A RAIL37 Churnet Valley Railway picture report

 5th JANUARY 2002

 It's Shareholder Special day on the Churnet Valley Railway, the Directors have invited all shareholders to visit Cheddleton for a ride down the Valley as a way of saying "thank you" for all the support. The duty locomotive is Stanier Class 5 number 45337 and the coaches are already steam heated and ready to go. However, the weather is awful, cold, foggy and there is still snow on the ground.

 The first train is full with standing room only and not too much of that either. At Cheddleton both car parks were filled and the approach roads were fully "parked up".

 The fog was patchy and the snow not too deep.

 Off down the valley, the first of two trains on the day. The fields are still covered with snow and the cold air accentuates the steam - pity it wasn't a blue sky

 Through the cold deserted valley, apart from one or two fishermen on the banks of the Churnet! Then into Consall station where the station building is looking picturesque and colourful and the newly positioned signal box is now visible. There is no stop at Consall today so it is on now to Froghall, the valley might look good in the snow but I am glad I am on the train!

 Arrival at Froghall and the fog had descended again.

 Many people detrain at Froghall to watch the locomotive run round and there is steam a plenty.

 The engine paused for the points to be changed and released steam while waiting.

 Non stop to to Leekbrook and a dramatic deterioration in the weather, the fog has started to descend and visibility is dropping as the "Black Five" runs round the train.

 Light levels indicate it is time to revert to black and white as 45337 storms off into the gloom with the 15.00 special for Froghall, complete with sherry and mince pies or coffee and other goodies if you wish.

 GWR tank sat in the gloom.

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