Saturday, 23 July 2011

'Dusty' on the sleepers

There are few locations today where it is possible to see scheduled locomotive hauled passenger trains. Even where these trains do exist they mostly run in push-pull formation with a locomotive and one end and a driving trailer vehicle at the other. The two main exceptions are the remaining sleeper trains from London to Cornwall and Scotland. These trains still run in a conventional loco-hauled manner bringing the practise of shunt releasing stock into London termini. While the Caledonian sleeper to Scotland usually uses electric traction for these duties at Euston (Class 90's are booked), the Night Riviera Sleeper to Cornwall uses First Great Western's fleet of four class 57's. Occasionally other traction can substitute, particularly on the run from Old Oak Common depot to Paddington. While in the past class 47's were commonly hired in for this duty it is now more common to find shunter 08483 'DUSTY Driver David Miller' on the blocks at Paddington during times of poor class 57 availability. This was the case on 17th July presenting a very unusual scene at Paddington- there are not many places in the country, let alone in central London where you can see a class 08 on the mainline!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Blue King

After many, many years of restoration success has finally come for the team restoring GWR King 6023 'King Edward II' from scrap condition to a fully functioning locomotive in original condition with single chimney.
Withdrawn by BR in 1962 the King was steamed in preservation for the first time in 2011 and hauled it's first trains on the Mid Norfolk Railway carrying the attractive BR blue livery.
Following it's stay in Norfolk the locomotive will return to the workshops for final work to enable it to once more take charge of the mainline.
The stay of 6023 on the normally diesel hauled Mid-Norfolk railway has also presented the opportunity for the line to host it's first ever steam gala over the weekend of 16/17th July, with GWR pannier 9466 also visiting the line.
All photographs taken on 10th July 2011 at the Mid Norfolk Railway.