After a suitable tip-off, I headed for Earlswood station (on the Brighton main line) to see a steam special pass through. And then went home again, as it was heavily delayed, just short of Clapham Junction, waiting to take on water.
An hour later, I returned to the station, to find that they had made up several minutes since East Croydon, and the train was rapidly approaching. I was ‘Virgin-ed’ by a passing DMU, but caught this shot in retreat as the train, headed by the B1 4-6-0, Mayflower, hammered through Earlswood. Great to see a steam train in my local station, and it left behind that very evocative steam and smoke smell.
Brian caught it just down the line (next station) at Salfords.
Mayflower 61306 at Salfords station hurtling south towards Eastbourne on 1Z43 0726 from Southend East to Eastbourne, having been held up for 115 minutes near Clapham Junction. Rumour has it that the loco needed more water?
I heard that the water supply at Clapham had failed, and that they had to get some help from the local fire brigade. And hurtling is just the right word for this clip. Mayflower is working really hard, and it’s interesting to hear how much more ‘busy’ this loco sounds than the larger Pacifics at speed.
In the evening, the train seemed to be coming through on time, so I wandered along to my favourite bridge over the Redhill-Tonbridge line. After the compulsory EMU, I caught a plume of steam up the line at Nutfield, where the loco was taking on water, I think, during a short pause. No problem with the water supply, this time! Mayflower was then working quite hard getting the train going again, and was soon approaching my vantage point.
I was then able to catch the train as it drifted around the curve into Redhill station. Not in a hurry, as this morning, as it was more or less on time.
Brian caught the train a little earlier at Godstone.
Mayflower 61306 at Godstone heading back from Hastings towards London and Southend East on 1Z47 1711, after an eventful day for the staff. I bet the crew are looking forward to putting their feet up tonight!
Great to see, but I hope that I catch a different locomotive next time.