Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer

~Steam is back in Burnley!~

11th April 2012

Wouldn't it be fab if the first train around the Todmorden Curve, once it is reopened, was a Black Five pulling a rake of heritage coaches? No Chance! of course, but in the meantime we can enjoy a visit from a charter train pulled by a steam engine. The first of two on consecutive Wednesdays.

Steam Train

Here it comes!

Scroll down for the photos....

Stanley Mill

Burnley View

The "old" mill in the centre is Stanley Mill, where, strictly speaking, I should have been at this time, but hey ho! I can make the time up.

Burnley Manchester Road

Burnley Manchester Road Railway Station

I don't need to tell you which direction the train is due from. It is unusual for the organisers to schedule a stop in Burnley, I have a spot on the bridge - all the best places on the ramp (left, out of picture) had already been taken and you just don't stand in front of a camera.

LMS Royal Scot Class 7P 4-6-0 no 46115 Scots Guardsman

LMS Royal Scot Class 7P 4-6-0 no 46115 Scots Guardsman

Steam Train LMS Royal Scot Class 7P
Letting off Steam

The intended engine was a Black 5, Scots Guardsan was a late replacement. I will have another opportunity to watch the train this evening on the return journey and then I won't feel quilty about bunking off work.

Pendle Hill

Pendle Hill

The juxtaposition of the mill chimneys and Pendle Hill is not an accident. Mill workers had just one day to get out and walk, did they ever get as far as Pendle Hill on their Sundays? Clarion Houses were dotted around the countryside offering refreshments to the escapees.



The viaduct, the gas holder and a cloud dancing to Saturday Night Fever.




And so to the evening. I chose to take a walk up on to Whitaker Naze, overlooking Cornholme and Portsmouth (out of pic, right). Local bridges were filling up with tripod-armed enthusiasts and I was determined to be the "highest" located photographer of the train.



Cornholme is in the West Yorkshire district of Calderdale, there are photographers on the lower part of the ridge on the other side, but I am the highest on the hillsides. Unfortunately the sunshine was short-lived as a big cloud got in the way.

Big Cloud

The Offending Cloud

Railway Line

To Burnley

My position on Whitaker Naze allows views in both directions.

Diesel Train

Diesel Train

You can tell this one is diesel as there is no smoke or steam coming out of it. This was a practice shot and I had two cameras with me and I was trying to decide which would be best for the long distance views. Olympus SP550UZ got the vote.

Steam Train

First View of the Steam Train

The train is climbing up the valley, making plenty of noise and offering a good display of steam.

Steam in Cornholme

Steam in Cornholme

Here comes the train. I suppose that this would have been a common sight fifty years ago and no one would have clambered up here with a camera. And the view would have been in colour! Not in black and white as we are accustomed to seeing.

Scots Guardsman in Cornholme

The Roses Express


No. 46115

By taking the high ground, I sacrificed the opportunity to take good, detailed photos of the engine....

Cliviger Gorge

Cliviger Gorge

...but I was able to see the train for longer across a wider landscape. The train has just entered Lancashire and will soon entertain all the cameramen (and ladies) on the bridges.

Steam Train in Cliviger

Rail Enthusiasts

Look at all those cars in the layby, the photographers are stood alongside the wall and on the bridge.

Steaming Off to Burnley

Last Look

Memories of a Portsmouth lad, Bryan Sugden:

"I well remember when I was young and living at number 834. My bedroom window looked out onto the railway line which was only about 30 yards away and on the same level as the window.
Because it was uphill from Todmorden the fire box on the engine was always open and being loaded with coal. At night time all you could see was the glow of the fire which lit up the hill side, and in winter the the engines were always skidding on the frozen lines.
Another thing you may be interested in is that on the freight trains there were always two engines , one at the front and one at the back. This was help get the train up the gradient from Todmorden to Portsmouth. The back engine turned round at Copypit and went back to Todmorden. In fact I don't think it actually turned round, it went to Todmorden backwards.
During the day my friends and I spent many a happy hour siting on the fence at the back of our house looking and waving at the engine drivers. We always got a wave back and on some occasions even got given a ride on the foot plate to Portsmouth station."


Look around t'internet and YouTube for more photos and videos.

Next Wednesday (18th April) : The Roses Express - check the timings nearer the time. Doesn't stop in Burnley this time, but will be using the same line between East Lancashire and West Yorkshire.

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2012 ©

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....