A group of we West London 16 year-olds decided on a week’s Rail Rover in Scotland that August. Wishing to get the most out of it, we set off from London Euston after midnight and arrived at our first stop Crewe before dawn. The trip was a mixture of spotting, railway photography and touring. We went round Crewe (Gresty Lane) shed just as dawn was breaking. My primitive Brownie camera didn’t have flash so the new film stayed unused until later in the day. The first shot of a “Jinty” 47467 with “Midday Scot” chalked on the tank was a good start.
Then on, steam-hauled over Shap, to Carlisle where we rushed around a couple of sheds before an evening meal and made plans for a brief night’s fitful sleep on a Carlisle to Stranraer service on the now closed Dumfries – Castle Douglas – Newton Stewart route. Motive power and very welcome steam heating was provided by a “Black Five”. On arrival at Stranraer there was a frost on the ground: it was our summer holiday after all! But we pressed on to the engine shed at dawn and our group saw its first locomotive with a five-figure number starting with a ‘5’. And what a find – former Caledonian Railway class 294 0-6-0 designed by Dugald Drummond and built at St Rollox Works in 1892. This old lady was retired the following year after 70 years’ service.