Mick Rogers: Blog https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Mick Rogers [email protected] (Mick Rogers) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:35:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:35:00 GMT https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-12/u422031063-o360894565-50.jpg Mick Rogers: Blog https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog 80 120 Autumn Update https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/autumn-update It's been quite a while since my last blog post though as there have been a fair few new galleries added to the site in the last four and a half months, I certainly have not given up photographing steam trains!

I certainly enjoyed the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway's four day Cotswold Steam Festival at the end of May, and that was followed by a visit to the National Railway Museum in York for the Great Gathering of the six surviving members of Sir Nigel Gresley's masterpiece A4 class.

Great Gathering PanoramaGreat Gathering PanoramaThe six surviving members of Sir Nigel Gresley's iconic A4 class stand together around the turntable in the National Railway Museum's Great Hall.

The Great Gathering showed the best of what the NRM can do, and was certainly popular with the general public.   Such was the queue to get in that I'm really glad that I managed to book a place on one of the early morning photo shoots, allowing the opportunity to photograph the A4s and the other exhibits without hordes of other people getting into every shot.

Our summer holiday this year was a very relaxing and enjoyable three week trip by train to Paris, Portugal and Northern Spain.   Although I had planned the trip to include a historical train journey along part of the Douro Valley in Portugal, the persistent hot weather and dry conditions meant that we had a diesel  locomotive on the train instead.   The only steam locomotives that I saw were a number of mostly uncared for static relics, slowly rusting to oblivion, though it was a pleasant surprise to see CP 0-4-0T no. E1 stuffed and mounted at Regua as I had seen this engine in use shunting the yard there on my last trip to Portugal in 1982.

IMG_1162_DxOIMG_1162_DxOHenschel 0-4-0T no. E1 sits in splendid isolation opposite Regua station platforms. I last saw this locomotive in 1982 when it was in use shunting the yard serving the metre gauge branch to Villa Real.

September is the start of the Autumn Gala season, and this year has already seen major events at the Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway and Severn Valley Railway.   Having missed out on last years SVR extravaganza, I made sure that I got the most out of a trip to the valley this year by attending on both the Saturday and Sunday of the gala.   I have to admit though, that I found staying awake for 36 hours much harder than I had expected!


5DM33794_DxO5DM33794_DxOGWR 28xx class 2-8-0 no. 2857 stands at Kidderminster awaiting the 05:22 departure time of its next working to Bridgnorth.

Now it's fingers crossed for some dry weather over the coming weekend as I intend to the galas at the West Somerset and Great Central railways...

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) GALA GREAT GATHERING NRM PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY SEVERN VALLEY STEAM SVR https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/autumn-update Mon, 30 Sep 2013 11:34:46 GMT
Lynton & Barnstaple Railway https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/5/lynton-barnstaple-railway 5DM30376_DxO

If you've paid attention to the images on this site you will have realised that I don't pay a great deal of attention to narrow gauge steam.   I'm glad to say that that situation has been remedied by a visit on 11th May 2013 to the 10th anniversary steam gala held by the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway.   Although it's currently rather a short line, at little more than half a mile of track, the L&BR has already achieved much since it started from scratch ten years ago and has big plans for expansion in the future, for which I wish them every success.

Somewhat surprisingly, this anniversary gala was only the first time that the L&BR has been able to run an authentic train, using the Ffestiniog Railway's replica 2-6-2T no. E190 Lyd and two original L&BR coaches.   It is to be hoped that this will become a regular feature of the line when its own replica of an L&BR locomotive, Baldwin 2-4-2T no. 762 Lyn, is completed.   I will certainly be back to see that!

Back on the standard gauge, I managed to see A4 no. 60009 Union of South Africa in action on the main line for the first time on Friday 10th May when it worked through Penpergwm with the Cathedrals Explorer from Cardiff Central to Shrewsbury.  


Unfortunately, my plan to see 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe on the Cheltenham Flyer didn't come to fruition.   I made a 20 mile detour on my way home from North Devon, only to find on arrival at Stonehouse that the train had already passed through, running some 45 minutes early!   So much for the published schedule...

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) GALA LYNTON & BARNSTAPLE PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/5/lynton-barnstaple-railway Mon, 13 May 2013 10:34:29 GMT
The best laid plans... https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/the-best-laid-plans 5DM30074_DxO

A derailment at the beginning of activities at the GCR on 27th April put the mockers on their planned gala programme, though fortunately nobody was injured when 46521 came off the rails.   Actually, the GCR are to be congratulated on their recovery from this misfortune as they were able to re-jig their timetable within an hour to resume an almost normal level of service for their passenger trains.

No doubt there will be a thorough investigation into the circumstances that led to this accident and we can only hope that, despite bent metal being clearly visible in the above photograph, 46521 has not suffered major damage.

A great shame, as the day was shaping up rather well with conditions right for some great clag!


I paid a quick visit to the GWSR on the way home as they were running a three train service for attendees at their wartime weekend.   Definitely an appetiser for things to come at their Cotswold Steam Gala at the end of May - I've already got my four day ticket for that!


[email protected] (Mick Rogers) GALA GCR PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/the-best-laid-plans Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:46:45 GMT
It's been a while... https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/its-been-a-while Yes, well, no excuses really for not posting any updates for a while.

The extension of Winter into late March put me off going up to the SVR Spring Steam Gala - perhaps I should have braved the conditions and uncertain roads as I've seen some excellent photography from those brave souls who actually made it.   At least I stuck with the planned photocharter on the Wednesday of the following week, which resulted in some very pleasing images of unrebuilt Bulleid West Country class no. 34007 Wadebridge.


I was back at the SVR again on the following weekend - and the weather couldn't have been better with bright sunshine most of the day but not too warm to affect locomotive exhaust.


The main reason for this second visit in the matter of a few days was to make use of my newly acquired lineside permit (and getting it was a rather more protracted process than I had expected, but that's another story...) to explore a few locations that were new to me.   So far I've only covered the stretch between Bewdley Tunnel and Northwood Lane, so quite a few more miles of limeside yet to go!

There has been a bit of mainline action in the past few weeks, but the weather still isn't being co-operative.


The above shot was taken at the level crossing near the Boar's Head in Tyla Garw.   The rain was hammering down, and it was still raining when I took the shot below over a week later!


Planning on going up to the GCR for the Swithland gala tomorrow - I might just do another blog update soon...


[email protected] (Mick Rogers) PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM SVR https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/its-been-a-while Fri, 26 Apr 2013 09:03:18 GMT
WSR Spring Steam Gala, 16th March 2013 https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/3/wsr-spring-steam-gala-16th-march-2013 All things considered, 16th March turned out to be a really good day.   The fact that my outing to the WSR Spring Steam gala was curtailed by the weather was more than made up for by Wales administering a damn good tatering to England at the Millennium Statdium in Cardiff - and I managed to ge t home in time to watch most of the second half!

Despite it raining all the way down the M5 en route to the WSR, the sun had come out by the time that the first working of the day appeared at Cottiford bridge, and it was a goods train to boot!


Although conditions were never quite as good again for the rest of the day, I still managed to get some good shots of the three gala guests, starting with USATC S160 2-8-0 no. 6046 at Mineral Line bridge in Watchet.


The stack of track panels in the foreground has been there for a year or more now - you'd think that the WSR would have moved them by now, even if they're only good for scrapping.   Anyway, it was on to Dunster, a quintessential country branchline station, for my next stop to see GWR steam railmotor no. 93 working the shuttle service from Minehead.   Having only a four minute turnaround, you can see why the GWR first developed the concept which underlies modern multiple unit operations. 


A run up to Minehead on the next service train followed, and as you can see from the shot of Sir Lamiel below, the sun hadn't quite given up for the day.


The good weather came to an end at around the time I left Minehead to get back to my car at Dunster in order to photograph the next few trains at a number of locations between Blue Anchor and Doniford before heading off to Bishops Lydeard station.    This is achievable due to the combination of the  somewhat indirect route of the railway compared to the local roads and the leisurely pace of the trains.   Things were distinctly gloomy by the time that I photographed 6960 at Doniford Halt.


Before heading for home I decided to take the last autotrain shuttle from Bishops Lydeard down to Norton Platform to get out of the rain for a while and also to travel on this stretch of the line for the first time.   Just about managed to see WSR Mogul no. 9351 as it completed its turning manouvre on Norton Triangle in the encroaching gloom.


Next week, I'll be covering the Severn Valley Railway's Spring gala.

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) GALA PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM WSR https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/3/wsr-spring-steam-gala-16th-march-2013 Mon, 18 Mar 2013 09:22:25 GMT
GCR Winter Gala 26/27 January 2013 https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/gcr-winter-gala-26/27-january-2013 Better late than never for a blog update about my recent visit to the Great Central Railway for their Winter Steam Gala - the first steam photography outing of 2013.


I must admit that the weather forecast for Friday 25th, when I planned to travel up to Leicestershire, was less than ideal.   I was expecting to hit heavy snow by the time that I reached Birmingham en route to the Leicester Markfield Travelodge, but luckily, the bad weather held off until around 9pm, well after I had reached my destination.

The weather next morning immediately made me glad that I had made the trip as the day started with blue skies and low Winter sunshine that complemented the snow still covering the lineside as you can see in the above image of gala guest star ex-GWR King class no. 6023 King Edward II storming away from Loughborough Central with the 09:45 to Leicester North.   I must admit that I didn't follow my usual programme of walking the line down to Quorn & Woodhouse, preferring to take a mid-morning train instead.   I returned to Loughborough in the late afternoon as I wanted to have a look at the locomotives undergoing overhaul inside the shed before tackling some night shots around the station.


The following day, as overnight rain had cleared most of the remaining snow from the roads, I made my way to Rushey Lane overbridge for the very first time.   I can see why that location is such a magnet for lineside photographers, but I think it will be quite a while before I pay a return visit.    I also found my way to the southern end of Swithland Reservoir for the close view of the viaduct from its west side.    Got some good shots from here, but it's probably another place that I won't go back to very soon - at least not until I've got a long lens with a focal length of at least 400mm!


See what I mean?


[email protected] (Mick Rogers) GALA GCR PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/gcr-winter-gala-26/27-january-2013 Wed, 30 Jan 2013 09:47:59 GMT
Mainline Steam, 24th November 2012 https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/11/mainline-steam-24th-november-2012 Not being deterred by a little bit of rain, I managed to photograph both steam specials that ran on the Welsh Marches line on Saturday 24th November 2012.   Not only that, but thanks to some generous timtabling, I was able to photograph each train at two locations.

The Yuletide Borderer I, 24th November 2012

Fortunately the service train to Taunton was safely out of the way as the first train came through Severn Tunnel Junction, bang on time at 09:30 (and just as the rain started) with no. 70000 Britannia in charge.  She took the climb out of the tunnel as if it was level track but managed to produce a splendidly thick cloud of white exhaust.    While the train took a water stop at Magor, I went up to the now closed station at Penpergwm near Abergavenny, arriving with plenty of time to enjoy the increasingly heavy rain before Britannia ran through.

The Yuletide Borderer IV, 24th November 2012

It turned out that I had a lot more time to get back to Severn Tunnel Junction than I had thought, as the second steam special was around 30 minutes late by the time that it eventually appeared.    I rather suspect that it had been held at Bristol Parkway to allow two extra Cardiff bound HST services to pass, full of rugby supporters heading to the Millennium Statium (We'll say no more about that...).   The wait was worthwhile though, when 60163 Tornado ran through, wearing her newly applied BR Express Passenger Blue livery.

The Cathedrals Express II, 24th November 2012

And to finish the day, I got back to Penpergwm a few minutes ahead of the Cathedrals Express.

The Cathedrals Express III, 24th November 2012

That LED headlamp that Tornado carries when on the main line is far too bright for head on photography, but at least my 70-200 f2.8 L IS II lens is able to handle it without producing any lurid green internal reflections.

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) BRITANNIA LLANGOLLEN MAINLINE PHOTOGRAPHY STEAM TORNADO https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/11/mainline-steam-24th-november-2012 Mon, 26 Nov 2012 09:22:52 GMT
AVR Photocharter, 11th November 2012 https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/11/avr-photocharter-11th-november-2012 5DM37126_DxO

I travelled across the Severn on Sunday 11th November to make my first ever visit to the Avon Valley Railway, on the north eastern outskirts of Bristol.   The big attraction was an evening photo charter with LNER J15 0-6-0 no. 7564 which is visiting the AVR from its home base on the North Norfolk Railway.   I made sure that I got to Bitton station early enough to catch the J15 in daylight at the end of its stint doing footplate experience duty before the evening's entertainment got under way.

Despite having problems with the top plate on my tripod coming slightly loose, I managed to take some pleasing images throughout the evening and I'm already looking forward to making a return trip to the AVR.

My thanks are due to charter organiser Martin Creese as well as Simon Hopkins (for the lights) and various AVR volunteers who posed in the static tableaux.

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) 7564 AVON VALLEY AVR LNER J15 PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/11/avr-photocharter-11th-november-2012 Mon, 12 Nov 2012 12:44:48 GMT
More October Outings https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/more-october-outings Somewhat belatedly, an update on what I've been up to over the last couple of weeks.


On October 13th I went to the Severn Valley Railway as they were putting on an intensive service for their Members and Shareholders Weekend.   I had recently decided to become a member, and as I also wanted to 'invest' in their current share issue, attendance was pretty much compulsory!   Things didn't happen exactly as I had expected as the advertised double-header working featuring visiting ex-LSWR T9 4-4-0 no. 30120 didn't happen.   We got U class mogul no. 31806, as shown in the above photo, in it's place, but as I also got to see the T9 on shed at Bridgnorth, I can't complain too loudly.

On the 14th I had a very early start to make the long journey down to Bodmin for the Railmotor Weekend at the Bodmin & Wenford Railway.   Once again, things weren't exactly as advertised as the railway had suffered a couple of failures the previous day which meant that the scheduled three train operation was replaced by a two train emergency timetable.   Fortunately, GWR Railmotor no. 93 was not one of the casualties, and it and small Prairie no. 5552 put on a good show for the final day of the event.


I have to admit to being rather envious of those who will be able to travel in the railmotor when it visits the Looe branch next month.   Not only is travelling in no.93 an interesting experience, I now know that the steeply graded Looe branch will give it quite a challenge.  

I had originally planned to attend a two day photo charter at the BWR, arranged by Don Bishop, on the 15th and 16th, but after booking my accommodation, the charter was postponed by a week so I had to find something else to do.   As I had never travelled on any of the Cornish passenger network before, I decided to do a track bash on Monday 15th with the aid of a day rover ticket (£8.30 with my Senior Railcard) and managed to visit (for between three and ten minutes each) Looe, Penzance, St. Ives, Falmouth Docks and Newquay.   The day started out with brilliant sunshine, but ended in typical British fashion by almost blowing a gale.   I won't be publishing any of the photos from the day here as the mode of transport was exclusively diesel multiple unit, but I would recommend the experience to anyone.   Having seen them briefly, I certainly want to go back and spend a bit more time in Looe and St. Ives.

What looks like being my final gala event before Christmas was at the East Lancs Railway on the 20th.   With five locomotives in action, the ELR gala was certainly a numerically smaller event than the WSR or GCR Autumn steam galas, but it was an interesting event nonetheless.  As usual, I planned to extend the range of locations visited.   One or two will definitely be on my list of spots to use in future, but as I ended up to my ankles in a mix of mud and cow doings at Spout Lane bridge, that will be one that gets a miss from now on.


That's about it until the end of November when Tornado ventures up the Marches line to Ludlow.   That will be her first outing after a repaint into BR blue livery, so is not to be missed.   As well as Tornado, rebuilt Bullied West Country class no. 34046 Braunton will also be travelling that route that day, on a run to Shrewsbury.   Watch this space!



[email protected] (Mick Rogers) EAST LANCS ELR GALA PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/more-october-outings Mon, 22 Oct 2012 09:50:16 GMT
Two Galas in One Weekend, 5th and 6th October 2012 https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/two-galas-in-one-weekend-5th-and-6th-october-2012 OK, strictly speaking Fridays are not normally part of my weekend, but the timing of the West Somerset Railway and Great Central Railway Autumn Steam Galas required that I took the day off work in order to visit both events as, in their own way, each was something of a landmark.

GWR Double Header I

The West Somerset made history this weekend by operating the first ever all chimney first gala in railway preservation, made possible by the turntable at Minehead and triangle at Norton Fitzwarren.  This is a development that has certainly changed my approach to photographing trains on the line as it is no longer necessary to chase only those trains running chimney first from one end of the line to the other to get a worthwhile number of shots.   I would have been even more pleased with my results from Friday if the weather had been better.   The morning had started off grey with only the occasional brief glimpse of small patches of blue sky.   By the time that the above photo was taken, it was necessary to shelter under an umbrella, and conditions were to deteriorate further.    I am certainly glad that my 5D Mk III can easily cope with the low light levels that prevailed.

The weather was so much better the following day, an almost total contrast with clear blue skies and brilliant sunshine virtually all day.   Ideal conditions for photography on the Great Central Railway with its North-South orientation.   This year saw the first gala that made full use of the loops at Swithland. With movements every few minutes there was plenty to photograph throughout the day as trains passed on the main lines or were turned back in the loops.   I suspect that Kinchley Lane, usually a magnet for lineside photographers (though I've never been there), was relatively deserted if the number of orange vests I saw was anything to go by.


The fact that the trailing crossover between the Up and Down main lines is positioned in the middle of the layout, rather than north of it, makes for some interesting shunting movements for those trains that are turned back in the Up loop.   After the locomotive has run round it has to push its train backwards onto the Up main before it can use the crossover.  Once the Mountsorrel branch is completely rebuilt, the activity at Swithland should become even more intensive, though it was good to see locomotives occasionally using the branch as a headshunt.  

I would hope that the GCR will earmark some of the funds that it hopes to attract from its latest share issue towards improving the facilities at Swithland even further.   Covered accommodation for the vehicles still stabled in the open at Rothley and Swithland while awaiting restoration is a necessity.

The only negative thing that I have to say about the GCR gala is that the buffet car on the 09:00 from Loughborough was woefully unprepared for the first rush of business.   I was one of the first in the queue and ordered a bacon bap at 08:40 - I didn't get it until an hour later!

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) GALA GCR Great Central PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM WSR West Somerset https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/two-galas-in-one-weekend-5th-and-6th-october-2012 Mon, 08 Oct 2012 11:04:08 GMT
Nath & Bev's Wedding, 22nd September 2012 https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/9/nath-bevs-wedding-22nd-september-2012  

Somewhat off topic from my usual posts, but I thought I'd better explain why there's no Severn Valley Railway Autumn Steam  Gala photography this year.   I attended a rather important wedding instead, not all that far away from the SVR as it happens, when Elaine's son Nathan Matta married Bev Hall at Walcot Hall near Bishop's Castle in Shropshire.   The area was  was shrouded in fog at daybreak, but by mid morning that had been burnt off to reveal the hall and grounds in all their glory, and the day just got better and better from there.

If you know the password, all of the images from the weekend are available to view in the Friends and Family section of this site.

I'd just like to congratulate Bev and Nathan on their choice of spouse, wish them a long and very happy future together and thank them for all of the thought and planning that they put into making their wedding day such a special and memorable occasion for everyone that attended.

It'll be back to steam photography soon...

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) PHOTOGRAPHY WEDDING https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/9/nath-bevs-wedding-22nd-september-2012 Mon, 24 Sep 2012 09:36:41 GMT
Severn Valley Railway, 9th September 2012 https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/9/severn-valley-railway-9th-september-2012 Encouraged by the good weather, I had a full day out with my cameras.   After heading south down the M5 to photograph 34067 Tangmere working the Royal Duchy out of Bristol, I headed north to Kidderminster for the SVR, lured by the  prospect of seeing another Battle of Britain Pacific (34053 Sir Keith Park, a rebuilt example that I had not seen before) as well as whatever else the SVR had in steam that day.

34067 at Claverham III

34053 at Highley II

I don't know about you, but I prefer the look of the rebuilt form of Bullied's Pacific classes.

I must admit that I had another pressing reason to visit the Severn Valley railway this weekend.   Unfortunately, because of a family wedding taking priority, it's looking extremely unlikely that I'll be allowed to make it to this year's Autumn gala - though as we'll be gathering less than 30 miles away, I haven't entirely given up hope of dropping in on the way home sometime on the final afternoon.

I've been delegated to be busy taking photos of friends and family at the wedding (and those who are in the know will be able to see the results when they've been uploaded to this site), but there will be plenty of other opportunities to photograph steam over the next six weeks or so while the gala season is in full swing.

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY SEVERN VALLEY RAILWAY STEAM https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/9/severn-valley-railway-9th-september-2012 Tue, 11 Sep 2012 07:59:25 GMT
Return to the NYMR, 23rd to 25th August 2012 https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/8/return-to-the-nymr-23rd-to-25th-august-2012 Things had been pretty quiet on the railway photography front for a month until I made another trip up to North Yorkshire to spend a few days visiting Pickering and the NYMR.  My wife Elaine is to be thanked for this excursion as she had booked me on to one of the photography workshops organised by the NYMR as a 60th birthday present.

80072 at Moorgates

Naturally, I set off early enough on the long journey from home in South Wales to arrive in good time to spend a few hours photographing trains on the afternoon of Thursday 23rd, starting with 80072 passing Moorgates.   Friday 24th was devoted to the workshop, spent mainly in the NYMR's Learning Centre at Pickering station, but including a ride to Goathland after lunch for a practical session - unfortunately shorter than planned due to adverse weather.   We did manage to see 75029 climbing past Darnholm on the afternoon through service from Whitby.

75029 at Darnholm

It seemed hardly worthwhile to go all that way without spending at least one full day on the line, so on Saturday 25th I managed to see 75029 (again) at Ruswarp and Sleights on Network Rail's Esk Valley section as well as exploring the views available of the Grosmont to Goathland section from the nearby Rail Trail, formerly the original trackbed of the Pickering & Malton Railway.

45428 at Esk Valley

The Autumn gala season will be getting under way in the next week or two, so I expect to be adding albums to this site a little more frequently than of late.   The next outing will be to the West Somerset for their Late Summer Weekend on Sunday 2nd September, which also coincides with two steam hauled specials on the main line.   I may not be paying to much attention to the diesel hauled services, but looking at the working timetables for this event, for the first time the WSR will be utilising the Minehead turntable and Norton triangle to turn the steam locomotives at each end of their journey. 

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) NORTH YORK MOORS RAILWAY PHOTOGRAPHY STEAM https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/8/return-to-the-nymr-23rd-to-25th-august-2012 Tue, 28 Aug 2012 11:04:17 GMT
Whitby Week, 13th to 20th July 2012 https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/7/whitby-week-13th-to-20th-july-2012 63395 and crew

I have just completed the job of captioning the images of North York Moors Railway steam taken during a week long stay in Whitby.   If it had been up to me, I would have been out somewhere along the line every day, but as I was with my wife Elaine and four other firends, I was only let loose every other day!   Having said that, I must once again thank friends Phil, Judi, Kaikers and Geoff for their 60th birthday gift of a return footplate trip from Pickering to Grosmont on Q6 class 0-8-0 No. 63395.   The photo above shows me (on the left) with the loco's fireman and driver at Grosmont.   I hadn't even seen 63395 in steam before, so it was a special treat indeed to ride on the footplate.

I will soon be adding some galleries of purely scenic images from my travels, as its high time that I started to diversify a bit in my photographic efforts.   It goes without saying that images of Whitby and the North York Moors will be the first to feature in the new collection.  


[email protected] (Mick Rogers) NORTH YORK MOORS RAILWAY PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/7/whitby-week-13th-to-20th-july-2012 Mon, 23 Jul 2012 11:30:45 GMT
Dean Forest Railway GWR Branchline Weekend July 1st 2012 https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/7/dean-forest-railway-gwr-branchline-weekend-july-1st-2012 5521 at Whitecroft

After some dreadful weather throughout most of June, it was a pleasure to get out with the cameras again yesterday for my annual visit to the Dean Forest Railway to photograph the goings on at their GWR Branchline Weekend.

The railway had reopened Whitecroft station at the end of May, and this was my first opportunity to see it.   I have to say that they have made an excellent job of the platform and associated buildings.    Judging from the piles of bricks tucked away near the station buildings, there is more development still to come.   Ideally the DFR will construct a second platform here, and reinstate the loop line to serve it, as this will help the operation of their services considerably.    At present, there is no passing loop anywhere between the two terminal stations at Lydney Junction and Parkend, which means that trains have to be flighted at busy times such as the Branchline Weekend.   Of course, nothing can happen without funding, and I would hope that, even in the current economic difficulties, some sort of grant can be obtained to assist with the costs of further improving the facilities at Whitecroft.   I for one have been investing heavility in the National Lottery in a so far vain attempt to scoop a big enough pot to finance early retirement, and now that the Olympics will soon be out of the way, is it too much to hope that the Heritage Lottery Fund will have a few thousand pounds spare to invest in something that's actually useful?

Anyway, with the rant over, the next thing I've got to look forward to is a trip to Whitby, with the North York Moors Railway on the doorstep.   Surely we're due for a prolonged stretch of decent weather soon?

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) DEAN FOREST RAILWAY PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/7/dean-forest-railway-gwr-branchline-weekend-july-1st-2012 Mon, 02 Jul 2012 08:24:51 GMT
South Devon Railway Jubilee Gala 2012 https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/6/south-devon-railway-jubilee-gala-2012 5542 at Caddaford II

2nd June 2012 saw me back at the South Devon Railway for the first time in two years or so.   The reason for my visit was their Jubilee Gala, featuring four steam and one (token) diesel locomotives.   I had forgotten how quickly I could get there, so the journey time of two and a half hours is, I hope, enough to encourage me to visit again before the year is out.   I also took advantage of the fact that the SDR recognises my WSR PTS certification, which enabled me to get a lineside photography permit for only £10.   Another reason to go back before the end of the year!

Undoubtedly the star of the show was GWR 4575 class 2-6-2T No. 5542 which was making its operational debut following a fast-track overhaul.  I hope that my images of it will show the superb job that the SDR workshops have done on it.   This locomotive spent the day working with a pair of GWR carriages as a typical GWR branchline train.   The other three steam locos in action were outside cylindered 0-6-0PT No. 1369, Collett 0-6-0 No. 3205 and the GCR's BR Standard Class 2MT 2-6-0 No. 78019.  The diesel was EE Type 1 No. D8110, and even I have to admit that it looked splendid in as as-new paint job.

Even though it was a bank holiday weekend, the rain managed to hold off until around 6pm, some two hours later than forecast.   So, all in all, a good day out.

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) GALA PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/6/south-devon-railway-jubilee-gala-2012 Sun, 03 Jun 2012 14:42:33 GMT
Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway - 20th May 2012 https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/5/pontypool-blaenavon-railway---20th-may-2012 Climbing to Whistle Inn II

I spent a few hours at the Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway on Sunday 20th May.   This is my nearest standard gauge preserved line, some thirty five miles away and high up in the hills near Brynmawr.   Only one locomotive was in steam, Bagnall built 0-4-0ST Devonport Dockyard No. 19, with former GER saloon No.3 providing sufficient capacity for passengers.   It amazes me that the fare for an adult day rover was an absoute bargain at a mere £4.00.

The P&BR has grown considerably in the last couple of years.   When I first saw it, nearly ten years ago, it was a half mile of track from nowhere to nowhere, but in the last two years it has opened a 1.5 mile extension down the valley to Blaenavon High Level and a half mile branch line to Big Pit Halt.  If their ambitious expansion plans are fully realised, the line will ultimately reach Pontypool in the south and Brynmawr in the north. 

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) PHOTOGRAPHY PONTYPOOL & BLAENAVON RAILWAY STEAM https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/5/pontypool-blaenavon-railway---20th-may-2012 Mon, 21 May 2012 08:08:42 GMT
The Central Wales Explorer and The Cathedrals Express - 12th May 2012 https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/5/the-central-wales-exploerer-and-the-cathedrals-express---12th-may-2012 45407 & 44871 on The Central Wales Explorer I

A busy day on 12th May, chasing two mainline steam specials. and I even found time for a diversion to Bewdlwy on the Severn Valley Railway.   The day began with the Central Wales Explorer, running from Newport to Shrewsbury via Llandrindod Wells, hauled 45407 and 44871, in rather better weather than on the preceding Monday!  he day's second train was the Cathedrals Express from Paddington to Shrewsbury via Hereford, hauled throughout by 60163 Tornado.   Altogether, I saw the Black Fives twice and Tornado three times during a long day; the images from the day are now in the 2012 Mainline Steam gallery.

60163 at Llanvihangel IV


[email protected] (Mick Rogers) MAINLINE PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/5/the-central-wales-exploerer-and-the-cathedrals-express---12th-may-2012 Sun, 13 May 2012 14:34:10 GMT
The Heart of Wales https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/5/the-heart-of-wales 45407 & 44871 on The Heart of Wales III

Bank Holiday Monday, and it's raining cats and dogs.  Nothing new there then, and there's nothing new about seeing a pair of Black Fives on the South Wales main line as Nos. 45407 The Lancashire Fuslier and 44871 make another appearance on the annual steam hauled trip down the Heart of Wales line from Shrewsbury to Swansea and then on as far as Cardiff, as seen here as the train approaches the new station at Llanharan. 

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) MAINLINE PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/5/the-heart-of-wales Mon, 07 May 2012 19:06:34 GMT
SSSIII - All good things come to an end. https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/4/sssiii---all-good-things-come-to-an-end 828 at Night

What a week that was!   I'm already looking forward to SSSIV - whether that will be in 2014, 2015 or even further in the future remains to be seen, but whenever it is, I shall certainly be going.

I certainly had plenty of time to learn what my new Canon EOS 5D Mk III was capable of, and I have also come to appreciate its weather sealing, which is certainly better than that of my 50D.   To illustrate its amazing capabilities, the image above was taken at 9pm on Saturday, using only the available light from the signalbox and crossing lamps.   Yes, I had to push the camera to 25600 ISO and use a fairly slow shutter speed, but I got the shot.   My 50D would have had no chance.

As soon as the gala dates were announced last September I was on the net looking for accommodation, and when I saw that the Station House at Glyndyfrdwy was available for the full week of the gala from Monday 23rd, I snapped it up.   Not only is it ideally located and reasonably priced, it proved to be a very well equipped and comfortable holiday let and as it had a broadband connection, I was able to post regular updates to this site as the week progressed.   For anyone else who may be interested in staying on the Llangollen Railway's doorstep, the Station House website address is http://stationholiday.co.uk/index.html

The only negative point about the past week was that the weather was a far cry from the warm sunshine of my previous visits to the area.   Conditions on Sunday morning were bad enough to encourage an early departure on the long journey home.

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) GALA LLANGOLLEN PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEEL, STEAM & STARS https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/4/sssiii---all-good-things-come-to-an-end Mon, 30 Apr 2012 08:02:45 GMT
SSSIII - North West 1950's Day, 26th April 2012 https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/4/sssiii---north-west-1950s-day-26th-april-2012 1744 at Glyndyfrdwy III

The weather has changed quite a bit since my last post.   Yesterday, the SSSIII Tornado 'Little & Large ' day was truly diabolical, with heavy rain and icy winds all day, and today wasn't a great deal better.   Wednesday saw 60163 Tornado, N2 No. 1744 and 'Coal Tank' No. 58926 in action, and it seems that the latter was having problems with its safety valves as it was constantly blowing off and also unable to travel much more than a sngle journey along the line before having to refill its tanks.   As 58926 was also used today, alongside Nos. 44806 and 49395, these problems may well explain why time was lost throughout the day, with services running some 45 minutes late by the early evening. 

Last Train Re-enactment

The highlight of today's North Western 1950's theme was the re-enactment of the final passenger train in January 1958 between Abergavenney and Merthyr Tydfil via the Heads of the Valleys route.   58926 was actually used on that train, and 49395 was renumbered as classmate, and the other participant, No. 49121.

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) GALA LLANGOLLEN PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM STEEL, STEAM & STARS https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/4/sssiii---north-west-1950s-day-26th-april-2012 Thu, 26 Apr 2012 21:30:06 GMT
SSSIII - West Midlands Day, 24th April 2012 https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/4/sssiii---west-midlands-day-24th-april-2012 Super D at Glyndyfrdwy IV

The sudden arrival of loads of blokes, nearly all wearing orange high visibility vests and toting expensive camera gear announced the imminent passage of the early morning photocharter train past our windows.   The locomotive was 'Super D' No 49395, and as things turned out, this was my only chance to see it in action in daylight as it failed with a broken spring on its way back to Llangollen, leaving Llangollen Railway residents Nos. 5199 and 7822 Foxcote Manor to provide motive power for all of the daytime services.   The 'Super D' was repaired in time to take its place on the first of the evening beer trains out of Llangollen.

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) GALA LLANGOLLEN PHOTOGRAPHY STEAM STEEL, STEAM & STARS https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/4/sssiii---west-midlands-day-24th-april-2012 Tue, 24 Apr 2012 20:22:03 GMT
Steel, Steam & Stars III https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/4/steel-steam-stars-iii 828 at Llangollen XII

I travelled up to the Dee Valley yesterday and will be enjoying a massive steam fix over the next seven days at the 6880 Betton Grange Society promoted Steel, Steam & Stars III gala on the Llangollen Railway.   With eleven locomotives rostered in different combinations, there will be plenty to see over the next week.   Yesterday was billed as Scottish Day, and the undoubted star was the Strathspey Railway's 818 class 0-6-0 No. 828, which looked superb in its Caledonian Railway blue livery.   Also appearing were BR Standard class 7 No. 70000 Britannia and ex-LMS Stanier Black 5 No. 44806, which masqueraded as No. 44801, a Scottish Region locomotive.   Today I have three locomotives with West Midlands associations to look forward to.


[email protected] (Mick Rogers) GALA LLANGOLLEN PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM STEEL< STEAM & STARS https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/4/steel-steam-stars-iii Tue, 24 Apr 2012 07:45:27 GMT
Barrow Hill 'Fab 4', 14th & 15th April 2012 https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/4/barrow-hill-fab-4-14th-15th-april-2012 LNER Lineup V

I have just spent two days at Barrow Hill shed attending their 'Fab 4' gathering of ex-LNER steam power.   Although it was a disappointment to everyone that Flying Scotsman wasn't able to make it as originally advertised, the Barrow Hill team are to be congratulated for putting on such a superb event.   One can only hope that one day Mallard, Blue Peter and Green Arrow will rejoin the ranks of steamable LNER locomotives, in which they rightfully belong.

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) BARROW HILL FAB 4 GALA LNER PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/4/barrow-hill-fab-4-14th-15th-april-2012 Mon, 16 Apr 2012 07:50:44 GMT
Canon EOS 5D Mk III https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/4/canon-eos-5d-mk-iii I bought my copy of this new Canon full-frame DSLR over the Easter weekend, and I am completely astounded by its abilities when compared to my EOS 50D.   I used it to produce the album recently added to my Friends & Family collection, so I'm afraid that you'll have to be amongst that number if you want to view the first results from this camera.   I will certainly be using it for my next steam hit at the Barrow Hill 'Fab 4' (almost) LNER themed event next weekend, so watch this space... 

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) CANON EOS 5D MK III PHOTOGRAPHY https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/4/canon-eos-5d-mk-iii Tue, 10 Apr 2012 07:46:46 GMT
GCR 1960's Gala 31st March 2012 https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/4/gcr-1960s-gala-31st-march-2012 Swithland Box Saturday 31st March saw me at Great Central Railway for their 1960's gala. As far as the weather went, I certainly chose the worst day of the weekend with blanket cloud cover and a chilly wind blowing all day, but as always at the GCR, the show was never going to be less than great.

I spent most of the day around Swithland Sidings, which now have the appearance of a length of four track mainline when the passing loops are clear of stock awaiting the restorer's attentions.     I had a chat with some of the blokes working in the area as I wanted a look inside Swithland signalbox, and I was told that the Swithland complex will only be fully utilised during future gala events, and the box will be locked out at other times.   More interestingly, it seems that the next project may be dualling the track from Rothley to Leicester North!

I don't know if it was the weather on Saturday, the fact that there was only one visiting locomotive at the gala, or the so-called petrol crisis, but things seemed to be much quieter than usual.   There were certainly far fewer photographers on the lineside today, and no problem with finding a seat on the trains that I travelled on.   I hope that the GCR still manages to make a profit from this exercise. 

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) GALA GCR GREAT CENTRAL PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/4/gcr-1960s-gala-31st-march-2012 Sun, 01 Apr 2012 18:41:30 GMT
SVR Spring Steam Gala https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/3/svr-spring-steam-gala Saturday 24th March saw me at the Severn Valley Railway's Spring Steam Gala.    Thanks to the M50 being closed without any advanced notice given anywhere on the way up from South Wales, the lengthy detour via Gloucester that I was forced to take made my arrival at Bewdley somewhat later than I had planned.    Because of the early morning fog that blanketed the area, I don't think that I missed much though, and the glorious Spring sunshine that followed more than made up for the early conditions.   I must have walked a good few miles as I moved from location to location during the day, and I feel that I've got some great shots to show for it.   But I must remember to not put everything in my camera bag next time!

4464 on Victoria Bridge II

I also went over to Bromsgrove to see the Double Lickey Banker pass by.   It sounded great, with three locomotives working hard as they tackled the 1:37 climb.   I couldn't really tell what it looked like though, as I had the late afternoon sun in my eyes, so unfortunately there won't be any photos of this train appearing here.


[email protected] (Mick Rogers) GALA PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM SVR https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/3/svr-spring-steam-gala Sun, 25 Mar 2012 11:04:47 GMT
Grand Slam Day https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/3/grand-slam-day King Edward I Bows Out In Style6024 at Knapp Farm Crossing II I had to make a difficult decision today.   Go to our local pub to watch Wales try for a grand slam in their final match of this year's Six Nations, or go over to the West Somerset Railway for the first day of their Spring Steam Gala.   The Wizzer won.   But so did Wales, so well done to them.   As well as the Wizzer's gala, I also got to see GWR King class No. 6024 King Edward I on its final mainline run before withdrawal for a major overhaul.   So, despite the conditions being less than ideal for much of the day, like Wales, I had a pretty good result.   Check out my Mainline Steam 2012 album for images of the King in action, while the gala images are in a separate album under 2012 Albums.    I will also add some video in due course.

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/3/grand-slam-day Sat, 17 Mar 2012 22:13:38 GMT
Mid-Hants Railway https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/3/mid-hants-railway 92212 at Gunstock Farm foot crossing III

Saw both mainline and heritage railway steam action today (March 10th), beginning with a run up the M4 to Hungerford to see Tornado on the Cathedrals Express train from Paddington to Plymouth.   After that it was another 40 or so miles to get to the Mid-Hants Railway.   It is certainly more than 13 years since the last time that I paid a visit to this line, so it was a pleasure to renew my acquaintance ith it.

Actually, this weekend marks the beginning of a series of excursions to heritage lines, as the Spring gala season gets underway in a week's time with the West Somerset's gala.   Having invested in a PTS course and photographer's lineside permit, I will certainly be going.   After that, something or other will be in the diary until at least the end of April.

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/3/mid-hants-railway Sat, 10 Mar 2012 20:58:32 GMT
Up to date! https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/3/up-to-date- I have now finished titling and captioning all of the image backlog that I have uploaded to this site since I signed up on the 11th of February.  That's 1377 images in total.   Admittedly, some of the captioning is a bit repetitive (Thanks, cut and paste!) , but I was keen to complete the job so that I can move forward from now on.

Well, the Canon EOS 5D Mk III was finally officially announced last week, and informed online speculation about its specification turned out to be not far wrong.   I've been waiting for around two years for that particular piece of news.   From what I've read about it so far, the camera will offer significant improvements over the Mark II.   As it should, considering that the RRP will open at £2999.00, roughly six times what I paid for the EOS 40D that I purchased in 2008, three times what I paid for my EOS 50D a year later and twice Amazon's current best price for the Mark II.   I'll wait until I've seen some (hopefully unbiased) in depth reviews based on production examples, but my current thinking is that I'll be biting the bullet within the next couple of months...

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/3/up-to-date- Wed, 07 Mar 2012 14:41:51 GMT
Making Progress https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/2/making-progress I have now uploaded all of the images that I want to publish from 2011 and 2010, though titling and captioning them is still on-going.   Now for 2009 and earlier...

One good thing to come out of this exercise is that I have had another go at post-processing most of these images from the original Canon CS2 RAW file format using DxO Optics Pro.   Yes, it means that it takes even longer to move things forward, but the effort is, I think, well worthwhile.   The only problem that I have found is that my PC's specification is perhaps not quite good enough for heavy use of the latest version of DxO (7.2.1) as it will stop responding every so often for no good reason, and the only thing to do is restart the program.   I have yet to receive any response from DxO to follow up on the support request that I logged with them, so for the time being I have reverted to using version 6.6. 

A new, more poweful laptop is definitely on the agenda, as is a Canon EOS 5D Mark III whenever it is finally available.

[email protected] (Mick Rogers) https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/2/making-progress Wed, 29 Feb 2012 14:05:03 GMT
First Post https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/2/first-post 45305 at Settle

Welcome to my Zenfolio website, and to my first blog post.   I hope that you have enjoyed looking at the images that I have uploaded so far.   Please feel free to leave any comments or constructive criticism - I shall be glad to read your feedback.

As you may have realised, I am slowly working my way backwards through the catalogue of digital images that I have taken over the last few years, adding what I think are the best of them to the site.   I have also made a start on uploading some video footage, and there will be a lot more of that to come in the future months.  

As well as catching up with past events, I will also be uploading photos and video from current events as soon as I can afterwards.    This year has already got off to a great start, with a steam themed holiday over New Year (Thanks Elaine!!), the Great Central Winter gala and some mainline action.    There are already plans in place for the rest of the year, the highlight of which will be a week in the Dee Valley for Steel, Steam and Stars III on the Llangollen Railway.



[email protected] (Mick Rogers) PHOTOGRAPHY RAILWAY STEAM https://mickrogers.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/2/first-post Fri, 24 Feb 2012 10:11:25 GMT