Last week both Euro and American Truck Simulator games were updated to version 1.40. This means that I have spent almost all week driving trucks to the detriment of everything else. Now I could post a Truck photo for this challenge but I’ve sorted out some other things instead.

The obvious to start with – Church…

…This is Holy Cross Old Church in Greenford Magna. Some parts of the building date to the 13th century although the wooden bell tower is as recent as the 16th century and the flint coating on the walls was added in the 19th century!

Perhaps a little less obvious, Football Pitch…

…This is, of course, Wingate & Finchley’s home. It is a traditional grass pitch. Quite a few clubs now have ‘all-weather’ artificial pitches.

And finally, I have a couple of Track Machines. These have a variety of roles in the maintenance of railway track. The first is a Stoneblower – used to force fine-grained ballast under the sleepers to level the track…

…That was work that would have been done by a gang of labourers in the past. The machine is more efficient and probably more accurate. There are many other types like Tampers and Ballast Cleaners, all allowing more efficient maintenance of what the railway companies like to call the Permanent Way. The second of our Track Machines is a Railhead Treatment Train (RHTT)…

…These are seasonal, coming out in the autumn when leaves are falling from the trees to keep the rail clean so that trains have good adhesion. These have been built to deal with a relatively new problem – it seems that the move to disc-brakes means that the trains wheels are not kept clean in the manner that they were by the old style clasp-brakes and a build up of leaf-litter results in a loss of traction and braking power. This type is a Multipurpose Vehicle – It can also de-ice the conductor rail in winter and in summer the water tanks can be replaced with herbicide tanks and the train deployed to kill weeds.

Catch up with Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge Here.

Logically, travel photographs should show your means of travel, right? But, of course, they don’t. Most travel photo’s show images from the poster’s destination. Most of mine fall into that group too. But this shot is a genuine ‘travelling’ image.

When I was much younger, my train-spotting hobby took me far and wide around the UK and ultimately into Holland, Belgium and France I would book a week off work in the summer and, armed with a railrover ticket, head out for a week on the rails. There were no breaks in that week, except for one return home midweek to change clothes and get a decent night’s sleep. Washing was done in the toilet on the train and food was bought wherever it was available. Back then, in the mid 1970’s, there were trains that ran all through the night so plenty of sleeping options were available to the travelling enthusiast and it was quite normal to log close on, and sometimes over, 10000 miles in a week.

A good start to a week on the rails was to catch the first train of Saturday morning out of King’s Cross – a stopping service that departed at ten-past midnight with an ultimate destination of Newcastle. As one of the last services out of the capital on a Friday night it had more than its share of office workers heading home to the shires after an evening on the booze. Passengers quickly thinned out once the train got beyond Stevenage and by Peterborough it was only the long-distance passengers that were left. I believe the train rolled into Newcastle – and memory is not what it was – at around 0730. There was then time to grab something to eat from the station buffet before catching a train to Edinburgh.

And that is where you find me, on the train to Edinburgh as it approaches the Royal Border Bridge at Berwick-upon-Tweed…

…Times have changed – you can’t stick your head and camera out of modern trains like I could then, so this image would be very difficult to replicate now. Things were different back then and it should be noted that I understood the risks involved far better than many youngsters today. My Grandfather was a railwayman and I knew to stick just one eye out to survey the view ahead. Even the camera only ever went out as far as needed to get the lens clear of the door-frame. Even so, it’s not a practice that I would suggest everyone should partake in. Even in the recklessness of youth I was more careful than most 🙂

I never know if these count as a dark red – the first is an EWS liveried locomotive and it’s definitely a ‘dull’ red…

…But I’m pretty sure LMS / British Railways Maroon (sometimes called Crimson Lake) counts as Dark’ when it comes to reds…

…And then there’s our Wingate & Finchley away kit from a couple of years ago…

…I just wish I had some shots of the Chrysanthemums I used to grow with the red and gold petals – maybe something to look forward to as I replant the garden… 🙂

Catch up with Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge Here.