Wednesday 17 April 2019 and I finally get to see the Belmond British Pullman on a staff charter as 1Z59 KIngs Cross to Sleaford via Spalding, and the return from Sleaford to Kings Cross via Grantham and the ECML. 67021 is leading the formation at the start of the return journey past Quarrington on the outskirts of Sleaford with 67024 on the rear. This location is becoming less favourable as it is no longer possible to stand lower down the embankment due to it being too overgrown now, and also the large bush half way along the train is also becoming more intrusive year on year. However it is still possible to park on the A15 bridge and get a decent shot, as long as you are happy with the traffic thundering past very close by!

Saturday 17 May 2014 saw what I believe to be the first Class 50 to Boston in Lincolnshire when Colas 50007 Hercules made its debut on 6E07 0859 Washwood Heath - Boston Docks empty steel. I only discovered this was running an hour before and a frantic dash to Hubberts Bridge was well rewarded, although the customary disappearance of the sun behind a cloud almost ruined my efforts. I was joined on the platform by what I guess to be a professional railway photographer who promptly announced that because the sun had gone in that he wouldn't bother taking a shot. Well I thought its your loss mate!! I firmly believe in taking real life shots regardless of what the weather throws at us. Colas also provided 56105 DIT at the front, and 47739 DIT at the rear as insurance in case of any failure of the Hoover. Hercules was not risked for the return journey as 56105 lead 6M07 back to Washwood, although I suspect that may have been due to time restraints at Boston preventing the locos being shuffled round.

Saturday April 13th 2013 offered haulage bashers a tour around the freight and passenger lines of south Humberside using 2 different tugs, a multiple photo opportunity I was not going to miss. 1Z73 The Lincolnshire Coaster appeared to be good value as haulage up the East Coast Main Line from Finsbury Park to Newark Northgate was provided by DBS Class 92 92039, where the first of 2 Class 60's took over for the next leg to Cleethorpes. The route to Cleethorpes involved a loop going anti clockwise around the Grimsby Light Railway from Marsh Junction, past Immingham to Ulceby where the single track section of the Brocklesby triangle was taken back towards Grimsby and Cleethorpes. On this very single track section can be seen 60099 in silver TATA livery just about to pass under the A180. The return leg from Cleethorpes was hauled by DBS red 60091, a photo of which I will upload at a later date.

It may be several months before we will be able to get any photographs of any trains at all at Keadby Bridge, Althorpe as the route is currently completeley closed due to the massive landslip of a spoil heap at Hatfield Colliery in Stainforth. The landslip occured on February 12 and Network Rail issued a statement that they had been monitoring the line since Saturday afternoon (9 Feb) when a train driver reported a "rough ride". Luckily there were no trains on the section of the line when the initial movement of the spoil heap occured. DBS Class 60 60079 is seen passing through Althorpe station on Sunday 6 May 2012 with 6D07 1904 Scunthorpe - Doncaster loaded steel. Any passengers wishing to travel between Scunthorpe and Doncaster have to take the lengthy alternative bus service!!

This railtour organised by the Mid Cheshire Rail Users Association from Chester to Lincooln, Wainfleet and Skegness was advertised as "The Lincolnshire Poacher" but as can be seen on the day it 'was' THE LINCOLNSHIRE COAST EXPRESS' according to its headboard! The tour was fully booked carrying 536 passengers and was top and tailed by EWS 66165 and 66078, the former is seen leading here as she accelerates away from the once infamous Firsby curve, which formed part of the junction for the former line to Louth and Grimsby. As seems to be the norm these days the stock for the tour featured a wide variation in type and livery. I dont suppose everyone will agree but the spalsh of yellow rape seed in flower makes this picture for me!

The Stratford 47 Groups Network Rail registered 47580 'Great Eastern' is utilised on all sorts of different duties these days and is seen here en route from Derby to Sleaford in Lincolnshire running as 1Z09, which was a GBRf staff outing on Friday 10 September 2010. This loco was one of the original Startford locos which were unmistakable from a distance due to the white roof which was applied back in the 80' The trip returned to Derby after a short lunch break and run round at Sleaford and is shown here passing the small barrier crossing at Kelby Lane, Wilsford Warren a couple of miles West of its destination.

The Autumn Diesel Gala held by the Mid Norfolk Railway in 2011 was themed as a Type 5 weekend and this train was one of the highlights as around 10000 horsepower was utilised on 1W13 service from Dereham on Sunday 25 September. Leading was 59001 'Yeoman Endeavour', triple headed with 59101 'Village of Whatley' and DRS 66431. The event also featured several trips involving Ed Stevensons 56302, and various other combinations of the visiting type 5 locos. The driver even managed to give the gathered ensemble of photographers a bit of clag despite only doing about 15 miles an hour as he accelerates away from the level crossing at Dereham. My own perception of the day was that there seemed to be almost as many people actually photographing the trains as there were actual passengers on them. Strange really when the MNR really do offer value for money with their 'Day Rover' ticket prices.

An in promptu short visit to Althorpe, west of Scunthorpe on a cold January Saturday (29/1/2011) brought a pleasant surprise: -DB Schenker chose 66152 to be the first loco to carry the bright new orange livery and is seen in charge of 6D03 1345 Tinsley to Immingham loaded steel slabs. Two more Class 66 have recently been painted in the new livery also, 66097 and 66101. DB Schenker dont seem to be in any rush to do the whole fleet of sheds though. Other Classes of DB locos have also been adourned in the orange livery and include a class 67 and a Class 92. Not too long after 66152 past another surprise was the appearance of 60040 on a diverted 6E54 Kingsbury - Humber empty tanks, overall a productive 10 minutes. I have a friend who reckons the unplanned photostops are often the best!!

The Battlefield Heritage Line which runs between Shackerstone and Shenton usually hold 2 diesel galas during the year. The 2010 Spring Gala finally realised a triple headed Grid in preservation. However the middle loco, 56098 suffered major failure days before the event so was not able to actually run under power. To avoid disappointment to the many enthusiasts who made the trip the organisers decided to still make one return trip with just 56040 and 56086 powered up. Unfortunately due to the line having no air braked coaching stock all air braked loco hauled services require the addition of a vacuum braked loco at the rear to act as brake translator. On this occasion electro-diesel 73114 was called into action and the precession is seen passing Carlton, north of Market Bosworth on the southbound trip. On the Friday of the Gala the Carry On Clagging Cup was held and the Class 56 Groups loco 56040 'Oystermouth' won the event with an excellent clag show. The cup can be seen through the cab window, but sadly 56040 is no longer with us having been scrapped in August 2011. RIP my friend.

For the last few summers East Midlands Trains have ran a Summer Saturdays only service from Derby to Skegness and return utilising a spare HST set. The train has gained the unofficial title of 'The Jolly Fisherman' as sometimes a headboard was carried displaying such name. Due to speed restrictions caused by axle loadings between Boston and Skegness the service is timed at exactly one hour for the 25 miles or so. The local DMU does the same journey including some stops in a little over half the time. However due to the almost complete track upgrade over the last 2 years the line speed for HST's has obviously now increased and the latest services have been arriving in Skegness and Boston up to 20 minutes early. It remains to be seen if it runs next summer and if the Boston - Skegness timings are reduced accordingly.

Recently acquired by Colas from Freightliner 66850 (previously 66577) passes through platform 4 at Carlisle Station heading 6J37 Carlilse Yard to Chirk timber logs via the Settle & Carlilse. Unlike some of the earlier Colas sheds 66850 is branded as Colas Rail Freight, the earlier locos were just branded as Colas Rail. The newest batch numbered as 66846 - 66850 is to replace 66841 - 66845 which have transferred to GB Railfreight.
Pathfinder Tours created another first when they ran 1Z69 The Yorkshire Dalesman tour to Leeds, and which then included a mini tour out to Stainforth and back. This was the first passenger train to be hauled by the new Freightliner Heavy Haul Class 70 which is rated at 3690 bhp. The mini tour is seen approaching Joan Croft Junction where it branched off for Stainforth. EWS 66154 is DIT (presumably for insurance, just in case of failure)
The Colas operated 6Z56/6Z57 Washwood Heath - Boston Docks and return steel train ran randomly during 2009 and is seen on Friday 11 September about to enter the single track section from Hubberts Bridge to Wyberton. This was the second time that Colas hired the RVL green liveried 56303 to haul the 20 empty IHA steel carriers to Broadfield Lane, where the resident dock Class 08 shunter (D3871) would carry out the shunting duties across the swing bridge and over the River Witham into the dock complex. On this occasion however the Grid returned to the West Midlands light engine as 0Z57
The Advenza Freight Company were Gloucester based and were part of the Cotswold Rail Group and first began hauling trains in 2007. The following year saw them expanding as they secured more freight flows, however the expansion was not sustained and finally on October 7 2009 they were wound up in the High Court. The first of their Class 66's No 841 is seen here heading northbound past Newark Northgate with an almost empty unidentified intermodal service.