Thursday 31 May 2018

Cambrian Coast Railway at Easter

The last of the shots from Wales, a few last railway pics taken over those two visits.  The Cambrian Coast Line, the surprise-surviving main line route from the midlands to the coast which is somewhat underused; the above train for example being the ONLY train on a sunday (on a sunny bank holiday full of crowded beaches too).

The defining landmark, and Achilles heel, of the route, the Barmouth Bridge.  Made mostly of wood and about the last of its kind in the British isles (certainly the longest surviving timber viaduct), it is prone to Marine Shipworm which eat the wooden legs, or sometimes boats sail/drift into it, or more recently the contractors repairing it manage to set it on fire by accident...  Looks pretty spectacular though.

That one Bank Holiday train again.  One of the problems with the route is that it is a testbed for a new signalling system so hardly any trains can use it, which makes it rather dull from a photography point of view.  Lovely scenery, and the same slightly clapped-out, boring-ly painted DMU's trundling back and forth.  In the past steam-hauled excursions regularly ran in the summer, but these are now banned.

Still, not too bad a photography location given we were just there for an afternoon on the beach (and the original spot further along had a few too many large dogs off the lead for our comfort).  If they ever return excursions to the route again, it would be worth a return.

Wednesday 30 May 2018

Pont Croeser

More from Wales.  Pont Croeser, the road/rail bridge over the Glaslyn between Porthmadog and Beddgelert is the location for the shots in this post.  We were actually there for a project shoot, but the opportunity to get a few train pics of Welsh Highland Railway services presented itself whilst we were there.

Bit of contrast between the weather in this shot and the one on the page header, but the shot was worth it (we actually spotted the non-timetabled light-engine move by chance up near Beddglert, and drove down to catch up with it at Pont Croeser).

A return visit was made to get a shot of the Double Fairlie locomotives "Merddin Emrys" and "David Lloyd George" of the Ffestiniog Railway making a rare working over the Welsh Highland Railway.  There were plenty of other photographers out in force, and the shot I ended up with was into the sun and a bit dark.

A final trip back there was made over the Bank Holiday, and we decided that we'd try further up the river bank, given there were no cattle in the field at this time of year.

Not a bad spot, though a little dark, and not a spot we'd manage much later in the year when the cattle are in the field (even though there is a public footpath into it, the size of the cows are rather a dissinsentive).

Friday 25 May 2018

Beddgelert Easter and Bank Hol

Beddgelert, in Snowdonia, is yet another of our regular haunts, but the clear blue sky and superb weather around Easter were too tempting.

During the Easter visit, we were chasing a train around the southern end of the Glaslyn Pass, and the weather was very good for the shots.  The two Double Fairlie locomotives from the Ffestiniog ("David Lloyd George" and "Merddin Emrys") were guesting on the Welsh Highland, and there were a fair few photographers around.  The intended location was out because of the direction of the sun, so we headed on to Nantmawr halt, not one of my usual photography spots but not bad if the traffic is quiet.

We went out to Beddgelert itself at the bank holiday weekend for a walk up the Glaslyn Pass to the village, however the car park was full of camper vans which seemed to have been sneakily overnighting for the weekend.  There were spaces up in the village though, so we did the circular walk down to the railway bridge and back up via Gelerts Grave and shot a few landscape pics along the way.

Though we didn't go out with the intention of taking any train pics, when one was passing we returned to another location used in the past, luckily the path was quiet at this point so nobody else wandered into shot.

Thursday 24 May 2018

North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways

OK so we haven't posted anything for a few weeks, a combination of real life getting in the way and a massive build/shoot/edit of a project for an upcoming open call.  Anyway, most of what is left of the 'general' pictures from Wales are trains and landscape shots, taken both around Easter and the following Bank Holiday, so we'll start this one with a general selection of the railway pics.

We ended up spending quite a bit of the hol around Tanybwlch on the Ffestiniog, largely because the weather was a bit chilly and they have a nice cafĂ© which does an excellent pot of Earl Grey, with a nice playground for The Childs.  "Merddin Emrys" heads for the station, seen from said playground.  

We went to Llanberis to the slate museum as well (mentioned in another post), this was one of only a couple of train shots taken whilst there, of one of the Quarry Hunslet locomotives heading away from Llanberis.

Another quick stop to entertain The Childs, and the miniature railway at the Conway Valley Railway Museum in Betws-Y-Coed (good value for money and, again, does a decent brew).

Back to Porthmadog for the next few shots, and a Welsh Highland service brewing up nicely in the chilly morning air, on a day when the sun actually bothered coming out...

The Bank Holiday weekend gave, against expectations, three days of superb weather so we managed a few more shots around Porthmadog.  "Blanche" simmering away in the platform...

...and "Merddin Emrys" on another train, with "Hugh Napier" and "Lilla" giving footplate rides.

Then finally onto another new location for us, one of the other level crossings where the Welsh Highland threads its way through the back streets of Porthmadog.

Not bad as locations for shoots go- a handy wooden fence gives a nice lineside view, so we might return to this one in the future.

Right, next few posts will finish off the selections of pics from the landscape and railway shoots, whilst we finish the projects we're working on.

Thursday 3 May 2018

KWVR in a Spring Saturday

Still editing the pictures from the project shoot in Wales, so a return to some railway photography closer to home for this post.

What a difference a month makes; having been making the most of the KWVR for transport in the snow, we ended up using it during that Spring heatwave.  The trip was more about shopping and taking The Childs to the park, so the only camera kit we took was the phones; honestly it was so hot we didn't want to be lugging the extra weight around.  The class 101 was on the earlier morning services, and took us to...

...Haworth, where we had lunch and a bit of a wander around the shops.

4F no.43924 was covering the steam services, which were running a little late, so rather than carry on up to Oxenhope we decided to return via Keighley instead.

20031 was moving a goods train around, though we only got time for a quick snap out of the window.

A dash through the subway with Elder Child got us onto the opposite platform at Keighley...

...and a shot of 43924 running round.  The camera was struggling a bit with how bright it was, so may have to have another crack at this angle with the SLR next time...

More artiness in the subway on the way back to the train.

Not really related to the KWVR shots ,but a quick snap the next day at Bingley, with a pair of West Coast 57's going home from York to Carnforth.