Saturday 29 February 2020

41241 in the late-summer sun

As the rain lashes down outside, and the seemingly regular-as-clockwork Weekend Storm lashes down, I (Ben) thought we ought to have something on the blog this morning with blue sky and greenery on the trees.  So, it's back to last year again and a bit more railway photography on the KWVR.  

This was towards the end of the weekday timetable in the Autumn, and I was trying out the afternoon lighting on a spot I tend to only use in the mornings.  I'd been getting a bit frustrated with the poor lighting at this otherwise good angle when I'd visited it about 9/10am, so went out for the lunchtime and mid-afternoon trains on a day I was in Keighley doing errands. 

I also strolled up to Damems to one of my more usual locations, but was put off a bit by both the fact I use this angle a lot, and also by some grumpy teenagers who were knocking around.

I ended up trying another spot nearby, which would have been alright but for that anoying dead tree poking in on the left-hand side...

Bit better with portrait cropping.

Back down the valley for the 2.10pm departure, shot was with the sun head-on, which I worked out was about as good as I was going to get because a large tree behind me would obstruct the sun for the last train of the day.  So experience shows this location is better actually on moody days in the rain, with flatter lighting.

OK this doesn't have a lot to do with the rest of the post, barring the inclusion of the very nice 41241, except as a taster for a future blog; the magazine featuring one of my pics is the current issue of Todays Railway, and the article is about Bridge 11 on the railway.  I've photographed trains extensively on this bridge, to the point I was invited by the railway to accompany the Civil Engineers team working on this location, of which more in a post next week...

Friday 14 February 2020

A trip to... Kelham Island, Sheffield

Back to last winter and a little trip to Sheffield, for trips to Cupola Gallery and the Kelham Island Industrial Museum.

Cupola was so we could drop off some work for the "Under The Bed Sale" 2020, which we hoped to a)feature on the blog and b)actually visit, but Real Life got manic and the show is now over.  Ah well.

Killing two birds with one stone, I (Ben) then headed over to the Kelham Island Industrial Museum, for a pre-arranged visit to see a preserved diesel locomotive.  I'll admit straight off, the place wasn't easy to find; its half-way through being transformed from the Red Light District, Post-Industrial Neglect phase to the Super Expensive Urban Flats phase.  I missed the car park because a lorry had blocked the entrance, and ended up parking on a demolished factory site nearby.

This is a proper museum; I love anywhere with a massive store room of part-restored Stuff.

Also a nice recreated indoor street scene (there was also an A/V experience of a backyard during a Zeppelin raid, which was a new one for me).

The museum was established to show off this massive, very impressive engine.  Unfortunately because I needed to back home for the school run, I couldn't stay to watch it being operated.

I started doing some close-up shots around the place too, trying out the camera; the SLR had been playing up in the days leading up to this shoot, so I wanted to test to see if it was properly working whilst I waited for the museum guide who would be escorting me to see their preserved locomotive.

I started getting a bit abstract with the shots...

...and trying some long-exposures too.

Then outside, under escort into a non-public end of the site, to see this rather wonderful locomotive.  I had two reasons to visit; the first was part of a roving brief to track down lesser-publicised preserved industrial locomotives for one of the railway mags, and secondly to get some decent research pics for a garden railway model I'm planning to build.

Yorkshire Engine Company 2481 (of 1950) is something of a remarkable survivor; one of a pair of pioneering shunters built for the steel industry, they were the forerunners of a large number of similar machines, none of which survive sadly.  My interest (beyond a general interest in the subject matter) is that a number of locomotives which evolved from this design were used local to where I grew up, and which I'm wanting to build as a model for a magazine article.  With none of the Brierly Hill shunters still around to photograph, this is as near as I can get- at least it's in the same basic livery, and much of the design remained the same.

This loco survived use in the industry in Sheffield and made it into preservation at Kelham Island (fellow loco 2480 is preserved in Derbyshire), and after some neglect and vandalism caused by its outside location, it was extensively restored by working parties of museum personnel and industrial locomotive enthusiasts, aided by specialist contractors who dealt with the asbestos contamination.  Sadly it won't run again (even if there was a railway on site) because it suffered a lot of component theft some years ago, according to the museum.

Naturally, having worked perfectly fine indoors, when I was up against the clock, out in the rain with a museum guide shivering beside me, the SLR packed in after three shots.  Luckily the camera on my phone is decent, but it doesn't really smack of professionalism.

It was very handy being able to get up close to the loco though to record the details, rather than relying on small photographs in reference books.

All in all a very successful trip, even with the problems with the camera.  Thanks to the staff at the museum, particularly Jemma and Emily who arranged access to this loco and escorted me on-site.

First of the two planned outcomes from the shots, a feature in the February 2020 issue of "Railway Magazine".  Once we get the laser-cutter going again, the model phase of the project will begin...