Not as iconic a steam engine as the ‘Flying Scotsman’ but the ‘Royal Scot‘ has been a popular draw during its week on the North York Moors Railway in spite of loosing a day due to a mechanical inspection failure. Built in 1927, the engine operated on the West Coast mainline between London and Glasgow. Here it is steaming over Sleddale Beck on the Esk Valley line on its way back to the Southall Railway Centre in London. It’s pulling a single ‘welfare’ coach and accompanied by a preserved diesel engine Deltic 55022 ‘Royal Scots Grey‘.
A belated birthday treat. Sunday dinner on the North York Moors Railway. A very relaxing afternoon. And we picked a ‘steam extravaganza’ weekend. Lots of shunting, not a diesel in sight, and a lot of patience needed for anyone trying to use the level crossing at Grosmont.
A king passed through the village tonight. At least it felt like royalty. In true Railway Children style crowds thronged the railway bridges in the dark as the Flying Scotsman huffed and puffed by on its way to the North York Moors Railway. One farmer had his tractor’s headlights illuminating the track. We saw it at Battersby where the small platform was jam packed. Here the engine has to be uncoupled from its single coach and then reversed along the parallel track to be recoupled at the other end. It then travels tail first for the remainder of the journey along the Esk Valley line to Grosmont. Lots of entertainment for the crowds.
The Flying Scotsman was of course the first steam engine to officially do a ton, 100 mph. Built in 1923 for a cost of £7,944 it has recently undergone a £4.2 million restoration and now looks splendid in its British Rail green livery litres which used 50 litres of paint.
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.