LARGER VERSION HERE.
What a fabulous opportunity I had yesterday, thanks to a close friend who informed me that two LMS "Black Five" steam locomotives and some vintage carriages were heading south from Scotland to their winter depot in Carnforth.
These two steam locomotives (one behind the other in this picture), numbers 44871 and 45407, spend the summer months pulling the "Jacobite Express" on the West Coast line betwen Fort William and Mallaig, crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct which was made famous in the recent "Harry Potter" movies in which the "Hogwarts Express" travelled the line, also pulled by a "Black Five".
For those interested in steam locomotives (as I am), the "Black Five" locomotives were designed by William Stanier, 842 being built between 1934 and 1951. They were of 4-6-0 axle configuration with 6 foot diameter driving wheels, two cylinders of 28 inch stroke, weighed 75 tons and were a favourite with drivers and railway fans alike. Although they continued in use until the very last days of steam in Britain, only eighteen remain in preservation, the remainder having been scrapped.
A prolonged study of Google maps allowed me to find a wonderful little place to capture these engines as they steamed downhill southwards from Beattock Summit, the highest point on the West Coast Mainline and here they were probably travelling at something like 50 or 60 m.p.h. Fantastic! I felt like a little boy again as the ground shook under my feet as they passed!
Although these locomotives were travelling downhill, I was reminded of W.H. Auden's wonderful poem, "The Night Mail", about a steam train travelling here up to Beattock Summit, a poem which really captivates the essence of steam travel, so I'll quote just a few lines here:
"This is the night mail crossing the Border,
Bringing the cheque and the postal order,
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner, the girl next door.
Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb:
The gradient's against her, but she's on time.
Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder,
Snorting noisily as she passes
Silent miles of wind-bent grasses.
Birds turn their heads as she approaches,
Stare from bushes at her blank-faced coaches.
Sheep-dogs cannot turn her course;
They slumber on with paws across.
In the farm she passes no one wakes,
But a jug in a bedroom gently shakes."
Critiques | Translate
jhm (150872) 2012-10-30 5:35
I've with big eyes looked to your full screen picture, real very nice done.
I takes not quick a picture as favorite but these is my favorite on TE.
These picture here is nice with a very lovely panoramic area.
You chose the classic angle, but always the most beautiful.
Excellent composition, very well captured.
Nice done, TFS.
amir2009m (292) 2012-10-30 5:54
Well Done ... Clarity and ultra high resolution ... Good luck
leo61 (0) 2012-10-30 6:24
Looks very dramatic and youfound a good POV with this curve.
ceepea (289) 2012-10-30 6:30
Tack sharp, very nice composed, lots of steam and no clutter - love it!
emilbo (22616) 2012-10-30 7:17
Excellente présentation du bon veux train à boucane qui me rappelle de bon souvenir, on courait pour voir arriver le train. Je ne savais pas que ça existait encore. Bel éclairage sous un ciel nuageux et l'effet de boucane est merveilleuse.
Toutes mes félicitations et bonne journée,
lousat (89296) 2012-10-30 7:45
Hi John,this pic remember me my scottish trip 20 years ago,i turn your country whit the train till Thurso,whit a steam locomotive.Great capture,great timing and magnificent details despite the quick mouvement,a beautiful face to face whit this old machine,i like it!Have a nice evening and thanks,LUCIANO
marabu61 (10717) 2012-10-30 7:49
So, this is the famous Hoggwarts Express ..
Very dynamic picture with a perfect framing. Catching the train in a curve like that and your perfect POV makes this an amazing shot. Very nice indeed.
have a good day
COSTANTINO (63776) 2012-10-30 8:15
what a fantastic dynamic shot...
this train is so alive that I am feeling
waiting for it at the station...
amazing capture the right timing
its vivid and red color creates
a panoramic view
claudeD (37812) 2012-10-30 8:20
as a railway fan I like your picture here very much. Very good composition, fine colors and sgarpness. Very good contribution to TE.TFS.
With regards from Luxembourg
jester5 (2024) 2012-10-30 10:46
What a beauty and an excellent capture John. Love the curve and and the dramatic effect of smoke and steam creating a sense of real power.As usual your viewpoint and composition with lovely colour and sharpness are excellent.
CLODO (33878) 2012-10-30 10:59
Back in the 50's! I don't open the large version, because i was afraid to be run over by this old steam train! I like the blue and white flags and the driver who is checking the photographer!
The slight tilt gives a dynamism.
williewhistler (16310) 2012-10-30 11:47
Oh I do like this,the black smoke belching forth is so emotive,if you hadn`t mentioned it it looks for all the world that the engine is pulling manfully up an incline,
you have taken up an excellent position to get this fine shot,it`s a real cracker.
Best wishes Les.
bartekp (4746) 2012-10-30 13:54
Beauty beast! Photo superb:colours and dynamique. Catenary...
but that is modern railway.
I konw that place and i think is the best from best photo
which i seen and i done there.
Have a nice evening
francio64 (39888) 2012-10-30 14:14
bellissima locomotiva del passato. "The lady of the railway".
Bello il contrasto tra il vapore e la rete elettrica dei treni dei nostri giorni.
Well done! TFS!
saxo042 (37794) 2012-10-30 14:46
A very good picture! When I see this I think of those days when I had left university and started to find a job. Someone told me that if you ever come to an interview where they have want to do a psychological test, they might show you these Rorschach pictures. Whatever you see, tell them that it looks like a steam engine; they are strong and powerful and runs straight forward. That would be the impression you want to give them. But I managed to get a job without this test. But now I have the chance:
This looks like a steam engine! Do I get the job?
PS This is also a very good picture with this eye-catching red part.
Tigerlily (3377) 2012-10-30 15:37
Excellently captured image. I love the steam. Excellent colour and detail. It must be very difficult, you have to be superb fast.. I remembered I was accidently met some train spotters at Corfe castle once, when I learned that an old train was coming, I waited with them, but when the train came, I only managed two shots, and the train was gone.. but I managed a broken down one in Breisach..because the train didn't move:-D this one:-)
emka (94572) 2012-10-30 23:25
A big locomotive has pulled into town,
Heavy, humungus, with sweat rolling down,
A plump jumbo olive.
Huffing and puffing and panting and smelly,
Fire belches forth from her fat cast iron belly.
Poof, how she's burning,
Oof, how she's boiling,
Puff, how she's churning,
Huff, how she's toiling.
She's fully exhausted and all out of breath,
Yet the coalman continues to stoke her to death.
Numerous wagons she tugs down the track:
Iron and steel monsters hitched up to her back,
All filled with people and other things too:
The first carries cattle, then horses not few;
The third car with corpulent people is filled,
Eating fat frankfurters all freshly grilled.
The fourth car is packed to the hilt with bananas,
The fifth has a cargo of six grand pi-an-as.
The sixth wagon carries a cannon of steel,
With heavy iron girders beneath every wheel.
The seventh has tables, oak cupboards with plates,
While an elephant, bear, two giraffes fill the eighth.
The ninth contains nothing but well-fattened swine,
In the tenth: bags and boxes, now isn't that fine?
There must be at least forty cars in a row,
And what they all carry -- I simply don't know:
But if one thousand athletes, with muscles of steel,
Each ate one thousand cutlets in one giant meal,
And each one exerted as much as he could,
They'd never quite manage to lift such a load.
First a toot!
Then a hoot!
Steam is churning,
Wheels are turning!
More slowly - than turtles - with freight - on their - backs,
The drowsy - steam engine - sets off - down the tracks.
She chugs and she tugs at her wagons with strain,
As wheel after wheel slowly turns on the train.
She doubles her effort and quickens her pace,
And rambles and scrambles to keep up the race.
Oh whither, oh whither? go forward at will,
And chug along over the bridge, up the hill,
Through mountains and tunnels and meadows and woods,
Now hurry, now hurry, deliver your goods.
Keep up your tempo, now push along, push along,
Chug along, tug along, tug along, chug along
Lightly and sprightly she carries her freight
Like a ping-pong ball bouncing without any weight,
Not heavy equipment exhausted to death,
But a little tin toy, just a light puff of breath.
Oh whither, oh whither, you'll tell me, I trust,
What is it, what is it that gives you your thrust?
What gives you momentum to roll down the track?
It's hot steam that gives me my clickety-clack.
Hot steam from the boiler through tubes to the pistons,
The pistons then push at the wheels from short distance,
They drive and they push, and the train starts a-swooshin'
'Cuz steam on the pistons keeps pushin' and pushin';
The wheels start a rattlin', clatterin', chatterin'
Chug along, tug along, chug along, tug along! . . . .
macjake (66652) 2012-10-31 4:07
wow! What was Malgo writing! lol
never seen her write such a long critique! :)
you love your trains John, and i see nothing wrong with that at all!
the firest thing i noticed here was that steam! just blowing itself out into the air, love that.
and in the larger version "the jacobite" and entire front of the train is really sharp and well detailed, almost like a smooth HDR effect.
there's actually lots to see in this singular subject photo, look around and the viewer will be rewarded.
see you around
timecapturer (49288) 2012-10-31 6:21
every big boy's dream this one. You have captured this magnificently. Full of sharp detail and the exquisite atmosphere that surrounds steam engines. Love your POV and the real sense of noise, smell and movement here. Glorious!
Regards - Brian.
bayno (18344) 2012-10-31 8:41
from the large version we can better understand the outstanding quality of this shot, you are perfectly focused and I do not think it was easy with the train in motion, beautiful colors, especially the contrast between red and black, perfect cutting, I do not think that the smoking is a panacea for nature is instead of great effect on the photo, really nice...
have a good evening...
Glint (6171) 2012-10-31 10:42
this is a cracker! Your perusal of google maps paid off.Excellent pov. I like the way the red on the front of the train irritates they eye, but in a good way. Normally we would grumble that that line would be better on a parallel with the picture frame.But of course, here it shows the tilt of the train as it negotiates the curve of the track.Love that you've caught someone leaning out of the window.Bags of atmosphere here.
mesutilgim (94034) 2012-10-31 13:17
Amazing capture of this steam lock on full steam !
Very good pov and layout. The intense blackish steam creates a perfect contrast with the intense red bumper.
Many interesting and usefull notes makes it a perfect TE entry.
TFS and best regards
ACL1978 (7511) 2012-10-31 18:45
Gorgeous! I especially like the smoke billowing out, obscuring the wires in places, and in some ways dividing the shot. Great bright colors, a classic look at an old locomotive, and perfect clarity - thanks as well for uploading the large version, something I should do more often. Fascinating note to this one, too!
TopGeo (38216) 2012-11-01 9:09
Hello John! What a splendid picture with a very high quality. Perfect idea note and large of panoramio/site! a train moving but your image will always stay in the same place and this is the adorable in photo. The picture is very clear and colored, the sharpness perfect and the place wonderful and train with dynamic and blur of black and white of clouds great composition Congratulations
lgir (7293) 2012-11-01 10:48
magnificent achievement on this locomotive, with outstanding image quality.
Very good work
Highmountains (2674) 2012-11-01 12:33
Its beautiful. The clarity, brightness and sharpness of the photograph is amazing. The bellowing grey smoke and the black engine is in sharp contrast with the green brown 'nature' frames within the electrical posts on either side of the tracks.
The bright red strip on the middle of the engine and the bright blue "The Jacobite" on the top lend an excellent variety of colours.
Thanks for sharing !!
delpeoples (57266) 2012-11-03 6:59
Ciao caro Giovanni
So unlike birds, this train is flying north for the winter. What a great opportunity and what an impressive and dynamic sight. The colours really are beautiful here and I just love the strength of the steam and the looming grey sky beyond. The curve of the track provides a lovely perspective and the image is sharp as a tack, despite the sense of movement we are getting.
Royaldevon (37691) 2012-11-04 2:23
Good Morning John,
I must say, I have used train poems on numerous occasions in school because of their wonderful natural rhythm.
This an excellent shot. The train is heading straight for the viewers in a most dramatic way! The slight tilt emphasises its speed as it takes the bend, reinforced by the clouds of smoke billowing streaming into the distance. The shot has a wonderful clarity.
It's hard to explain but shots of steam engines always create deep emotions.
Have a lovely Sunday,
Silvio1953 (140005) 2012-11-06 9:38
Ciao John, great view of fantastic locomotive,impressive composition, wonderful colors, excellent clarity and splendid light, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio
Aruns (145) 2012-11-07 22:51
Hi John, me & my son were captivated by this image of the Hogwarts express! I can imagine your efforts to get a perfect spot & shot. Well done
MJR (3360) 2012-11-11 15:25
You got this one right ! But you always do of course, well at least those you let us see !
I admire your thoroughness in planning your location, it certainly paid you in spades !
I hope you will tell me you were not too close, the detail with no sign of motion blur suggests you weren't. My experiences of being too close leads to all sorts of difficulty. And often failure !
I am interested you say speeding downhill, she still seems to have the taps open, spewing muck and bullets upwards. My experience here is almost silent running when downhill, no noise, no steam , nothing.
All in all a masterful effort, one to be proud of for sure...
mkamionka (35608) 2012-11-14 12:51
very impressive capture of this incredible locomotive.
The steam is incredibly dense and dark. It it very photogenic yet it made me think right away how terrible we are polluting nature so much.
Well I am Chemist by education and I live in Middlesbrough and actually work for large Chemical Industry company so I guess I should not criticize this extraordinary machine...
Didi (60586) 2012-11-16 8:24
Well done for this interesting subject
Very nice perspective of the machine
The steam smoke gives a dramatic ambiance
dudipeter (285) 2013-02-23 8:33
Dynamiczne zdjęcie robiące wrażenie.
- Copyright: John Cannon (tyro) (24072)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2012-10-29
- Categories: Transportation, Decisive Moment
- Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, Hoya 77mm Pro1D UV(0)
- Exposure: f/8, 1/200 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): francio64 (Old trains) [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2012-10-30 5:09
- Favorites: 1 [view]