A RAIL37 Churnet Valley Railway picture report

After the supreme efforts of a number of volunteers and donors of money and equipment, the new station building at Consall has been completed for the new season and music impresario Pete Waterman had been invited to perform the official opening.
3rd MARCH 2002

 5224 approaching Cheddleton with a down service on Consall Opening Day.

 I went to board the train at Froghall knowing that there would be a parking problem at Cheddleton. My concern was that I wouldn't be able to get on the train which I anticipated would be quite full. The train arrived on time but Mr Waterman was not on the footplate as expected - where was he? Apparently he was in the guest coach so all was well.

 The runround.

 Crowds on the platform.

 The train was, quite literally, packed solid. It really was a matter of getting into the nearest open door and standing still. Of course it didn't really matter for the short journey to Consall and hearing the engine working hard with the load was suitable compensation.

Even more people at Consall - where had they all come from?

 By the time I reached the spot it was impossible to get anywhere near to Mr.Waterman so the only way was to hold the camera in the air and shoot. Unfortunately each time I took a shot the camera insisted on focussing on the hat of the funeral director in front.

 I did manage to catch him on his way out from an autograph signing session.

Steam was up and it was time to leave for Cheddleton and some food - it was a very cold day.

  Unfortunately the Boat Inn was full to overflowing so it was a sandwich in the station cafe with a mug of tea. Then off to meet the incoming train seen here passing the Cheddleton water tower.

 The train was not a "stopper" and carried on through to Leekbrook where it reversed and came back bunker first for my return trip to Froghall.

 Returning to Cheddleton from Leekbrook.

 En route for Froghall and it was thirsty work for the GWR locomotive so a stop for water was arranged.

  Journey's end and the locomotive is detached for the runround.