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Thursday, 17 December 2015

The Big Let Down That was all Hot Air



It was not the fault of the White Rose Steam Engine. It was the signals from London to Cambridge and then to March where a group of sightseers had gathered with ill-deserved confidence to see the wonderful steam train pull in before continuing its journey to York.

Steam trains are a rare sight now days and most are used for tourists and enthusiasts. I’m not really a train engine person, but I don’t live far from March Rail Station, where the White Rose was to stop.

So I thought, “Hey! Why not get a few shots for the blog?”

With great aplomb, Carole and I set off and within fifteen minutes we were at the station. There were a number of passengers waiting to do the journey on the steam train and many, like me, waiting to get a few snaps.

We waited, and we waited. It was running late due to signal failure at London. Then we heard about another at Cambridge. Then when it did come around the bend in the track, it was being pulled by an old diesel engine obscuring the view of the White Rose steam engine.

Just before it got to the level crossing it stopped. The diesel engine was uncoupled and moved forward to the station, where we stood, eagerly upon the bridge waiting for the White Rose to move forward into March station.

We waited…

And we waited…

There were rail workers buzzing around the steam engine that just seemed to be hooting streams of smoke for a few seconds then did nothing but continue to stand still.

In the mean time we waited…

And we waited…

Then the level crossing barriers went down and we all perked up.

“At last!”

A passenger train from Birmingham pulled in behind us going along the other side of the track out towards the stationary White Rose SteamEngine. It was not the beautiful train finally moving forward. It was the normal passenger rail traffic leaving for the way the old engine had come.

So we waited…

And we waited…

The level crossing barriers went down often, but it was either freight trains passing through or other passenger trains. The stationary White Rose did let out other bursts of steam, but the steam would stop and the engine remained where it was.

While we waited...

And waited...

I’m British and love my country, but what really frustrates me is that everything we do is either late or has something missing. What an absolute let down. For weeks the local newspapers had been plugging this event and people were being charged good money to ride and have dinner, while on the journey to York. These people were on the platform waiting and becoming more vexed. What an absolute let down.

After an hour of looking at the White Rose stationary along the track, just before the level crossing, we got fed up. It was not the old steam engine, but the poor services of the railway tracks that was the let down.

We had waited…

And waited…

Once again we were delivered a big let-down that turned out to be nothing more than a distant load of hot air.



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