It’s time once again to join in with Clare’s Share Your Desktop Challenge. I’m currently using a real world photo rather than a virtual one. We’re still under lockdown conditions here so I’ve put up a shot taken 4 years ago when steam specials were running on our rails.

This is possibly the most famous locomotive in the world – Flying Scotsman – though I personally don’t understand why. It doesn’t hold the world speed record – that belongs to Mallard. I don’t think it’s the finest looking engine out there – I prefer the looks of the Royal Scot class and there are others of the GWR persuasion who would sneer at the lack of copper cap on the chimney 😉 However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like it. In fact, I have every reason to appreciate its lines as my Grandfather once drove for the LNER – the company that built this locomotive.

Unfortunately, ‘Scotsman carries some baggage around with her. Probably because of the excess hype around every trip she makes, crowds come out to take photos and some misguided persons trespass on the railway causing delays to services. Although the press talk about railway enthusiasts when they report this, many of those causing issues are just normal members of the public who only come out because they’ve heard of Flying Scotsman.

On the day I took this photo, ‘Scotsman was routed away from a more obvious route probably in a move to reduce the risk of people going onto the tracks. I checked out the working timetable and realised that there would be a photo opportunity as the special – The Cathedrals Express – passed through Willesden Junction. I expected there to be other enthusiasts on the bridge at Old Oak Common Lane but found I had it all to myself!

So here is Flying Scotsman with The Cathedrals Express drifting round the curve of South West Sidings at Willesden Junction…

…It’s early summer and there is still a freshness to the green of the trees. Hopefully I can get back to photographing trains by the time summer comes this year 🙂