Friday, 5 August 2016

The National Railway Museum...

Hi all. This weekend myself and Maisie were off to the North Yorkshire Moors and, on route, we decided to have a wander around York. As any self-respecting railway enthusiast knows, York is home to the wonderful National Railway Museum and no outing to the city would be complete without a visit. The NRM is the central home of the National Collection and welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors per year. This would be, if memory serves me right, my sixth visit to the museum and we arrived at around 11am. Having passed through the reception area (the NRM is FREE to enter) we sauntered down the steps into the Great Hall. The Great Hall includes the turntable area and a varied selection of beautiful engines rest peacefully at its border. The items on show within the museum are moved about periodically and this varies the display for the onlooker. The last steam locomotive built for BR: the 9F No92220 "Evening Star": was posed not far from the much older 1901-built SECR Wainwright D Class 4-4-0...
Two beautiful GNR examples were resting on the other side of the turntable. These were the amazing Stirling Single No1 and No990 "Henry Oakley"; the small-boilered Atlantic by Ivatt. 990 is the smaller version of the C1 4-4-2 which was complimented later on by the larger boiler type of which No251 is the sole survivor. The engines certainly made an impressive sight stood alongside each other...
"Stirling Single No1 and Ivatt Small-Boiler C1 No990 Henry Oakley"
Next to the GNR engines was "Lode Star"; GWR No4003 of 1907. She is the only remaining Star Class 4-6-0. The NRM is an interesting place to look around mainly due to the fact that it shows the development of steam. The GNR for example adopted the large wheel of the Single before moving on to the Atlantic's. The Great Western however found success in the Star's and nothing really changed in terms of development until the end of steam on the Western region. The Castle's and King's were developments on the Star's to some degree, but retained the crucial basics that other companies were determined to evolve from. For example, the change from Stirling No1 to "Mallard" is quite considerable, but the Star to the Castle shows very much sister-like similarities. Here is the immaculate cab of "Lode Star": its just beautiful...
We wandered into the next section of the Great Hall and into the "Flying Scotsman Story". This exhibition talks all about the famous engine and the famous train she and her shed-mates once pulled. One thing that was missing was "Flying Scotsman" herself but, through a small window, I did spot her. The familiar cab side and tender boxes were spotted, plus the number 60103. Almost every person was walking by this window without even noticing and I guess that was the idea. The A3 was there being prepped for a railtour this weekend and was not on public display. Interesting it was to think how people were spending so much time talking about the famous pacific and she was actually, unbeknown to them, only feet away. She was by no means close enough to photograph but she was definitely there. In the NRM workshop, work was continuing on A4 Pacific "Sir Nigel Gresley". The big blue engine is usually based on the NYMR at Grosmont but her current 10-year overhaul is taking place at York. A few hands were busy on the frames, needle-gunning away the old paint as surface preparation...
"Gresley A4 Pacific No60007 Sir Nigel Gresley"
From the works gallery we wandered through into Station Hall and admired the other coaches and locomotives on view. The Royal Train rolling stock is always worth a look. Returning to the Great Hall on our way out, we passed No2500; Stanier's chunky three-cylinder 2-6-4 tank engine. I hope they get this one going one day...
The Great Hall was now filling up due to the upcoming turntable demonstration, starring the 'Ugly Duckling': the Q1 Class 0-6-0. Those Q1's are strange looking workhorses...
"The Bulleid Q1 Class On The Turntable For The Demo"
It had been a brief but very pleasant visit to the National Railway Museum and I do very much enjoy it there. Its lovely to see such immaculate engines sat around being enjoyed by so many. One thing I will say though is that I was a little disappointed with the way certain engines were exhibited. The Terrier "Boxhill" is a good example, sat away in a corner somewhere in a corporate area. I know you can't display everything, I understand that, but there are wagons taking up valuable indoor space which could be utilised by locomotives. Lets face it, the general public probably want to see locomotives not wagons. Anyway, less moaning. After the NRM we wandered around York and had a nice afternoon shopping. From there we continued on towards our stop-over destination near Whitby. The main reason for the weekend up here was to visit the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and finally 'tick it off' the list. We were passing the Grosmont area on route to Whitby at around 6:30pm and so I decided to drive down (and down is the word - it must be a 1 in 3 into the village!) to the station to check it out. The Friday evening Diner was simmering in the platform under a tranquil sky...
At the head of the "Kingsthorpe Pullman" stood 1937-built LMS Black Five 4-6-0 No45428 "Eric Treacy". Eric Treacy was a railway photographer and former Bishop of Wakefield. The Black Five was simmering away to herself, awaiting the off at 7:15pm...
"Black Five 4-6-0 No45428 Eric Treacy"
It was a very nice atmosphere at Grosmont. The Black Five was simmering quietly away to herself with nothing but the sound of birdsong and evening pub chat from outside the Station Tavern. Having looked at the 5MT, I jumped back into the car and we continued on towards our hotel at Raithwaite Hall. We'll be travelling on the Diner tomorrow night and, of course, I'll be posting about it in due course. Cheers all, Sam...

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