A tryst at Salisbury

Back in 2003 we (that’s my wife and I) went to see and greet a train at Salisbury Station. The train was a steam hauled special, hauled by a loco which did a lot of main line specials back then.

And here it is arriving at Salisbury Station.


The train looks right to me. Actually, the loco never was a local engine in that part of the world but others of the same class were. And the train has a good rake of matching green coaches behind it. So although this is 40 years on from my train spotting days, the train looked just like some of the ones I used to see hauling trains out of London, Waterloo, to Basingstoke, Southampton and other places in the West.

This train was special for me, not so much because of train or loco, but rather because we had an opportunity to meet some old school friends including my best friend from junior school days, a chap we all called Boz.


I hadn’t seen Boz, probably for about thirty years then although I have seen him a few times since then and we always get on as though the intervening years (close on 60 of them) since we first met just didn’t matter.

I couldn’t leave Salisbury without offering a rather miserable sight.


This diesel would have been called a Brush type 4 in my train spotting days but at some point it became a class 47. It was around forty years old back in 2003 – about ten years younger than the heritage steamer.

It really is in a rather sad condition with chipped and rusting paintwork and parked up amongst litter and detritus. I was told it had been taken off a train due to a flat tyre. Lest that sounds odd for something with a totally steel wheel, it does happen. If for any reason a loco skids, then a flat surface is worn on a steel tyre. A non-round wheel makes one heck of a racket and is damaging to track and loco. I can’t tell you if the loco had its wheels ground round again or if it was deemed not worthy of repair.


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