Tuesday 20 December 2011

Railway Children

"Why are we all so excited by steam?
The boys young passion, the old man's dream"

I can just about remember travelling by steam train and watching the express trains roar past as a child, before the then British Railways switched to diesel and electric locomotives - there's a fascinating film clip of the last steam service running on 11th august 1968.

Despite their demise over 40 years ago, steam trains still hold a fascination for small boys, which is why on a cold December day we turned up in the rain to ride the Santa Special at the Moors Valley 7 1/4" gauge Steam Railway. Despite the rain the ride past the lake and through the country park was great, especially the station and engine sheds with old fashioned drop arm signals, signal boxes, sidings etc.

More recently and comfortably an indoor event, we visited the Fareham & District Model Railway Club, one of the layouts had "Scaletrix" type controllers so that children could drive the trains, we had quite a job getting Joe away from Thomas the Tank Engine and friends.

Needless to say our house is full of trains and track, and the works the Reverend Audrey. I suspect Santa might be coming down the chimney with a new engine and some carriages.


  1. I may be a bit older than you because steam trains were the norm in my youth. The main east coast line ran past our school playing field and I remember how excited we were when the first diesel electric prototype engines (Deltics) started hauling passenger trains on that line.

    Yes, we were excited to see diesels! It was like something out of science fiction. wave of the future!

    But of course steam is much more romantic.

  2. We lived close to the Western region main line - as built by Brunel - don't recall seeing a Deltic but I have a die cast Hornby oo one from early to mid 1960's in the loft - for when Joe get's older honestly!

  3. I think the Deltics only worked the East Coast main line. For some reason the Western Region went with diesel hydraulic locos at first.

  4. Have a Marklin train set in the loft, must get it even if our youngest is 24!


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