The Cathedrals Express in Salisbury

During my time in Salisbury I saw many odd trains come and go, and one of the more memorable visits was that of the Cathedrals Express. Unfortunately I always have the dilemma of either taking stills, or shooting video. On this occasion I took both. The occasion was a Cathedrals Express passing though the city where the loco, a Stanier Class 5, number 44932, would pause for a drink, and pick up passengers. It was not exactly a great day for train watching, in fact by the time I got there it was still misty and chilly.

The end of the platform where the train stands is probably one of the better spots to wait out a train coming from that direction, however, you need to be alert as it is really just a short distance from the curve where the trains comes around from. On this particular morning I seem to recall the train was running slightly late, and an outbound DMU was heading past us when she popped up around the corner. I was fortunate that I was already shooting video when it happened, but there is more footage of the DMU than there is of the steamer. 

By the ingenuity of modern technology here are two screen caps of the loco going past. 


The loco at the opposite end of the train was diesel-electric 33207 “Jim Martin” in West Coast Railways livery.

Now for some reason one little boy would not get out of my frame, he just wanted his father to take a pic of him and I wanted a pic of the loco, and so he ended up in my shot and I always have to clone brush him out. I hope that one day he has a love of railways because he was really enthusiastic about being there.

People were climbing in and out of the train and a vast horde were heading towards the waiting steamer. Unfortunately Salisbury no longer has water facilities for steam trains, so the loco stops at the end of the platform and they run a hose from a fire engine parked in the street outside the station to the tender of the loco. 

There was quite a throng of rubber neckers at this point and I was really struggling to get a decent shot.  

But, eventually I found it, and I am quite pleased with the results. It is just a pity there was no sun on that day.

I was ready to wait it out at this spot as she left, and would probably end up being covered in the hot steamy breath of her, but, when departure time came I neglected to hit the shutter, or did a double shutter so my video did not happen! Much to my disgust!

And then she was gone, the end of the train passing me and heading off towards her next stop.  This whole process took very little time, in fact I think we waited longer for the train to arrive than we did for them to water her and load her passengers. She was in and out and gone in the brief few minutes of that misty Saturday. But then that is what train spotting is about: that brief moment when the train fills your viewfinder and then goes past you.  This was not the only Cathedrals Express visit that we had. In December of 2013 a double header came through and I watched her too, but my pics were lousy (and so was the weather).

I was also fortunate enough to arrive at the station one evening to find the Cathedrals Express parked in the station and the loco at the head was Tornado.


My dilemma was: would I hang around and watch her leave? or cross to that platform and get pics from that side? My own train would also be arriving soon and I also risked missing that. I crossed to that platform but was too late as the train started to pull out as I emerged, so all I got was a few seconds of footage of coaches. Sadly, that is just how things go. 

 © DRW 2014-2022. Created 17/05/2016

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