Tuesday, 14 June 2016


The warning whistle is a familiar sound on steam trains, the variability possible in pulling the cord meant that the operators in times past could express the warning in styles as individual as the drivers. Indeed even today one could find 'by popular request' a compilation of whistles and horns here  from modern to vintage.  This locomotive is just arriving for the morning trip and pushing the carriages into Oxenhope station on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.
You might observe from this photograph that I was distracted by the rather nice planting of evergreens, bulbs and heather by the trackside, but eyes right this is the locomotive now pulling the carriages.  I think this may be the only survivor of the Austerity class which were built for heavy freight in World War II. Over 900 of them were built from 1943-1945 and this particular engine pulled troops and supplies across Europe.  At the end of the war they were dispersed to various places, 184 went to mainland Europe, mainly the Netherlands, and this is where our engine 90733 travelled and then was later sold to Sweden, eventually ending up stored undercover in a Northern Swedish forest as part of their strategic reserve.  In 1973 it made its way back to the UK and the port of Hull and its home today on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in Yorkshire.

For steam (and steam whistles) water is needed and here is the water tower at the largest station on the line, Keighley.  (For non UK residents this is pronounced as Keithly or Keethly and I always have trouble spelling it)  The water tower at the station we started from, Oxenhope,
is very different

and looks more like a very large table lamp.  I'll end with some words of wisdom on the following sign
    Missed Your Train? ... You'll Catch the Next One

And for perfect relaxation after that visit to the cafe/bar, lulled to sleep by The Seekers singing 'Morningtown Ride' here
"Train whistle blowing, makes a sleepy noise,
Underneath their blankets go all the girls and boys.
Heading from the station, out along the bay,
All bound for Morningtown, many miles away.
Sarah's at the engine, Tony rings the bell,
John swings the lantern to show that all is well.
Rocking, rolling, riding, out along the bay,
All bound for Morningtown, many miles away.
Maybe it is raining where our train will ride,
But all the little travelers are snug and warm inside.
Somewhere there is sunshine, somewhere there is day,
Somewhere there is Morningtown, many miles away" (words/music by Malvina Reynolds)
 An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at W here


Melody Steenkamp said...

Hi Joy

A word that fitts perfectly but I did not expect for soms unknown reason, so you've managed well in surprising me with this post..and i loved it.

Have a nice abcwednes-day / – week
♫ M e l d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

Oberon said...

Surprised me also, I had an idea of the subject but it is introduced in an unexpected way. Very nice post!

Leslie: said...

I can hardly wait to get on one of the British trains again! I'll be flying in on Sunday night arriving early Monday but will be picked up by friends. Three days and nights with them and I'll be on the first of my train trips to Wales. I enjoy it so much that I'm going first class this time!

abcw team

Photo Cache said...

Great entry for this week's letter W.


Hildred said...

Love the 'Morningtown Ride'. I remember so well the water stops on the prairies when traveling by train, - that old lonesome whistle was a lovely reminder of adventures in the night, as it came to a crossing.

photowannabe said...

That's a word that I don't think has ever been used for ABC Wednesday.
Terrific and I do love the sound of the train's whistle.

Roger Owen Green said...

Ah, the Seekers. I got one of their CDs only a couple years ago.


Su-sieee! Mac said...

You surprised me. As I read the title, I thought I'd be reading a story about whistling at the train station. I love the sound of train whistles. Riding trains feels more civil to me. Toooot! Toooooot!

Nora said...

I enjoyed the whole story and the song at the end. Lovely photos. I think your blog was one of the first blogs I read and before I started blogging even!