Picture of the Month – March 2023


For many of us, well for some of us, well for me at least, the Settle to Carlisle railway has many memories and associations. As a teenager, I remember reading heroic tales of generations of enginemen (sorry, yes, men) who fought the weather and the gradients to get their trains across the roof of England enroute from England to Scotland and vice versa. I was there on 11 August 1968 when British Rail ran what was intended to be the last steam train ever to run in this country, the famous “15 Guinea Special” (that was the fare, a lot of money in those days) between Liverpool and Carlisle, and since then I have spent many wet/cold/happy hours photographing trains along the line. Against this background, I was interested to see what SPG members would make of the latest challenge, and I wasn’t disappointed. The approaches taken varied from very traditional ‘steam’ shots to humorous and quite avant-garde pictures, so it was quite hard to choose a picture of the month.
So, step forward Alan and take a bow. I’ve chosen your picture because it depicts the railway from an unusual viewpoint, making it rather more than ‘just a picture of a train’, and shows an everyday scene with a stone train from Arcow making its way up to Blea Moor for the locomotive to run round ready to take the train to its destination rather than a special train which is not typical of the line. The picture is well composed, with the locomotive neatly framed in the window, and as the viewer I can imagine taking shelter from the elements while watching the train labouring up the hill.

Rod Smith

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