Tornado and 6024 in Shropshire Steam on a windy day 26 November 2011 Back Contact Geoff
The “North and West” route through the Welsh Marches saw frequent steam specials in the early days. We were spoilt (even it did always seem to be the same three locomotives - 6000, 6201 and 35028). In recent years, there have been relatively few. So Saturday 26th November would be quite a date for the diary. The Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre would take place - and three special trains were to run - two of them steam-hauled (I
only found out about the third a few minutes before it passed through...). 6024 King Edward I (entirely appropriate for a medieval fair) would haul “The Marches Monarch” from Bristol (the train originating at Eastleigh) and 60163 “Tornado” (just the thing for this windy day!) would be coming from Paddington, following in the King’s footsteps from Patchway near Bristol, through the Severn Tunnel and up through Hereford to Ludlow. There’s nowhere to stable or service a train at the latter, so the steam specials would continue to Shrewsbury, where they also be able to reverse. I took to the country south of Stokesay for the northbound runs, and spent a very pleasant couple of hours. The “North and West” is a busy line these days. As well as the specials (including the 67-hauled third train mentioned earlier) there were a couple of freights, and numerous diesel units on the everyday passenger service. Every now and then, a gust of wind would whip up the fallen leaves into little whirlwinds, which threatened to fill camera bags and, at their worst, to get in the way of photographs. No tornados, fortunately, other than the A1... I could have hung around and seen 6024 heading south. Due to leave Shrewsbury at 4.00pm, I guessed the light would be marginal... I decided to head for home, have a cup of tea and a bite to eat - before returning to Church Stretton station, with the household authorities in tow to see Tornado (she likes that sort of thing). Perhaps there would be enough light for some video as it passed through the station? Perhaps even enough for stills? Judge for yourselves...
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
6024 "King Edward I" Southbound freightliner - 66592 The third special - 67005 Northbound freight - 66150 Tornado heads for Shrewsbury 5.30pm - Tornado hurries through Church Stretton