Tuesday 12 June 2018

Trains on the 40's Weekend

A weekend in the sunshine recently offered lots of opportunity for railway photography, whilst out and about picking up bits and pieces for a DIY garden project.  It was the Haworth 1940's weekend, which meant a very intensive timetable on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, and the services starting nice and early, so I (Ben) stopped off with the Elder Child to get some pics whilst we waited for the DIY places to open.

First stop was the path near Keighley station.  I don't usually bother with this spot as it something of a magnet for other photographers, and I cannot quite see the point of jostling for space with 30 other people to try and get a photo.  At this time of the morning, there was nobody else there to see the class 25 heading for Oxenhope on the first train of the day.

The car loaded with timber and paint, we returned for the first Oxenhope-bound steam service, which (fittingly for the 1940's weekend) was hauled by the US Army Transport Corps S160-class "Big Jim", a family favourite from the loco fleet.  By this time another photographer had turned up, video camera in hand, who looked quite annoyed we were there, but we stayed quiet as church mice and kept out of his shot.

Avoiding said filming chap, I ended up with a somewhat higher angle than the earlier shot, as I was sat on the wall higher up the bank.

On the way back, I nipped to another location I used to use quite a bit.  Soon to be transformed by housing development, for the time being it's still a nice, quiet path alongside the river on the edge of urban Keighley, though not the sort of place I'd feel secure after about the middle of the day, particularly at the weekend.  The angle above formed a nice natural frame for the loco, a positive as I reckoned in the sudden burst of growth in the recent heatwave it would be too overgrown to photograph.  On the way out we passed the first of the inevitable scary drunk chaps heading up the path to the various drinking dens in the bushes up this way.

Last shot of the day, and another chance shot whilst nipping out for more bits from a garden centre in the afternoon, and "Big Jim" again.

The next morning saw more of the same, though I decided to make the most of a fortnight of no rain and get my wellies on to stand around slightly foolish-looking in the river.  Accompanied again by Elder Child (who wisely stayed on the riverbank, trying to pretend to inquisitive passing dog walkers that she was nothing to do with the wierdo standing up to his shins in the river with the camera) I went to a couple of spots I use pretty frequently near Damems Halt.

This time we'd missed the first diesel, but got "Big Jim" on the first southbound steam service.

A quick paddle downstream took me to a spot I'd used a lot in the winter for pics, the low river meaning I was able to walk out a bit further to compensate for the greenery which has sprung up so much since the last shot I took here in march.  The river was still pretty deep off on the right so I had to be careful, holding a pose which made me look even more stupid.

Worth it though.

The afternoon saw another trip out, and having taken all the shots I could be bothered with on the KWVR I thought we'd try the mainline through Keighley.  Things were somewhat chaotic given the new national timetable was coming in, but on Real Time Trains we'd spotted something unusual scheduled to come through; no real info on what, but being out of the ordinary there was a chance I could get a pic that could end up in print...

We ended up at Utley, north of Keighley, another heavily-used location though my usual spot favours southbound, not northbound trains.  Plus my favourite lineside bit was waist-high with nettles and we (self and Elder Child) were both in shorts.

An abandoned level crossing provided a potential better vantage point, though I'd be shooting into the sun, especially from lower angles.

Up the steps of the footbridge offered a better angle, stopped lens flare, and allowed the trees to frame things a bit, compensating for the washed-out sky.

When the mystery train turned up, it ended up being a Network Rail MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle), not particularly exciting but unusual at least.

This was the only planned railway photography for the immediate future, though (as the next blog post will show) that plan changed a little along the way...