Armistice Day Cathedrals
11th November 2010
60163 Tornado
© copyright photographs by Colin Duff

60163 Tornado entering the platforms at Brimsdown at speed on 11th November 2010

Well the locomotive is not of Southern origin, nor is the location remotely Southern, however the opportunity to photograph a steam special passing through my local station, Brimsdown, on a day I was not on duty was too good to miss.

The down Cathedrals Express on Armistice Day was from Waterloo to Norwich and back to Victoria, in both directions via the former Great Eastern's Lee Valley Line.

It was a cold, misty, wet and gloomy day and because the approach to the station in the down direction is on a curve I was relying on a plume of smoke in the distance to give me fair warning. However, I had not counted on the precious metals reclamation plant at Ponders End flooding the horizon with steam!

Trailing steam, moments later the locomotive is already at the other end of the platform

Due warning came from the high intensity headlight piercing through the clouds of billowing steam.

The locomotive is, of course, celebrity new build A1 class 60163 "Tornado" - my first sighting and photographs of it. It may not be Southern but this is one impressive large and powerful beast, the more so as it was passing through Brimsdown at maximum permitted speed.

I have just one quibble - a matching rake of coaches would have looked a lot smarter for a crack express, the hotchpotch formation did not do it justice.

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