© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 We stood beside the line near Seaham, in the Durham coalfield. A number of locals waited for the rare spectacle of a steam train - then, as Mallard appeared, whistled, and carefully rounded the curve, one called out "It's a streak!". Says it all really... 1988 was the year of Mallard - the 50th anniversary of the record-making run - this was the weekend of its Settle and Carlisle trips. The weather forecast wasn't good, but we had to go for this one! We started at Helwith Bridge on the "long drag", then headed back for the motorway to get further north, our intention being to follow the train across the Newcastle an Carlisle line, then to finish in County Durham. We managed another shot near Cumwhinton, under light steam and increasingly heavy rain. With time to kill, we spent a few minutes at the south end of Kingmoor yard, watching the electrics sweeping the rain from the overhead wires, then headed east, managing a shot near Wetheral, before heading further east again to Bardon Mill, for a platform end shot at the station. The rain had gone by the time we reached Seaham - so had our photographic inspiration! 87 on southbound passenger, Kingmoor 4468 Bardon Mill 4468 near Cumwhinton 4468 hurries through Dent 4468  Dandry Mire Viaduct 4468 near Garsdale 4468 at Helwith Bridge 4468 near Seaham 4468 near Wetheral 47 422 near Skipton 47 456 - wrong line at Dent The following day was to see another trip up the S&C. We started with quick look at the line near Skipton, to see the northbound service train in the hands of 47 422, before heading for the high fells and Dent station. A southbound service train had to pass here - appearing wrong line, much to our surprise. Eventually "Mallard" hurried through, towards the water stop at Garsdale... ...which would be our last location, taking position on the hillside overlooking the stubby Dandry Mire viaduct - a good position for both the distant shot and the closer one, before the train plunges into the tunnel towards Ais Gill and the long descent of the Eden Valley. And so we returned to the car, to head back to the M6 and home. Not the best of trips, weather-wise - proper S&C weather, some might say, but at least we had seen steam - hot July sunshine would have killed it!