For Something Completely Different........

Well almost.  A lot of our number, have a healthy interest in other subjects including railways (and thus able to tell a Class 40 from a DMU), cars, etc; in a previous life your site editor was actually a semi-professional railway photographer and magazine contributor.  And so, as long as the page budget permits, there will be a selection of different photographs presented here occasionally over time.

Geoff Cooper-Smith, Site Editor

Over the Easter weekend the West Coast Main Line was closed for engineering work, necessitating diversions between Preston and Crewe. 'Pendolino' 390122 is seen here on the 0940 Glasgow Central to London Euston on one such diversion, approaching Astley signal box on the London & North Western 'Chat Moss' route between Manchester & Liverpool, on Monday 05th April 2021. Copyright Geoff Cooper-Smith

Last summer there was a programme of special trains shuttling several times a day between Skipton and Appleby under the name of The Staycation Express. A variety of heritage diesels were utilised, including the Class 40 Preservation Society 40 145, seen here coming off Ribblehead Viaduct with the 1039 Appleby to Skipton service on the 12th September 2020. Copyright Geoff Cooper-Smith

Although freight train haulage is dominated in the UK by more modern types, mostly built in North America, some of the smaller operators still use 'classic British traction'. Class 56 were the first of the '2nd generation' of BR diesels and actually the first ever class dedicated to freight haulage. Most of the 38 remaining members of the once 135 strong fleet are now well over 40 years old but can still earn a bob or two for their owners. This pair are approaching Bamber Bridge with the 1005 Ribble Docks (Preston) to Lindsey, discharged bitumen tanks. 24th July 2020. © Geoff Cooper-Smith

Within a pleasant fifteen minute walk, along countryside tracks and footpaths, of my house (and hence OK under Covid 'Lockdown Rules') is the Manchester to Wigan line via Atherton. Until a few years ago this was jointed track and semaphore signals which, along with a fairly intensive service, meant there was no space for any freight. However the conversion to continuously welded rail and colour light signalling allowed a shortening of the block sections. Currently the line has a single freight service, the 0725 Wilton Freight Terminal to Knowsley Freight Terminal, empty 'binliner'. It passes Cutacre, the location of this photo, about 2pm most days. Unfortunately it returns via a different route. 05th May 2020. © Geoff Cooper-Smith