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I’m already in ‘Bratfud’ as the locals pronounce it, waiting for the Community Rail Network and other teams to turn up for today’s assignment. A party of schoolchildren are being taken by train from Forster Square station to Ribblehead on the Settle and Carlisle railway. They’ll learn about the railways and local history en-route. Other projects are lined up for them at Ribblehead.

Getting here was a breeze. I walked down to Halifax in plenty of time to pick up the local Huddersfield-Bradford Interchange shuttle. The old Class 150 chugged its way up the hill to the other side of Bowling tunnel without problem. Hopefully we’ll have something less pedestrian to take us to Ribblehead.

Right, time to go to work. More later…


Well, that was a crap ‘rolling’ blog – apologies! I ended up being really busy then losing mobile reception once we got onto the Settle and Carlisle, so there was no time to blog during the trip. We met up with the children at Shipley station for the trip up the S&C. Fortunately, volunteers from the friends of the S&C line had reserved half a carriage for us on the 3-car train, so we were enable to hold the STEM class on board with the kids ticking off various aspects of railway operations and equipment that they observed on the way. All along the route they were treated to a commentary about the line, the towns it passed through and features of the countryside, like the Yorkshire 3 Peaks.

At Ribblehead the kids were spilt into two groups. One group visited the famous viaduct and learned about its construction whilst the second group got to grips with building their own viaduct in one of the station rooms before the two groups swapped over. My job was to document the day, which was a challenge when one considers the restrictions that are sometimes imposed by the needs of child protection. Even so, I managed some great interactive shots both on the train and at Ribblehead. Here’s a shot of some of the happy band at the viaduct along with teaching staff, representatives from Community Rail Network, Northern and Network Rail.

The great outdoors. Not an environment many of these children are used to visiting. A large proportion had never even been on a train before.

As we walked back to the station this heavy stone train passed us heading North, the 20 wagons and locomotive fitting neatly onto the viaduct. Many of the children were rather impressed with the sight and surroundings.

We returned on a regular service to Leeds so there was no chance for a reserved coach (or more pictures). I stayed with the group as far as Bradford Forster Square which gave me chance to download and edit all the pictures to go off for websites and publication before one last farewell group shot – after which, my job was done. Well, apart from editing all the rest of the pictures – but that doesn’t have the same urgency!

Having a couple of hours on my hands and in glorious weather I made my way back to Skipton for some mobile office time, then took a break in the lovely market town to peruse some shops, grab a bite to eat and add a few more library shots to the archive.

CAF/Siemens built Class 333016 arrives at Skipton with a service from Leeds. Note the old stop boards for HSTs by the adjacent track. I’m not sure if these are still relevant to the Hitachi ‘Azuma’ fleet which have taken over LNERs Skipton to Kings Cross service.
The ‘new order’ at Shipley, where CAF built 331108 arrives with a service from Leeds to Bradford Forster Square.

Now it’s time to kick-back at home. Having walked over 27,000 steps (12.59 miles, apparently) I’m happy to put my feet up before another (easier) outing tomorrow…

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