Saturday 28 March 2015

Mid Norfolk Railway Diesel Gala Special.

There are occasions doing this I think I need to be sectioned. Today was one of those occasions when I decided to abandon myself in the middle of nowhere, despite a miserable weather forecast, just to take a few pictures of some Diesel hauled trains. This weekend is the Mid Norfolk Railway's Diesel Gala, and for someone like me, who unlike most isn't that turned on by steam trains, it is an opportunity to see some classic diesels in use, as well as seeing some still in everyday use.

After last week's Norwich Bus Running Day, where there were more cameras than I've seen for a long time around, I decided that I wanted to get as far from the madding crowd as possible, so I could get some un-crowded and unique photos. Thus I stationed myself, literally, at Kimberley Park Station, near Hingham, which today wasn't being used and trains were running fast, just slowing down for the level crossing there.

The platform and level crossing at Kimberley

It turned out to be an ideal location, and thanks to the amiable Crossing Keeper, who pointed me in the direction of a footpath giving me a great shot of Dereham bound trains, I got some pretty good pictures..

First train to come my way was Class 31 loco 31 271. The advantage to being at Kimberley was I got to hear all these wonderful locos at full throttle - real music to my ears. The timetable claimed this would be two 31's, but due to Colas pulling out at short notice some alterations had to be made.

31 271 approaching Kimberley heading for Dereham
Looking the other way towards the Station
I thought I would get bored rigid only having two trains every 70 mins, but the peace was amazing. No phone signal there so no tweeting, texting or anything else, just the sound of birds, lambs, a bit of traffic which wasn't intrusive, and my own thoughts. It was almost meditative. Even when it rained for an hour it sounded and smelled good!
The whole train moving into the distance
The next train was top and tail. NMR's own 47 596 at the front, with a GBRF Class 66 on the rear. 66 733 was a late replacement for the Colas. A nice combination, and I got to see it go both ways from some really good angles.
47 596 about to pass over the level crossing doing around 40 mph
GBRS 66 733 leading the way back to Dereham
And from the other side
This time the 47 is bringing up the rear

Next up was the 31 again, and I managed to get this lovely loco from two more different angles  the noise she made on the way back was just magnificent!
Going a milisecond too fast for the camera 31 271 heads for Wymondham
40 mins later thunders through Kimberley on way back to Dereham

I was unable to stay as long as I wanted, due to other commitments, and I thought I was going to miss out on seeing a Class 37, my favourite loco. Thankfully though DRS sent 37 419 to cover one of the missing Colas, and so I had just about my favourite sight on the railways - a 37 bearing down on me at track level. I wish I could have stayed longer as there were some I missed, but all in all a surprisingly rewarding, and peaceful day. Will have to go there more often for a couple of hours when steam and DMU's are running.

37 419 at full throttle heading for Wymondham

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