A photo taken in 1997 in the engine yard at Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, India.

This loco was being prepared to work the service to Mhow in Madhya Pradesh. Steam services on the metre gauge did not have long to run and these engines disappeared soon after and were replaced by diesels.

I was made very welcome by the shed foreman who plied me with cups of water as I stood and completed a drawing of one of the engines.



Steam in ’61

Steam in '61

This is a picture from my misspent youth and was taken at the wonderful Snow Hill station in Birmingham in 1961. The station had a splendid overall roof and was built as such by the GWR in 1912. Unfortunately it was closed in 1972 and then demolished along with much of inner Birmingham when the city was redeveloped. The current station on the site is more like a bus stop than the glorious edifice seen here.

Okay, I have to admit that I was a railway anorak and carried my duffle bag and notebook with pride. The scene has a strong period flavour with its smokey atmosphere and the line of train spotters with their notebooks at the ready to take down the numbers of the engines that passed through these hallowed grounds.

The loco is a Great Western Railway 5600 class 0-6-2T engine that was built in September 1925. Initially they worked mainly in South Wales but by this time quite a few were working in the Wolverhampton Division and this freight is almost certainly heading north to Wolverhampton in this view. Steam on the former Great Western ended early in 1966 before most other regions of British Rail but surprisingly more locos from the Great Western have survived into preservation than all the rest of the old companies.

In the left background is the Catholic St Chad’s Cathedral that was consecrated in 1841 and was designed in the Gothic style by the renowned Augustus Pugin.

I miss those times.


Embsay Signal Box

I was pottering around Embsay station on the Yorkshire Dales Railway near Skipton with my camera when David Dyson the signalman approached and we got chatting.

It didn’t take much persuading for him to invite me into the box, and then snap happy smith was in his element!


Checking Over Number 3333

Checking Over Number 3333

This week I have been revisiting old negatives from the past and this picture was taken in 1997 when I visited Gujarat as part of a backpacking solo tour of India.

In this scene we are in the locoshed yard at Wankaner Junction near Rajkot. The metre gauge railways in India were about to transition from steam to diesel. The locos were in a very run down condition and it probably was a struggle to keep them in working order.

This image was scanned from a colour print negative.


Embsay Station 1

Embsay Station 1

If you have visited here before you will know that I like steam trains and there are plenty to choose from in the UK. This one is in the Yorkshire Dales near Skipton.

Over the past few days I have been going through my old black and white negatives and scanning a few of the better ones and some of these are of puffing billies. They will appear in forthcoming posts. Sorry!

Can’t have too much of a good thing!