© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
Towards the end of August, we felt the need for a trip to the
north-west of England. It had been some time since I had last
visited the Settle and Carlisle railway, and even longer for my
companion Steve. "There's quite a bit of freight over the line
We joined the M6 and headed towards Shap, identifying a spot
near Docker Hall where, after one or two navigational
difficulties, we were able to photograph a number of trains -
mostly passenger, but also a southbound coal train hauled by 66
044. The Howgill fells provide a scenic backdrop for southbound
trains at this location.
Next, the journey to Ais Gill, via Sedbergh and Garsdale. We
spent a couple of hours here - always a pleasant spot when the
weather is fine. In that time, two sprinters and three freight
trains passed. The two coal trains depicted here were hauled
(empties, northbound) by 60 095, and (southbound) 66 114, seen
crossing Ais Gill viaduct. A northbound gypsum train passed,
hauled by 66 083, but, as sometimes happens, I hadn't quite
positioned myself where I wanted to be - so you don't get to see
Time for another change of scene now - back to the west coast
main line, this time on Shap bank itself. Rather than the usual
linesiding, we tried one or two "trains in the landscape" shots.
The location will possibly be familiar to those "friends of the M6"
who frequent the excellent Tebay service area (which is visible
in the background).
There's a limit to what can be done with the latter picture, so
we moved once again, southwards to the lineside just to the
north of the site of Burton & Holme station, between Oxenholme
and Carnforth. In the hour or so we spent here, several trains
passed, including those illustrated (both southbound) in the
company of 92 005 "Mozart" and 66 084.
We moved on once more, but, as the early evening wore on, we
failed to find anywhere very suitable for photography. We did
manage a quick shot of 66 087 on northbound coal empties at
Hest Bank, but the light had gone, so that one stays in the box
And that was it - back to the M6 and home - another good day.