Steam in England
07 to 16 March 2020

England has an outstanding collection of steam locomotives that operate on a diverse selection of preserved railways. Geoff has included
these lines for many years, but in 2020 he is offering something different, a week long tour that features photo charters on three different
railways with big mainline steam locomotives. Working with Tanago, our partner tour operator, and photo charter specialists in England, this
tour offers a unique opportunity to go line-side with your camera. Transport and accommodation are included in this exciting package.  

The railways featured in this programme are run by volunteer preservation groups that may only finalise their plans in January each year
and start running trains in March or April. Changes may become necessary due to equipment availability, timetable changes and other
factors beyond our control.  

Saturday, 07 March 2020
Meet this morning at London Heathrow Airport or at London Paddington Station. Around noon, depart on a First Great Western train to
Alternatively, travel
independently to Paignton and check into your hotel, which is within walking distance of Paignton station.
Overnight: Travelodge hotel in Paignton. Meals: none

Sunday, 08 March 2020
The Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company (P&DSR for short)
Our day will start and finish at Paignton. We will run with passenger stock throughout and will return for a short lunch break in Paignton while
the locomotive is coaled and watered. The bakery directly opposite the railway station will be open from 06.00 and it will be possible to
obtain food at lunchtime. We will meet for our customary but important safety briefing at the PDSR station at 06.45 before heading out onto
the line for our first early morning shots around Goodrington just after 07.00.

We will have to take water more often than the line’s larger locomotives do and to facilitate this the Railway will base a temporary supply at
Churston for use during the charters. We will also transfer between some locations using a bus provided by the Railway as this will allow us
to change locations while 4555 is being watered. This will be the most efficient use of our photography time, giving us over five hours of run-
past opportunities during the day.

No.4555 was built in 1924 and was originally shedded at Tyseley Depot. It worked in Wales out of Machynlleth and Pwllheli depots and
ended its career in the West Country, being withdrawn from Plymouth Laira Depot in November 1963. The loco was purchased by two
Midlands-based enthusiasts, Pat Garland and Pat Whitehouse, and could still be seen in main line action locally around Birmingham after it
had been secured for preservation. No.4555 received a light overhaul and came with a kit of spare parts including a reserve boiler, this
being the final boiler to be overhauled at Wolverhampton Works. The locomotive hauled the first public train on the preserved SDR (then the
Dart Valley Railway) and also worked the last BR-era goods over the line in 1962. Transfer to what is now the Paignton & Dartmouth Steam
Railway came in 1973 where it has remained based ever since, and the engine has recently benefitted from a major overhaul.
The Paignton & Dartmouth Railway is a picturesque branch line boasting several impressive viaducts, seaside running and views across
the river. There are a multitude of photographic opportunities available.

This evening there will be a night shoot at Kingswear station.

Overnight: Travelodge in Paignton. Meals: breakfast (may be packed).

Monday, 09 March 2020
The Dartmouth Steam Railway
Our second day with 4555 at the Paignton & Dartmouth Steam Railway sees us using the locomotive both facing chimney first out of
Paignton and then, following turning at Churston, facing chimney first into Paignton to allow us to include the shots leaving Greenway just
beyond the Halt, and then Higher Ferry and Greenway Viaduct later in the afternoon.

Our day will start at 06.45 at the PDSR station at Paignton with our customary yet most important safety briefing before leaving chimney first
for our first shots near Goodrington just after 07.00. At around 10.15 we will turn the locomotive at Churston after which the train will be
repositioned ready for the shots along the lane on the Paignton side of Greenway Halt. The loco will face Paignton for the remainder of the
day allowing us a range of different opportunities from those offered on Sunday. We will arrive back at Paignton at around 17.00 hours.

The locomotive is paying the briefest of working visits to its home line before leaving to work contracted services on other heritage lines, so
this is a limited chance to recreate scenes of some forty years ago on this scenic and picturesque railway.

Overnight: Holiday Inn, Winchester. Meals: breakfast (possibly packed).

Tuesday, 10 March 2020
Midhants Railway
Enjoy a full day of photography at the Mid-Hants Railway featuring Ivatt 2MT Class 2-6-2T No.41312 at the head of a short mixed goods train.
We will be able to travel by train throughout which is good news! The lineside is looking good at the moment with the Railway having
undertaken clearance at a number of advantageous locations and our BR black-liveried locomotive should make a fine sight with a branch
line goods working.

No.41312 was built at Crewe in May 1952 by British Railways to a LMS design by H G Ivatt dating from 1946-47, one of a class numbering
130 engines. The locomotive spent its entire career working in the south of England, being first allocated to Faversham, later moving to
Ashford in May 1959. In January 1960, No.41312 was allocated to Barnstaple Junction to work the Torrington branch as well as Ilfracombe to
Exeter services. Further moves were to Brighton in 1963 and then to Bournemouth In 1964 to work the Swanage and Lymington branch
lines; in April 1967, No.41312 worked the final steam-hauled service over the Lymington Branch. After three months working out of Nine
Elms Depot on shunting duties for Waterloo, withdrawal came in July 1967 as Southern Region steam reached the end of the line. The
locomotive was rescued for preservation and later returned to steam under the ownership of John Jones, working its first service trains in
preservation on New Year’s Day 1999. It ran a number of lighter main line rail tours in the south of England in the late 1990s as well as
visiting a number of other heritage lines when not in use at the Mid-Hants Railway. The locomotive was most recently overhauled in 2016
and was purchased by the Mid-Hants Railway in 2019. It is a typical small branch line locomotive of the 1950s and 1960s, ideal for the train
and period we are seeking to portray.

Our day will start at Ropley Station where we will meet at 07.30 for our customary but most important safety briefing prior to an expected
08.00 start. We will work our way along the line taking in as many good photographic locations as possible according to weather conditions
on the day. We hope that the Railway’s cafe at Arlesford will be open - if not, it is only a short distance to walk to the nearby high street.
A small locomotive on a short goods train should look excellent at the Mid-Hants Railway. The engine faces chimney first towards Alton
which gives us a lot of photographic opportunities. Let’s hope for some fine Spring weather to set off what should be an enjoyable day of
steam photography!

Overnight: Holiday Inn, Winchester. Meals: breakfast (possibly packed).

Wednesday, 11 March 2020
Midhants Railway
Today, our train will comprise Ivatt 2MT Class 2-6-2T No.41312 hauling a short train formed of the Railway’s green PMV plus two green
Bulleid coaches. This combination should look absolutely stunning aesthetically and one hundred per cent authentic. A small locomotive in
British Railways lined black livery at the head of a rake comprising two green Bulleid coaches and the superbly restored PMV is an ideal
combination and should look great working hard as it climbs The Alps. The lineside is looking good having been cleared by the Railway at a
number of advantageous locations, and we hope you will join us in Hampshire for what promises to be an excellent day of branch line
railway photography.

Our day will start at Ropley Station where we will meet at 07.30 for our customary but most important safety briefing prior to an expected
08.00 start. We will work our way along the line taking in as many good photographic locations as possible according to weather conditions
on the day.

Overnight:  Ramada Hotel, Loughborough. Meals: Breakfast (possibly packed).

Thursday, 12 March 2020
The Great Central Railway
Enjoy a full day of steam action plus an evening session at the Great Central Railway using British Railways Standard ‘2MT’ Class 2-6-0 No.
78018 at the head of a short local train. We will run with two to three carmine and cream Mark I coaches and, for part of the day, with two
twelve ton box vans to form a mixed train with the vans coupled between the loco and the coaching stock.

Our day will start from Loughborough at 09.30. We will gather at 09.00 for our customary but most important safety briefing and will ask for
food to be served in the griddle car from 08.30 onwards. We will make our way up the line taking in as many good photographic locations as
the light allows, collecting the vans at Swithland. This charter will continue beyond Swithland to take in locations on the single-track section
between Rothley and Leicester North, providing us with a number of shots not usually include on charters.

No.78018 is an ideal locomotive for this type of short local train. One of a class of 65 locomotives, 78018 was built at Darlington North Road
Works in 1953. It achieved cinematic fame for being the loco needing to be rescued from a deep snowdrift on the Stainmore line, the
resulting film of the rescue being Snowdrift at Bleath Gill. It was variously based at Chester Midland, Workington, Nuneaton and finally
Shrewsbury, from where 78018 was withdrawn in November 1966. The loco arrived at the Great Central Railway in 2012 and returned to
steam in 2016. It is owned by the Darlington Railway Preservation Society and is under the custodianship of the Loughborough Standards
Locomotive Group while based at the GCR.  

Overnight: Ramada Hotel, Loughborough.

Friday, 13 March 2020
The Great Central Railway
Today, we offer a day of photography using the Great Central Railway’s resident ‘5MT’ Class 4-6-0 No.45305 hauling carmine and cream
passenger stock including the griddle car. We will start from Loughborough Station and work our way along the line, switching to goods
stock around mid-day for shots on the section between Quorn and Swithland. It is our intention to include locations such as Beeches Road,
Quorn straight, approaching and leaving Quorn plus the more familiar locations around Swithland.

No.45305 was built for the LMS by Newcastle-on-Tyne contractors Armstrong Whitworth in 1937 as part of the largest batch of steam locos
ever constructed by a British company. It was withdrawn for scrap from Preston’s Lostock Hall Depot near the close of British Railways main
line steam in Summer 1968 and was to have been the last steam locomotive cut up by Drapers of Hull. A last-minute reprieve meant the
loco was saved for preservation and it has made many appearances on main line steam specials over the years since its first return to
steam on 12th June 1976. In 1984, the engine was named Alderman A E Draper after the two-time mayor of Hedon who was responsible for
securing 45305 for preservation and the locomotive carried this name for several years. The Black Five is approaching the close of its
current boiler ticket which is due to expire in late 2020.

The locomotive is owned by Albert Draper & Sons Limited and is maintained by the 5305 Locomotive Association to whom we are grateful
for allowing the use of their engine on this charter. No.45305 carries lined BR black livery which allows us to recreate authentic scenes from
the late 1950s and early 1960s.

We aim to meet at Loughborough Station at 09.00 for our customary yet most important safety briefing and an 09.30 start. We will ask for
food to be available in the griddle car from 08.30 onwards. There will be a short break at lunchtime while the loco is coaled and watered and
we aim to finish photography at sunset.

Overnight: Ramada Hotel, Loughborough.

Saturday, 14 March 2020
Your tour ends today with a road transfer to either Birmingham Airport and Birmingham International railway station or London. Arrival at
Birmingham will be about 09h00 and at London Heathrow in time for afternoon flights.

Post tour extension
If you would like to spend a few more days exploring Britain's steam railways, spend the weekend with Geoff Cooke.
The trains to and from Kidderminster, hotel and Severn Valley Railway tickets will be provided at cost to Travel Club members.
The details listed here only apply if you have requested the services and your participation has been confirmed.

Saturday, 14 March 2020
Travel from Birmingham International to Kidderminster this morning, arriving in Kidderminster at 10h18.

The Severn Valley Railway will be operating between Bewdley and Bridgnorth as a Victorian brick viaduct between Kidderminster and
Bewdley is being repaired. Motor to Bewdley, a short drive from Kidderminster, and spend the rest of the day riding on the Severn Valley
Railway using a freedom of the line rail pass. If you stay on the train you should be able to enjoy four round trips behind steam before
returning to your hotel.
Overnight: Kidderminster.

Sunday, 15 March 2020
Spend a second day on the Severn Valley Railway with a freedom of the line pass. There will be five steam trains running today with one
locomotive in steam, but there are other attractions to visit including the museum at Kidderminster, the enginehouse museum at Highley
and the attractive town of Bridgnorth with its funicular railway.
Overnight: Kidderminster.

Monday, 16 March 2020
This morning, take a direct train from Kidderminster to London Marylebone station.
Leave Kidderminster at 08h09 and arrive at London Marylebone at 10h40.
Geoff's Travel Club