Friday, 20 January 2017

Down the Line




(All pics 1970s copyright Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing)

Over the last few years The Rail Thing has expanded from a single Facebook group into over 500, there is of course also a website and this blog. But alongside the Rail Thing groups I've also built about 50 Flashback groups, which look at various aspects of social history and places. Two of these groups have over 5000 members, others are a lot smaller.

I've decided to try to combine these two interests and Down the Line - Oxted to Lewes is the first. The idea is to set the railway within a social history framework, and vice versa. Railways were - and soon will be again - the very centre of social life and history, so it seems a logical development.

If successful (and I'm sure it will be!) this will be rolled out over many different rail routes (Littlehampton to Portsmouth Harbour will be next) over the next year or so.

What I'm looking for is both railway pictures and pictures of the towns and villages through which the line runs or ran. These can be recent or older of course, as history never stops. It may even get some civilians interested in railways, or even get railfans interested in more than just railways! And it may bring out some really interesting and unseen pics linking the two!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Viennese Whirl

(All Vienna 14-16.1.2016 copyright Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing)

I've just returned from a long weekend in Vienna. Despite visiting the city twice before, both times were very quick visits, just a couple of hours. Each time I got to photograph the trams, but I really got into this last weekend!

Vienna still has a very large network of trams, and has recently opened new routes. Most are end to end routes but they also merge to run around part of Vienna's famous Ringstrasse. What this means is that you can plonk yourself anywhere on the Ring and there is a constant procession of trams, sometimes runnimng just a few feet apart. There are cheap day and multi-day tickets which you can use to hop on and off the trams (plus local trains and buses). 

Also along the Ring the light railway to Baden has a station, this line uses the tramway to exit the city but then runs as a heavy railway until it reaches Baden, where it regains the street. Sadly I didn't get the chance to travel on this - you really need a week in Vienna to even see a small amount!

Vienna is a fantastic city with amazing buildings from the days of Empire, and of course great coffee shops! 3 days simply wasn't enough ... in the words of a famous Austrian 'I'll be back!'

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Tebay WCML 1984


(All Tebay 16.4.1984 copyright Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing)

One of those 'missed opportunity' sets of pictures, in my opinion anyway! I could have made more of this location, which I passed every five weeks, but this was the only time I ever bothered. These were taken on the scenic section of the West Coast Main Line which covered similar (if less rugged) ground to its neighbour, the Settle and Carlisle, which ran about twenty miles to the east. Most of the trains were loco hauled back then of course, and I'm sure if I'd sat around for a couple of hours I'd have got a lot more!

(Interestingly ten years to the day later and not that far away my son was born four months early!)

Friday, 6 January 2017

Beddington Lane 1984


(All 18.10.1984 copyright Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing)

A few shots around Beddington Lane station taken on 18 October 1984. Back in 1984 this was an odd little route in south London, single track and electrified with quaint stations and running rather against the flow of commuter traffic.

It has now all been swept away and replaced by Croydon Tramlink of course.