A Conversation for The Deltic Locomotive
deltic love affair
bac1-11 Started conversation Apr 20, 2009
I am getting to an age in life where I assume you start looking back . I do remember well my dad taking me to Newcastle Central station on a busy saturday in the 1960's.-for a look around. The only thing I remember well was the screaming deltics pulling away leaving fantastic clouds of diesel smoke-magnificent. About two trains after arriving a Deltic pulled in southbound and the driver saw a seven year old boy with his dad looking up ,opened his door and asked if i wanted to have a look and sit in the cab-oh yes.
deltic love affair
petcamb Posted Jul 10, 2009
To me there is no other locomotive that will ever replace the majesty of the Deltic. When I was a schoolboy in my early teens, I saw the passing of steam and the establishment of diesel becoming the backbone of the east-coast mainline. I used to stand at Peterborough North on the south end of platform 2 and watch the through trains having to slow down to 20mph as they passed by with their distinctive ‘growl’ as they opened up to gain speed northbound.
But the best memories I have were standing at the same spot when a Deltic hauling its 11 carriages pulled in at Peterborough on its last stop before London Kings Cross. The station master would blow his whistle and this 108 ton beast of machine would rev and the puff of blue smoke from the exhaust vents in the roof would shoot up and the train would start to very slowly inch forward. There would be a further ferocious growl that grew to a higher pitch and it would begin to gather momentum. As the locomotive passed by me the vibrations we intense and deafening, but so thrilling to experience that it took my breath away.
I was delighted when my father bought a bungalow that overlook the mainline in Peterborough and I could see and hear all the shunting, the semaphore signals that were still being used, and best of all I could hear every Deltic that was ever made (all 22 of them) at some point as they thundered past the house.
I have also had the privilege of being on board trains that have been hauled by nearly every one of the 22 Deltics ever made at some time or other with the exception of the prototype of course.
My Grandfather on my mother’s side was a guard on the Great Indian Peninsular Railway and my Grandmother on my fathers side lived next to the railway arches in Forest Gate in London. So railways are in the blood so to speak, and I understand people’s passion for steam, but I have to confess that for some unknown reason I feel that the Deltic was a special locomotive that deserves to be up there with the Mallard and The Flying Scotsman.
By utter coincidence as I was writing this article, I have been informed that I have been invited to go on the footplate of “ALCYDON” which is on the Nene Valley Railway and may even have an opportunity to drive it! It is a dream that has come true and I shall never forget it.
Thanks for reading the ramblings of a 61 year old boy that never grew up or out of his passion for trains!
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