© 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.
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
68012, 60047, the 101, and various
things at Slindon