|EWS Class 66013 Photo: Charles Moorhen|
Photographing a Class 66 diesel locomotive, or any other class for that matter, alongside a platform at Rugby railway station at night has, since the glory days of loco-hauled passenger trains of the 1980's/90's, has always been out of reach for me.
At least that was the position prior to the 25th August 2016 when everything changed.
I was visiting Rugby station on that day photographing the station buildings on a windy, rainy night.
At one point during the evening I was sheltering beneath the platform canopy waiting while a shower of rain to pass by before venturing out into the open once more.
Glancing towards the southern end of the platform I saw Class 66013 diesel locomotive coming slowly into the station, stopping about 25 yards from where I was standing; my camera on its tripod stood close by and ready for action.
As I jotted down the number I noticed someone jump from the cab and walk towards one of the nearby station buildings. Was it the driver?
I didn't wait to find out. Grabbing camera and tripod I ran as fast as was safely possible towards the EWS liveried locomotive. At the instant the tripod feet settled on the platform surface I saw a man - the driver or new driver? - leaving the same building. Would I have time to grab a shot?
Knowing I would need around twenty seconds exposure for a photograph I framed, focused as fast as I could, prayed, and hit the shutter button.
The seconds crawled by and I willed them to move quicker towards the magic 20 seconds. I was certain that Class 66013 would begin to move before the time was up.
Finally exposure time was up and the shutter closed with a satisfying click. I'd done it!
But this was not the end of capturing a diesel locomotive on my camera that night.
|Freightliner Locomotive Class 66502 Photo: Charles Moorhen|
A short while later, after photographing Virgin Trains Class 390 128, I was amazed to be going through the whole nerve-shredding process again. I could hardly believe my luck.
The second time the diesel locomotive in question was Freightliner liveried Class 66502 'Basford Hall Centenary 2001'.
As I headed home that night, damp and happy, a random thought kept running through my mind - 'photograph one, get one free!'.
Other Class 66 locomotive blog posts you may wish to see:
Class 66136 Through Northampton To Form Silk Road Train
EWS Class 66005 Locomotive at Wellingborough
Class 66761 Locomotive Named In Ceremony at Wensleydale Railway
Freightliner Diesel Locomotive 66528 Named After 86 Year-Old Veteran Railway Campaigner Madge Elliot MBE
For full list of 'Along These Tracks' posts, please see Railway Blog Previous Posts in right-hand column at edge of page.