I have just returned from my 4th gala of the year so far. Seven engines in steam at the East Lancs Railway, a busy timetable and the goods train out ensured that we were offered something special. It has to be said all of the galas so far this year have been magnificent and a credit to the teams that have both organized and ran them.
Now to the title. Heres a strange thing. You see for this gala I decided to base myself from the small village of Summerseat. Some of the best scenery on the ELR is here and there's plenty of spots to keep a photographer happy. One of these spots is a tunnel near to the viaduct. I arrived at the tunnel shortly after the last train had gone through towards Ramsbottom. My aim was to get a face on shot of the Black 5 going the other way. This required waiting for about 10-15 minutes.
As we were waiting, some smoke that had been stuck in the tunnel from the last train started to get blown out our end. There was so much that it looked as if another train had come past. The strange thing is that this was a good 10 minutes after any steam engine had been in the area.
As our train eventually entered the tunnel at the North end, the smoke intensified. This meant that by the time it came out, rather than getting a beautiful shot of a Black 5 emerging from the tunnel, I got a Black 5 emerging from fog! No tunnel in sight!
One aim for this gala was to catch 'the Duke' after he missed the best part of the last gala. Its only the second time I've managed to catch him on film (memory card).
This was the last gala for a while that I'm down to attend. I was originally going to the Battlefield gala but that has now been moved to September I believe. That means the calender is clear until April. If anyone has suggestions for dates I may have missed shout them out. Otherwise I think a bit of time on my home line (Worth Valley) is in order!
The full gallery of the East Lancs Gala can be found at: East Lancs Steam Gala - Feb 2012