Great Central Railway - pole with Red Bullers

By James Bancroft; posted May 24, 2010

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Yesterday I took a trip to a preserved railway. As anyone who knows me is well aware, the main purpose is to take pictures of poles along the line.

This railway was opened in 1899. It was built to the European loading gauge in anticipation of the Channel Tunnel being built and the wider gauge would have allowed through trains from mainland Europe to travel to the north of England. Unfortunately the first world war dashed any hopes of the tunnel and the railway became just another competitor operating services between London and the north. When the railways were nationalized in 1948 the former competing lines were duplicates of each other and so when the closures of the 1960's took place it was inevitable that one of the lines would close. The GCR closed in the late 60's. This was not the end as enthusiasts bought an 8 mile section of line and gradually restored it.

This picture is taken at one of the stations. The pole on the left contains two Red Bullers and in a closeup picture I have they are a flat orange colour which suggests they date from the 1960's. These wouldn't have had a long service life.

Locomotive number 78019 is a BR standard 2-6-0 built in the mid 50's. It is one of four of the class that survive into preservation. The temperature was in the 80's when I took this and I wouldn't want to be working in the cab in this heat.