© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 A good few years ago, steam was common on the Hereford - Shrewsbury line, in the shape of the "Welsh Marches Express" (later "Pullman"). A regular performer on those trains was 6000 "King George V". 6000 has retired from such activities, and resides in Swindon; in the meantime 6024 "King Edward I" sees regular main line trips. Today no. 6024 would be visiting Shropshire, heading up the "North and West" to Shrewsbury, then after a break, heading east along the Shrewsbury - Wolverhampton line. The day was dull and intermittently rainy - I nearly turned back shortly after leaving home, and as I approached Craven Arms, I'd more-or-less decided I'd just find somewhere to watch it from the car. But it stopped - so here are the results. It was nearly 25 minutes late as it passed Stokesay, and the rain was just starting again - raindrops can be heard hitting the video camera in the first video clip... For the return trip I went to Wellington, where the through roads enable a decent view of the train in the reasonably-photogenic station. It was pretty crowded when I got there - my first choice would have been the other platform, but in retrospect I made the right choice, even if I did have to squat almost on the ground... The run past Stokesay had been slow and steady, barely 20mph - I learned later there's a PW restriction a little to the south. The run through Wellington, in the low 50s, was truly dramatic - the reactions of the ordinary passengers were worth watching (see the lady jumping up and down, on the extreme right of the video clip...). It was early too - I barely had time to switch on the video camera. The clip should have been a little longer, though I think I got the best bit... Video: 6024 works the heavy train slowly northwards at Stokesay, then, later in the day, bursts dramatically upon the scene at Wellington. Main line steam at its best!
Slowly past Stokesay Slowly past Stokesay Slowly past Stokesay Slowly past Stokesay Wellington whirlwind! Wellington whirlwind!