Yes, that’s it all over again for another year. The Great Britain VI (detailed excel file here), the 9 day marathon tour from London to London via the rest of Britain. But just as every other year has shown, it went nothing to plan. From an original ambitious roster featuring 11 different locomotives, it was cut down to 6 due to locomotive availability. So what other than Ian Riley’s Black 5’s to the rescue? The 5MT sisters were to then feature in the first 8 of 9 days of running! They covered from Newquay to Cardiff, up the Heart of Wales to Preston; Onwards to Edinburgh, to Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh before culminating back in Edinburgh on the penultimate night. Surely a record for steam?
So we parked up at Shap, one turn in too soon it seemed, and so a trek across the moors and bogs of Trundle Beck to somewhere a little bit more open for a photograph began. It seems it’s only I who was wearing any sort of appropriate footwear for the marshy land however.
And so, finally after an hour of being delayed and looped, the Black 5’s finally got to have their ascent on Shap. I guess it was lucky in a way the tour ran late, the sun had moved far enough around to give us a bit of dramatic lighting on the engines, with the ash from newly shovelled coal adding in a bit of dramatic dark tone to the exhaust of the leading engine.
Oh, and if you fancy listening to the fantastic noise on Sugar Loaf, and his video of the Shap Ascension, Cammy's video for Days 3 to 5 is here : The Great Britain VI Part One: Day 3 - Day 5 | April 2013