Railway Photography


Here’s another picture found by my colleague, David Hendley. In this one, the engine is moving and the picture is taken, I guess, from a bridge above the tracks.

The photographer has chosen his spot well. The train is moving slowly and applying power to get the heavy freight train moving. There may be a little up-hill slope to make things more interesting. The blowing engine – with steam and smoke flying – is working really hard.

The best place to get this kind of image in London is on the pull up from Euston to Camden. You just need to know when a steam train is scheduled. The cutting, out of Euston, is pretty steep to Camden. In the early days there was a system of ropes to haul trains up. Later, the engines were doubled up.

Because of the way that the cutting is built, you’ll have to take a small photographer’s ladder to see over the wall.

Incidentally, the steam, smoke and soot, associated with all this effort is what blighted the area north of Euston. Camden and Primrose Hill were both blighted and given over to cheap bed-sits, with large populations of people coming and going.

The west-coast mainline electrification in the 1960s was the signal for the gentrification for this part of London.

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