Pickering

Pickering

A slightly different view of the steam train standing at Pickering Station recently on the basis that you can’t have enough pictures of such subject matter particularly as it recreates one of the joys of my childhood, that of standing at the side of the track waiting with growing excitement as the sound of a steam engine grows into a thunderous roar as it hurtles past with an express……… yes!

 

Station Scene

Station Scene

The National Railway Museum at York is just fabulous though many of the displays are quite difficult to photograph. One of the exhibition buildings is laid out as a terminal station and in this picture I couldn’t resist the temptation to add a bit of atmosphere in the form of steam and smoke. It would be good if the museum could do this, as well as some sound effects of a station in the days of steam. Then it really would have that atmosphere that I remember so well!

 

Loco at Pickering

Loco at Pickering

A second view of the steam locomotive captured at Pickering Station last week.

These engines were known as Black Fives and were a highly successful mixed traffic engines built by the London Midland and Scottish Railway in the late 1930s

 

Steam at Pickering

Steam at Pickering

We had driven north from Sheffield in Yorkshire and stopped off in York to visit the National Railway Museum. (Some photos to come)

We were heading for Northallerton where the intention was to undertake some further family history research at the county archive. After leaving York we stopped briefly at Pickering where I was fortunate to capture this working steam locomotive on its arrival from Whitby via the North York Moors Railway line. The unexpected is almost always more exciting and although I had enjoyed the NRM, there’s nothing quite like seeing a steam engine actually alive, breathing smoke and leaking steam.

 

Battered Beauties

Battered Beauties

A blast from the past! A photo taken on colour print film in 1997 at Wankaner Junction shed yard when steam on the metre gauge in Gujarat was on its last legs. Metre gauge steam ended here about a year later.

Inspired by this visit, I penned this short piece!

Tasting the smoke

I walked through the cinders and tasted the smoke

of the engines that paused there; fireboxes to stoke

 

in the heat of north India those railmen did toil

then chai in the office; the kettles a-boil.

Strange words for a greeting, they welcomed me there,

“You come meet the boss now”: and “pull up a chair.”

 

I walked through the cinders and tasted the smoke

as I went round the shed, in my notebook I wrote

of the engines and valve gear and tenders I saw

while oiling and coaling: of these men I’m in awe

 

I remembered my childhood and traveling by train

from the great Midland city; vacation the aim.

 

I walked through the cinders and tasted the smoke

as a teen through my twenties, by memories smote

of the smells and the sounds of those engines of yore

that stayed in my heart strings till brought to the fore

by the engines that paused there; fireboxes to stoke

and the joy of the cinders and tasting the smoke.

 

At Morvi in 1997

At Morvi in 1997

 

This was my first solo trip to India and I flew into Rajkot in Gujarat, then caught the train from Wankaner Junction to Morvi.

These were the final days of steam on the metre gauge and in this view taken at Movi as I was waiting for the return trip to Wankaner. The station master at Morvi was a major irritation. He may have been correct, but he refused to allow photography here without a pass being issued from Mumbai. Maybe he was just trying it on, but I took my photos anyway! This was in stark contrast to the reception that I received from the rest of the railway staff in Gujarat.

It’s hard to believe that I have been visiting India for over 20 years.