Over the years I have taken many railway photographs. These are the railway photographs which mean something special to me representing my top spots. It might be the locomotives, rolling stock or location that is important. I hope you enjoy my ‘Top of the Spots’.
Batty Moss (Ribblehead) Viaduct
Let’s be clear: I’m NOT condoning leaning out of carriage windows. Too many irresponsible people are killed or injured as a result of this. The consequence is that the rest of us are no longer able to stand by an open window on the main line. When Class 45’s and 47’s were the mainstay of loco hauled services over the Settle and Carlisle, it was a joy to be able to stand at open window (not to lean out) and watch the world go by accompanied by the sound of the locomotive.
In this photograph we are just about to go over Batty Moss (Ribblehead) Viaduct on the wonderfully scenic Settle & Carlisle route. Note the 20mph speed restriction. At the time this photo was taken, British Rail insisted the viaduct was in poor condition and was a prime reason for closure. Note also that there is double track over the viaduct. As many will know the track is now singled. The track was slewed towards the centre of the viaduct.
Rushcliffe Halt Signal Box
The next railway photograph was taken from the former signal box at Rushcliffe Halt. The signal box is located on the former Great Central main line just north of Loughborough. This section is now part of the Great Central Northern heritage railway operations. In this view, taken in 1981, the line was not yet a heritage railway. Spotting trains from a signal box has to be a great way of passing the time! I think this photograph captures that feeling and provides an interesting and historic picture to share with you.
Though the box is out of use now there is a possibility that it could be reinstated particularly once the Great Central northern section is reconnected with the operation of the Great Central Railway at Loughborough. As many of you know a bridge is being constructed over the four track Midland Main Line near Loughborough station.
From a Class 25 cab
As a link to the previous railway photo this was taken from the cab of a Class 25 heading northwards through East Leake station on the former Great Central line. This was how I traveled to Rushcliffe Halt signal box. Viewing the railway and other trains from the cab is the holy grail for some enthusiasts.
I’ve included this photograph as it is both historic and many will not have seen what the Great Central looked like some years after closure to passenger services in 1966. It soldiered on over this section between a chord line that was built down to the Midland main line at Loughborough. This allowed freight trains to operate to Rushcliffe Halt for the gypsum processing plant and at this time to the Ministry of Defense facility to Ruddington.
Also many will not know that here at East Leake there was a company that used to manufacture concrete pipes. On the right of the photograph, you can see a siding with buffer stops. Behind that was another siding where wagons were loaded with these pipes. The Class 25 locomotive that I took this picture from on actually went into those sidings and collected the wagons. This formation was then taken up the line all the way to the MoD interchange sidings at Ruddington just south of Nottingham.
Inverness Lochgorm Works
Another great place to spot are maintenance depots. This is the former Inverness Lochgorm works at Inverness in the early 1970s latterly the depot coded 60A. The photo shows a Class 26 in the foreground accompanied by what are possibly are later Class 24’s judging by the number of bodyside grilles and front roof profiles. On the ground alongside the Class 26 looks like a DMU engine along with other components from traction and rolling stock.
As an engineer I worked at number of maintenance depots around the country so this is a familiar environment to me. However, there was always something special about going to Scotland and visiting the depots there and in particular Inverness Lochgorm. Examples of Class 26 locomotives can still be seen in Scotland at the Caledonian Railway Brechin, Bo’ness & Kinneil, Strathspey Railway and on the Waverley Route at Whitrope.
You can get some great Spots at railway yards where all manner of traction and rolling stock can be seen. This is Haworth yard on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. On this occasion I spotted rail buses that are used on the line. This type of vehicle does not get much attention so could be argued is an interesting example of what can be found in a railway yard. Alongside can be seen the tender for a Class S160 USA designed steam locomotive with Transportation Corps markings. In the background is a jib from a steam crane.
What sort of railway features do you like to spot? Please feel free to comment.