Mackem Express

Grand Central Trains 13:48 departure from King’s Cross to Sunderland accelerates past Alexandra Palace under a sky full of rain. The train is made up of 6 mk3 coaches and powered by Class 43 (HST) locomotives with 43423 leading and 43467 bringing up the rear. Originally entering service from 1975, the HST fleet continues to see service across the UK and the Class 43 still holds the record for the fastest diesel locomotive in the world at 148mph although service speed is limited to 125mph. Originally fitted with Paxman Valenta engines, most of the class were refitted with MTU engines between 2007 and 2010 as part of a life extension programme. I wonder how many more years of service remain for this amazing example of British Railways design and engineering? You can read a detailed history of the Class 43’s on Wikipedia.

Camera info: Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XC 50-230mm lens.  1/3000s at f8 with iso2500. Focal length 182mm (275mm equiv).

The Smell of Lavender

The cloying smell of Lavender fills the summer evening as we drive south from Bourges to Toulouse along L’Occitane – not sure if it beats the sweet smell of DERV 😉

Broadbrush Arizona

Angel hauls a load of toys along Arizona State Route 260 near Camp Verde on the second leg of a three stage drive from Jackpot (NV) to Tucson. When you do such a long drive (953 miles) you really see some changes to the scenery along the way. I can’t wait for the next state to be added to the game – New Mexico 🙂