The named train headboards added a certain panache to diesel-hauled expresses, but such extravagances were soon to disappear.The bulky 'Thames-Clyde' headboard did not sit easily on the top lamp iron of the 'Peak' class locomotives, as can be seen in this shot above of the train heading through Newlay Cutting.(Below) The same heavy coal train on another day..Class 4F wheezed through Newlay cutting marginally faster than a glacier, the crew clearly struggling; why the operating department couldn't provide a more powerful Class 8F for this working I don't know!(Above-Below) In an effort to conserve energy, an experimental variation of the Class 9F 2-10-0s appeared on the London Midland Region when ten locomotives, Nos 92020-92029, were built incorporating the Italian Franco-Crosti double boiler.That's why I'd made a start on photographing the Aire Valley line before it was too late...Thirty-odd years later, however, and it has all ended up in tears..1991 I stupidly dropped a lighted cigarette among my boxes of treasured railway memorabilia...whooomph! Oh dear, On searching through the smouldering scrag ends I discovered the majority of my 35mm railway negatives had turned into a pile of ash and my prized collection of colour transparencies had melted into a solidified lump of plastic. I still have some old photos and my battered 50-odd year-old photo diary somehow survived; the scorched pages (below) show details of photos taken in October 1960; it includes a note of the locomotive, date, location, shutter speed and f-stops…the exposure details were important as I didn't have a light meter.
In January 1959, all local trains between Leeds and Bradford to Ilkley and Skipton were dieselised, but despite the economies the new dmu service brought, closures could not be prevented.
Most spotters have a love of the great outdoors and the solitude in the cutting was as close as I could get to nature.
In between the stately passage of trains (steam still carried considerable clout in those days) the peace and tranquility was a rural idyll that few railway photographers knew about and so I claimed it as my own.
Here Class 8F No 48209 heads a Leeds-Carlisle goods on June 11th 1962.
Amazingly, the Class 8F (introduced in 1935) was still doing the job for which it was built right up to the end of steam days in 1968...a fitting testimony to Stanier's design.
(Below) In the opposite direction No 48084 trundles by with a rake of coal empties.