© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
We usually manage a day's photography during the February
school half term week - and we usually encounter fairly
unfriendly weather. This year, the sun shone, and we had
most productive day out, with a tremendous variety of
We started at Bescot, but there was nothing doing, and the light
was all wrong, so we we moved on to Ryecroft Junction, where
we realised the light would be right in the afternoon, but not
mid morning. So yet another move, to the Cannock Chase line.
For a long time freight only, the line now carries passenger
traffic again, in the form of the Walsall - Stafford service.
We managed a quick snap of 150 022, then headed down to
Rugeley. Here, on the Trent Valley main line, there was much
more activity. A coal train arrived hauled by one of the
diminishing number of class 58s - no. 030. This stopped and
reversed, ready to head over the line we had just visited. The
usual debate ensued - should we go back to our earlier spot to
photograph the coal train (and risk it getting there before us) or
We stayed put. As a result, we managed to photograph a wide
variety of movements, with numerous loco-hauled (or propelled)
passenger workings, plus the illustrated 8-car class 325 Royal
Mail set, and GM-equipped former 47 no 57 004 on a southbound
Time for lunch now - the pub at the bottom of the station
approach road proving more than adequate. "Where next?" asked
Steve. "How about Colwich Junction - I've never been there". We
managed a quick shot of a Freightliner liveried class 90-
propelled southbound passenger, coming off the Stone line, but
the photographic opportunities were limited, to say the least, so
we moved on again, this time to the Queensville curve, just
south of Stafford station.
We stayed here about 45 minutes, but apart from a couple of
"Virgin" passenger trains, little of interest passed - although,
annoyingly, a number of interesting looking trains traversed the
Wolverhampton - Stafford line, in clear view from our position,
but not photographable. Shown is 90 142, another Freightliner
loco on a main line passenger working.
Lastly, we moved further north again, this time to a spot just to
the north of the old steam pumping engine at Millmeece. Here,
once again, we were rewarded with variety, including a 37 429
on a passenger working headed for the North Wales coast, class
92 "Coupertin" on a rake of coal hopper wagons, and finally, 3
RES-liveried 47s coupled together and heading southwards, light.
The light was starting to go now, and we both had commitments
later that evening, so we called it a day - and what a great day
out it had been (aren't they all, one way or another?). Plenty of
sunshine, and more variety that one could possibly ask for.