6880 Betton Grange was the star of the show at Warley National Model Railway show. The locomotive which is under construction at Llangollen was seen for the first time in public with a boiler in place., The boiler was from the groups other locomotive Cogan Hall, which had been fitted to work out where pipping should go. I finally took the opportunity to sign up, why don't you too visit www.6880.co.uk for full membership and sponsorship details. It was my first visit to Warley, which takes place in Hall 5 of the NEC, and what an enjoyable day. Patience is key to the day with a large crowd for both viewing of layouts and bargains (the Bachmann returned stock stand was particularly busy... where I managed to get myself an industrial Jinty and some Scenecraft buildings for knockdown prices). Click here for my gallery for images from the day.
The Preserved Railway Whats On Guide is currently being updated regularly with 2017 events listings as they can come in:
Click here to visit the 2017 Complete Listings
Click here to visit the 2017 Steam Galas Page
I'm also adding more pictures into the Locomotive Galleries, so why not check out these pages while your visiting.
The Severn Valley Railway, held a Season Finale Steam Gala, over the first weekend of November. I visited on the Sunday, which was a day of mixed weather. GWR (ex-Port Talbot Railway) 0-6-0ST 813 is seen above departing Hampton Loade in the beautiful morning sunlight, the fresh form overhaul locomotive was the star of the show for myself; alongside the East Lancs Crab 13065 which looked magnificent at the head of the rake of LMS coaches. Click here for a link to my stills and video gallery from the event.
Railways are starting to announce their 2017 special events, with events at Llangollen, Severn Valley, West Somerset, Spa Valley and Churnet Valley being amongst those already listed on the Whats On Guide... click here to visit the Whats On Guide and get planning your 2017 event visits... highlights of the 2017 season include the Mid Hants End of Southern Steam Commemorations...
I took a further Flying visit to the East Lancs last Sunday, catching Flying Scotsman and City of Wells heading north out of Ramsbottom (and also tender first with up trains). Click here for pictures and video...
Slowly I'm adding starting on more locomotive galleries. New and updated pages include Royal Scot's, Flying Scotsman, Flying Pig, Princess Royal and Great Northern Railway locomotives, but many other galleries have been added, click here to visit the index.
One of my favourites from the Welsh Highland Great & Small III event, is this one of Prince taking water from the heritage water crane at Beddgelert.
Flying Scotsman was back in action on the East Lancashire Railway, on Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th October 2016, hauling passenger and dinning services between Bury and Rawtenstall. Footage and pictures of the iconic engine from the Thursday and Friday of the events can be found here. Locations include Burrs, Summerseat and the steps of Townsend Fold Box. During the event I took my first trip behind the A3 on an enjoyable working members special on Thursday night, along with being Townsend crossing keeper for the Friday night dinner.
The previous weekend was the Ffestiniog's Vintage Weekend, pictures and video from my two days of travelling and walking around the line can be found here... The weekend saw a trip with my dad to an event for the first time in a few years, the North Yorkshire Moors Steam Gala was the location, with Britomart running through the original Grosmont tunnel being one of the highlights of the Welsh themed gala with 7822 Foxcote Manor topping the bill on the standard gauge services, click here for pictures and video.
This month has seen me busy moving house, but that hasn't stopped me catching a bit of steam action. On August Bank Holiday Monday, I visit the Bala Lake Railway for there Steam Gala. It was a feast of Quarry Hunslet's, although headliner was Kerr Staurt 'Diana'. Beautiful sunny weather lasted all day, which was finished by a cavalcade of the locomotives. A thoroughly enjoyable event, with pictures and video being found here...
Two weeks later and back to Wales, this time further West to the Welsh Highland Railway for this years Superpower event; 'Great and Small III'. An intensive timetable was in operation on the northern end of the line with four locomotives operating shuttles/footplate rides/shunt challenges at Dinas. I took the opportunity of the event to finally ride between Rhyd Ddu and Beddgelert, the only section of the line I'd yet to travel behind, travelling for much of the day onboard Prince's vintage train. Video and pictures of the gala can be found here...
My next steam capture was something a little bit bigger, in the form of Standard 4MT 76084 on her main line test run. I captured the locomotive on her loaded test around Houghton Bottom. Video can be found here...
As mentioned in the last blog we visited Cornwall for a weeks holiday. Along with chasing the Duchess and visiting Dartmouth, we also took the opportunity to visit Bodmin, Lappa, Swanage and capture Tornado. The day before we went down I also spent much of the afternoon at the West Lancs' Steam Gala with two visiting engines, after seeing Leander on her way north from Preston.
I took the first few weeks of August off, during this time we took the oppourtunity to spend a week camping in Cornwall. On the way down to Cornwall we managed to capture the Duchess on the Royal Duchy at Whiteball, Dainton and Saltash. Click here for footage and stills of the Duchess.
We took a day trip out of Cornwall, back into Devon on the Friday of the week, for a trip to the Darmouth Steam Railway, where two GWR tanks were in action on a very sunny day. Click here for footage and stills.
Once we'd returned back up north a trip to the inlaws was in order, and from her we took a day out to Llanberis. The plan was for a brief walk up the start of the Llanberis path to get a shot of the steam working on the Mountain Railway, but before we new it we where at the halfway cafe up Snowdon, and having reached half way up we decided we may as well climb to the summit. A very rewarding walk, with plenty of footage and stills of the railway. Click here for video and photos from our climb up Snowdon.
This time last year I visited the Conwy Valley and waited at Roman Bridge for a black five that never made it up the steeply graded and bendy line. This year following 'gauging' issues with the 8F scheduled for the service, Royal Scot 46115 Scots Guardsman, stepped in at the last minute and successfully made it all the way to Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Click here for my pictures and videos of the Scot on the Conwy Valley and North Wales Coast Lines.
LMS Jubilee 4-6-0 45690 Leander is seen above on the North Wales Coast Express on Sunday 24th July 2016. Click here for video and stills from a busy day chasing, where I caught her at Edge Hill, Pensarn, Llandudno/Maesdu, Conwy Castle, Valley, Llandudno Jct, Deganwy and Llanddulas.
Along with regular updates to the Whats On Guide, I'e been continuing to update the Locomotive Galleries with the following updates now live, all are just photo galleries for now, but video compilations of classes should be added to some of these pages in the coming weeks:-
There's not many better ways to spend a Sunday then standing on Foxfield bank listening and watching a range of industrial tanks tackling the steep incline. That was how I spent my Sunday, and the results can be found here by clicking here...
A video and photo gallery from my day at Middleton on Friday can be found here... This was my first visit to the Middleton Railway, and while only for a few hours was very enjoyable. They present out of ticket locomotives in a very good way in the 'Engine House' museum display, which also tells the story of engine building around Leeds, particularly with Hunslet.
The Whats On Guide has been updated to a new, easier to edit, format. Click here to visit the Preserved Railway Whats On Guide.
Last Sunday I paid my first visit the Dean Forest Railway, a wonderful line running through the Royal Forest of Dean. The event celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Flour Mill Workshops, with four engines restored at the site operating, including Beattie Well Tank 30587, T9 30120 and Met No. 1. Click here for my gallery and videos from the day.
Saturday 2nd July 2016, in windy and showery conditions, Gresley Pacific 60103 Flying Scotsman, tackles Shap at Salterwath.
On Wednesday 15th June 2016, A3 60103 Flying Scotsman took the first stage of 'Emerald Isle Express' over the North Wales Coast Main Line. We see her in this image passing Conwy Castle on the down journey.
Click here for more images and video of the journey, with further shots at Valley and Mostyn.
Click here for more coverage of Flying Scotsman's first year back in steam
On Wednesday 8th June 2016, Scots Guardsman and Flying Scotsman hauled Steam Dreams 'The Cambrian Coast Express' from Holyhead to London Paddington. Video and pictures from four locations can be found here... while here can be found video and pictures of Flying Scotsman's engine and coach movement ahead of the tour on Tuesday.
Flying Scotsman crossed the Pennies on Tuesday 7th June 2016 on a positioning move for Wednesday's 'Cambrian Coast Express' to London Paddington. I caught her three times on her movement at Slaithwaite Viaduct, departing Marsden into the tunnel under the Pennies and finally at Alderley Edge. I then moved onto Crewe where she was on display at the Heritage Centre for the evening. A gallery of pictures can be found by click here...
Braunton masquerading as sister locomotive Lord Dowding for 2016, heads southbound through the Leicestershire countryside at Cossington, with Railway Touring Companies ' The Peak Forester' on Sunday 22nd May 2016.
The last Class 66 has arrived in the UK, numbered 66779, it carries the name Evening Star and BR brunswick green to commemorate the last of this extensive class which is the backbone of the UK freight scene. The locomotive was displayed at York alongside 9F 92220 Evening Star when I visited the NRM on 16th May.
Gallery of images from Monday 16th May 2016 at the NRM.
A busy couple of months has seen plenty of railway visits across the UK:
Preserved Railway from Lee Andrew Davies
A website with two purposes, to deliver annual listings of events on Preserved Railways throughout the UK, and to display my collection of photos and videos from preserved railways and main line.