Showing up has never seemed so difficult in my life. Contrary to belief (and every other blog post on here), I do plan ahead. I always come up with some sort of schedule, which then goes to the wind eventually. This time, I seem to have failed even planning; sure, I know that I had to get the 1416 from Edinburgh Waverley to Manchester Piccadilly, and then tram from there to Bury. Indeed, I have done it several times before. So not checking the status of trams in Manchester, during what has been written about as their major redevelopment in various railway magazines I browse, well there was only ever going to be one end.
Tram replacement bus service? Well, that’s a first for me. Tram replacement bus service being fired at by some sort of missile? Sure, let’s make an already difficult journey that bit more nerve racking…..
A replacement bus did turn up without much wait, and within minutes we were at Crumpsall. However it was 10 to 7 now, and felt little hope of reaching Bury before 7.15pm. I should have figured that the tram wastes 30 minutes of it’s 40min schedule in the city centre, as bang on 7pm we arrived at the interchange, and I was down in Buckley Wells by 7.15pm with the camera out. Worth it? Certainly was, a good 1 3/4 hours of night time photography with some superb lighting effects. Even if the hands did get a bit chilly...
Once our chartered freight had completed numerous run pasts, they returned to Bury to allow the Steam Gala to commence in full swing. For me, it was time to spend the day getting acquainted with the many lineside photospots between Bolton Street Station and Ramsbottom. I’ve been to the railway several times before, but this was a first for the purpose of steam photography. It’s a beautiful line, kept in such great condition and looks well maintained throughout. And even the sun decided to shine at points during the day, especially lucky during the moments of Standard 4 No. 76084 crossing Brooksbottom Viaduct with a parcels train.
And back to a wife, who I maybe shouldn’t have called straight away during the bus incident, and would no doubt still be worrying to death…..
Again, I would like to thank Andrew Fowler, Nigel Gresley, Richard Newton, Phil Jones and the rest of the members of both the 3P20 and the ELR. A very enjoyable visit, and hopefully I’ll make another few in the near future!