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Images from 50 years of rail travel (1971 onwards)

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Always nice to read the official leaflets from years ago, a small window into a different world. Everyday normal then but so interesting many years after.

(Likewise the pics of course)

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16 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

2hrs 16mins Rhyl to Euston, including a stop at Prestatyn ?

Is that a typo ?





Looks like a typo in the timetable. Euston arrival should have been 22:31 not 20:31.  Especially taking in account loco change at Crewe.

* or maybe 21:31 arrival

Edited by irishmail
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Looking at my notes it seemed that although I marked train B the timings both ways show I travelled on train A. so I don't know if train B was cancelled or what timings it ran to. The actual arrival time at Euston was 22:10



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  • 5 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Thanks to the 23 people who liked my first post. So we are now into April so month 2 and a few highlights:


Although this thread is called 50 years ago the first trip I have recorded is 30th April 1972 - a notable date as it was the last day of operation of the Brighton Belle. The ticket on that last day was £1.66 return, outwards on the Pullman 2nd class, and return by any train.







A year later on 13th April 1974 when I went on a LNER Society from Euston to Leeds. May sound odd but this was the motive power




4771 - Green Arrow. These were the days when if the steam element of your tour started at Carnforth you were free to roam the depot.


The details of the trip are on the Six Bells Junction website



The following year I was living in Reading and these two pictures stand out for various reasons. The first is of 47540 46008 on a Westen-super-mare Train. The only time I ever recorded such a pairing






The second is an "in joke" but does show a long lost scene.




in the mid 1970's Bradford Barton churned out a large number of pictorial books. One of these has a picture of an "08" at Reading with a caption that implied that the 08 was only there to shunt motorial trains. A friend of mine, who did not live in Reading, questioned this saying he had not seen a picture of this happening, so this was taken for him.


My last posting for April is from 1993:




ely.jpg.027e4b765d24a7b9a2c6aedd2519737f.jpg'the only time I have travelled behind Duke of Gloucester.


Looking forward May, that was a memorable month for me and should be reflected in my post



Edited by MyRule1
Spurious picture removed
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Looking at that 47 tucked inside the 46, I'll hedge my bets on the 47 failing with low oil pressure and/or low power. It appears to have either pumped the lube oil into the coolant via the oil cooler, thus overflowing the coolant header and dumping the excess of fluid out of the breather and down the bodysides behind the radiators, or the turbo oil seals may have blown, because of the volume of oil towards the No.2 end...


I'd guess it left Bristol and failed soon after, with Bath Road sending the 46 out to rescue it. The stock would have been a bit stuffy by Reading being air-con but without any ETH power....

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  • 5 weeks later...

As the first post mentioned my interest in railways, and photography, started in 1971 and as such I missed out on the end of main line steam on railways in mainland UK. I was able to witness mainline steam in Germany. This was mainly through utilising various travel privileges available to BR staff. By leaving Liverpool Street on the Friday evening boat train to Harwich you could then travel into Germany and arrive at Rheine on the Saturday morning to observe steam in action, you would them return that afternoon to arrive in London on Sunday morning.

So my first set of pictures for May are all non-UK and taken in 1975.


First couple are familiar shapes seen in the Netherlands




Class 77 E27002 Aurora in NS service




The second is on arrival in Rheine




My records show that we saw 17 different steam locomotives working that day of two classes: 012 Pacific's and 042/043  (2-8-2). What we did not know was that the class 012’s would be withdrawn the end of that month.









012.066 (poor picture but only picture of 012 on passenger service












The next batch of May photo's will be all taken on BR, but many more German photo's next month

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A little late but Amtrak began operations on 1st May 1971.  Basically taking over 184 of the 366  routes previously operated by private railroads, using equipment leased from them.


Amtrak was brought into being by the Rail Passenger Service Act of Oct 1970 signed by Richard Nixon and is a partially privatised but government supported organization.  It was initiated when some major private railroads decided to discontinue passenger operations.  (Ref Wikipedia).

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Posted (edited)

Only just stumbled across this thread. Going back to your April 1st post, that’s the first picture I’ve seen of a Motorail shunt at Reading too. By the time I started working there, the Motorail services had ended but I used to park on the old Motorail dock or on the former track bed which had been resurfaced. And, coincidentally, yesterday’s pictures at Rheine were taken not too far from where I live now. Thanks for posting them.

Edited by Western Aviator
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On 01/03/2021 at 21:27, MyRule1 said:

 At Barry I was using some “cheap” colour film from Eastern Germany which allowed me to take pictures of nearly all the loco’s at Barry.


Is that why they have a red tinge?   :jester:

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On 01/03/2021 at 21:27, MyRule1 said:

At Barry I was using some “cheap” colour film from Eastern Germany which allowed me to take pictures of nearly all the loco’s at Barry.

Despite the poor keeping qualities of old colour film and prints it is possible to get some quite reasonable results with computer packages.  I have just had a quick play with the Western using an old version of Photoshop Elements which came with a camera. Not perfect but hopefully an improvement.



If it isn't possible to get a decent colour result it is usually possible to create an acceptable monochrome version.


Both would benefit from a bit more work but it shows what can be achieved. 

I have even recovered some images from negatives and slides so badly exposed or deteriorated as to be virtually invisible.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

The reason that I have taken time in posting domestic May pictures is that I have now totally rewritten my image catalogue system and can now find images and get them ready to upload with 5 clicks of a mouse and one entry from the keyboard: So here are the May pictures.


First is a Gresley inspection saloon at Cambridge York in May 1973



The same month found some withdrawn 5-Bel units at Mistley





On 9th May 1975 I had my only ride on the prototype HST or class 252 as it was at the time, from Paddington to Swindon





29th May the same year found this immaculate pair at York



Lastly for May's pictures we move back a year to 1974 - the 6th May that year had seen the inauguration of the full Electric service from London to Glasgow. The following Saturday I number of us bought the cheap tickets (I recall £5 return) London to Glasgow return tickets. Thanks to contacts in BR we also managed to get a tour of Shields depot arranged.




here's 82.002 on a test train at the depot.


As my photo's start in 1971 I missed out photographing mainline steam in the UK in "normal" use but the June edition will probably be nearly 100% steam.

Edited by MyRule1
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  • 2 weeks later...

Into June and I have a lot to chose from.


Although 1971 saw the start of these photo's it was not until 1973 that I embarked on a Regional Rover tour - with seven days around the Eastern Region. This was the first trip with a SLR, and like many at the time the only SLR that fitted my budget was a Zenit 35mm.


Only two from that week:



A Derby DMU at Braintree, only included as I had no idea that  30+ years later Braintree would be one of my local stations.



Unretouched photo of 9005 + TSO E4574 at Peterborough 10/6/73, this was the only time I travelled on a train in normal service with a maroon coach.


In 1975 during my year living and working in Reading I captured this:



33109+ DEMU1202 25/06/1975, this was certainly a service train but I know nothing more about the combination.


Now a daily sight but this picture taken on the 28/06/1975



was the first? persevered steam train into Whitby


However earlier the same month (07/06/1975) say me in Edinburgh. For this trip I travelled on what was the last remaining element of the St Pancras - Scotland trains. After travelling from St Pancras to Nottingham there was only a short wait for the passenger coaches attached to a Nottingham - Glasgow Postal train, via the S&C . Any attempt at reasonable length of sleep was ended when the postal workers had finished sorting and descended on the passenger coaches to drink, smoke and play cards. Even though it was a non-smoking coach. The aim of this journey was to see and photograph the only UK based A4 in green  - 60009




June 1977 was a very special month, in the UK the Queen's Silver Jubilee was celebrated, but this was the first year that the East German authorities really opened up to tourism. You had to go on organised, and controlled groups, but one of the trips was a week roving the rails of East Germany - a week in which we saw over 100 steam loco's in working order. Following that week a further week was spent in Austria. The stories around that trip could fill a book: issues with Visa's, currency, but also some luck and meeting friendly people.


However those pictures will wait for another day....





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Before getting back to German (and other steam) one major event I was present at was teh end of Steam on the London Underground.







Unless you had paid to travel on the special train photo opportunities on the widened lines were limited so I went straight to Neasden Depot.








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Posted (edited)

As mentioned above rather than spend the Queen’s Silver Jubilee (1977) in the UK 5 days in the Democratic Republic of Germany (GDR - East Germany) plus another few days in Austria was the chosen destination. As we were on a package there was no issue with Visa’s for Germany but the best route from Dresden to Vienna was the overnight train. The problem was what that this went via Czechoslovakia . Even though this was a transit it required a full Visa which made the trip too expensive. Thus the alternative was Dresden – Nuremburg – Linz – Vienna.

Anyway back to the trip overnight ferry to Hook of Holland and through coaches to East Berlin, under armed guard in GDR.


Over 100 steam loco’s were seen during the week – here are some of the highlights:

First steam loco seen 01-2069-1 at Berlin Ostbanhof 06/06/1977



During the trip we had access to steam sheds, both standard and narrow gauge such as at Wernegrobe on 07/06/1977 with 99-0234 & 99-7243.




Despite being a very controlled trip we did have a lot of freedom to roam and even miss out parts of trips to get additional line side shots etc


Zittau was an interesting place as the station was the boarder crossing between the GDR,  Czechoslovakia, and Poland here we saw Czech 556-0334 on 09/06/1977.



 There was also a line down a platform which we were told not to cross as we would be leaving the GDR (I think for Poland) however no such limitation was put on a footplate ride on the rails! And a number of the party took advantage of this with the help of a friendly footplate crew and our “minders” who looked the other way,


An example of lineside shots id this one of 99-1741 at Bertsdorf 09/06/1977




While in Dresden we revisited the Pioneer Railway operated by children.


I only include this shot of the “Iron Curtain” as it I had taken it going into the GDR I would have possibly been arrested or at least lost my camera,





Leaving the GDR did not mean the end of active steam here is CSD 2-10-0 at Gmund 11/06/1977



This is possibly the worst shot I will include in this series of posts it is of Sopron. Due to the border between Austria and Hungary following rivers rather than railways there was a Austrian train service that ran through Hungary and alongside a steam shed at Sopron,  This shot had to be taken without the armed guards in the carriage seeing you!




The last steam shot of the trip was a big surprise. All the info’ available in the UK said that all steam had ended on the Vordenburg rack line. Thus this sight as a pleasant surprise 97205 at Vordenburg 14/06/1977, one of three steam trains we saw.




A postscript to this post is that in 2017 I was able to revisit a number of the locations from that 1977 trip to see how reunification in Germany, and the general passage of time, had changed things. Pictures from that trip will wait until September,


That is the end of June’s pictures – July 1972 saw my first All Lines Railrover


Edited by MyRule1
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  • 1 month later...

Here we are on the last working day of July and I get around to posting this months photo's.


The reason being that up until now my image catalogue has only contained the slides I have taken (under 2,000) over about 25 years! It did not include photo's taken on negative film or digital photo's (about 20,000). I have been updating the system, which is written in VBA for Excel to make it more usable. That job is still not complete but is progressing.


So to entries of July:


July 1973 saw me undertake my first "All LInes Rover", the main aim of which was to see Scotland.


It did not get off to the start I had planned as a couple of days before we were told that the last train on the Bishops Stortford to Easton Lodge train was to run on the Saturday (22/7/1973)my ticket started. Luckily the trip was in the early morning so the day could be recovered:




Class 31 5637 at Easton Lodge


The rest of the day was spent on a return trip to South Wales. The Sunday was an exploration of the remaining LSWR lines in the South West with the extremity being  Exmouth, this being included as it shows the old station.



But the return trip to London from Exeter was made via Birmingham where I saw the only Cl35 I ever saw at New Street.



Monday was the start of the visit to Scotland 


Just the one view here which is the standard view of Kyle of Lochalsh




Rather than pay hotel bills the two nights in Scotland were spent on the Glasgow - Inverness sleeper which had in i's consist an LMS Sleeper. - sorry I cannot locate the picture.


The final day was a return to lines out of Waterloo with a glimpse of the future at Wimbledon depot 28/7/1972




Staying with the Southern scene for a while this was taken in July 1973



 a 4-Cor driving unit which spent some time stored in Cheshunt goods yard,


On 6th July 1974 all the engines stored in Preston Park were brought to Brighton Station for a display.  I include 30850  as it is a loco I worked with in steam many years later.



Another steam loco now released from t=its location in July 1974 is Royal Scot which was confined to the short demonstration line at Bressingham



Having mentioned the LMS twice in this entry another LMS design you could travel on in July 1973 were the Cl503's at Birkenhead




Another multiple unit photographed on 27/7/1974 was this Swindon unit:





I had not noticed until I looked at the slide today that it had a !Z headcode.


The last entries for July come from 6/7/1975. This was the year of the Stockton and Darlington 150th exhibition. Class S15 841 was down to be there but had to get out of the SVRPS site at Chappel (now the EARM). The only was of doing this was to take advantage of the fact that the Sunday service on the Sudbury branch started late. This allowed for a track slew of the BR line to take place overnight.


The result was the first loco to pass in steam over Chappel viaduct since the early 1960's.






These photo's are grainy as they were taken on extremely high speed film. I switched to colour and do have a colour slide of the loco on the viaduct but I loaned it to someone, and although it has been returned, I cannot find in in the scans.


Here is the loco on the GE main line near Marks Tey





Hope you enjoy these views and the August ones should be up next week. August 1973 was one of the most interesting in these 50 years but for a reason that will be revealed next time there are few photo's.

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What interesting and varied collections!

I left school 50 years ago this summer and could wander up to Truro station to watch this shunting the yard.....


.....no mean feat as it only ran in blue livery for 12 weeks! Photographed on 8/7/71.


Actually this thread has reminded me, right on time, that the first of the Class 22s' replacement, Class 25 5180, rolled into St Blazey yard 50 years ago TODAY! It arrived around late afternoon and it was also a Friday. Here it is captured on 16/8/71 - I photographed both events on the same roll of (Instamatic) film! (Apologies, I've posted both before but I assume not everyone will have seen them.)



Whilst here, another anniversary is the withdrawal of first Hymek D7000, 48 years ago today. FWIW.

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2 hours ago, Neil Phillips said:

another anniversary is the withdrawal of first Hymek D7000, 48 years ago today. FWIW.


Now you mention it...


I did not include this July 1972 picture due to the bad quality but this, showing Swindon, I thnink contains the greatest number of Hymeks I ever saw in one place.. 



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I have found the the colour pictures of S15 841 on Chappel Viaduct, again not great quality but included for historical interest:





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  • MyRule1 changed the title to Images from 50 years of rail travel (1971 onwards)

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