Monday 29 April 2024

The Cambrian Coast Express, Easter '24

As mentioned in the last post, we were partly hanging around Criccieth to get a shot of the Cambrian Coast Express, one of the rare excursion trains to hit the coast.  I wanted an angle with the sea visible, unlike the gaggle of photographers with their massive poles (hurhur) who gathered further along the beach.

Having been gorgeous all day, the weather did indeed turn as the excursion rolled up.

And yes, with a whole beach to choose from, and about a mile or two of shingle next to the line, a photographer did come and try and stand right next to us.  He's just visible in the shot above, lurking where our glares scared him off to.

Trying to get the castle in shot too.

With the rain hammering down, Elder Child and I tried to find somewhere a bit less exposed to get the return.  The plan to wait under the bridge, on the platform at Minfford, failed as others had thought of it.  We spotted this rather handy public footpath though, off the end of the platform. 

Eventually, after a late-running service passed, the excursion crawled up the incline to the station.

Quite impressive at this level.

The train stopped to pick up passengers, bathing us with the gorgeous smell of food cooking in the buffet.

Snaking away from the station.


Friday 26 April 2024

A castle and a coastal railway

We're on a bit of a mission to visit every castle in North Wales, and doing quite well.

Weirdly, the closest one to where we stay is Criccieth and we've never been to it before.

Lovely sunny day for it (a rarity on this holiday).

Nice views off the tops of the hill.

Of course there were going to be some train pics.

Part of the point of the day to be honest was to photograph an excursion train that was coming up the coast, as well as Amy getting some ocean shots.  A nice afternoon sitting on the beach, waiting for trains.

I'll post separately about the excursion train...

But this one, taken at Minfford later that afternoon, pretty well sums up what happened to the weather whilst we were waiting...


Wednesday 24 April 2024

Railbus Ramble just before Easter

Yes, I (Ben) know, railways again.  So soon after the KWVR Spring Gala, but then me and Amy found ourselves with a day off whilst we waited for The Childs to finish school, so we could go to Wales.  A trip out on the train up to Haworth for lunch seemed a good idea.

The flowers were looking rather nice at Ingrow Station whilst we were waiting.

Off up to Haworth.

Walk up the cobbles into the village.

...and back down, after lunch.

A chance for a few reference shots of the railbus at Ingrow after we got off the train.

More flowers, then off to the car, and a long, long drive to Wales.


Sunday 21 April 2024

Worth Valley Spring Steam Gala, part two.

With the late timetable at the Keighley and Worth Valley Easter Steam Gala, there was a chance for a few night shots, so I headed back up to Oxenhope with Elder Child.

The station was nicely deserted, after how busy the day had been.  There's something I really like about a country station in the dark.

The train drew in, and conditions for photography were a little tricky (there were security barriers preventing too wide a shot), but I was impressed how well the new camera coped.

The next morning was dull and manky, but I managed a shot of the light-engine move.  The loco was going to be picking up a goods train at Keighley, and I wanted to try for an angle that had been occupied the day before.

Up to Damems.

Not a bad shot- I made a cock of the follow-up though.  It might not be obvious in the pics, but it was very, very cold, so cold the camera packed in shortly after this.  Whilst I was standing in a tree (no, really) trying to get an elevated shot.  And my fingers were too cold to fumble the phone out of my pocket for the backup shot.

Sunday afternoon (following a Scout event) saw me over at Oxenhope for a little bit, to try for another shot.  Not too bad, but I was annoyed by the signal apparently growing out of the loco, but again the angle I wanted was occupied.

My last shot of the weekend, but one of the favourites.  I haven't had any high-res requests but then I did rather go for the 'train in the landscape' shots which mags don't tend to touch, and there were a lot of other photographers about.  But on the other hand, I feel like I needed this Gala to get my head back in the game after the winter, and with things greening up, I'm hoping to get some more shots in better weather...


Friday 19 April 2024

KWVR Easter Steam Gala

Having not done much in the way of railway photography over the manky winter, I (Ben) had been really, really looking forward to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway Spring Steam Gala.  To the extend that I'd booked the Friday off work, and had been thinking all week about which angles, locations, and so on I'd try.

Not the best start; after dropping The Childs off at school, I thought for a change I'd go to Haworth, but the path was occupied by these horses.  Not in the mood to creep through the osses, I headed in the other direction.

Not the best start to the day... plus the valley was absolutely heaving with photographers.

First ECS working; I ended up nipping down to the riverbank, away from where I wanted to be for the first southbound goods train.

Having been in place for 30 minutes, naturally another photographer came racing up at the last minute and stood fairly close to me.  Almost uncomfortably close.

I walked down towards Haworth for another shot, and once again, other photographers came and stood stupidly close.  Still, I was rather happy with the shot.

Back down towards Damems and Ingrow, and more photographers were knocking about, in the spots I'd hoped for.  A bit of improvisation and I got a pretty decent shot of one of the visitors.

The in-laws were on the trains, and I arranged to meet them for a brew in Keighley. 6990 running-round.

Back up the valley towards Oxenhope, a bit of waiting around for the trains, so I thought I'd get some nature shots.

Both visitors going past.  Lighting was a little awkward by the late-afternoon.

Then back home for tea.  Lots of other photographers around which made getting shots a bit tricky, and the mud and mess was a bit of a pain, but a nice day out nonetheless.  Plus, I was planning on returning for a night shoot, and to get a few more pics over the weekend for the angles I wanted but had missed.