Home / Railway Gallery / Railtour Gallery / Railtours in 2018 / The Pennine Moors Explorer - 8th of December 2018 [5]


A railtour passing through this area is something of a rarity, and it's quite some time since I last saw or even photographed one around here. When I heard that 'The Pennine Moors Explorer', which was run by Saphos Trains, and hauled by Class 7 Britannia Class loco 70000 'Britannia', was going to be passing through Rochdale on the afternoon of Saturday 8th of December I was quite surprised, but this turned out to be because the train had been diverted from its original route due to guaging issues. Well with not much else going on locally it seemed like far too good an opportunity to miss. The weather was pretty awful, in fact on the Windypics Crap Weather Scale, this was probably bordering on a 4 out of 5 at times, and it was a good job that I had my waterproofs on, though this did also mean that my plans to video it as well had to go out of the window due to the lack of a weatherproof means of doing that. For once I did wish that we'd had a fine day, as there is usually a very impressive backdrop of the Pennines at that point, and I'd hoped that with luck I might also get a Metrolink Tram passing overhead just as it arrived, but no such luck this time. Oh well, at least I did get a few shots, and even managed to get them in focus, which was an achievement in those conditions.

I could tell that I was a bit rusty in the railtour photting department as I was so intent in getting 'Britannia' in focus that I completely forgot to take a wider shot of the whole train, and I can only put it down to a mixture of encroaching senility, a waterlogged brain, a bloody great electronic signal post that someone had stuck at the end of the platform since my last visit there, and which was distracting me, and not having done it for a while. I had also thought that with the RMT on strike again there would be no service trains, and I could use the new bay platform, but Northern Fail were running one train every hour, and it was just my luck that it was occupying the bay at the time the tour came through. I will do better next time, and must start making an effort to catch the odd ones that pass through Accrington and Blackburn again when I get the chance. Still, the important thing was I enjoyed my visit, and it was well worth the soaking to see a classic steam icon even if only for a few minutes. The one thing that did surprise me though was the lack of a diesel loco on the back end, and I was sure it had said that a Class 47 would be accompanying it on the railtour listings, and I can only assume that they either lost it somewhere, or one of the local scrotes in Burnley had nicked it while it was parked up somewhere! :-)

I noticed that the tour, which was fully booked this time, is also scheduled to run again on the 7th of December 2019, so maybe I'll try and catch it again and correct my mistake, honest, I really am that obsessive! :-)

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