Good Afternoon Folks,
Well my 2015 railway galleries have got off to a good start with a bit of variety. Starting at one of my regular haunts - Portway - which is just North of Tamworth.
Pulling onto the bridge, I was greeted with the site of 60017 stationary just up the line in Elford Loop waiting time to carry on the last few miles of it's journey working the 6M57 Lindsey - Kingsbury loaded bogie tanks. However, this wasn't to be the first train I was to photograph as a look at Realtime Trains revealed 4L07 Burton Yard to Felixstowe intermodal was running 24 early passing Burton On Trent Station, this takes a somewhat long route, running into Bescot via Tamworth, Water Orton and Walsall, before running round and carrying on it's journey back to Water Orton before heading towards Nuneaton, Leicester and East Anglia. 66138 was to be my first "red pen" sighting for 2015.
Afterwards, 60091 appeared working 6E54 Kingsbury - Humber empty bogie tanks, I even got some tones from the driver as well which was nice, the photograph leaves a bit to be desired as it was badly backlit, not helped of course by the lowness of the sun in the sky. Come April time this will not be too bad. After 60091 had passed, this had cleared Kingsbury and sure enough 60017 departed Elford Loop and took her load of tanks through Portway and onwards to Kingsbury. Despite the dickyness of the sun going behind clouds, this was a full sun shot.
Next up, 66079 appeared working 6D44 Bescot - Toton deparmental which consisted of concrete sleepers on what appeared to be brand new wagons, however as I'm no wagon expert I couldn't tell what classification they were. In the area as well was one of GBRf's new toys in the form of 66762 working 6E81 Portbury - Hexthorpe empty box wagons. Booked to depart Portbury (which is near Bristol) at 04:57, it departed 3 early. Missing out stops at Parsons Street, Bristol Parkway, Charfield and Spetchley it was a massive 222 minutes early at Bromsgrove (3 hours 22 minutes). This was to change though as it was held just before Longbridge for some considerable time from 07:24 until 10:17. Another wait at Landor Street Junction near Birmingham and a small divert at Water Orton via Whitacre Junction to Kingsbury seen it pulled back to time.
My last "red pen" at Portway was a rather mucky 66164 which was still bearing the grime from the 2013 RHTT season working 4D76 Bescot to Burton Yard empty container flats. Once it was gone, it was camera and video camera packed away and off to Barrow Upon Trent which seen a nice leisurely drive from Portway, up the A513, A38 and through Willington. An earlier gen post and confirmed sighting from Stafford seen 2 Class 37's working 0Z96 Crewe - Bescot light engine. It was then booked to take a load of 10 wagons from Bescot to Toton. The light was still doable for it had Barrow Upon Trent, sadly a 64 minute late departure put paid to this :(.
At Barrow though, I was greeted to 3 more "red pen" moves starting with 66531 working 6M49 Barrow Hill - Rugeley Power Station loaded coal hoppers, afterwards another new locomotive introduced by Direct Rail Services last year was 68004 working 6U77 Mountsorrel - Crewe Basford Hall loaded ballast boxes. In total there is to be 25 of these machines. Next heavy freight was 66102 which was working 6M00 Humber - Kingsbury loaded bogie tanks. 66102 was looking far more cleaner than it's classmate 66164 seen earlier in the day.
I ended the day with Freightliner's 66597 working 0M46 Aldwarke - Crewe Basford Hall light engine. After which a huge cloud bank rolled in it was game over and a nice drive back to Hinckley and thence home ensued.