© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
No. 5000, the first of Stanier's "Black 5"s, built
in 1935, was based at Bridgnorth during the
1980s. It saw action on the Severn Valley
Railway - and on a number of main line "Steam
Specials". Here are some pictures taken while
"chasing" one such special - a run up the "North
and West" to Chester, with 5000 in charge, and
a return working in the hands of 46229
"Duchess of Hamilton"
We began our photography at Craven Arms, where the special
was reversed onto the Central Wales line to allow main line
workings to pass. This was some years before steam was allowed
to traverse the route, so a record of the event was in order...
We moved onto the former GWR main line to Chester for the last
pictures - firstly, 5000 is seen steaming across the viaduct at
Chirk. The parallel aqueduct on the Llangollen canal can just be
seen between the arches. Finally, we headed for the spoil heaps
of the former Gresford Colliery for the pictures of the Duchess.
(The latter location is now well-and-truly "spoiled" by the dual
carriageway road which cuts through the site, although I suspect
the trees would have obliterated the railway by now anyway...)