Thursday, 1 October 2009

5Z13 and a Red Wheel

I've just had a pleasant half hour in the company of Geoff Morris, David Wright, Chris Cubitt and 70013 - making 5Z13 from Shildon to Grosmont. I "bailed" at Darlington where my colleague Pam Porter had kindly agreed to pick me up. It was the first time I'd footplated over the Shildon line and also on steam - and mercifully it was a bright day. Having got the train out of our site, I joined the crew before we crossed over on to the down road. I was amazed how good the track is, and got a new view of the old S&D line from Cromwell's cab. It's all downhill from Shildon to Bank Top, so very little chuff was needed, and very soon I left the train awaiting the road onwards to Eaglescliffe where it would turn, then on to Battersby and Grosmont. There are some perks of the job! In case anyone gets too worried - I do have a full PTS card and have been main line support crew in the past.

Leaving Shildon with visitors and staff watching with green eyes!

David Wright puts a round on as we head for Newton Aycliffe

Looking back out of the cab as we pass Heighington. It was here in 1825 that "Locomotion" was put on the rails and steam raised for the first time.

Having dropped me off, Chris Cubitt opens the regulator and heads through Darlington Bank Top station to the home signal and wait for the road.

One of the other newsworthy items of the last week has been the presentation by the Transport Trust of a Red Wheel plaque to be mounted on Timothy Hackworth's house. This is the transport equivalent of a Blue Plaque, and recognises Hackworth's contribution to the early days of steam locomotion. The picture shows Jane Hackworth Young receiving the plaque with Councillor Brian Stephens outside Hackworth House.

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