Sunday, September 27, 2015

September Steam

Skip garden has had limited success this year. No one to blame but myself. However, one thing that has made me smile this September was the old vegetable patch which I planted up early with spray dahlias and helichrysums, raised from seed, to give some late season colour.

Mission accomplished!

Another success this year has been this clematis, just left to ramble. Best it has ever been.

And the weeds have done well!

Talking of weeds, Buddleja davidii came originally from China. It likes dry stony areas, and seems to be very happy in poor ground around railways. But it is classed as an invasive species (see here), and can do considerable damage when the seeds germinate in old mortar on walls and embankments, as here at Carlisle's Citadel Station.
My contemplation on the tenacity of weed seeds came to an end with the arrival of this beautiful locomotive, No 45699 Galatea, at the head of 'The Waverley' steam charter on September 6. This Railway Touring Company charter was ex-York behind a diesel, with Galatea taking over at Hellifield for the drive to Carlisle, and return, over the Settle line.

Concerned looks, but safely parked at platform 3.

Built in 1936. I was interested to read, here, that in 1953, the locomotive ended on its side after an accident!

We're off to park the carriages!

I was back at Carlisle on September 19 to see the arrival of the Vintage Trains 'The Coastal Explorer' railtour.

GWR Castle Class 4-6-0 No 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe is another beautiful locomotive.

The locomotive had brought its rake of coaches from Carnforth, and was due to return via the Cumbrian Coast line. But it was very apparent on arrival that something was up, the Earl surrounded by lots of concerned support crew in hi-vis vests.

A hot axle box was the concern, and this led to the locomotive being failed at Carlisle, the coast return trip being diesel hauled. But not before 5043 huffed and puffed its way around to park the carriages.

Parking accomplished, the locomotive disappeared, and to everyone's disappointment, did not appear for the return leg of the tour. The passengers had to wait awhile for a replacement locomotive to arrive.

You can find YouTube videos here and here, showing the Earl in action over Shap and at Carlisle.

Photos © Skip Cottage

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