Jack drifts down towards Leadhills station © Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 With a good weather forecast and a day off, the only question was "Where to, Steve?" Neither of us had been to "Peak Rail", the preservation project based on the former Midland route from Derby to Manchester. The line is open from Matlock to Rowsley, the site of the shed and yard in steam days. As inevitably happens when the sun shines, it's in the wrong place. Nevertheless we managed a couple of shots of "68012",  a former industrial  "Austerity" (WB2746/1944, late of NCB Ackton Hall) given the number and livery of one of its former BR cousins which used to work on the Cromford and High Peak line. The loco is seen (left) arriving at Darley Dale station, and (right) leaving Rowsley. It was working reasonably hard in the second shot, but the day was much too warm. A few years ago, we had had an excellent day on the Hope Valley line, photographing several freights and other traffic. Today we would be less fortunate. Steve's freight book suggested there would be nothing through for some time, east of Chinley. We had a quick look at Bamford station, hoping for one of the last 101 DMUs on a local service, but, after a short wait, there was an announcement that the train in question was running significantly late (I forget how late - but it was enough for us to pack up and head west....). I had spent some time in the Chinley area some years ago, trying to photograph the steam specials, and today we found an "old friend" in the shape of a location just west of Chinley station. We soon were able to snap a train of stone empties, headed by EWS red 60 047, and a little after that, class 101 694, recently transferred from Scotland, and still sporting Strathclyde livery. (It hardly seems worth mentioning that, additionally, there were numerous "Sprinters" and a "Pacer" or two....). We decided to head for home, or rather, the west coast main line, it being on our way. There is a spot near the village of Slindon, a mile or so south of the Mill Meece pumping engine which lies beside the line - excellent for northbound trains, but useless for trains heading south. The line is, of course, so busy that this hardly matters! There were already several others at this spot, including some of our colleagues from the Shropshire Railway Society, who had spent the day beside the line, this being their last before they too headed for home. In under an hour and a half, we saw perhaps 20 trains, with electrics of classes 86, 87, 90 and 92, and at least three class 47s, one on passenger and two on freightliner duties. Once again, I hesitate to mention some of the other traffic which passed through, unphotographed.... The lowering evening sun is evident in the pictures shown, and after the second of the two freightliners, we packed our bags and headed away. Photographically, we have had more productive days, but given that the alternative was a day wielding a paint brush, it was nevertheless another good day out. Links: Peak Rail Dave Homer Video  Dave specialises in fairground video, but also offers some DVDs of railway action in the Buxton area - and a cab ride video from an ICI stone train recorded in Feb 1990
Video: 68012, 60047, the 101, and various things at Slindon 47 358 on a northbound freightliner, Slindon 60 047 hauls stone empties near Chinley "68012" accelerates away from Rowsley "68012" arrives at Darley Dale with a train for Rowsley 86 401 "Hertfordshire Rail Tours" near Slindon, Staffs 101 694, in Strathclyde Transport livery, approaches Chinley