Home / Railway Gallery / Railtour Gallery / Railtours in 2019 / Pennine Moors Christmas Explorer - 7th of December 2019 4

We don't get too many railtours passing through Rochdale Station, but on the odd occasions that it does happen I like to try and get along and take a few shots of them. This was the case on Saturday 7th of December when the 'Pennine Moors Christmas Explorer', which was run by Saphos Trains, passed through on its way back from Blackburn to Crewe with the 1Z41 service. The locos used on this service were steam loco 46100 'Royal Scot' and diesel D1924 'Crewe Diesel Depot' at the rear.

Rochdale Station is an island platform with 4 platforms, one of which is a bay platform which was installed just a couple of years ago, now if there aren't any service trains parked in there this offers the best view of any westbound trains, but there is a slight risk that you could get 'bowled' by one arriving at an inopportune moment, and so I usually go to the eastern end of Platform One, which doesn't offer quite such a good view, but doesn't offer this risk. The only downside with that is that following the conversion of the Oldham Loop to a Metrolink system, and various engineering work following the re-signalling of the Calder Valley line, there is now a lot of Network Rail's old crap lying around there now which doesn't make for such nice photos. Anyway, on this occasion I decided to risk the bay platform and with no service trains due I thought the railtour would have to be very late before I came unstuck there. Well, as we all know, railtours often do get delayed and in this case the Pennine Moors Christmas Explorer was around 10 minutes down when it finally shot through the station and I was starting to get a bit wary that I would end up getting 'bowled', and my fears were well justified. No sooner had Royal Scot passed me and I prepared to spin around and get a shot of the diesel loco on the back than the service train roared by me. Now that was lucky, another 30 seconds late and I would have missed it altogether - back to the messy end again next time I think!:-)

Last year's service was hauled by Britannia and I did have a few issues with the weather back then, though thankfully I did things a bit better this time, but as I nearly got 'bowled' I have to say that I could still do better, so I'll very likely be back again in 2020 for another try - third time lucky! :-)


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