Friday, 30 December 2011

Day Return to Levisham

Earlier this week we had a lovely afternoon on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway; the weather was rather dull but it some how really rather added to the whole day. We chose to go from Pickering to Levisham, it's about twenty minutes between the two and we reckoned that's a pretty good balance between length of ride and how long our pet human will last!

The southern section of the NYMR isn't as well known as the last northern stretch as it's not been at the centre of a TV drama and in some ways, despite my fondness of Goathland station, is all the better for it. Levisham has only a limited amount of stock stored in its yard and development work has been kept to a minimum. In some ways it demonstrates why so many stations like Levisham closed! It does feel very remote, a good mile and a half from its namesake village. Levisham station is kept presented in North Eastern Railway colours, and the NER signals compliment this rather nicely. Only the 'modern' crossing barriers are really at odds with this! However, the delightful signalbox more than makes up for this!

The day never really got, well, light at all... The day was terribly overcast and the with the railway following the valley floor often surrounded by numerous trees light didn't stand much of a chance! But I think it really added something; a dark overcast afternoon only makes the steam heated coaching stock all the more appealing!

A really nice afternoon with one very tired little boy as a result! It didn't stop him wanting to play with his wooden railway back home though!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Happy Christmas!

I would like to wish all my readers a very happy Christmas!

The photo? A rather wintery view looking towards Broomfleet from Crabley Creek.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Driver's Eye View at Welton

Recently I was very lucky to have a cab ride from Hull to Doncaster and back – despite having travelled on this section many times, it is always a very different experience to have a cab ride. For a start you have a much better, almost panoramic, view of proceedings.

Photo by Michael Kaye, used with permission.
Please see Derby Sulzers for the full set of superb photos.

What made it even more interesting is the opportunity to compare the resultant photos (I took nearly a hundred photos along the way!) with photos of a very similar cab ride. One view of my old ‘office’ at Welton really does show how little things have changed. Aside from the new PVC windows it is amazing how similar the two views are – the chimney from Cappa Pass is long gone but the Humber Bridge is still as visible as ever from Welton, weather allowing! The weather wasn’t anywhere near as good on my cab ride though! If you could see to the left in either photo the view would be very different – in 1988 a sea greenhouses would fill your view whereas now a new housing development does nothing but block the view from the train.

You can see the full set of the 1988 photos here.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Mike Cook

Today I heard some rather sad news that Mike Cook the man behind the York Model Railway Show has passed away.

The York show is one I have attended from being a very small child and one I have visited every single year since. I’d suggest it’s an exhibition which is a focal point and highlight for many modellers, not only in Yorkshire but throughout the country.

He also produced a number of layouts including one of my favourites, Sinnington on the Pickering – Helmsley line, which was particularly nice, and a model of a very rarely modelled part of the country.

His passing represents a huge loss to the hobby.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Kirkham Abbey

The eastern side of Yorkshire has some real railway gems. The Hull - Selby line is a wonderful example of a main line still signalled in the traditional manner for instance. The York - Scarborough line is probably better known to many enthusiasts - a traditional holiday route and also the stamping ground for preserved steam for many years. The line runs through a lovely part of Yorkshire and finishes up in one of the nicest towns on the Yorkshire coast. Along the way are a number of traditional manual signalboxes - one of these is at Kirkham Abbey.

It's a lovely example of a North Eastern Railway 'box and has been superbly restored in the lovely light blue colours of the old BR North Eastern region with a host of details which many similar boxes have had removed. It still has wooden crossing gates worked from a wheel - it seems only the trains passing by will remind you of exactly what year it is. And it must have one of the nicest views of any signalbox too, over looking the River Derwent with Kirkham Priory beyond. Just lovely.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Stately Progress

Not sure if the title refers to the locomotive's eventual style of movement or the pace at which the build is progressing...

Anyway, just a little bit about another loco which will be part of the Botanic Gardens fleet. The basis is a London Road Models' kit, which is showing its age but is still a good starting point for a LNER J21. It'll be a Hull loco when it's finished, though the exact one has not been decided upon yet. Photos of locos in Pre-Grouping days are not as plentiful as those for diesels. When modelling a particualr diesel a quick search on the net normally brings up a few good images within minutes so you can be very sure, but here, well, not so easy!

More details to follow soon!