Hello and a warm welcome to Russell's Blog.

The purpose of my blog is to put into words and feelings some of the photographic events that I involve myself with.  An aide memoire that life is a journey.

Hopefully the content may amuse, inform, and, if I'm lucky, inspire and challenge readers who wander into this part of my website.

GBRf name 66779 'Evening Star' at the National Railway Museum on 10th May 2016

May 11, 2016

 

Throughout railway history its been common for locomotives to be officially named by the owning railway company.  Bestowing a name on a locomotive somehow makes it more unique and gives it an identity that a mere number never can.

The names chosen were many and varied - names of famous race horses, castles, mountains, greek gods - to name just a few sources.  Large cast metal nameplates were securely affixed prominently to both sides of the locomotive body so that the name could be proudly displayed.

For the freight railway companies operating today the names selected often mark a business link between the railway company and a particular customer.

The very last steam locomotive built for British Railways in 1960 carried the name 'Evening Star'.  Roll on 56 years and GB Rail Freight has taken delivery of the last class 66 locomotive to be constructed numbered 66779.  To mark the event the locomotive has been painted in a lined green livery and to complete the homage to that last steam locomotive, it too has been named 'Evening Star'.

The naming ceremony took place on 10th May 2016 in the Great Hall of the National Railway Museum in York. Appropriately, in addition to the surrounding historic railway artefacts, the steam locomotive Evening Star was positioned centrally and facing the 'new' Evening Star.

Pictures from the event can be found here;

http://www.russellwykes-photography.com/p610996479#h7069f2ff

 

Launch of new TransPennine Express and Northern Franchises on 1st April 2016

April 02, 2016

I was fortunate to have a media invite to attend the launch event of the new TransPennine Express and Northern franchises which was held at Manchester Piccadilly station on 1st April 2016.

Both First Group and Arriva Rail North have exciting plans for the development of their franchises over the next few years.  These include new rolling stock and increased train frequency, together with other changes to improve the journey for passengers.

It was interesting to meet personnel from both companies and I wish them success as they start to deliver their franchise commitments over the next few years.

TransPennine Express proudly displayed one of their class 185 units in new external branding.  It's certainly a striking change from the previous TransPennine Express livery of the First/Keolis partnership.

Pictures from the event can be found here;

http://www.russellwykes-photography.com/p816954225#h736d4a67


Progress with the construction of the new station at Low Moor, Bradford

March 04, 2016

It's always interesting to follow a building project from the early stages through to a successful finish.  Watching the various stages of construction and seeing how the separate elements finally come together.

For the past few months I've taken a keen interest in the development of the new station at Low Moor, Bradford. Network Rail is delivering the station on behalf of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA).  The Buckingham Group is the principal contractor.

​Images from my latest visit on 26th February 2016, together with those from previous visits, can be seen here;

http://www.russellwykes-photography.com/f327090396  

It's always fascinating to compare the latest images with those from my earlier visits to see how much has been built in the intervening time.

I'll be making another visit before too long.  I wonder how much more will have been completed by then?  

 

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