Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 07/04/2011

I think I can, I think I can…

The blog title, straight into it tonight folks, is a better representation of today’s events than the image I’ve actually posted but as I didn’t have a camera to hand when I needed it – this is all you’re getting I’m afraid.

I often see the busy mainline trains zooming too and from London, carrying all the commuters, cramped up against one another like sardines in tins. Occasionally a freight locomotive will pass by carrying anything from coal, ballast,containers and even long lines of wagons full of new cars. Today, however, was much more interesting.

I was working early, having seen the first appearance of the incandescent sun as it hung just above the tree line, when I happened to glance away from what I was doing and saw a diesel locomotive hauling a rake of British Rail Southern Region coaches in their traditional green livery, normally only seen on Heritage Railways such as the Watercress Line. Imagine my surprise when at the very rear of the train was a steam train, 70000 Britannia, resplendent in it’s gleaming coat of black paint as it would have seen on wartime British Rail tracks.

A change is as good as a rest, as they say (THEY always seem to have a lot to say for themselves), and this certainly helped make up for the ungodly start time to the day. The best bit, however, was that despite the steam locomotive not being in steam, a driver was still present in the cab out of which he was leaning, seemingly enjoying his journey.

The icing on the cake came after mid day when the whole scene repeated itself but this time in reverse with Britannia now providing the motive power in the absence of the diesel from earlier. Toot toot.


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