Gallery 12


Updated 14 May 2015


'Watercress Line'





Rugeley - Crewe - Acton Bridge

Warrington - Brock - Langho Bank




in transition



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Sat 31st May 2014


Ted Buckley


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which features both

narrative and photos


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Thursday 24 June 2010


Whilst awaiting the appearance of steam loco 'Tornado' on a southbound steam charter,

I took the accompanying photographs of the passing scene:


Unit 150272 heads up the bank,

having called at Langho Station on time 

with the 18:51 to Manchester Victoria.












The going away shot at this foot crossing


provides a nice lighting effect

in the evening.












Unit 150274 heads down the bank towards Langho Station

with the 18:59 to Clitheroe,

running some 12 minutes late.












At around 19:10, I was surprised to see a class 66 appear in view

around the bend to the north of Langho Station.


It was soon apparent that the loco, Freightliner's 66510

was hauling a heavy load, and proceeding only slowly up the bank.


Indeed she took a full 5 minutes to reach me.












The consist was 19 fully-loaded large hoppers,

possibly not far short of 2,000 tons.












Unlike the earlier generation diesels, when working flat out,

a class 66 still runs smoothly, with little noise,

and just a small amount of hazy exhaust

playing around the roof.












The train passes by, with the shadow of the new  down Langho colour light signal

reflecting off the side of the wagons.



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Westphalia, Germany

May 2010






On a previous visit to friends in Germany, I had learnt that their local town of Siegen was host to a Railway Museum. Unfortunately, it was closed at the time of our visit, being staffed by volunteers, and opens normally on just one weekend a month, apart from special events. We visited our friends again in May 2010, and I was delighted to learn that Peter had been in touch with Museum staff, who had agreed to allow me access to the Museum.


So on Friday 7th May we presented ourselves, as arranged, at the Museum, which turned out to be a real gem of a building, a former DB steam shed, built as a half-round house. The first shed at Siegen was opened in 1861, and rebuilt into its present form in 1882. Towards the end of its operational life, after the end of steam in Germany , the shed housed both diesel and electric locos. The shed finally closed on 31 December 1996, and was taken over by the enthusiasts (Eisenbahnfreunde) a year later.


The shed door was duly unlocked, revealing a bygone age inside. The shed was just as it was in steam days, and you could almost smell the smoke in the atmosphere, although of course nothing was in steam that day. Then we received our safety briefing “mind where you tread, there are some working areas here. Lock the door when you leave.” And with that, we were left to our own devices! We could wander around at will, savouring the sights, for as long as we wished! Just imagine that attitude here in the litigation-swamped UK !


We had been shown courtesy and trust, and responded by behaving responsibly, but we had a good old potter around, both inside and outside, for maybe a couple of hours. We did in fact come across a couple of volunteers, working on one of the smaller exhibits, and they were also able to unlock a side room for us where a model railway layout was under construction.


I would like to thank the Museum staff for the extreme courtesy they extended to me, which made for a memorable afternoon. They have a website (German language only), www.sem-siegen.de . Most of the locos in their collection are owned by an enthusiast group, who also have a website full of interesting information, but again, German language only, www.eisenbahnfreunde-betzdorf.de

NK writes:

I was delighted to discover that the above websites, albeit initially written in German language, as stated above, can be translated into English almost instantaneously by using the "translate" feature of the Google Tool Bar.

There now follows a selection of photos that were taken on the visit, together with some notes of the various locos seen.













The sight that greeted me on entering the shed. Class G10 0-10-0 Goods loco 57-3088, built by Rheinische Maschinenfabrik of Dusseldorf in 1922, entering service on 30 September 1922 .

Renumbered 057-088 on 1 January 1968, and stored on 10 June 1968, the loco was formally withdrawn on 24 June 1970.

After having been plinthed for some time in the 1970s and 1980s, she finally arrived at Siegen on 6 th July 2002 . The loco is in unrestored condition.






38-1772 is one of the iconic Prussian class P8 locos. She was built by Ferdinand Schichau, and entered service on 24 th April 1915 , one of almost 4,000 locos of the P8 class to be built with the 4-6-0 wheel arrangement.

A good few of these then over fifty-year-old locos were still hard at work on local passenger services in the early 1970s, the oldest steam locos then in service with DB ( West Germany ), and I once had the pleasure of a ride behind one.

On 5 December 1974, she had the distinction of becoming the very last of her class in DB service, and was finally withdrawn, having run over 3.7 million kilometres, on 13 February 1975 , following which she was purchased privately for preservation. She was kept in working order until 1993, and is currently the subject of a further restoration appeal.















One of the ubiquitous 2-8-0 freight locos, 52-8134 was originally built in Vienna in 1943 as 52-7138. She was then rebuilt with a new boiler in 1964, receiving her current number, and continued to work in the former East Germany until the 1990s.

On 13 November 1990, she was the very last engine in regular service to be overhauled in the loco works at Meiningen (this is the works, which in more recent times, constructed the boiler for the UK's brand new Pacific loco “Tornado”), and, on 6 November 1994 , now owned by DB in the re-unified Germany, she hauled the very last steam-hauled timetabled passenger train in regular service.

Having then been bought privately for preservation, she has been maintained in working order. One of her preservation highlights occurred on 30 August 2000 , when, during one of the DB's legendary ‘Plandampf's (steam locos hauling regular timetabled services), she hauled a 1,100 ton freight train at a top speed of over 60 kph. She was withdrawn for a major repair in 2004, which was completed – at Siegen - in 2007, and she is now regularly back on the main line again.


Another 2-8-0, 051-724-3, peeps through bay 18. She was built by Krupp in 1941 as number 50-1724, and 1 January 1968 received her German-style “TOPS” number of 051-724-3 – the last digit is a computer-generated check-number.

During and after WW2, a total of 3,159 locos of class 50 were built. She worked in the former West Germany until 24 February 1977, when she was withdrawn as the last remaining example of this once-extensive class. She was later purchased privately for preservation.


















Another view of the P8, with tiny works diesel shunter number Kof 5274 under restoration.


This shunter was built by Klockner-Humbolt-Deutz in 1944,

and withdrawn on 10 August 1997 as the works loco of Fuchs steelworks,


where she had worked since 1979













A model railway under construction, showing a half-roundhouse

much like the one housing the layout.


In the foreground, the lighthouse-style building is the water tower.


At Siegen, only part of the base stonework remains,

and there are plans to reconstruct the tower.













View of the half-roundhouse from the turntable.


According to the website diagram, there are a total of 24 roads leading off

the turntable towards the shed, of which 16 penetrate the building.


Other roads lead off the turntable providing connections with Siegen 's operational sidings

and on to the main line.


Note in particular the complex overhead wiring,

allowing electric locos on shed.


Each road inside the shed is only deep enough for one large loco,


but all locos have instant access to the network via the turntable,

without the need for lots of inefficient shunting.













Another view of the complex trackwork. The diesel shunter, 212-372-7, is also part of the Museum collection.

Built by Deutz, she entered service on 13 June 1965, as class V100 number 2372.


She was renumbered on 1 January 1968, and withdrawn on 18 July 2004,

arriving at the Museum on 10 August 2005.














An atmospheric view of the curved corridor,

which runs the length of the back of the building.


Just the way it was?







How close did this historic building

come to being lost forever, I wonder?


The Siegen by-pass,

part of a major autobahn route,

passes the back of the shed on stilts


– it couldn't have been built much closer!










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10th April 2010

Derby - York - Scarborough



Preserved Duchess class, 6233 "Duchess of Sutherland", has recently been granted a boiler ticket extension in order to run on the main line for a further twelve months. Her owners decided that she needed a fresh coat of paint, and have elected to exchange the traditional maroon for LNWR-style lined blackberry black.

Her first outing in her new livery took place on Saturday 10th April 2010, when she hauled "The Yorkshire Coronation" from Derby to York and Scarborough, and return.

I was curious to see what she looked like in black, along with many others as it turned out, and I have to say she looked stunning. But see for yourself from the attached photos.

She was due to call at Milford Loop for water from 10:17 to 10:48, and so I decided that I could catch her twice in that vicinity. Milford is situated just a couple of miles east of Ferrybridge Power Station on the line into York which a few miles later passes through Church Fenton, and then joins the ECML at Colton Junction just a few miles prior to York.

Saturday dawned with glorious sunshine and almost a pure blue sky. And for once, Yorkshire was blessed with similar weather to Lancashire! So my first location was from a field where the line runs on a low embankment no more than half a mile from Milford Loop, with the sun shining at an angle to cast the shadow on the far side. At 10:13, almost bang on time, the Duchess appeared in view, not working hard, but beginning to slow for the water stop.

Photos 1 and 2 are taken at this location.


































Following a most satisfactory sequence of photos, we decided to head for Milford Loop, and, specifically, a bridge taking a track over the line at the exit to the loop. There was plenty of room to park, and we joined the dozen or so others there.

Looking down at Milford South Yard, we could see several lines of hopper wagons, plus a line of coaches, but no sign of the Duchess!

Then we saw the smoke - she had been detached from the train, and had run back past the coaches on the down main, and back into the yard at the west end to take water.

From where we were, I'm unsure whether it was a road-tanker parked at the road entrance to the yard, or from a hydrant. The fireman was busy stoking up the fire for the high speed run to come, and the next photo conveys a moody atmosphere, even without sight of the engine.

Eventually, the Duchess' thirst was slaked, and she returned to her train via the down main.

We were able to take some close-up shots as she manoevred over the points back into the loop.


The fireman continued to build up his fire, and we were able to take a few very atmospheric shots

as the smoke curled lazily high into the air. Then eventually, with a great roar, she sprung into life.


The time allotted for the water stop was insufficient for the complex operation, which had ensued,

and unfortunately, she started some twelve minutes late,

at 11:00 precisely.














The initial burst of black smoke

quickly gave way to white,


but we were taken by surprise

at how hard the loco was worked

out of the loop

and back onto the down main


with her heavy load of 12 coaches,

and diesel 57601, dead on the rear.


There was no noticeable slowing

for the points,

as, on reflection, the junction was gradual,


and we were treated to the thrilling sight

and sound of the Duchess

being worked hard.













Having cleared the points, the driver opened her up even harded,

and she stormed away towards Church Fenton and the ECML.


We had had a great morning, with two first rate locations,

and made our way back to Lancashire extremely happy!







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Traffic on Langho Bank



46115 “Scots Guardsmanon “The Lune Habitat”,

Carnforth to Chester,

ust south of Langho at 9.15

on the morning of 6th September 2008.



The weather conditions

were “extremely challenging” to say the least,

but it was worth getting a soaking

just to experience the sight and sound

of a Royal Scot at full chat,


for the first time in over FORTY YEARS!



















































57306, Jeff Tracy,


hauling Pendolino set

390037, Virgin Difference,

on the 1S40 Euston - Glasgow

heads northwards towards Langho Station


as 390035, City of Lancaster,

hauled by 57308, Tin Tin,

on the 1M14 Glasgow - Euston


disappears into the distance.


The photograph was taken

from the safety of the steps leading

to the foot-crossing


approximately 1/4 mile south of Langho Station


on Saturday 21st January2006.

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Traffic on Langho Bank

Continued . . .




On 13th March 1999.

Deltic class D9000, Royal Scots Grey,


powers up the 1 in 82 bank

just south of Langho Station,


Pendle Hill in the background,

with the diverted 1O38 Glasgow - Bournemouth.


Early Morning Steam.


At approximately 08:15 on a bright, sunny morning,

Ian Riley’s steam locos 76079 and 45407


head northwards down the bank towards Langho

with a special from Manchester Vic. to Carlisle


on Saturday 26th March 2005.














Class 47, 47702 heads the

1S54 Birmingham – Glasgow down Langho Bank


on a bright but bitterly cold

Saturday 13 th April 1999.





On a hot summer’s day,

Saturday 16th July 1994,


ex-LNER Pacific 4498 , Sir Nigel Gresley,

threads its way through

the glorious Ribble Valley countryside


on a northbound 'Cumbrian Mountain Express'














A cold but clear winter’s morning,

V2 Green Arrow, 60800,

heads down the bank

from Wilpshire to Langho


with a morning 'Cumbrian Mountain Express',


the sun reflecting off the cab front,

on 29th December 1999.


Stanier Black Five 44767, Stephenson,

pounds up the bank south of Darwen,


passing the remains of Spring Vale Station,

heading towards Sough Tunnel,

with “The Norseman” Rail Tour,


the first steam working over Copy Pit since 1968,

on 18th March 1995











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Oliver Cromwell

visiting Ramsgreave & Wilpshire on 10 Aug 2008












Six days later, "Oliver Cromwell"

returned to the Ribble Valley,


and is observed surmounting

the climb up Cemetery Hill Bank

on the approach to

Ramsgreave & Wilpshire Station


on 10 August 2008


Waiting photographers

now getting that nostalgic whiff of steam















Getting nearer and nearer to the station . . . .






. . . . just about to pass under the road bridge at R&W










On 21st January 2006, Class 67, 67005,

in Royal Train Livery, pilots classmate 67027


across Whalley Arches


on a Bristol - Carlisle enthusiasts special.


46203, ‘Princess Margaret Rose’ ,

digs in to the climb up to Gisburn,

just North of Rimington,


with a north-bound ‘Cumbrian Mountain Express’

on Saturday, 13th August 1994.


Pendle Hill broods darkly in the background.











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On Saturday 26th April 2003,

LMS Pacific 6201, Princess Elizabeth,

worked a south-bound charter

over the S&C and B&H.


She had a scheduled water stop at Blackburn

at Gilbraith’s yard, just west of Blackburn Station.


Framed by the Blackburn skyline,

she is seen being coaled as well,

there having been no more than two shovels-full left

on arrival at Blackburn.


In order for the emergency coaling to take place,

‘Lizzie' had to suffer the indignity of

traversing the full length of the coal yard,

rocking and swaying slowly along

the ancient weed-strewn track.


Was this the first and only visit by a Stanier Pacific

to Blackburn 's Coal Yard?















To celebrate the 21st Anniversary

of the formation of Ribble Valley Rail

on Sunday, 9th September 2007,


Northern Rail provided some of their

much-admired special-liveried 156s


for the final DalesRail 2007 services to Carlisle.



The 4-car formation on arrival at Carlisle

in platform one,


and above, the same set reposes in the sidings


before forming the final DalesRail 2007 service

back to Blackpool North













No. 66122, recommences its epic journey

from Burngullow in Cornwall to Irvine in Scotland


with the ‘silver bullets’ china clay slurry

during April 2006.


Brains, 57309, heaves 390046, Virgin Soldiers,

up the final pull in to Hellifield station


with a diverted Virgin - Euston to Carlisle service

April 2006.













Hellifield North end’s pleasing array

of semaphore signals

is shown to good effect


as Virgin Soldiers, ably assisted by Brains,


prepares to do battle with the 1 in 100 gradients

ofthe Settle – Carlisle line April 2006.


September 1998, Black Five, 45407,

approaches a refurbished Hellifield Station


with the 'East Lancs Venturer',


after its journey up Shap to Carlisle,

and then over the Settle & Carlisle line.













A photo of Hellifield Station taken

from a hot-air balloon January 1991.


The RV Line from Clitheroe

enters the picture bottom left,


and that from Skipton, mid-right, above the houses.


Hellifield South Junction,

taken from the signal box June 1998.


The signals have now been replaced by

new and less imposing semaphores.














Stanier Black Five 45407


brings the “East Lancs Venturer”

into the restored Hellifield Station


on 12th September 1998


Hellifield: Midland Railway Canopy


December 1986












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Blackburn West End - 150 150


forming a departing Clitheroe to Manchester train


one Saturday in March 1999


60103, Flying Scotsman,

heads north


through an almost deserted Blackburn Station

on an October Saturday in 2002.


This was the only train

to pass through Blackburn that day,


as both Arriva and FNW staff were on strike.













Blackburn undergoing reconstruction


on 3rd March 2001



Virgin (almost!) HST set 43067,

with 43122 on the rear,


crossing Swanside Viaduct, Downham,


on the diverted Penzance to Edinburgh (1S71)

on Saturday, 6th March 1999.


Langho Driver, Norman Cookson, is at the controls.













47770 on 1Z64 Mills Hill - Edinburgh

Special Day Excursion


on 18th April 1998


Voyager unit 221112


crosses a sunlit Whalley Arches

on 16th March 2003


with the northbound

1S70 Birmingham - Glasgow.













On a snowy last day of 1996,


unit 150141 rushes through

the original Wilpshire Station,

closed to passengers in 1962,


with the

09:58 Clitheroe to Manchester Vic. service.









Class 57, 57302 Virgil Tracy


catches the late afternoon sun

whilst climbing Cemetery Hill


on the way to Ramsgreave & Wilpshire

with the diverted 1S83 Euston – Glasgow


on Sunday 16th March 2003.


The full moon is just visible

at the top of the photo,


and the glint of the sun has turned the ‘Virgin' logo

on the side of the loco from red to silver.














Running a few minutes behind schedule, ex-LNER K1 62005, now owned by the North Eastern Loco Preservation Group, sets off from a signal check at Horrocksford Junction on the morning ‘Lancashire Witch’ Carnforth / Preston / Blackburn / Hellifield / Carnforth circular.


The wet rail caused the loco to lose her feet with her substantial eleven-coach load, before digging in for the climb to Chatburn and beyond. The loco made two circuits based on Carnforth, both of which called at Clitheroe, on Saturday 27th March, the day of RVR’s AGM.


The AGM had finished just in time for the afternoon run to be witnessed.










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Visit to North Wales

on 6th September 2003


Ribble Valley - Preston - Bangor -

Blaenau Festiniog

- Festiniog Railway


Preston Station

Two- car unit 156424,

forms the 09.53 through train to Holyhead,

which we were to take as far as Bangor.













Saturday 6th September 2003. Unit 175115

waits to depart Bangor

with the 12:15 shuttle to Llandudno Junction.


The guard will be able to take his cue

from a proper, highly visible, station clock!





Our train from Preston awaits time at Bangor

– and on the journey

it has grown to 5 coaches!

Units 153324 and 158728

were attached to the rear

at Warrington Bank Quay,

having arrived with a service from Manchester.


Now that's what I call a proper connection!













Unit 153363 waits at Blaenau Festiniog

for its departure time of 15:06.


Within just over two weeks

the Conway Valley Line service

was handed over

to the new Wales & Borders franchise,


and the above scene passes into history.



Linda has taken water at Tan-Y-Bwlch

prior to departure with the 16.45 to Blaenau.


We have a lady driver,

and a member of staff appears to be praying

for a safe deliverance!

















Another view of Blaenau Festiniog









Saturday 6th September 2003

at Tan-y-Bwlch.


Having brought us to the

destination of our Railway Adventure,

1917-built Alco 2-6-2T Mountaineer,

awaits departure

with the 15:40 train for Porthmadog.











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Snow on Langho Bank

Spring 2006




The early weekends of 2006 saw a number of WCML trains diverted over the RVL, and in January and February I had already spent a number of Saturdays photographing them. However, overnight on Friday 3 March 2006, it snowed quite heavily, and Saturday 4 March dawned bright and clear, so it was out with the camera again, to catch Pendo drags in the snow. One of my favoured locations is where a footpath crosses the tracks around 3/4 mile south of Langho station, and I intended to capture both a northbound and a southbound Pendo there.

The southbound 1M14 Glasgow-Euston, was due to pass Blackburn at 11:33, and the northbound 1S40 Euston-Glasgow was due to pass Blackburn at 11:19 , and so I reckoned that the two trains would only be a few minutes apart. Indeed there was a slim chance they would pass each other nearby.

First into view at 11:29 , running maybe 6 or 7 minutes late was 1M14, and 57307, Lady Penelope, made a fine site against the snowy landscape as she hove into view hauling Pendo set 390032, City of Birmingham. - Photo No.1.

But what happened next was a complete surprise! The fireman must have thrown an oily rag or two into the firebox for a pre-arranged black smoke effect! Well, no, but as the driver notched up full throttle, a cloud of black smoke erupted from Lady Penelope's vent. Who says steam locos are the worst polluters! Photos 2 & 3.


The Virgin livery certainly stands out very well against the snow, although Lady Penelope was looking somewhat mucky that day, as demonstrated by Photo No. 4.

I swung around for a going-away shot, and there to my delight, lurking behind a bush, was 57306, Jeff Tracy, on the northbound 1S40, running pretty much to time Photo No. 5.

The timing was perfect, and I captured good passing shots – Photo No. 6. The rear of the unidentified Pendo swept up the snow in passing Photo No. 7, and finally, Photo No. 8 shows the Pendo off well against the backdrop of a snowy Pendle Hill.

As the sun reflects off the Pendo's rear headlight casing, this last photo could be said to depict a southbound Pendo traversing Ribble Valley metals, making use of Network Rail's pioneering wireless technology!

It had been a most satisfying 5 minutes.

Please note that the original photos are film transparencies, scanned into the PC using a dedicated slide scanner, and the quality derived by this process is not quite up to the image quality achieved by modern digital cameras.


Ted Buckley










Photo 1
Photo 2












Photo 3

Photo 4












Photo 5
Photo 6












Photo 7

Photo 8











The Wuppertal Schwebebahn

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translates as the 'Wuppertal Suspension Railway'


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