Back to Earth

After some time spent in Space with the constant fear of attack by pirates, griefers and other pond-life, it was a joy to forego that feeling of trepidation and face the less frightening concerns of busted speed limits and SPAD’s and to enjoy one of the most amazing feats of engineering dating to the earliest days of mainline railways in the UK – the run out of Liverpool Lime Street…

D230 leaving Lime Street

…Stephenson’s Rocket took part in the Rainhill Trials not far from here and Stephenson’s later Planet class ran the route to Manchester from the mid 1830’s into the 1840’s. The image shows a doyen of the diesel age, D230 with a Manchester service, passing through the immense cutting dug manually by the navvies of the time (you can still see the marks of pick axes in the walls as you pass through here!).

At Wavertree, just outside Liverpool, trains routing to Manchester via Warrington take a sharp right turn to connect with the old Cheshire Lines Committee railway at Allerton. In the image below D230 is seen negotiating Wavertree Junction…

D230 at Edge Hill

D230 is an example of an English Electric Type 4 (later referred to as a Class 40) and was one of the 1955 pilot scheme types purchased to replace steam traction on British Railways. The type were underpowered at 2000HP compared with later designs but had good reliability and so survived long beyond their initial planned lifespan.


  1. I had to chuckle as I read the last line of your description. I think at the end of my life I’d like to be thought of similarly….as someone remembered for good reliability and perhaps also surviving long beyond my initial planned lifespan. 🙂 But seriously, you really know your trains, and you enjoy them. I think that’s fantastic, Martin.

    1. It’s been a lifelong love Debra – I did drift away for a few years to play with aeroplanes and radio but i inevitably returned 🙂

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