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Virtual Railfan Tour UK - York

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  The journey from Darlington to York does not take too long. These HST trains have now all been phased out of this service to be replaced by the Hitachi electrics The first thing to notice is the impressive curved train shed The decorative scroll work is well worth a second look This is now a small tearoom but I assume it was once a signal box In the entrance is to be found this North Eastern Railway map done in tile work Before spending a couple of days in the Railway Museum we have time to take a look at this wonderful medieval town.  This is the bridge over the River Ouse. Guildhall York Minster The Shambles - Mary and I rented an apartment here for a month a few years ago Local flavor Scratchings are a local delicacy - deep fried pig skin Mild beer seems to be making a welcome come back We'll fortify ourselves with roast beef and Yorkshire pudding

Virtual Railfan Tour UK - The P2 Project at Darlington

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  We have some time to spare at Darlington waiting for a connection to York, our final destination.  There is a railhead treatment train in a stub platform, top and tailed by grimy class 68 diesels. The spraying process send up a lot of dirt which quickly covers the locomotives. Before travelling sough however, we will take a look at the Gresley P2 project.  Following completion of the new build Pacific class A1 Tornado, a brand new 2-8-2 passenger locomotive is being built from scratch in Darlington.  The Gresley class P2 2-8-2 ‘Mikados’ were the most powerful express passenger locomotives to operate in the UK. They were designed by Sir Nigel Gresley to haul 600 ton trains on the arduous Edinburgh to Aberdeen route. Sadly, the design was never fully developed and they were rebuilt by his successor Edward Thompson into ungainly 4-6-2s in 1943/4, and scrapped by 1961 . Details of the project can be found here:   https://www.p2steam.com/ On 22 August 2018 Brian Ward visited the project a

Virtual Railfan Tour UK - Hitachi Manufacturing Plant at Newton Aycliffe near Darlington

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This is an Azuma electric train under test on the main line at Darlington.. These are built by Hitachi at Newton Aycliffe. Paul and I returned from Shildon to Darlington. On the way we saw to the west a large manufacturing plant with a siding with overhead wires.  Newton Aycliffe is where Hitachi assemble the trains they are building for the UK rail network. My good friend Brian Ward organized a visit to this plant on 22 August 2018 and sends these pictures. The railway works of today How the build progress is tracked What the passenger doesn't see A GWR coach A body shell for Scot Rail arrives A Scotrail train leaves for the outside world and testing Drivers cab of a GWR class 800  One of the new GWR trains entering Paddington station. This video covers the operations at the plant.

Virtual Railfan Tour UK - National Railway Museum at Shildon

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Locomotion at Shildon is an outpost of the National Railway Museum at York.  It is reached from the branch line by the puddle jumper from Darlington to Bishops Auckland. I have visited here twice - in 2014 and 2019 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Railway_Museum_Shildon   Imagine my surprise last November when the first locomotive I saw was this Beattie 0-4-2 well tank, class 0298 built in 1874. In later days there were only three of these left, all at Wadebridge in the far south west. On Monday 29 August 1960 I made a visit here, with a shed permit, specially to see them. I only saw one but these were the pictures I took that day Here is my diary entry for that visit: The Beattie well tanks are still going strong.  They have all just been through the works and have at least 36 months left to work.  No. 30586 was shunting in and around the station.  I saw it propelling three trucks, it tried to pull up quickly but the momentum of the wagons pulled it along for some way.  The driv