Early Morning Delivery To The BKR!
On 14th November, well before breakfast, and before dawn for that matter, I got up and set out for the top end of the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway, as I had heard that there was a special train due that morning. Actually it had been known that it would run at some point for the previous couple of weeks, and was due to deliver not just one, but two Class 37/4s for preservation at the railway, specifically 37403 & 37413. But as I arrived before the special did, all I could see at first was...
1. ...lights in the dark! They belonged to
two locomotives on the Bo'ness & Kinneil tracks which were obviously waiting to escort
the new arrivals down to Bo'ness. From the noise of it's engine I had no trouble
identifying the nearest locomotive as being a Class 26...
2. ..and from the shape of the lit up cab
window the one further away could only be a Class 37.
3. Shortly after this the special train
arrived down the main line hauled by a Class 67, ran past the connection to the BKR,
and after a time set back down to deliver it's load. Since I could only see a
flashing tail lamp I tried switching to the 'nightshot' mode of my camcorder,
and here is the result, showing that the EWS locomotive has now detached from the
load and is moving away from me.
4. I won't be including too many
'nightshot' pictures, since they aren't all that good, but a few minutes later
the BKR Class 37 has pulled the arriving locos away from the barrier wagons
that had been on the back (almost certainly there for additional brake force),
and the Class 67 is now re-attaching to the wagons.
5. A few minutes later, and easier
to see thanks to a hint of pre-dawn light, the Class 67 is now ready to leave.
6. Once the Class 67 had headed back
up to the main line to wait for a path eastwards (which might have been a long
wait as it hadn't left when I drove away a little later!) the Class 26 shunted
down to join the BKR 'special delivery' train!
7. Nightshot mode and zoom both
mitigate against good filming and here I am using both, but here is a view of
the BKR train ready to leave.
8. I switcdhed back to normal filming
and even if it was still a bit dark for my camcorder at least this is a better view
of both trains, even if virtually all that can be seen of the EWS train is the back
of the three hopper wagons brought along for additional brake force.
9. After a while (during which some
flash photography could be seen around the locos) the BKR train set out...
10. .. and trundled at a modest speed
down the line. From the above captions it sounds for all the world like I was
alone watching all this but that wasn't the case as a couple of other people had
also turned up at the bridge I was standing on, and luckily one of them had inside
info that a stop was planned at Birkhill. Since the roads to there are not good I
didn't think it practical to og there to film the train again, but if the stop
happened I thought I had a good chance to get ahead of it...
11. ... to an interesting photography
location I had often seen others at when passing by train, but which I hadn't
previously used myself. And here is a view of the the special train approaching...
12. ...getting close to me...
13. ...and about to pass me! Even if
this hadn't been a special working, I would have been happy with this camcorder
footage of 37025 and these images I have captured from it!
14. Now for the first close-up view of
37413 as it passes, although the missing windows and the sorry state of the livery
make for a miserable appearance!
15. 37403 next and it is little better
looking although there is at least some glass left in the cab windows!
16. Lastly, but definitely not least
(I would actually say 'most' but then I'm somewhat biased! ;-) is 26024 acting
as the additional brake force in this train...
17. ...ensuring a steady rather than
a reckless pace down the long steep hill between Birkhill and Kinneil.
18. I had also heard earlier that a
stop was planned at kinneil, so I was again able to get ahead of the train and
film it coming into sight in Bo'ness...
19. ...and approach the throat of
20. At the throat of the station it
headed right into the yard area...
21. ...and I got a view from above
22. ...and 37403.
23. As well as filming the train
I had also been attempting to take digital 'esnaps' that morning, but until
now very few had turned out well enough to use here. However it was now daylight
(albeit a dull day), and since the train paused whilst under the footbridge
I was standing on, I got a chance to nurse it into taking a usable picture
24. And when the train set out
slowly into the yard I used the same settings to get more pictures. Here
37025 and the front of 37413 can be seen...
25. ...and now a complete view
27. ...and finally 26024...
28. ...and 26024 pictured again. (Included
entirely because I wanted to!)
29. My last picture shows the entire
'special delivery' working from the side as it heads off into the yard. I am
actually standing in the car park at Bo'ness station as by now I barely had
enough time to hop into my car and got to work, which I did only a few seconds