Home / Railway Gallery / Standard Gauge Heritage Railways / East Lancashire Railway / ELR 2019 / Non-event visits to the ELR in January 2019 [134]


Still no snow so far this winter, instead January started pretty much the same way that December ended, with grey, wet and miserable conditions, typical East Lancashire weather in other words. During my first visit of the month on Sunday 6th of January the services were running on a 'Blue' Timetable, which meant that there was a spare path in the morning and afternoon, but as the Dining Trains don't start running until later in the month, that meant that there were a couple of long gaps to fill, which I did by having a wander around the area, and photographing some old relics from the former Fallbarn Signal Box on the old Bacup Line, which was closed during the Beeching/Marple desecration of our railways in the 1960s. Locos in service that day were visiting GWR Tank engine 4270, and the DMU 104, but, as I failed to get a shot of this powerful little loco hauling the Santa Specials past Duckworth Lane back in December, I decided to squelch my way down there and try and get a shot of it arriving in there in the murk and drizzle.

With nothing much else going on at this time of the year it was back to the ELR again on Sunday 14th of January, but the big attraction this time was the return of one of Ian Riley's overwintering Black 5s '44871', which is usually out on railtour duties. Normally this puts in an appearance or two on the Santa Specials, but didn't this time, so it was good to have it out hauling the steam diagram on the service trains. The DUM's had also been changed as well from the previous week, with DMU 104 joined by DMU 122 this time. The weather was well and truly of the East Lancashire variety once again, and was even greyer, wetter and more miserable than it was the previous weekend. Not that I'm complaining of course, and as per usual I was as happy as a Sus scrofa domesticus in excrement at having such wonderful crap weather to play in! :-)

My plan to go down to Ramsbottom on Sunday 20th of January had to be changed as I'd heard that the recently restored Standard 4 '80097', which was purchased from Dai Woodham's scrapyard in Barry in 1985, and has been lovingly rebuilt by the folks at the 'Bury Standard 4 Group' would be out. I'd had a few glimpses of the loco, but it was great to see it topped and tailed with the visiting GWR 4270, and departing in some style as part of its testing and proving, before it gets its final paint job and lining out. Very impressive it was too, and a great credit to all the folks who have worked so hard to bring it back to life again, and hopefully giving it a long and busy life at the ELR. The DMU service was provided on this day by 112 & 104.

Final visit of the month was on Sunday 27th of January, and this time the locos in service were GWR 4270 on the steam diagram, Ian Riley's Black 5 '44871' on the Dining Train, and DMU 104 on the Diesel diagram. After hearing that Porsche GB would be visiting the Bury Transport Museum that afternoon I decided to travel down there (the results of this visit can be found HERE:), a few of the shots were taken at Bury Bolton Street Station and Castlecroft.

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