I managed to escape from the office again today as I’d arranged to meet a fellow photographer who works in the rail industry to give him a guided tour of locations around Marsden on the Trans-pennine rail route through the Colne valley. I’d been meaning to update my library shots and get some pictures for a client from the area, so this was the perfect opportunity – especially as the sun Gods were smiling upon us.
Trevor and I met on the train at Huddersfield for a trip on a line that (as a man of Kent) he’d not travelled on for donkey’s years. Our first port of call was Marsden, the nearest station to the famous Standedge tunnels, where canal and rail occupy almost the same ground under the Pennines. It’s a fantastic photo location but one that will change dramatically over the next few years when the rail route is electrified.
The only downside nowadays is the monotony of the type of trains. Very little freight uses the route as it has such an intensive passenger service. This is Trans-Pennine Express’s core route. Northern Rail used to operate an hourly all-stations Huddersfield-Manchester service but it’s now operated by TPE. This means the line’s almost completely Class 185 operated which is why the introduction of the TPE’s loco-hauled sets is a welcome break from the monotony.
Having trudged up the incline to a spot above the tunnel entrance the sun smiled, and so did we, as we managed to get a range of pictures in decent weather. Here’s an example.
Having exhausted the photographic possibilities we changed locations a couple of times to catch one of the new CAF built trains for Northern which was working empty stock from Preston to Huddersfield.
In doing so we missed one TPE’s new Nova 3 sets as we didn’t know the damned thing was running! Here’s the classic view we’d been heading for.
By that time the Pennine weather had changed from favourable to fearsome, with cold air and showers sweeping in from the West, so we adjourned to the Riverhead Brewery Tap pub in Marsden, which is a cracking place to stop for a pint before heading back East
Back in Huddersfield we connected with the loco-hauled TPE set we’d missed earlier. Well it would have been rude not to!
Trevor used it to get to Leeds before heading off to Keighley whilst I stayed on as far as York as I couldn’t resist the opportunity to get shots of the set under the magnificent station roof. Luckily, a late-running Siemens set allowed me some nice juxtaposition and a study in front ends.
All in all it’s not been a bad day and a lot less frustrating than yesterday. There’s some useful shots in the bank and for a client. I’ve had chance to explore locations I’ve not visited for a while and I’ve also been able to act as a tour guide for a friend. What more can you ask for?