In Part 2: Glasgow to Perth, Montrose, Aberdeen, Inverness, Kyle Of Lochalsh, Slochd, Aviemore, Drumochter, Edinburgh, Berwick, York and back to London. Featuring 70013 Oliver Cromwell, 61994 The Great Marquess, 6201 Princess Elizabeth, and 60019 Bittern.
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(1 hour 27 mins)
After a day off, 70013 Oliver Cromwell is back in charge. In the morning sunshine, she takes the train up Strath Allen past Kinbuck, Blackford and on to Perth. After running beside the North Sea at Lunan Bay, the train turns inland through Montrose to Kinnaber Junction, and Marykirk. Kinnaber, where the Caledonian and North British routes to Abredeen meet, became famous during the “Race To The North” in the 1890s. Beyond Aberdeen, the Great North Of Scotland line, still with its telegraph poles intact and in use, winds through delightful hills past Insch to Keith. After a final shot on the coastal plane by the Moray Firth near Brodie Castle, we end with views of 70013 at the buffers at Inverness.
Mon 12th: Inverness-Kyle of Lochalsh
The conditions on Monday morning were possibly the best the Steam Age camera crew have ever experienced. 61994 The Great Marquess heads the 7 coach train. Watch the change of light at Muir Of Ord, Fodderty, Loch a’ Chuilinn and Achanalt as the sun gradually rises. The climax comes with perfect reflections at Loch Gowan, followed by a lovely cameo at Attadale.
Listen carefully to 61994 as she opens up at Achanalt station. This was the first sign of a problem that developed through the day as a piston ring gradually disintegrated. On the return, she lost much steam with each stoke of that piston, so had to stop for a “blow-up” several times. However, she wasn’t a total failure, and got the train back to Inverness. We show her progress at Glen Carron, Loch Sgamhain, Luib Summit, Loch a’ Chuilinn and Rogie.
Tue 13th: Inverness-Aviemore-Perth; Dundee-Edinburgh
The return from Inverness, over Slochd and Drumochter passes, was due to be hauled by 70013 Oliver Cromwell & 61994 The Great Marquess. Because 61994 was not fully fit, a diesel was added at the rear of the train. We see them cross the viaducts at Culloden and Tomatin on the climb to Slochd, then follow them for 5 miles from Dalwhinnie to Drumochter summit. After a stop at Pitlochry, they climb out of Strath Tay at Dunkeld & Birnam. (Yes, these are the same Birnam Woods mentioned by Shakespeare’s three witches!) After reversing at Perth and then Dundee, 70013 takes the train over the Tay Bridge, across the Kingdom of Fife and over the Forth Bridge. An hour or so before the main tour, 6201 Princess Elizabeth also crossed the Forth on her way from Thornton.
Wed 14th: Edinburgh-Newcastle-York-Grantham-Kings Cross
The final day gives a fascinating comparison of West and East Coast express locos. We see 6201 Princess Elizabeth tackling the 1-in-96 climb to Grantshouse and crossing the boarder at Berwick Upon Tweed. With the North Sea, Lindesfarne and Bamborough castle in the background, she races past Cheswick and Fenham Hill. South of Durham she crosses Langley Moor viaduct, climbs from the slow to the fast lines at Ferryhill and finally disappears into the sun towards Darlington at Mordon.
60019 Bittern (once a regular on the Edinburgh – Abredeen line) is perfectly at home on the last leg, running up the ECML from York. Enjoy the pantomime on the bridge at Colton Junction as photographers try to work out whether she’s taking the Selby Diversion line! Steam Age had inside information so our crew knew what to expect. Our final views are south of Retford, just before sunset.
Mon 6th – Sat 10th April are covered on Steam Age Pictures Vol. 33.