A very odd one to write, as this one will be very little train related! It’s been one year since the website went live, the original blog and Facebook pages predating it by a few months. A lot has gone on in the last 12 months. We’ve been present for the 45th Anniversary of ‘1T57-The Fifteen Guinea Special’ (and almost didn’t make it home that day), managed to make it to some spots for The Great Britain VII, Deltic No. 55002 ‘KOYLI’ first mainline passenger turn and even catching an LNER A4 at 90mph.
If there’s one day that stands out, not because of incredible photographs or delving in to the far secluded areas of the country as per normal, but because of the event that was taking place.
Nobody can deny the thrill of a race, it seems to have been drilled in to our minds as railway kids of the 90’s the race between Thomas and Bertie shown during the televised adaptation and the way Ringo Starr would narrate with excitement as if he himself was in those carriages as the little blue engine sped through 0 gauge model railway heaven.
The second gala visit of the year for me, the East Lancashire Railway’s February Steam Gala was looking to be a great event. Visiting engines included Black 5 No. 45379 from the Mid Hants, and Standard 4 No. 76084. With resident group 3P20 charters arranging evening and morning photo-shoots, it seemed unlikely to get any better. Yet the weekend really went with a bang, on the journey through Manchester!
So it’s that time of the year again, the annual 21st Century Railwaymen day out, to sample some of the North West’s ale while also catching steam in some sort of form. This year we would be following the trend we’ve set for the previous two, the Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express. But if the first year went fine and the second bridging on being ‘snowed-off’, well this year had to just encounter those tedious necessities of the modern railway age…
On one of my previous posts, I detailed how the best laid plans of a railtour promoter and operator can go wayward, with any number of factors cropping up to throw off some of the best laid plans. But what happens on the other side of the fence, for the enthusiast out to see the special? Here’s one day that involved some of the trickiest planning I have tried to date, and very nearly stumbled at the first hurdle!