The Waverley Route

         
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Last year I finally visited Belah, one off those mythical locations in British railway folklore, somewhere I had wished to visit since a child, this year it was Riccarton Junction.
Often in the real days a Trainspoter living in Woking would see Basingstoke or at a push Salisbury as an excursion further a field, and perhaps they even knew someone who had been to Euston or even Crewe, but to travel to somewhere like Riccarton Junction you had to be very serious, and so it still is today. Untill the recent preservation attempt, very few modern day Railway followers would have heard of Riccarton Junction, content, just like the real days to just go to the end of their road to see a Bullied Pacific shuffle past, believing that a Bank is the slope up to Micheldever or something really difficult is the climb into Exeter Central.
The nine mile climb to Whitrope, almost continually at 1:75, really sorted the men from the boys, and anyone who has heard Peter Handfords recording of 60927 leaving Steele Road will have some idea of what crews and Locomotives were up against
Click on the Sound icon for a taste of a V2. This is 4771 on 05/08/1991 coming up the 1:84 / 75 / 64 through Darwen on the climb from Blackburn to Sough tunnel.
Riccarton Junction even without trains is an incredible place, when I visited it on 16th May with my good friend Alan Robinson, ( Thanks again Alan for bouncing your car down three miles of Forest track! ) it was a perfect spring evening, with scarcely a breeze, you could have heard a V2 all the way to Whitrope! To stand on the platform it is hard to imagine all the hustle and bustle of this once important Junction in absolutely the middle of nowhere.

Click on a location to view the Images

Kingmoor 21/05/2008

kk Harker Station 21/05/2008  
  Harker Signal box 21/05/2008  
kk Kershope Foot Station 14/04/2010  
  Kershope Foot Station 14/04/2010  
kk Newcastleton 16/05/2008  
kk Steele Road 16/05/2008  
 

Steele Road 16/05/2008
The view Peter Handford would have had of 60927

 
  Steele Road Station 14/04/2010  
  Steele Road Station 14/04/2010  
  Steele Road Station 14/04/2010  
kk Riccarton Junction 16/05/2008  
  Riccarton Junction 16/05/2008  
  Riccarton Junction 16/05/2008  
  Riccarton Junction 16/05/2008  
  Riccarton Junction 16/05/2008  
kk Whitrope Summit 16/05/2008  
  Whitrope Tunnel 16/05/2008  
kk

Whitrope Tunnel 16/05/2008

 
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Kershope Foot