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Every Picture Tells a Story - or makes a connection...

Monday, October 26th, 2020

Letting off steam on the North York Moors Railway

I remember standing on the station at Barry Dock, waiting for a train to Cardiff, when I was a boy. What I hadn't expected was to see a diesel train arriving on the platform. I was unsure whether I was supposed to get on when the doors slid open, but as everyone else got on I decided to join them. Farewell to steam. Except that so many engines from the Great Western Railway ended up in the 'graveyard' further down the line near Barry Island. Only to be resurrected years later on various steam trust lines across the country. Three cheers for those enthusiasts.

Barry's 'graveyard' long gone to destinations worldwide

I can still smell the smoke from those days, especially on school trips to Bristol Zoo and Cheddar Gorge. If you forgot to shut the carriage window when you went through the miles long Severn Tunnel, you ended up with soot in your eye and a lingering smell on your clothes when you got home again at night.

I also remember waiting with my cousin in the fifties, beside the railway track in Bedfordshire, waiting to see the Mallard steam past in all its glory. Nowadays, I'm happy to mix a day's walk with a short train ride in North Wales or between Pickering and Whitby.

Welsh Highland Railway at Rhydd Ddu station with Snowdon in the background.

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