As July (and the good weather it seems) draws to a close, as expected I made my first visit to the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway at Wirksworth last Saturday, being one of the more recently established lines it's unfair to judge against much more long established rivals, but compared to other more recent arrivals onto the scene, the EVR is very pleasant and has potential to do well once it and it's facilities are further established.
A leisurely drive up the scenic A6 found me at Wirksworth well in advance of the first steam departure at lunchtime, a nice surprise I had found out the night before was that 1300 was now carrying it's BR guise as 52322, while the Lancashire & Yorkshire livery it usually carries is attractive enough, the BR look blends in much better with the rolling stock and surroundings, before she was due on the train down to Duffield, a ride was taken on the Bubblecar up the short Ravenstor branch, I have a fondness for these type of first generation DMU's having worked my local lines when I was growing up in the 80's and 90's, a round trip to Duffield was then taken behind the Aspinall 3F through the surrounding farmland, with signs of the railway looking to increase capacity with work on a passing loop at a yet to be opened intermediate station of Shottle.
One current disadvantage to the EVR (though possibly to be rectified in time) is that photography is very difficult, with most trains currently overhanging the platforms and very few spots along the line to take good pictures due to vegetation growth, hopefully this latter problem can be addressed when more pressing matters have been attended to, so I have to do with pictures of 52322 running round, although I did manage a very nice picture of her departing the only currently open intermediate station of Idridgehay.
Overall I was impressed with the EVR, which has the potential to be a very pretty ex Midland branchline once further established.
You may also has noticed looking through the photo pages this last weekend that the Shakespeare Express has finally reappeared, the disappearance of the hot sunny weather is not totally unrelated, the various downpours have now meant it's finally safe to run steam unassisted again (in the Midlands at least, other area's are still seeing diesel assistance until more rain produces), hence I chose the nearby spot of Wadley's Road footbridge in Solihull, due to the nature of the location in a shallow cutting with high tree's, it favours an overcast day so no shadows are encountered and luckily some cloud produced at the right moment, 4965 was certainly not hanging about, doing the full 60MPH allowed as it charged past on it's way to Tyseley and Birmingham beyond.
Next weekend looks rather quiet on the face of it so there is unlikely to be an update for two weeks when I visit the Bluebell Railway in Sussex as mentioned previously in this blog, I might see the Shakespeare again next week if favourable weather and commitments allow, but I do have a life away from chasing trains around the country (hard to believe, but there you go).
Until next time (assuming anyone actually reads this yet), cya.