46233 – Duchess of Sutherland at St Mary's Mill

I spotted that a steam train was going to come up the Golden Valley this evening, having been re-routed. Helena wanted to come with me so I chose a place which is only about two miles from our house to make it easier.

This signal box is at a level crossing which allows cars access to St Mary's Mill and a couple of adjacent houses. However the signalman in the box controls the railway line for about forty miles from Standish Junction close to Gloucester all the way to Swindon on the main line to the Paddington terminus in west London.

Where I could stand was restricted so I couldn't see down the track, which on former occasions I have been allowed to do. So initially we could hear the engine approaching after its long whistle and then by the roaring chatter from the motion of its pistons and wheels. I love it. It flew past at speed and was actually seven minutes early, so running well. I noticed that it had a couple of Pullman carriages which I wished i had taken photos of as well. Maybe next time. It is one of my big regrets that I never travelled in a Pullman coach in the heyday of their use on the steam railways of old.

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