The view from room 8 of the Station Inn, Ribblehead. 66019 heads north onto Ribblehead Viaduct with 6M20 0443 Drax Power Station to Newbiggin loaded gypsum. I was woken numerous times during the night by the passing loaded and empty coal trains. Time for breakfast!
A pairing of class 156 and 153 sprinter units, 156490 and 156319, make their station stop at Horton in Ribblesdale. The train is 2H10 0849 Leeds to Carlisle and it is running some 30 minutes late.
An up working draws into Horton in Ribblesdale running some 9 minutes down. This class 2 working is 2H85 0857 off Carlisle to Leeds and several passengers are ready to board 156470.
On my previous summer visit to the S&C last year, I saw no freight. 66559 is my second freight working of the day with its rake of empty HHA coal hoppers leaning into the curve at Horton in Ribblesdale. This is 4S11 0730 Drax Power Station to Killoch.
The day was turning warm with a hazy sun. 156468 climbs past Helwith Bridge on the 1 in 100 "Long Drag" from Settle Junction to Blea Moor. Just beyond here the line levels out for half a mile before continuing the climb. 2H86 1049 Leeds to Carlisle.
A southbound loaded coal train drops past Helwith Bridge with 66203 fronting a rake of HTA hoppers carrying low sulphur Scottish coal. The train is 6E24 0610 MX Ayr to Cottam Power Station.
Empty coal hoppers are able to run at speeds up to 75mph so they are coded as class 4 working. 66191 fronts 4S18 0958 Milford Sidings to Ayr empty HTA hoppers and could be heard before it was seen.
I was walking back to the car when I saw this in the distance. 66529 is in charge of 6E36 0608 MX Hunterston to Eggborough Power Station.
The second gypsum train of the day strides out over Ribblehead Viaduct with GBRf 66713 powering 4M52 0615 West Burton Power Station to Newbiggin. The gypsum is a by product of the desulphurisation process.
153319 and 156490 return from Carlisle back to Leeds with 2H89 1154 off and crosses the Ribblehead Viaduct.
The weather has changed and a very heavy rain shower is passing through. 66161 rumbles south over Dent Head viaduct with a train of loaded HTA hoppers from Ayr, 0927 off to Radcliffe Power Station, 6M33.
A torrential downpour with thunder and lightening had just about stopped in time for 66116 to appear with 4S25 1300 Milford Sidings to Ayr crossing Dandry Mire viaduct.
156468 passes the up starter at Garsdale after its station stop. The working is 2H93 1426 from Carlisle to Leeds. In steam days there were water troughs here, the highest in the country.
156490 has just started the predominately 1 in 100 descent from Ais Gill to Ormside Viaduct. The change in gradient at the summit is visible under the bridge. This train is 2H92 1449 Leeds to Carlisle.
A northbound freight working raises the echoes at Ais Gill with 66179 at the head of 4S89 1358 Milford Sidings to Ayr empty HTA hoppers.
Kirkby Stephen station now boasts a footbridge. The height offered by it is put to use as 156470 departs the refurbished station heading south with 2H97 1619 Carlisle to Leeds.
Appleby is an important market town with a busy station. 156490 clatters over the pointwork giving access to the sidings and the former NER line to Warcop. 2Y41 1755 Carlisle to Sheffield slows for its station stop.
The sun has returned to Cumbria and 156490 discharges several passengers. The station manager oversees proceedings at this attarctive and well cared for station.
Running tight behind the previous passenger train is 66713 and 4E16 1744 Newbiggin to West Burton empty gypsum containers passing the down starter at Appleby. The train was slowly passing through the station as the up starter was on. As the driver came up to the starter, the previous train cleared Kirkby Stephen and the Appleby bobby pulled the starter off.
I was advised about this train by the station staff. 66130 wheels a loaded coal train south through the station with the working former Midland Railway water crane to the left. The working is not identified.