introduced last year) is just leaving, and I'm waiting for my ride into Carlisle (on one of the older Class 185 DMUs, which are still used on occasion on the West Coast Mainline service).

I wasn't the only one making a special trip to the Citadel Station.

It was my first 'steam fix' of the year, the Railway Touring Company's 'Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express', from Manchester to Carlisle via Shap, and return via Settle.

The railtour arrived in the city ahead of time - I believe that delays south of Manchester had meant that the steam had the West Coast Main to itself! But there was just a tinge of disappointment for us all. It should have been a steam double header providing the power, but 45690 Leander failed its 'fitness to run' examination, and so the railtour was pulled by just one steam locomotive, with a diesel on the back.

 'Black 5' No 45407 'The Lancashire Fusilier' was doing all the hard work.

 The sun had come out, and the locomotive is ready for the Carlisle-Settle line.

The sounds and smell - and excitement - as 45407 pulls away.

There are a number of YouTube videos of the railtour, filmed by others along the route. I particularly liked this one, especially of the train passing through Lancaster. I'm also an 'extra' on the platform at Carlisle - can you spot me?

Here's another video I enjoyed.

Photos © Skip Cottage

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