Monday 29 May 2017


Chesham is a lovely market town in Buckinghamshire. As stated in an earlier post its the furthest destination on the London Underground tube map from Central London. Thats why i went and i am glad i did as Chesham is well worth a visit. Unfortunately i didn't have a lot of time to spend there but took some photos around the town including the lovely church. You can see my photos here.

Saturday 27 May 2017

The edge of the map

So today i headed off down South for what ended up being one of my most complicated railway adventures yet. I wanted to go to Chesham which is one of the two North Western termini of the Metropolitan Line and is indeed the furthest station on the Underground from Central London (Charing Cross to be exact) and the most Northerly and Western Underground station.

However getting there took 4 trains (and 5 coming back!)* but it was worth it as Chesham is a lovely place (which will be covered in another blog post). And I got some nice photos at the Buckinghamshire stations Princes Risborough, Aylesbury, Chalfont & Latimer and Chesham, which you can see here.

Chalfont & Latimer (obviously)
Chalfont & Latimer again


Princes Risborough

* It is possible in 2 trains from Birmingham but this means going all the way to London and then out again - probably takes longer and is more expensive.

Friday 26 May 2017

York (5) : Harrogate

The final selection of photos from my York holiday is from Harrogate which i visited on my final morning up North. I had some spare hours before returning home so decided to use it visiting one last place and it was well worth it as Harrogate is very nice. It topped off my holiday nicely, the icing on the cake if you will. You can see my photos here.

York (4) : York station

Continuing my review of my holiday in York, all three days i was at York station at various times. York is one of the iconic centres of the rail network like Crewe and Derby and certainly did not disappoint with many expresses and local trains. Highlights included the new Azuma train on test and plenty of Pacers. The end will be nigh for them in a few years so enjoy them while you can! You can see my photos here.

Thursday 25 May 2017

SVR Diesel Gala

The final event of my week long rail extravaganza was the SVR Diesel Gala which i have attended every year for a number of years now. As with previous editions there have been plenty of interesting guest locos, the most notable being the brand new Class 88.

To be honest i was worn out after my York adventure (having only returned home the night before) so only stayed at the SVR until early afternoon but this was long enough to see the 88 and other great locos. I also had a guards van ride at Highly which was fun. You can see my photos here.

Sunday 21 May 2017

A trip to Stratford

To have a break from all the railway stuff just for a moment... i went to Stratford-upon-Avon yesterday. Of course the town is very familiar to me, my dissertation of my History Masters was on the economic effects of the horse drawn tramway on the town - at one stage i was going to Stratford nearly every week to go to the archives.

I don't go very often now, maybe once or twice a year. Yesterday i was taking a family friend from overseas on their first trip to the town, it was nice to do a bit of "touristy" stuff for once especially at the church of the Holy Trinity where Shakespeare is buried.

Saturday 20 May 2017

York (3) : Darlington & Shildon stations

To get to NRM Shildon from York i had to change at Darlington but what an unexpected bonus this was as the station is very interesting with a great overall roof. Of course Darlington is one of the places at the very start of the railways, as the first railway to use steam locomotives instead of horses for passenger trains was from Stockton to Darlington. You can see my photos taken at Darlington station here as well as some taken at Shildon station.
Northern 142 084 at Darlington

Northern 142 015 at Shildon

Two Northern 142s at the Darlington bay platforms

A Virgin HST at Darlington

York (2) : NRM Shildon

Going to the National Railway Museum's other site at Shildon was in fact the main reason i came up to York for a couple of days. While York is doable from Birmingham for a day Shildon is just that much further that doing it in a day is a bit marginal. So i've had to put off coming to NRM Shildon until now.

It was well worth the wait, the collection at Shildon is amazing and includes the likes of the APT-E and the iconic Deltic prototype. My favourite locomotive on display however was the North Eastern electric shunter. One of the very first railway books i bought in the mid-1980s was on electric locomotives and the North Eastern loco was in it and i looked forward to a time i could see it for real. Maybe i didn't think it would take quite so long to finally achieve this dream! You can see my NRM Shildon photos here.
"Project Commuter" Class 414 to be restored

North Eastern electric shunter, seen at last!



Winston Churchill

APT-E logo

Thursday 18 May 2017

York (1) : NRM

So i spent a couple of days up in York earlier in the week. My main reason for the visit was to visit the National Railway Museum at its two sites: York and Shildon. NRM York was first, i have been to it before twice. Once when i was a school child and a couple of years ago when i was a bit bigger. Since my last visit my long-dormant interest in railways has exploded and so i was on a mission to gather as much material as possible for my websites...

I like the NRM a lot and they have received an interesting new exhibit recently in the shape of a Eurostar power car (i also saw some at Kingsbury on my train up to York - being scrapped!) The streamlined LMS locomotive was not there last time i visited and that was a fine site, my Dad would have loved to have seen that. My favourite loco there though is a little strange perhaps, being the little battery electric locomotive NSR 1, it was rather overlooked by most visitors in the Great Hall which is a shame but is a lovely example of Midland Railway engineering in its own way. You can see my photos at NRM York here.
Eurostar power car

Class 76 electric locomotive
Art Deco streamlined LMS locomotive

Battery electric shunter


Wednesday 17 May 2017

Back from the North!

I've just returned from a very enjoyable short break in York. The holiday was heavily railway based of course and involved visits to both sites of the National Railway Museum at York and Shildon as well as visits to Darlington and Harrogate. I'm still processing and uploading all the photographs so will post about them separately when available.

I saw a lot of interesting stuff, one especially being one of the new Azuma trains which will enter service next year on the East Coast Main Line. It was on a test run through York and i took this video.

Saturday 13 May 2017

Multiple Memories

Today i attended the Multiple Memories gala event dedicated to diesel multiple units on the wonderful Ecclesbourne Valley Railway (EVR). I always enjoy my visits to the EVR which is one of my favourite heritage lines.

A special guest this year amid the usual heritage DMUs and railcars was a Class 153 from East Midlands Trains, an interesting sight in places like Idridgehay and Wirksworth. I enjoyed my trip back down the line aboard it too. You can see my photos from the gala here.


The last time i went to Walsall was with my Nan in the 1980s (though i have been to Bescot a few times since - including a few months ago of course) so yesterday i thought it was high time i paid a visit. In any event i needed photographs of the station for my stations blog Calling at... and some Walsall canal photos would be nice too. You can see the latter here, the weather was not that good - grey and drizzly doesn't really show anywhere off at its best never mind Walsall! Of course the Sun came out as i was coming home.