© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 Many of the "Rail Diaries" pages involved a fair amount of travel - here was a photographic opportunity right on my doorstep. The occasion was a Bescot open day - to mark the event, three "Ironbridge Ramblers" were organised by Pathfinder Tours. The first and second trains would start from Walsall, then run out to Castle Bromwich Junction, back through New Street and Wolverhampton to Madeley Junction, and down the normally freight-only branch to Ironbridge power station. I'm not certain what the route the third train followed - though I gather it was quadruple-headed back from Ironbridge. (No, I didn't go to see it - can't remember why!) The first two trains were "topped and tailed" by pairs of locomotives - 37 101 and 278 at one end,  20 130 and 143 at the other. The first train is seen hauled by the 20s up the steep bank through Coalbrookdale, past the furnace pond and over the Jiggers Bank road bridge, on the double-tracked 1 in 50 gradient (below)  It is also seen (above) near Holmer Lake - the trees hide not only the lake but also the Halesfield industrial estate on the left and the modern housing estates to the right. The second train is seen descending the 1 in 50 behind the same pair of 20s - it is just coming off the viaduct and passing the site (behind the photographer) of the temporary platform which served the museum a couple of years previously. Coming back up the bank, the 37s are in charge as the special passes Cherry Tree Hill, then finally rejoins the main line at Madeley Junction, where a Shrewsbury - Wolverhampton "stopper" has been held to let the special out. Of the locomotives depicted, the two 37s, out of use for some time, were cut up earlier this year (I write in September '03), and the 20s went some time ago. The branch still carries coal to Ironbridge power station, although the long term future of the latter has been in some doubt in recent years... Link: Pathfinder Tours Train 1 - the furnace ponds, Coalbrookdale Train 1 - Jiggers Bank road bridge Train 1 - near Holmer Lake Train 2 descends beside the Coalbrookdale Museum Train 2 - on the bank, Cherry Tree Hill Train 2, Madeley Junction Train 2 joins the main line, Madeley Junction