Sunday, September 09, 2018

A diesel gala on the Great Central at Loughborough

"People will never mourn diesels the way they mourned steam locomotives," I used to be told. But from my experience the high point of railway enthusiasm in Britain came at Christmas 1981 when the last Deltic-hauled British Rail passenger service ran.
I photographed it at Castle Bytham and will reproduce the photo here one day.

After that, public ridicule and the rationalisation of BR's locomotive fleet meant that things were never the same again.

Since you ask, Deltics were powerful diesel locomotives that used to haul the expresses from King's Cross to Edinburgh. By the time I was a student in York, they had been demoted to taking charge of the stopping trains from there to London.

When I heard there was to be a diesel gala on the Great Central at Loughborough yesterday, and that a Deltic would be among the locomotives working, I made plans to visit.

Ironically, when I wandered back on to the platform at Leicester after doing some shopping, I found a steam locomotive in the station - Union of South Africa.

And as I headed to Loughborough I saw in the depot just north of Leicester station a class 50 and my old friend the class 27 that used to live at Knighton Junction.

I was not disappointed by the gala and took these photographs. The Deltic - 55 019 Royal Highland Fusilier - is in the first five photos here.

There was also a diesel multiple-unit service on the Mountsorrel branch, but I did not find the time to take it. A pleasure for another day.

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