Last train home reflection

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Last train home reflection

That's because the shock of seeing so many once-proud and still serviceable steam locomotives being towed away for scrap is engraved in granite, and stuff like that doesn't go away that easily.

It was the end of civilization as I knew it. But the misery didn't end there. When Beeching became BR chairman in he turned the screw even further.

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Not only did he orchestrate thousands of station closures, he slashed the railway network by half, and had the radio station given me a chance to explain Last train home reflection perplexing - and, some would say, chaotic background to train spotting in the Sixties - then I could have voiced my opinions in a more rational manner.

But the producer didn't want a mind-numbing lecture on railway history - 'It might send listeners into a coma,' he said. Well, he couldn't have put it more eloquently, though how anyone can describe the twilight years of steam as being deadly dull is the same as saying that people like me should be pitied and that's just asking for trouble.

Fast-forward a couple of Last train home reflection and the domain name, 'David Hey's Collection' is something of a misnomer. Getting to the point Below The renowned 3. Terry Sykes's study of 'Britannia' Pacific No Rudyard Kipling awaiting departure at Saltaire is a prime example of what could be expected.

With two large cylinders, six foot two inch driving wheels - plus a huge boiler producing an endless amount of steam…these locomotives exude muscle! What else could you want This all stations service - due into Carlisle at 7. By the mids, due to the poor state of BR's fleet of steam engines plus an abnormally high number of diesel failures it became increasingly difficult for Kingmoor to find a suitable steam or diesel loco with a power classification relative to the 3.

As a result an odd range of motive power appeared on the train, ranging from 'Clans' and 'Brits' through to 'Patriots' and 'Black Fives', and whatever else Kingmoor could find; indeed since the shed was one of the last outposts of steam, it became a Mecca for enthusiasts wanting to pay their last respects; a final glimpse of steam's endless struggle before the final curtain came down and the shed closed its doors to the last survivors on January 1st As a boy, Stephen Owens remembers seeing the 3.

However, dreams were inspired by this: The mid-afternoon stopping train left our station at four-six - six minutes past four - a perfect time for me to see it on my way home from school. It occurred to me, years later, that the only reason I went to that school was to see the four-six on my way home.

I spent half my afternoon lessons wondering about what I would see later. It's a great pity children are not similarly distracted today. My vantage point for seeing it was a bridge further up the line than the short tunnel which hid the station from view, and this made the train's appearance, so much more dramatic.

The four-six was always hauled by a steam engine; often, but not always, one with an inspirational name. I learnt much more about literature, geography and history, from the names of locomotives, than I ever learnt in my afternoon lessons.

And, its appearance from the short tunnel, a slow and gradual revelation, was always shrouded in smoke and steam, as if to keep its identity a mystery until the last minute.

Last train home reflection

It was a mixed train - I doubt there are such things anymore - a mixture of passenger coaches, parcels carriages and an odd assortment of vans at the back. It was always long, and it was always on time. I never caught the four-six, although I wish I had, and I can't imagine now, the people who did.

They were obviously people in no hurry; people with time and patience, and a sense of their destiny and the importance of the train. It started its journey in a woolly, industrial city - Bradford; then, beyond the smaller mill towns of Shipley and Keighley, continued through green fields to Skipton, and then to Settle.

It had already started to climb by now, and the scenery became bleaker and more desolate - sheep country. It passed the stark peaks of Ingleborough and Whernside; stopping at isolated, lonely stations - Ribblehead, Dent, and Garsdale; up hill and down dale, over viaducts, through countless tunnels, to Appleby, and green pastures new.

From here the line followed the Eden Valley, until arriving at the citadel at the end of the wall, on the northern border - the important railway town of Carlisle. It stopped at every station along the way; it was sometimes dark by the time it arrived at its final destination.

In summer, the journey might have been idyllic, but in winter, it could be intimidating and harrowing - it snowed aplenty in these parts. I can't remember what became of the train - schedule change or service withdrawn; but regardless, it became nothing more than an irrelevant piece of railway history.

Steam engines were consigned to preservation societies and museums; the passengers of the four-six, disappeared, as if into the ether. Years later, in India, I caught the mid-afternoon stopping train from Gaya to Patna.

It arrived in Patna early in the evening, where it terminated, and, by the sheer weight of disembarking passengers, I was swept along the platform and up over the bridge, toward the exit. From the bridge, I was distracted by a familiar noise; and at the far end of the station, I could see the telltale black smoke of a steam engine, rising beyond the signal gantry, with the red sun setting in the distance.

I wanted to turn around and hurry back to look at the locomotive, but, because of the crowd, I couldn't. It was the last time I ever saw a steam engine in India, and I didn't really see it. The following day, I waited patiently and optimistically, but there were none, and now they are gone - like the four-six.Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Last Train Home at grupobittia.com Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users.

Where to Catch-out. Find your local freight yard. There’ll be a train leaving or coming through there eventually. Look for train yards in the forgotten part of town, the part of .

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Last Train Home - Sample Essays