It was announced at the Mid-Hants Railway’s Spring steam gala 2014 that it would be the last such event attended by U class 31806, as the locomotive is due to leave the railway. The hire agreement between the locomotive’s owner with the railway is due to expire in September. A number of other locomotives also owned by the same individual will also be leaving, though no others are in working condition. It hasn’t been announced where 31806 is going to, but I’m sure there are many railways that could make use of this solid locomotive. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to take plenty of pictures of 31806 whilst it is based in Hampshire!
These pictures were taken at Alton the following week after the steam gala. From a photographer’s point of view, Alton isn’t the best of locations on the railway to get good shots. Most viewpoints have plenty of obstructions (including trees and high fences) and the single platform gives little in the way of space. That said, I’m rather pleased with these pictures!
There is a short footpath that runs parallel to the line. It’s a great spot to watch trains leave, but the high fence makes it difficult for photographers. Fortunately, modern technology can help with this! This was the first time I had used my SLR with a tilting live-view screen, which came in handy for the first shot and that below.As an aside, locations where preserved lines meet the mainline can make great spots to base a model railway’s location. The contrast between new and old, as can be seen above with the South West Trains EMU next to the U class makes for plenty of contrast, which is food for thought!
I hope you like these pictures, which are likely to be some of the last taken of this locomotive on this line published on locoyard.