Monday, 3 August 2009

Peak Rail 1940s Weekend 2009

Robin models a 'tin hat' as a down train pauses at Darley Dale.

I was driver on Sunday 2nd August 2009 on the second day of the Peak Rail 1940s Weekend.

On Saturday, the weather had been foul but the people still came. On Sunday, the weather was good all day, encouraging an unprecedented number of visitors. The car park at Rowsley was quickly filled and both the access road and Harrison Way (leading to the A6) filled up with parked cars. Subsequent arrivals were recommended to go to Darley Dale, park in the D.F.S. Car Park and walk to Darley Dale station to catch the next train (there is a long-term agreement with D.F.S. for the use of their car park).

'Royal Pioneer' was the motive power, hauling a 7-coach train. Five round trips were made during the day and luncheon was served in the two 'Palatine' coaches. In the morning, Robin acted as fireman. He was relieved by Chris for the afternoon. Some of the departures were a few minutes late whilst passengers were boarding but we managed to prevent delays from escalating, mainly by smart working on the run-rounds at either end.

There was a large (and no doubt noisy) battle re-enactment just after 3 p.m. but the train was safely out of the way heading for Matlock before this started. On the way back, we would (if necessary) have been held at Darley Dale until the "All Clear" was received.

A Rolls Royce 'Meteor' engine was an unusual exhibit. Mounted on a trailer, this was periodically started and run for a few minutes. Apparently, this engine was derived from the iconic 'Merlin' aero engine - without superchargers it was used in battle tanks.

Of course, if you're on the footplate all day, you don't see much of the special activities, but I managed to snatch a few pictures.

There's an earlier post for the 2008 event here with links to earlier photographs taken at the 2007 and 2006 events.