Friday, 29 July 2011

'Tangmere' at Wilmslow this morning

I was off to the Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester this morning as rostered crew for the steam locomotive there and as usual was aiming for the 08:00 train from Wilmslow. But I'd arrived at the station a tad early because I knew the 'Scarborough Flyer', on which Chris and I enjoyed a great day out last year (see Friday 6th August 2010 in this blog), was making its Wilmslow pick-up stop at 07:50. When Chris and I travelled on the train it was hauled by my favorite class of locomotive, an ex-LMS Stanier 'Duchess' pacific 'Dutchess of Sutherland'.

Today's train was hauled by 'Tangmere' (Battle of Britain Class), an ex-Southern Railway Bulleid light pacific

Far away from its natural stamping ground, 'Tangmere' calls at wilmslow this
morning with the 'Scarborough Flyer'

These light pacifics were designed by Oliver Bulleid of the Southern Railway and built immediately after World War Two. They were based on his earlier, heavier and more powerful, Merchant Navy pacifics but being lighter had a wider route availability. They had some unusual features such as 'streamline' metal casing and chain-driven valve gear, and could be temperamental and prone to slipping. Many Bulleid pacifics, both light and heavy, were later rebuilt with conventional valve gear and minus the metal casing, becoming first class locomotives as a result. Bulleid was a brilliant designer, but sometimes followed flights of fancy that were, perhaps, unwise.

'Tangmere' is of course in un-rebuilt condition.

The station was crowded this morning with a mix of three types of people: rail enthusiasts who had come to see the steam locomotive, regular commuters, and a sprinkling of smartly dressed folk looking forward to a day out on the 'Flyer' in Scarborough.

'Tangmere' gets the green light and 'right away', as it sets off for its next stop, Stockport

Earlier, photographed by Steve Morris, Tangmere passed Chelford station on time at 07:42. Chelford is apparently a great place to see it as it waits a few minutes in the down loop to allow a Manchester-bound Arriva 175 to pass, so it is always working hard as it leaves the loop and enters the station.

So prior to my day firing and driving the replica 'Planet' steam locomotive in Manchester, I had a 'fix' of main-line steam. And in the form of an unusual locomotive for this part of the world.


No comments:

Post a Comment