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STEAM RAILWAY MEMORIES

ADDED 3 FEBRRUARY 2006

An A3 steam railway locomotive passing through Knottingley An A3 steam railway locomotive seen passing through Knottingley

In the days of steam hauled trains, it was the local train-spotters dream for some maintenance to be required on the East Coast Main Line or the Doncaster to Leeds Central Station route.

Usually this occurred on a Sunday, during which time all the main line expresses were diverted through Knottingley along the branchline via Askern, known locally as the 'top line'.

The poor quality photographs included here, of two A3 class locomotives, were taken with a Kodak Brownie 127 during such a diversion, at a point known as the 'bridges' where the roads or cart tracks lead to the fields and lime quarries south of the railway line.

Quite a collection of 'Pacific' type and former LNER express loco's could be seen throughout the day including the Mallard and Flying Scotsman etc. There were rarer loco's such as the ones shedded at Haymarket (Edinburgh) which rarely worked south of Newcastle. These included A4's 60011 'Empire of India' and 60024 'Kingfisher'. The latter derailed its front bogie wheels at Walden Stubbs after hitting some cattle that had somehow found their way onto the line. This was evening time but the news travelled fast and quite a few lads raced towards the scene on their bikes. It was perhaps as well that several fields were situated between the derailment and the closes vantage point.

The top line was always frequented by several train-spotters on summer evenings to see what was referred to as the twenty-past-eight 'namer'. This was usually a gleaming Pacific recently turned out of Doncaster Plant and hauling a goods train at a very sedate pace. Very often these were Haymarket shed locomotives and were considered as 'cops', a phrase used when first seeing a loco. All were underlined in the Ian Allen Loco Spotters Book, which contained all the numbers and which every boy carried in his back pocket.

My personal recollections of 'cops' were 60035 'Windsor Lad', 'Tudor Minstral' and 'Sun Chariot' - all named, I believe, after classic horse race winners.

Ken Rhodes
susan (at) rhodes9969.fsnet.co.uk
3 February 2006


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