East Coast Line (return)

In a previous post, I showed a few photos from the East Coast Line train from London to Edinburgh. In the interest of symmetry, let’s take a look at the return journey. I took a taxi from my hotel to Waverly Station, where I found a bustling terminal full of snack shops and digital boards displaying train information:

Digital screen displaying train info at Waverly Station, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Digital screen displaying train info at Waverly Station, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Of  course, the train was waiting and ready to go. I boarded for my reserved seat with ease, stowing my luggage overhead, sitting down to a comfortable chair with a small table.

East Coast Line train, waiting at Waverly Station, Edinburgh, Scotland.

East Coast Line train, waiting at Waverly Station, Edinburgh, Scotland.

The staff is friendly and cheerful as they pass through serving food and beverages, including this bacon sandwich for breakfast:

Bacon sandwich served in first class carriage, East Coast Line train.

Bacon sandwich served in first class carriage, East Coast Line train.

And since the journey was about four hours twenty minutes long, I also had the benefit of lunch, which was a chicken breast with salad as you see here:

Chicken lunch in first class aboard East Coast Line train.

Chicken lunch in first class aboard East Coast Line train.

It was a smooth ride, arriving on time at King’s Cross Station, London, that you see here:

A platform in King's Cross Station, London, England.

A platform in King’s Cross Station, London, England.

When traveling about Britain, from city to city anyway, I can recommend this service. It was a nice way to see the countryside without the hassles of airports.

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Waking a Beast, video

Before a steam engine can go out on the rails, there’s plenty of work to be done. As you see in the following video, the crew of Locomotive No. 40 does the job well. (Check it out in 1080 full screen if your internet connection is capable.)

The tools are heavy, the job is dirty, the temperatures alternate from boiling to freezing, but it’s a labor of love keeping steam trains running. Thanks to the good folks like the people you saw in the video, the rest of us get to enjoy the ride and the majesty of these machines. Take your family and see all there is along the rails.

New Hope & Ivyland (video visit)

The New Hope & Ivyland Railroad operates steam locomotive No. 40 along the tracks between New Hope, PA (USA) and Lahaska. You have your choice to travel in open air cars or a comfortable parlor car. I recently took a ride on this train in the cab of the locomotive, which was very interesting. It’s hot, dirty, and hard work up front. Here’s the video:

Riding in the cab gave me an appreciation for what it was like a hundred years ago. There used to be thousands of locomotives like this working around the country and the people who kept them operating knew what they were doing. If not, well, a steam boiler explosion was a terrible thing. If you have the chance and the inclination, I recommend experiencing this type of living history. If for no other reason, you’ll see what it was like in the “good old days.”

Thomas the Tank Engine!

Thomas the Tank Engine arrived in Strasburg, PA to thrill children and adults alike. The Strasburg Railroad served as host, with their rolling stock providing seating for people to ride toward Paradise, PA and back, through the surrounding countryside where the Amish have their farms. I took the following video showing Thomas pulling into the station, then backing out, and returning again. Take a look.

I was amazed by the number of children standing by the tracks, calling out to that little blue engine. In this age of electronic gadgetry, it was a joy to see kids interested in an old-time attraction like a steam engine. More footage of the steam trains at Strasburg and elsewhere will becoming soon. Keep an eye out here at The Bent Page.

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