I had every good intention of following this train and capturing it with my camera. I first heard about this excursion some months ago and planned to keep the day free as the locomotive-hauled special was going to traverse a few remote lines where train activity is rare. That was the plan, but I forgot all about it until reminded earlier this week. In the meantime I had arranged for a cousin of mine and her husband to stay a few days during a round-the-world trip from their home in Australia, in addition, it was my turn for Sunday lunch with nine persons attending with my cousin and her husband included. I looked at the itinerary of the rail tour and decided I could see it pass my house and capture it from my bedroom window, and after our lunch might be in time to see it at a few locations later in the afternoon.
The scheduled time for the train to pass the house was at 11.23 so I went up in time, but only just in time as it was running a little early. I swung my camera into action and pointed it at the gap in the houses hoping to at least get the whole locomotive and a bit of the first carriage in the frame but forgot the line-side undergrowth which has obliterated the front of the loco. The first carriage is visible though, and gives an idea of what the rest of the train looked like as all the carriages were of the same colour, very smart. Locomotive-hauled trains are now very rare in South Wales, apparently it’s a Class 60 but unfortunately you can’t see the number in the single photo I took, but with a bit of internet searching believe it may be 60039.
Lunch took longer than usual, with family members chatting about the past and after the majority had left my Mother and I waved farewell to our Australian visitors before returning to clear up. When it’s my turn for Sunday lunch, my mother always stays behind to help with the dishes and then I run her home afterwards. Yesterday though seemed to take longer than usual and by the time I had shown Mum all the latest family pics on Facebook and other social media sites it was getting on a bit. I glanced at the clock, I had missed the train travelling on the section from Newlands Loop Junction to Tondu, maybe I’d be able to see it at Tondu station on its way back from Maesteg an hour later.
It wasn’t to be though, after returning Mum to her home and chatting a while I’d also missed the return through Tondu, but there might be a chance to catch up with it at Aberdare. Earlier in the year I’d visited and photographed the abandoned old Aberdare Station and knew that trains occasionally passed and had planned to be there for this one. Home from Mum’s to grab the camera and a quick dash up the motorway should give me enough time; then it started to rain and a quick glance at the on-line weather forecast suggested it wasn’t going to improve – my enthusiasm rapidly evaporated and I’m sorry to say I stayed at home.