© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
I had some excellent trips in the spring - but
high summer was not very productive
photographically. This trip started in the rain,
but improved later on...
It was dull when we left home, heading for the
East Midlands to see what was going on. By the
time we had cleared Birmingham, the rain had
set in. "Let's spend an hour or so at Tamworth -
we can get some shelter if it gets heavy" suggested Steve. The
traffic on the west coast main line was heavier than the rain -
below is a representative sample (minus the sprinters...)
We then headed further east - "There could be some interesting
movements on the Midland main line north of Leicester, and
maybe something doing on the Great Central". Well, there were
plenty of interesting movements - but only if sprinters and HSTs
come into the category of "interesting".... So, sandwiches eaten,
we went to have a look at the GCR. And guess what - all the
locos had their faces on. (sorry, no photos!) At least the rain had
ceased, and it was turning very warm, but still no sun.
"I've been here before", I thought, as we stood waiting for
something interesting. (A quick trawl of the archives confirmed
it- and located some photos taken in more interesting times - 11
March 1978, to be precise)
We decided to head north, and see what was
going on at the Midland Railway Centre at
Butterley. Here, "Jinty" 47383 was operating on
the main line, and on the 2' gauge line, Motor Rail
60s364 of 1968 was in action - a golden yellow
locomotive on the Golden Valley Railway. We had
to have a ride, of course.
We had visited the Swanwick Junction site some years previously,
when the narrow gauge line remained within the confines of the
depot. Since then it has been extended, partly along the route
of the Butterley Company's tramway to Codnor Park forge, to the
Newlands Inn. The total run of just under a mile seems about
right for the ride in former colliery manriders.
And so we called it a day - just time for a last snap of the "Jinty"
leaving Butterley station, and a quick look in the bookshop,
before heading for home, after a day which had improved
considerably as it went by.
Midland Railway Centre
Golden Valley Light Railway