Nellie, a Spam Can and a Hidden Streak

Following from yesterdays look at the Watercress Line’s resident ex-LMS Black 5 45379, today we complete the round-up from the visit to the railway on Saturday.  We begin at Alresford (above and below) where 850 Lord Nelson (or Nellie; as it is nicknamed) ran around it’s train ready for the 13:43 departure for Alton.  I never tire of seeing this magnificent Maunsell machine and I hope Locoyard followers feel the same!

Moving on to Ropley loco yard; a hive of activity of Watercress Railway volunteers could be found.  There always seems to be plenty going on at Ropley!

West Country class “spam can” 34007 Wadebridge was the centre of attention, being oiled, polished and admired; all in good measures.

Having a close look at Bulleid’s light pacific locomotive gave a good opportunity to reflect on how different it looks compared to Riddles’ rebuilt versions, as looked at on Saturdays blog post (click here).

Also to be found in the yard was a tender, some wagons a class 08 diesel shunter, a mark one carriage and Ivatt 2MT tank 41312 (see valve gear below).

The yard proved as ever to be a good spot to watch trains passing by as the picture below of 850 Lord Nelson with the return service from Alton shows.  It gives a good clear view of the trains and being north-facing, the sun is in the best place for a photograph.

One thing that really made the day a little out of the ordinary was seeing A4 Pacific 4464 Bittern (below) simmering away in a siding at the far end of the site.  Presumably the “blue streak” was being given a temporary place to rest in-between rail tours.  The locomotive wasn’t close enough to have a good look, but as last week’s brief spotting posts prove; the odd glimpse of steam helps keep the steam enthusiast’s excitement levels high and this was no exception!

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