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A disgustingly modern display

While I was in Bath – while I was wandering down the hill to the train station in fact – a steam train came through. They are lovely beasts etc. This one was, I guess, 30s or maybe 50s. The Sir Nigel summat and it looked all streamlined ‘n’ stuff like the Mallard etc.

However, I was disgusted at this display of modernity. For it was an LNER engine, in LNER livery. Which is something you’d not have seen back in the proper days, before 1892.

Bah, Humbug.

23 thoughts on “A disgustingly modern display”

  1. Sir Nigel Gresley designed the A4 class of locomitives, including one famous record-breaking one called Mallard and a preserved one called Sir Nigel Gresley. They date from the 1930s and were built for LNER.

  2. Tim

    is this interest in steam engines an application of the know thine enemy principle?

    If so you could also try model railways; bird-watching; trips to concentration camps; falling out with your friends and business contacts; and getting yourself banned from local bars.

  3. a steam train came through. They are lovely beasts etc. This one was, I guess, 30s or maybe 50s. The Sir Nigel summat
    Yeah. The Sir Nigel Gresley. A Hornby Double-O version of which some kind nutter on EBay paid me 300 quid for not so long ago.
    They are lovely beasts etc. But not if you’re old enough to remember them. I can well recall the excitement as a child of standing on a bridge as a steam train passed below. The steam! The smoke! The noise! The smell of the coal! And with being covered in filth from head to foot & hurried home for a bath. In those days a journey on British Rail could leave you looking like you’d been down a coal mine. Similar for anyone lived near a railway line. Particularly if it was close to a station where the engine exerted itself the most. But the reminiscent middle classes never did, did they?

  4. I did actually take some visiting Froggies on the Bluebell Line a few years back. Of particular familial interest because an uncle once owned the destination. They enjoyed it. It seemed to be a remarkable slow, noisy, uncomfortable & expensive way of getting to nowhere & back. Bit like modern rail travel, really.

  5. Bravefart… Should the fact that I like model trains and steam trains require me to become a fat comptroller and aim to grow a funny moustache? 😛

    Steam trains are magnificent pieces of technology, and as dangerous as F1 cars to operate in their own right.
    Model railways require allll the crafts to build right and make them look right to scale. Another technical challenge.

    I bet the Potato likes model railways because it’s about the only thing he can unerringly control to his Schedules and Plans. Something that doesn’t happen in Real Life™ for him.

    People get different things out of the same hobbies…

  6. Forgive my pendantry, but Sir Nigel Gresley is painted British Rail Express Blue, not LNER Garter Blue, surprised that you didn’t spot that, Tim.

  7. Those were the days weren’t they? When you could have your own station. There’s one on the East Coast line if you know where to look. About half way between Ingatestone & Chelmsford. A private halt for a big house off of what was the A12. There must be lots of them. Anyone know of any others?

  8. Cor!

    I’m old enough to vaguely remember steam (I’m 62) but I have distinct memories of seeing and actually touching Mallard at the Clapham Railway Museum when my Mum took me. I can still remember the speed record (126mph) which I think she holds to this day.

    Surprisingly, my two Granddaughters (12 and 8) visited her in York at the last half term holiday and were equally impressed.

    Shame on them re-painting 4472 in BR colours tho… 🙁

    Incredible machines!

  9. Last Tuesday I was pulling out of one of farm entrances and looked up at the GW mainline on the embankment opposite, and Clun Castle thundered by, looking resplendent in the crisp sunshine. Just a shame the sight is ruined by those idiot electrification gantries 🙁

  10. Bloke in North Dorset


    Probably not quite what you’re after but the Royal Marines have their own station at Lympstone on the Exeter-Exmouth lines.

  11. Not that posh. The Co Op used to have one. Somerset and Dorset line, coming up out of Bath – Green Park, Bath Junction, Co Op, then Midford.

  12. “I’m old enough to vaguely remember steam (I’m 62)”

    I’m 66 and can remember father taking me to a bridge over a main line to watch a steam hauled express go through at top whack. It was noticeable how the engine was snaking from side to side due to the 90 degree offset of the connecting rods (which I believe weigh at least half a ton each). I’ve heard stories of steam locomotives loosing a rod and subsequently de-railing…

  13. “ Somerset and Dorset line, ”

    The “Slow and Doubtful”. There’s occasional muttering about its resurrection, but nothing ever seems to happen. Mind you, by all accounts nothing ever seemed to happen even when it was in operation, so perhaps they have successfully recreated its atmosphere.

  14. The steam locos will probably be the only things left running on the railways soon, when the national grid fails in the middle of some severe winter weather event when we get a combination of heavy snow, severe cold and no wind (a not unforeseeable combination).

  15. Surely these polluting carbon-belching Gaia-destroying behemoths should be banned, and everybody should use bicycles.

  16. The speed record of 126MPH for a whole 144 yards disintegrated the big end of the engine and it had to stop at peterborough. Call me a cynic but the engine destroying itself after 144 yards at top speed is a bit pants in my opinion.
    I read somewhere that at some stations they employed a nurse to remove bits of soot from passengers eyes. Say what you want about modern trains versus the romance of steam, i prefer not to need medical attention after a train journey.

  17. Probably not quite what you’re after but the Royal Marines have their own station at Lympstone on the Exeter-Exmouth lines.

    There used to be a railway station at the Royal Air Force College. It now serves as the main guardroom.

  18. The steam locos will probably be the only things left running on the railways soon,
    Oh I can foresee the return of those railway cars where you stand up & pump. They’ll likely be in bright green livery & adverts featuring the lycra clad & how fitness giving they are.

  19. Bloke in North Dorset


    Only light snow here but already 0 deg and forecast -5 deg. Gridwatch reckons 7% renewables of which 4% is biomass, and we all know how much of a scam that is.

    Largest supplier is gas at 59%, but it doesn’t tell us what proportion is imported fracked gas from the US.

    Next 2 biggest are nuclear and interconnect at 14% each. Let’s hope they honour the interconnect contracts when it gets really bad.

  20. Being particularly ancient (75) I travelled on many a steam train. My abiding memory is of the trans penine express. Definitely exciting, but the carriages were cold and mucky.

  21. I love the sign on the platform at Lympstone Commando: “Persons alighting here must have business with the camp”.

    I wonder what would happen if you alighted there without business.

  22. “Persons alighting here must have business with the camp”.

    Something I would have expected to see at Hampstead Heath Station.

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