60009 Union of South Africa on the Hadrian 27 10 2012

We planned a trip on The Railway Touring Companies "The Hadrian" for Saturday 27 October 2012. The route starts at Skipton and is diesel hauled through to York picking up passengers at Shipley and, our starting point, Leeds. The West Coast Railways diesel 57 601 was in charge from Skipton and sneaked into Leeds early whilst we were trying to keep warm in the freezing cold temperature. There was time at York to watch the change from diesel to steam power as 60009 Union of South Africa was coupled up at the head of the train to take over charge of the train on its round trip back to York. As you'll see hundreds of enthusiasts wanted the perfect picture of 60009 at York and this turned out to be the case all along the route and at each stop the locomotive made. The next stage of the journey was down the East Coast Main line to Durham where I did manage some pictures of the cathedral as we sped through the station. After Durham our locomotive took on water at Low Fell Royal Mail Terminal before heading West along the banks of the Tyne towards its destination - Carlisle - passing through Hexham and Haltwhistle on the way. There were more photo opportunities at Carlisle but I think most people were surprised as 60009 reversed out of the station. I don't know if the weddings pictures were by chance or organised as a special occasion. All the best to the couple in any case. We returned to Carlisle Station in time to see 57 601 and 60009 carrying out a few operational manoeuvres to get "The Hadrian" into position alongside the correct platform for its passengers to embark. After leaving Carlisle we headed back up the Settle and Carlisle Line stopping in the dusk at Appleby Station to take on water before the long climb to Ais Gill. As we left the train at Leeds there still seemed to be plenty of enthusiasts taking a chance to grab a few night time shots of 60009 as the locomotive left Leeds for York at around 21:45. The tour had run to time all day until a late running local service at Hellifield, the location of our final water stop of the day, resulted in an extra 10 minute wait before we headed for Skipton, Shipley and Leeds. You may be interested in viewing one of our webpages http://ossettweather.com/artwork/trains.html where some photos of steam locos have been uploaded for using as greetings cards or wall art designs