Saturday, 25 February 2012

Ride out to Churnet Valley Railway

Our three Suzuki Freewinds at Kinsley & Frogall station 
today; Malcolm's, Tony's, and mine

This weekend the Churnet Valley Railway in Staffordshire is holding a Cauldon Lowe Steam Weekend, with steam trains working from Frogall up the Churnet valley to Leekbrook Junction, then along the eight mile branch to Cauldon Lowe. Malcolm, Tony and myself decided to have a ride out on our Suzuki Freewind motorcycles to get a 'fix' of live steam!

We rode via the Marton, Bosley and Leek and arrived in plenty of time to have a look around before the train from Cauldon Lowe arrived, hauled by Stanier Black Five 45379. The Black Five uncoupled, took on water, and ran around the train to position onto the front ready for the 12:15 departure back to Cauldon Lowe.

Malcolm, on the right, admires the Stanier Black Five on the 12:15 to Cauldon Lowe

Tony takes an interest in 45739's Walchaerts Valve Gear while Malcolm 
(in the foreground) sets up a photo shot. 

 45739's cab; the fireman was preparing his fire for the one in forty gradients on the 
Cauldon Lowe branch

Me and a smokey Black Five 

After some lunch we headed up to Ipstones railway bridge, where we caught 45739 pounding up the bank to Ipstones summit with that distinctive Black Five 'bark' from her chimney

The locomotive tops the incline; the view from the other side of the road bridge at Ipstones

We rode back through Peak District through Hulme End and Longnor. Here we stop for a coffee from our flasks at the Cat & Fiddle Inn. 

My Freewind, back home after the ride and following a wash to remove any road salt 
before it causes corrosion


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