I'm sure a lot of the more experienced Rail Enthusiast must've went through this at some point, be it the change over from steam to diesel or like me, a mix of finding new distractions, women, beer and work,plus loco hauled stuff, being replaced by units and HST's, killed the novelty factor. After a decade of not even looking at a loco, i was asked would I walk the dog whilst my grand parents were on holiday, as you do, I said yeah no hassle, one glorious day I set off with Butch and we walked to a small wooded area, where we'd walk along the public footpath, where I could let him off to run and forlornly chase and fail to catch a rabbit, this wood is right beside the ECML and Tyne Yard, a place as a kid, I'd spent many a happy time on the footbridge watching trains come and go, quite simply it was a mecca till my late teens. This day I ignored it totally, I just cut over the field and continued onto the public footpath into the woods and out the other side, as you come out, the other side of the wood, the foot path basically is at the foot of the embankment of the ECML to the left there's a huge sloping field, which we called Hay fever hill, as kids, basically because the Oil Seed Rape flowers, would be murder, on the hot summer days. Nowadays Hay Fever hill is dominated by Angel of the North. Anyway I digress, Im walking along the footpath by the embankment, I heard the screeching of brakes, I looked up and saw, the weirdest looking loco, in a blue livery, dragging huge blue coal hoppers, I was thinking what the hells this, turned out be N Power liveried 59201, that loco got me intrigued again but not back into it. I DO openly admit, that Butch's walks, were ever increasingly accompanied by a small notebook and pen but I just took the freight locos, predominately the Class 60's and the red and yellow plague, better known as the class 66's and ignored the rest. However a few months later, I walked onto Central Station just to have a look to see if there was anything remotely interesting to look at, for old times sake perhaps and was greeted by 47805, pulling in, I asked a guy, wheres this come from and was told, Bristol Temple Meads, it'll be going back to Birmingham later, I needed no 2nd invitation, I whizzed over the bridge and bought a return to Darlington, it was the most blissful 30mins, I'd had in a long time on the railway, however I still wasn't truly back, yeah I went out and rode the 47's, when work permitted and I thoroughly enjoyed that odd night out on the rails but all these new loco's and I didn't have a book to underline them, so I bought a platform 5 loco book, to my dismay a lot of what I had, had either disappeared at the hands of the cutters torch or been re-numbered, it was heartbreaking seeing great swathes of loco's had gone, the 08's, 20's, 26's, 27's 31's, 33's 37's, 47's and 50's seemed to bear the brunt of it.' 56's and 58's in France, some 37's also resided in Spain. Bizzare. All of a sudden I was hooked again, I done an overnighter in Carlisle, found myself marveling at the DRS fleet of classic traction but I still just wrote loco's down, basically because that was the only book I had up to date. A year or so later, on a trip to Crewe, I treated myself to Platform 5's 2010 combined book and after I'd completed the chore of marking up the whole wack, I found I was hooked again. So much so I repeated that very same chore 4 yrs later, albeit with the cheaper NREA book, when I found my book was now too far gone, it was a joke to call it outdated I'll be honest, I'm still a nostalgic fool, I still love 47's, hate peaks and even so there's great swathes of GM loco's (in various guises and train operators) on the majority of freight workings, new D and EMU's everywhere, the addition of 70's and brand new 68's too,(which I have to admit, I'm a fan of too) has added a fair bit more variety of late to the hobby. Fortunately some operators still use classic traction, Im glad to see a 50yr old loco still riding loud n proud on the mainline, earning its keep. Just a shame theyre not working summer Saturday trains from Yarmouth, Skegness or Scarborough, other than on Rail Tours.