A few times a year preserved steam engines use the Esk Valley railway on the way to the North York Moors Railway at Goathland. Locos are frequently hired or loaned between the country’s preserved railways.
At Battersby Junction station trains from Middlesbrough have to reverse out to continue to Whitby; and vice versa. That’s no problem for modern diesel trains but steam engines normally have to uncouple and move to other end using the parallel track at the station. The whole process takes about twenty minutes making it a popular venue for rail enthusiasts.
Tonight however the train was “top and tailed” by two steam engines, one at the front pulling, the other at the rear pushing. This engineer is now bringing up the rear for the final journey to Goathland. All the crew had to do was change the white headlight for a red one and it was on its was. A matter of minutes.
I’m reliably informed by a very knowledgeable gentleman that this is a K1 Class 2-6-0 with the name “Lord of the Isles” and that it is to take part in an event this weekend on the North York Moors Railway to mark the 50th anniversary of the closing of the line during the infamous Beeching Axe.