Some British scenes from the 70's

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As a student and later a junior doctor in the 1970's I had two major interests: trains and photography. (Not studying or working, needless to say.) I spent much of my time travelling around Britain trying to capture, not just trains, but the buildings, people, and scenery that also form an integral part of a railway. Looking again at these pictures twenty years later I am struck by how much has gone. Maybe the Internet can keep some of these scenes alive, at least in "virtual reality".

The Woodhead line

Woodhead line (59K)

The Woodhead line always fascinated me: the only line in Great Britain with overhead 1500 V DC electrification, passing through some fine though often bleak moorland scenery between Manchester and Sheffield. Sometimes passenger trains were diverted over this line on a Sunday; otherwise it was reserved for freight. Now the line has disappeared, the rails torn up, the electric masts and lines torn down, the 3-mile Woodhead tunnel abandoned.

I think the above picture of an unidentified Class 76 was taken somewhere near Wath.

More pictures of the Woodhead line

Manchester Victoria

Manchester Victoria Station (32K)

Sunlight and shade at Manchester Victoria. On the left 24 027, on the right a Derby 3-car dmu (both long since gone).


Blackburn Station (64K)

Another fine Victorian roof, this time at Blackburn, where I spent six months as a House Surgeon in 1979. From the ward where I worked you could see two-car dmus struggling up the steep incline out of Blackburn towards Manchester. Sometimes a freight would clatter past during the Wednesday morning ward round, which was very distracting.

Lines ran east to Colne, south to Manchester, north to Hellifield (freight only) and west to Preston. The picture shows a two-car Cravens dmu about to depart for Preston and Blackpool.

The Lake District

Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway (64K)

"River Irt" of the narrow gauge Ravenglass and Eskdale railway at Dalegarth station. The couple on the extreme right of the picture are my parents.

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Revised 08 Jan 2005

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