Tag: train

Oh great! it’s Great Malvern (2)

Continuing where we left off…

The War Memorial is directly in front of the library and has no names inscribed on it. It is described as:

WINGED SEMI-NUDE MALE FIGURE, REPRESENTING YOUTH, WITH ARMS STRETCHED UPWARDS HOLDING A FLAMING TORCH. THE FIGURE LOOKS UPWARDS TOWARDS THE TORCH. TREE ROOTS ARE WRAPPED AROUND THE FEET OF THE FIGURE, WHICH STANDS ON A STONE PLINTH AND FIVE STEPPED BASE. THE INSCRIPTION IS CARVED PROUD ON THE PLINTH.”

The inscriptions read:

12 O’Clock:  “TO THOSE WHO/ NOBLY SERVED/ 1914-1919/ 1939-1945

6 O’Clock: “THEIR LIFE THEY/ GAVE THE LIGHT/ OF LIFE TO SAVE

The memorial is a Grade II listed structure and it was unveiled in 1923 and was made by Captain Richard Reginald Goulden. (Information from Imperial War Museum War Memorials Register).

The rent was paid and it was time to head for the Priory, and I covered that in a separate post which you can find by following the arrow.

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Suffice to say the Priory looks like this….

By the time I was finished at the Priory it was 11H45 and I needed to head for the station if I was going to get my 12H40 train. I had pencilled the cemetery into my itinerary and doubted that I had enough time to do it as well.  Walking back to the station I passed the Malvern Theatres

And  photographed the very impressive Malvern Hills District Council building.

Then it was time to hit the station, although I did detour to photograph Christ Church Malvern.

The railway came to Malvern in 1860 and Great Malvern’s Station was completed in 1863. It was built from Malvern Stone by the architect Edward W. Elmslie.  The interior decoration and the columns was by William Forsyth. Unfortunately it is impossible to get a decent image of the station exterior because of its length and the position of trees and the sun. The interior is amazing though. The steelwork is wonderful and its almost wasted on a station. 

Platform 1

Platform 2 with the train to Hereford

It was a very pretty station inside with an almost holiday-like feeling about it.  

On the way back to Worcester I was able to grab a snap of the River Severn from the train, I had never seen that view before. 

I was back in Evesham by 13H20 and back home an hour later. It had been a long day that stretched from 06H00 till the completion of this post. Great Malvern was a very pretty place and some of the houses were stunning. It is however quite crowded as it has narrow streets and pavements and it is uphill too! If you don’t know how to use a handbrake you will not be able to survive there.  

Great Malvern was in the bag, and it was great!

Random Images

Malvern Hills from the train after passing Malvern Link Station (1024×342)

DRW © 2019. Created 13/09/2019

Updated: 16/09/2019 — 05:19

Retrospective: By train to Magaliesburg 12AR-1535

One of the more obscure centenary celebrations coming up is that of 12AR-1535 “Susan”. This steam engine is the only remaining member of the SAR Class 12AR in the world, as well as being Reefsteamers’ oldest operating locomotive and the second oldest operating main line locomotive in South Africa.  
She was built in 1919 by the North British Locomotive Works in Glasgow and joined her sisters in South Africa for service on the Germiston-Witbank line moving heavy trainloads of coal. She first entered traffic on 15 March 1920. The sisters were all reboilered at some point in their lives, and 1535 was reboilered in 1944, although her existing boiler was commissioned in 1955. 

Boiler plate of 1535

I first encountered her in 1985 when I was posted to the Germiston Telecommunications Depot. At the time she was the “station pilot” for Germiston Station, and she shone so much that she could blind you in the sun. She never really retired from service and was not restored from scrap or in a derelict condition. Fortunately her original service in Germiston means that she is really back home in the depot where she worked for so many years. I have a soft spot for her and enjoyed linesiding this small wheeled “4-8-2 Mountain” as she spent her retirement running heritage train for Reefsteamers. 
According to the EXIF data on the image below, Susan was brought back into steam on 28 March 2009 and I was present for a photography session with the people who had walked with her to that point.

(1500×1092). Back in steam. 28/03/2009

You can read more about her history on the relevant Reefsteamers page. Special thanks for Lee Gates for his work on that page and his continued posts on social media. 
 
It is not very often (especially in South Africa) that a steam working steam engine reaches her centenary, and with this in mind I am reposting the blogpost about the trip I did 10 years ago on 4 April 2019.  

By train to Magaliesburg. 12AR-1535

I got the opportunity to travel with Susan on 4 April 2009 from Maraisburg Station to Magaliesburg. The same consist as before was used and the schedule was almost identical to my previous trip with Elize. Some of the images used here were taken linesiding or when I intercepted other trips at Magaliesburg.


The two images above were taken on another trip that she made on 27 April 2009, I would definitely not stand here taking pics if I had been travelling on the train.
 
And then we were off,  eventually passing through Roodepoort Station where the plinthed 10BR slowly moulders away in the parking lot.

Through to Krugersdorp where we could pick up any passengers that had wanted to join there,

Past Millsite and the rows of derelicts that were not as fortunate as Susan was, and any goods wagons that were being shunted, 

and then past the disgrace that was Sanrasm.

And once that was past you could really relax and enjoy the ride for awhile and listen to the loco in front. At some point you would start the long climb towards the grain silos,

and then power along towards the end destination,
although the cutting really was the first sign that we had almost arrived.

This time around I had opted for lunch at the hotel, but I did not bail out there, but hung around at the station for awhile to watch them turn Susan. 

 

I then had to make a mad dash down the hill for my belated lunch at the hotel.
 
Arriving back suitably satiated, I discovered that Susan had been turned and was now on the opposite end of the train in readiness for our trip back.

And as usual, there was brightwork to be polished. These preserved loco’s are always turned out very well because they showcase our proud steam heritage. Susan, as station pilot in Germiston, was always in a supershine condition, there was a lot of pride in these machines, and that is still true today.

The sitters were empty as the passengers did their thing at the picnic area, quite a few were already tanked up before we arrived and they would sleep the return journey away. 
The passing of some Class 34’s really provided a photo opportunity, although I know which is the more handsome engine out of all those in Magaliesburg on that day.
Then the passengers were roused and the whistle blew and we were off, pausing at the hotel to collect a few more errant people before attempting the level crossing on our way out of the town. 
In 2011 I was in the area and stood at the level crossing watching this spirited departure which is available on Youtube, and it amazed me how even though the loco had started moving drivers still try to get across in front of her! You do not tackle a steam engine with a car because you will loose. 
Unfortunately though we literally crawled through the cutting and the hills, and I asked some of the guys why this had happened, and it turned out that the coal was of poor quality so she was really struggling. Susan is a freight loco with lots of power, but even poor coal can turn a steamer into a snail. I did take some video of the climb and pullaway, so all is not lost
 
And even today people wave at steam engines going past, because it is just something that is done. I feel sorry for those who have never experienced steam trains because they have lost a little bit of magic. Fortunately most people opted to relax on the trip home, and the kids stopped with the “pooop pooop” imitations and I was able to get some peace. I was not really in a mood to take too many pics, besides, everything you see here is very similar to what you saw in the other trip post. 
Even the desolate landscape that we passed just after Millsite was devoid of life, but then that area has been ravaged by mining and will take many years to rehabilitate, assuming that even happens in the first place.
And eventually we were home. The sun was low on the horizon and the people who climbed off were much more subdued than those that had climbed on this morning. Even Susan seemed tired, and she still had a long way to go before she could be bedded down for the night,
 
 
 More video: 
 
DRW © 2009-2019 Created 04/04/2009. images recreated 07/03/2016, edited and reposted as a retrospect on 04/04/2019
Updated: 07/04/2019 — 13:05
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