What is your earliest memory of travelling on a train?

Calthrop

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Yes, I guess the only solution to the stuff is to bequeath it to railway clubs / societies or equivalent who might at least know how to find it ia good home and know if it is of interest. You only have to read some of the threads here to see what amazing notes of info / workings etc people have from their hobby - always interesting to see the replies.
Re the bequeathing -- I'm looking to do what I can re that -- little fruit borne to date !
 
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S&CLER

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Thanks for that linked thread -- absolutely fascinating. I somewhat regret that essentially I have never known well person-to-person in "meatspace" -- so as to be able to receive a decent amount of first-hand material re their experiences -- any railway enthusiast more than a year or two older than my 1948-born self. (I am within my family a unique one-off "sport", in having a strong interest in the subject.) The nearest I remember, to first-hand acquaintance with a "veteran" -- and that not very near -- was with the President of my university railway society, who had been on that scene, geographically speaking, "forever" as it were: first studying, then teaching. I remember him speaking of having, as a student, visited the Brill branch shortly before it closed -- heaven knows what other wonderful stuff he must have done. I wish now, that I'd bestirred myself to try to get to do a much larger amount of "sitting at this guy's feet", than actually did occur.
Could that have been John Griffiths of the OURS, whom I remember from 1967-70? (I'm of 1948 vintage myself.)

My grandfather (b. 1875) was an employee of the LNWR, and among his papers when he died I found the letter he had received from the Superintendent at Northampton Castle instructing him how to proceed from home near Oundle to take up his first duties at Scalford station on the GN & LNW Joint line in about 1889 or 1890, with times of trains, involving if I recollect a change at a place called Medbourn. Grandad moved on to Colwick and then to St Helens, where as a goods guard he worked stores trains from the LNW central stores depot and knew the road to many parts of the LNW system. He told me that he regarded the LNW-Cambrian exchange sidings at Afon Wen as a particularly forlorn place, which felt more or less like the end of the known world. He lived with us from 1959 until he died in 1966, and enjoyed watching Railway Roundabout with me on the BBC. While he was delirious in his last days I heard him trying to recite the names of the stations and signal boxes between Warrington Arpley and Afon Wen. He got as far as Caernarvon without too much hesitation, but the Welsh names beyond there defeated him. Not bad when you consider he had retired at 67 in 1942. I used to buy the Railway Magazine and the LMR timetables, which he always enjoyed reading, especially the Northampton-Peterborough table. I recall being very impressed that he had seen Hardwicke, one of the locos in the Race to the North. Like all LNW men he had little regard for the Midland - "you can send that back to Derby" was his way of condemning anything as second-rate. A curious claim he made is one I've never seen in print: we were talking about the Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast line (Chesterfield to Lincoln), and he dismissed it as a "riff-raff railway", which during its brief independence recruited men who had been dismissed from other companies and were glad to take the low wages it paid. I wonder if there was any basis whatever for this.
 

WesternLancer

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Could that have been John Griffiths of the OURS, whom I remember from 1967-70? (I'm of 1948 vintage myself.)

My grandfather (b. 1875) was an employee of the LNWR, and among his papers when he died I found the letter he had received from the Superintendent at Northampton Castle instructing him how to proceed from home near Oundle to take up his first duties at Scalford station on the GN & LNW Joint line in about 1889 or 1890, with times of trains, involving if I recollect a change at a place called Medbourn. Grandad moved on to Colwick and then to St Helens, where as a goods guard he worked stores trains from the LNW central stores depot and knew the road to many parts of the LNW system. He told me that he regarded the LNW-Cambrian exchange sidings at Afon Wen as a particularly forlorn place, which felt more or less like the end of the known world. He lived with us from 1959 until he died in 1966, and enjoyed watching Railway Roundabout with me on the BBC. While he was delirious in his last days I heard him trying to recite the names of the stations and signal boxes between Warrington Arpley and Afon Wen. He got as far as Caernarvon without too much hesitation, but the Welsh names beyond there defeated him. Not bad when you consider he had retired at 67 in 1942. I used to buy the Railway Magazine and the LMR timetables, which he always enjoyed reading, especially the Northampton-Peterborough table. I recall being very impressed that he had seen Hardwicke, one of the locos in the Race to the North. Like all LNW men he had little regard for the Midland - "you can send that back to Derby" was his way of condemning anything as second-rate. A curious claim he made is one I've never seen in print: we were talking about the Lancashire, Derbyshire & East Coast line (Chesterfield to Lincoln), and he dismissed it as a "riff-raff railway", which during its brief independence recruited men who had been dismissed from other companies and were glad to take the low wages it paid. I wonder if there was any basis whatever for this.
Thanks for posting this - very interesting read - made me go to look up Scalford on the disused station website but sadly they have not yet documented it in their usual fascinating style.

But very interesting to read your grandfathers exploits and indeed opinions on certain matters (internal LMS rivalries?!). A real insight into history.
 

S&CLER

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Thanks for posting this - very interesting read - made me go to look up Scalford on the disused station website but sadly they have not yet documented it in their usual fascinating style.

But very interesting to read your grandfathers exploits and indeed opinions on certain matters (internal LMS rivalries?!). A real insight into history.
There was an article about Scalford in a Railway Magazine in the 1950s, which remarked that it was the station where Stilton cheese was consigned for the kitchen of the House of Lords. Grandad didn't recollect this, but then he wasn't there for very long.
 

Calthrop

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My grandfather (b. 1875) was an employee of the LNWR, and among his papers when he died I found the letter he had received from the Superintendent at Northampton Castle instructing him how to proceed from home near Oundle to take up his first duties at Scalford station on the GN & LNW Joint line in about 1889 or 1890, with times of trains, involving if I recollect a change at a place called Medbourn. Grandad moved on to Colwick and then to St Helens, where as a goods guard he worked stores trains from the LNW central stores depot and knew the road to many parts of the LNW system. He told me that he regarded the LNW-Cambrian exchange sidings at Afon Wen as a particularly forlorn place, which felt more or less like the end of the known world. He lived with us from 1959 until he died in 1966, and enjoyed watching Railway Roundabout with me on the BBC. While he was delirious in his last days I heard him trying to recite the names of the stations and signal boxes between Warrington Arpley and Afon Wen.
Wonderful recollections form, and about, your grandfather -- absolutely fascinating. Medbourne (per my sources, with an e) was if I understand rightly, the only station on the long spur / curve or short branch (a couple of miles in length) between Drayton and Hallaton Junctions -- allowing through running between the LNWR Peterborough -- Rugby line and the Great Northern / LNW Joint south-to-north route, without reversing at Market Harborough. I believe that all traffic ceased for good on the Drayton Jun. -- Hallaton Jun. section, including Medbourne station, upon the withdrawal in 1916 as a World War I emergency measure -- which turned out to be "for keeps" -- of the GNR's service between Peterborough (North) and Leicester (Belgrave Road) via the Fletton south-to-west curve, the LNW line towards Rugby, then Drayton Jun. -- Hallaton Jun., up the Joint line to the south-to-west curve at Marefield, thence to Leicester: a service which strikes me as one of the must wonderfully mad things thrown up by the pre-Grouping era.

In a long-ago job, I had a boss who had been in the RAF (not in a flying capacity) in World War II. He sometimes reminisced about that -- including being stationed for much time in North Wales; which involved a fair few long, tedious waits at Afon Wen junction -- he recalled that he and his comrades nicknamed the place "If And When". One assumes: already fairly sparse services, reduced in the interests of wartime economising, and subject to assorted mess-ups and delays resulting from wartime factors.
 

WesternLancer

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Wonderful recollections form, and about, your grandfather -- absolutely fascinating. Medbourne (per my sources, with an e) was if I understand rightly, the only station on the long spur / curve or short branch (a couple of miles in length) between Drayton and Hallaton Junctions -- allowing through running between the LNWR Peterborough -- Rugby line and the Great Northern / LNW Joint south-to-north route, without reversing at Market Harborough. I believe that all traffic ceased for good on the Drayton Jun. -- Hallaton Jun. section, including Medbourne station, upon the withdrawal in 1916 as a World War I emergency measure -- which turned out to be "for keeps" -- of the GNR's service between Peterborough (North) and Leicester (Belgrave Road) via the Fletton south-to-west curve, the LNW line towards Rugby, then Drayton Jun. -- Hallaton Jun., up the Joint line to the south-to-west curve at Marefield, thence to Leicester: a service which strikes me as one of the must wonderfully mad things thrown up by the pre-Grouping era.

In a long-ago job, I had a boss who had been in the RAF (not in a flying capacity) in World War II. He sometimes reminisced about that -- including being stationed for much time in North Wales; which involved a fair few long, tedious waits at Afon Wen junction -- he recalled that he and his comrades nicknamed the place "If And When". One assumes: already fairly sparse services, reduced in the interests of wartime economising, and subject to assorted mess-ups and delays resulting from wartime factors.
Interesting - how I'd have loved to have made a few journeys like that!

Also nice to see on the online OS maps via www.streetmap.co.uk that the triangle of the lines at Marefield is still clearly shown - and a look at aerial pics via google maps shows it clearly - if this link I have copied works this might take you to that
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place...x6034848774e352e2!8m2!3d52.662798!4d-0.899518

Also a railway over bridge clearly in view on google streetview map when you look at a nearby lane on the northbound section of route.
 

WesternLancer

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There was an article about Scalford in a Railway Magazine in the 1950s, which remarked that it was the station where Stilton cheese was consigned for the kitchen of the House of Lords. Grandad didn't recollect this, but then he wasn't there for very long.
Well, as an east midlands resident with a partner who is keen on Stilton I'd say that was quite probably the case, although maybe the time the local diary had the contract did not precisely overlap with your grandfather's time there.

Apols if you know already but Stilton has to be made in a confined geographic area and Melton Mowbray is towards the south of said area I believe. Many dairies around the area would have existed then I would think, and produced Stilton Cheese, no doubt at least one had the contract with the House of Lords catering department I suspect. They would have taken it to a local station for obvious reasons.

I think there are now only a few of the smaller trad diaries in the area that make Stilton (with larger diaries sited in the permitted production area for the large scale market eg the supermarket shelves I guess)

2 of the smaller scale ones that still exist in the area (and we've been to buy stilton at the dairy in Colston Basset) are

Colston Bassett - nearer Harby further up the same line
and
Long Clawson - fairly close to Scalford or Old Dalby on the MR line (now the ex BR test track)

https://www.colstonbassettdairy.co.uk/
https://www.clawson.co.uk/our-story/

Sadly neither mention railway transport of product, but of course if they sold beyond the immediate locality they would have to have used it.

You post makes me think that during these lock down days I'd better get some stocks of stilton from our local shop!
 

Greetlander

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Visiting aged relatives in Mexborough in the late 70s. Train from Huddersfield - remember seeing electric hauled goods going through Penistone hence my Woodhead interest. All our family holidays were by train also so remember coupled Calder Valley DMU's on Halifax-Blackpool services and loco hauled Huddersfield - Llandudno Junction or Huddersfield - Scarborough. Going on trains was always my favourite part of the holiday.
 

Calthrop

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Also nice to see on the online OS maps via www.streetmap.co.uk that the triangle of the lines at Marefield is still clearly shown - and a look at aerial pics via google maps shows it clearly - if this link I have copied works this might take you to that [snip]

Also a railway over bridge clearly in view on google streetview map when you look at a nearby lane on the northbound section of route.
Triangle shows, clear as day -- thanks: of great interest. (If I could wave a magic wand and create the heritage line of my dreams...)


Well, as an east midlands resident with a partner who is keen on Stilton I'd say that was quite probably the case, although maybe the time the local diary had the contract did not precisely overlap with your grandfather's time there.

Apols if you know already but Stilton has to be made in a confined geographic area and Melton Mowbray is towards the south of said area I believe. Many dairies around the area would have existed then I would think, and produced Stilton Cheese, no doubt at least one had the contract with the House of Lords catering department I suspect. They would have taken it to a local station for obvious reasons.

I think there are now only a few of the smaller trad diaries in the area that make Stilton (with larger diaries sited in the permitted production area for the large scale market eg the supermarket shelves I guess)

2 of the smaller scale ones that still exist in the area (and we've been to buy stilton at the dairy in Colston Basset) are

Colston Bassett - nearer Harby further up the same line
and
Long Clawson - fairly close to Scalford or Old Dalby on the MR line (now the ex BR test track)

https://www.colstonbassettdairy.co.uk/
https://www.clawson.co.uk/our-story/NW Joint once more; and Long Clawson:

Sadly neither mention railway transport of product, but of course if they sold beyond the immediate locality they would have to have used it.

You post makes me think that during these lock down days I'd better get some stocks of stilton from our local shop!
Wondering a bit, if this is a topic-drift record -- from earliest train-travel memories, to varieties of cheese (but please understand, I'm greatly in favour of topic-drift !)

I'm given to understand that Stilton cheese's being so named, from the village of Stilton on the Great North Road a little way south of Peterborough; is because in pre-railway days, this kind of cheese made in the hilly "outback" to the north-west, was brought to Stilton to be loaded onto London-bound road transport. Was interested to see your mention of Long Clawson: I recall seeing on sale in Sainsburys a while back, Long Clawson-branded Indian-style "paneer" cheese. Britain's essentially owning India for a considerable number of decades, had its various positive and negative aspects -- but, for sure, it has led to much interesting cross-fertilisation of all sorts !

Re the GN & L&NW Joint once more -- and Long Clawson: that route immediately north of Scalford as discussed, had three successive stations with IMO marvellously evocative double-barrelled names: Long Clawson & Hose; Harby & Stathern; and Redmile & Belvoir.
 

WesternLancer

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Triangle shows, clear as day -- thanks: of great interest. (If I could wave a magic wand and create the heritage line of my dreams...)




Wondering a bit, if this is a topic-drift record -- from earliest train-travel memories, to varieties of cheese (but please understand, I'm greatly in favour of topic-drift !)

I'm given to understand that Stilton cheese's being so named, from the village of Stilton on the Great North Road a little way south of Peterborough; is because in pre-railway days, this kind of cheese made in the hilly "outback" to the north-west, was brought to Stilton to be loaded onto London-bound road transport. Was interested to see your mention of Long Clawson: I recall seeing on sale in Sainsburys a while back, Long Clawson-branded Indian-style "paneer" cheese. Britain's essentially owning India for a considerable number of decades, had its various positive and negative aspects -- but, for sure, it has led to much interesting cross-fertilisation of all sorts !

Re the GN & L&NW Joint once more -- and Long Clawson: that route immediately north of Scalford as discussed, had three successive stations with IMO marvellously evocative double-barrelled names: Long Clawson & Hose; Harby & Stathern; and Redmile & Belvoir.
Yes, I was mindful of topic drift when adding the cheese links (and was unaware that that Long Clawson had diversified into paneer - good luck to them, I shall try and get some!). I know that Stilton cheese was named because that was the place it was taken to market (not made there) so it makes perfect sense that the Gt North Road then facilitated its transport beyond.

To get this back on topic we need someone to post whose memory of a 1st journey was on the GN&LNW joint line - a tall order but with specials over it to Skegness until c1963 that's not an impossible hope!

Cheers
 

EveningStar

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Circa 1969 from Viersen to Mönchengladbach in West Germany (father was in the RAF). Earlier non-journey related memories are a coal fire in a railway waiting room which I think might be Three Bridges (for which presumably there was a journey) and with my father on the platform at Reading watching a maroon Warship (remember vividly the distinctive shape) pass on an express.
 

Calthrop

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To get this back on topic we need someone to post whose memory of a 1st journey was on the GN&LNW joint line - a tall order but with specials over it to Skegness until c1963 that's not an impossible hope!
Instead, drifting off again somewhat (though not about cheese ;)): fairly recently, I came across a book whose content was reminiscences by an enviable chap -- born 1936, still with us; wrote this memoir not many years ago -- a railway enthusiast pretty well from infancy, and a passionate follower of steam while it lasted. He was born and grew up in Leicester: tells in his book of an expedition he made, aged about 13 or 14 I think, to some venue (I forget quite where) well to the north-east of Leicester. If I recall correctly, it was in winter, with darkness falling quite early: he found that his most expeditous way of getting home, involved a Grantham -- Bottesford -- Melton Mowbray (North) -- John O'Gaunt -- Leicester (Belgrave Road) local -- which journey (admittedly, in the dark) he, then and there, found slow and boring. Reading that seventy-odd years after the event, it's hard not to feel, "how spoilt can you get?". Still -- this is now, that was then; we're us, he was (juvenile) him... In fairness, later in the book he tells of enjoying and appreciating workings out of Leicester (Belgrave Road), a few years after his non-fun journey described above.
 
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My second-earliest distinct memory is of a journey with my dad from Wigan to Denton in the 1960s (my earliest memory of all was being taken to hospital by ambulance, so a bit more traumatic than a train trip)
The reasons for travelling to Denton and why my dad took me along with him are a bit obscure.

The things I recall take the form of a series of short, disconnected snapshots:

- The train arriving into Wallgate station - maroon coaches hauled by a grimy, grey, wheezing tank engine.
- Having to stand in the corridor because the train was full.
- Being just about able to look out of the corridor window, and told by my dad to stop resting my chin on the windowsill.
- Crossing over the pointwork at Bolton West junction and seeing the front of a green DMU with "cats whiskers" waiting in the station. Presumably we were on a Liverpool Exchange to Rochdale train, since we needed to change at Bolton.
- At Manchester Victoria, walking along the wide, fluorescent-lit, white tiled subway that used to connect all the through platforms.
- Once on the concourse, walking past the line of ticket barriers for the bay platforms (many more bay platforms in use back then). Each had a small, wooden booth for the ticket collector to stand in.
- The red-coloured upper deck of a Manchester bus, and standing at the front window as we proceeded along a very long straight road (presumably Hyde Road towards Denton).
- A speedy return from Manchester to Wigan sitting in a comfortable, high-backed seat on a non-stop DMU (maybe a Calder Valley unit on a Yorkshire - Liverpool Exchange working).
- Being scared when we plunged into Pendlebury tunnel with no lights on in the carriage.
- I remember very much enjoying this fast, bouncy ride home, especially the sound of the wheels at speed on jointed track, and was disappointed it seemed to be over so quickly.
 

ian1944

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My second-earliest distinct memory is of a journey with my dad from Wigan to Denton in the 1960s (my earliest memory of all was being taken to hospital by ambulance, so a bit more traumatic than a train trip)
The reasons for travelling to Denton and why my dad took me along with him are a bit obscure.

The things I recall take the form of a series of short, disconnected snapshots:

- The train arriving into Wallgate station - maroon coaches hauled by a grimy, grey, wheezing tank engine.
- Having to stand in the corridor because the train was full.
- Being just about able to look out of the corridor window, and told by my dad to stop resting my chin on the windowsill.
- Crossing over the pointwork at Bolton West junction and seeing the front of a green DMU with "cats whiskers" waiting in the station. Presumably we were on a Liverpool Exchange to Rochdale train, since we needed to change at Bolton.
- At Manchester Victoria, walking along the wide, fluorescent-lit, white tiled subway that used to connect all the through platforms.
- Once on the concourse, walking past the line of ticket barriers for the bay platforms (many more bay platforms in use back then). Each had a small, wooden booth for the ticket collector to stand in.
- The red-coloured upper deck of a Manchester bus, and standing at the front window as we proceeded along a very long straight road (presumably Hyde Road towards Denton).
- A speedy return from Manchester to Wigan sitting in a comfortable, high-backed seat on a non-stop DMU (maybe a Calder Valley unit on a Yorkshire - Liverpool Exchange working).
- Being scared when we plunged into Pendlebury tunnel with no lights on in the carriage.
- I remember very much enjoying this fast, bouncy ride home, especially the sound of the wheels at speed on jointed track, and was disappointed it seemed to be over so quickly.
I recall that the MCTD 109 route went from Victoria to Reddish, so on to Denton would be an easy change from there.

My own early train trips would be in either direction from Brooklands on the MSJ&Altrincham 1500VDC, two of which had a bit of trauma. When very young the sudden noise of the overbridges at Skelton Junction scared me, but worse was a northbound journey when my thumb was caught in the door on boarding. The earliest longer journeys were Sunday excursions with my grandfather, one via unremembered route Brooklands to/from Southport, the other Prestatyn via, on the outward trip, Hooton and Shotton.
 

Laurencew

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Aylesbury to Baker Street, Metropolitan Line at the time, now Chiltern Trains. Non corridor coaches, steam to Rickmansworth, Metro-Vic electric (eg Sarah Siddons) from there on. Vague memories of the dash to the toilets at Rickmansworth and being terrified at having to pass close by the engine on return to the bay platform at Aylesbury. Later learned that the loco would have been on hire from BR, possibly a Fairburn 2-6-4 tank.
The visit was for the Model Engineer Exhibition and in January 1960: I wold have been 5, coming on six.
Luckily I am not afraid of steam engines now.
 

Mogz

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Nothing exciting- a trip on a (then) relatively new Class 508 in BR blue livery from West Kirby to Liverpool Central.
 

QJ

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My earliest memories of travelling by train are when I was around five or so years old. My parents never went anywhere by train preferring the family car. The exception was my mum taking my brother and I to Tavistock for the day in the school holidays. I recall the viaduct over the town and the climb back to the station; rather daunting after tiring myself out running around the park by the river. My brother was in a push chair so didn't have that problem.

The other memory I have is in 1967 (I believe) when Plymouth Argyle were playing Cardiff City at Ninian Park. My mother took my brother and I on a one way journey to Cardiff to visit relatives. My dad followed in the family car a few days later when he had time off work. I have been trying ever since to fill in the missing details. What the loco was and the route taken? I even have to this day a non PC souvenir from that journey in the form of a very small green and black golly.
 

Blinkbonny

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Not my earliest, but a memory.

In 1963 or 64, keen trainspotter. Really needed to travel to Darlington to see anything particularly exciting but being 12 and still at school I could only usually do that of a Saturday. (Getting up early to catch the early morning steam working obviously. 42405 or 42639. Always.)

But out of boredom one rainy night I went down to Middlesbrough station, in the hope of perhaps catching a Q6 or so going down the back to the steelworks.

Probably did, but one of those new diesels was floating around the station. D5112. I would "spot" them in the absence of anything else.

The driver and his second-man (How long ago was that? o_O) took pity on me and invited me into the cab; and we shunted around for a while, me sitting in the driving seat, then walking through the engine room to get to the back cab. They deposited me back onto the platform 20 minutes or so later.

Don't suppose you get much of that these days! But thanks guys.
 

Blinkbonny

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P. S. Wouldn't mind knowing what the later numbering of D5112 was. Didn't even know its class, to be honest.

We knew them as Bo-Bos!
 

Peter Sarf

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Euston to Birmingham New Street. Put on the train by my mother with my little sister. Taken off at New Street by my Grand Parents. Would have been late 1960s. Mk1/Mk2 open coach with the melamine table - probably elewctric loco on the front. Watched the houses/flats go by that backed on the the WCML between Camden top bank and Willesden. I always remember one that was on metal stilts right next to the DC lines. Seems to have gone now.

The most agonising, in terms of not recording stuff, was a holiday near Oban. All those 26s and I can still see them in my memory. It was early summer 1974 and I started spotting later that summer. Living in the SE corner of the UK (EMU land) made those 26s gold dust.
 

Enthusiast

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My first recollections of a train journey are nowhere near so glamourous as some mentioned here. My grandmother would take me to visit my great-grandmother (her Mum). We lived in Stoke Newington, North London, and Great Grandma lived in Hackney, a short step from Hackney Downs station. We had a number of options to get there. The easiest (and most boring) was by bus, route 106. It then ran from Finsbury Park to Becontree (Chittys Lane) and was operated by the "Wide Boys" - RTWs, the 8ft wide Leyland variation of the RT family. Next up was a 73 (then Stoke Newington to Richmond - Hounslow on Sundays - operate by RTLs). This we would take to Balls Pond Road followed by a 581 or 677 Trolleybus to Mare Street. But best of all was by train. Stoke Newington station lies in a deep curved cutting preceded to the north by a lengthy tunnel where the line runs at an oblique angle beneath the bottom of Stamford Hill. The train would pull in and when at rest the (what I now know to be) Westinghouse pump would busy away maintain the air reservoir. We would soon be away, an intermediate stop at Rectory road and we were all too quickly at Hackney Downs. This was a large station (in my eyes) with its four platforms and the line diverging to Chingford. At that time there was no passenger service on the North London Line east of Dalston Junction and what is now Hackney Central station was boarded up and derelict. However I would see an occasional "Chopper" (then D8xxx) hauling a freight service on the line where it was visible between Amhurst Road and Graham Road as we walked to Grandma's. I didn't appreciate until I was a bit older (and became a Junior "Gricer") the intensity that the "Jazz" service was able to provide with its N7 locomotives and Gresley "QuintArt" carriages. Later I was to see it in action at Liverpool Street. The rapid turn round of the services accompanied by the incoming loco giving the outgoing service a shove to help it on its way before settling in one of the dock sidings awaiting its next turn was a sight to behold. All that came to an end with electrification (in about 1960, I think) but then of course there was D200 and its classmates to look out for. But I still remember those trips to Hackney Downs!
 
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Blinkbonny

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That's great, mate. Thank you very much.

And thanks, SS. I never would have guessed at it. I had it down as a Class 31. Possibly a 25. Never even realised I'd ever seen a Class 24 - much less driven one! :smile:
 

shap summit

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My first memory of railways was standing on the footbridge that crossed over the small engine shed and goods yard at Faversham, with my dad watching the trains going to Ramsgate and Dover and back, when my dad spotted a friend of his walking to the shed. He gave him a shout and we were invited down to the shed and onto the footplate of an engine in steam. I can remember being so proud of myself when I answered correctly my dads mates question about the wheel arrangement, 0-6-0 I managed to say.
Also not sure if it was the same trip or a different one, dad and I were on the footbridge over Faversham station, when a new 5000 series electro diesel came through the platform, my dad struggled with his old fashion camera, when the driver spotted us and very kindly stopped and posed his loco until dad got his shot.
Although my dad insisted that my interest in railways stem from the time he took me in my prom to see the very last train from Whitstable Harbour on the old crab and winkle line, but I have no memory of that being only one!
 

QJ

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1 Sep 2011
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148
I have some more early age memories that have just come to me. One of my fleeting memories was of my parents taking me to the Isle of Wight for a holiday in the early 60s - unfortunately by car. The vivid rail memory of this trip was seeing a freight running alongside the road on the way to the Red Funnel ferry in Southampton hauled by a diesel loco that had spoked wheels.

Later in life I travelled over that line by charter train (class 74 electro diesel farewell) as it was the link between the Eastern and Western Docks past the Town Quay. As for the loco the nearest to my recollection would be a class 12. My parents sure didn't stoke my love of trains directly. There were still steam locos around Southampton at the time. I never saw one. (And don't get me started on the lines in Devon and Cornwall that were still open when I made my grand entrance into the world).

I suspect it was my grandmother that kindled my interest by taking me at a very young age along the footpath leading to the former Laira Halt past Laira Depot and under the main line up to the main road when I stayed with her. I assume there was a local shop she used to do shopping at. She had a prefab right next to the railway line but I have no recollection of viewing the trains there though I must have.

The house where I was born had a railway line at the bottom of the garden; the Turnchapel branch. I have no recollections of seeing any trains on the line but I do recall the bridge the railway ran over just beforehand. It got flattened for a road widening scheme after the trains had ceased. But there were still trains to the old station just down the road; Plymstock Junction. I do recollect trains over the Laira Bridge to the freight sidings still there at the time, Cattewater and Plymouth Friary (which my parents often drove past to park on a side street when going shopping).
 

Tio Terry

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2 May 2014
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Epsom
Family day trip from Norwich Thorpe (as it was then) to Great Yarmouth Vauxhall. Then walk through the town to the beach. I was 6, it was all very exciting and I remember having my head out of the door window until my father made me sit down. I know I fell asleep on the way back and didn't want to wake up when we got back to Norwich!
 
Joined
13 Apr 2011
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545
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Helsby
Early 1970's between Helsby and Runcorn. Used to visit my Aunt who lived in the Old Town. Services stopped in the mid 1970's so my then is was the bus until my Mum learned to drive in 1978.
 

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