Taking photographs of trains is something that millions of people do. Many of these people are ordinary folks just visiting a heritage railway as part of a day out. Then there are railway enthusiasts some of whom devote a large amount of their leisure time to travelling to various railways in order to take pictures of trains.
As a volunteer on the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway I have access to all sorts of places that the visitors cannot get to and I take a few snaps when my duties allow an opportunity to get the camera out. Most of my pictures are taken with a very battered and grubby Canon Powershot 550.
Last Friday (9th May) Joan was steamed for a series of tests to attempt to resolve the surging it exhibits which results in a slightly uncomfortable ride for the passengers. The loco worked two round trips from Llanfair to Welshpool and a trip to Castle Caereinion and back. On the first trip I was riding on the train as an observer. This involved watching how the couplings behaved whilst the train was under power, coasting and braking. I also spent some time sitting in various seats with and without a cushion between my back and the seat. In between trips adjustments were made to the tension on the locomotive draw-bar springs. Sadly by the end of the day we were not really a lot further forward although theories were beginning form as to where next to investigate.
Yes, I took a few pictures of the bluebells and other stuff that could be seen from the carriage windows. I also attempted some “arty” type shots.
The first is a view taken from the front balcony as the train descended Golfa Bank looking in through the cab window and out the other side.
The second was taken approaching Lower Sylfaen Farm.
Saturday was a busy day and started with oiling the carriage axleboxes, next Willy Field and myself caught the first train to Cyfronydd and then walked along the line to Llanfair assessing what vegetation should be prioritized for cutting back next autumn.
Back at Llanfair I had an early lunch. Driver 1 had requested that I do the second half of his duty as well my own Driver 2 job. I had two pleasant trips; although Countess is not steaming very well at the moment and the firemen are having a tough time coaxing her along.
In the evening we had dinner in the upper room of the Black Lion. Now in this particular establishment there is no menu and you get what you are given. We were served a tasty goulash, rice, spicy potato wedges & salad. Some greedy people managed to squeeze a sweet down on top as well! Back downstairs an excellent, punk rock, covers band called Guttersnipe played for a couple of hours.
All too soon it was Sunday morning and the alarm clock was ringing. I was rostered as Driver 1 with Rolf Thomas as my fireman and Willy Field as Trainee Driver. Willy did a good three quarters of the driving while I guided his passage along the line and did my best to keep out the way of the fireman.
Needless to say being unencumbered with the regulator and the brake valve I had a some opportunities to take a few photos of reflections.
Here the fireman’s reflection can be seen in the pressure gauge.
A tree at Rowland’s Crossing captured on the dome.
And the “Old Lady” herself seen in one of the mirrors at Cyfronydd.
There are also a few conventional pictures available over on my Flickr pages – start here https://www.flickr.com/photos/tanllan/14166357922/