The Christmas Scholar
5th December 2009
© copyright photograph by Colin Duff

On Saturday 5th December 2009 Hastings Diesels and First GBRf ran their "The Christmas Scholar" railtour from St. Leonards Warrior Square 1Z82 to Cambridge via Ashford (because of weekend engineering works), Kensington Olympia, North London Line, Stratford and the Great Eastern route. The 1Z83 return was via the Great Northern route (because a routing back via the GE would ultimately require a 40 minute pathing stop before crossing Romney Marsh) and the North London Line, etc.

Down the GE Lee Valley Line, from Coppermill Junction the special was "flighted" behind a down Stansted Express (11:40 ex Liverpool Street) and (my local service) a down Hertford East (11:42 ex Liverpool Street). The latter being all stops after Ponders End so the progress as far as Broxbourne on what is largely a straight and level line was "stately".

The GE routing provided me with the opportunity of photographing a prime piece of Green Southern rolling stock on the Lee Valley Line - the line I use to commute to and from work - only a mile from home. True I had to stay up between night shifts to do this but a Thumper working within walking distance of home was too tempting. Very very rarely for the Lee Valley Line, services were running exactly to time.

1001 passing Duck Lees Lane Ponders End Enfield


1001 is captured here, exactly on time, at 12:04 passing Duck Lees Lane, Ponders End, Enfield. I did not chose to photograph it from my local station (Brimsdown) because there would be a strong possibility of being "bowled out" by the up Hertford East service.

The up platform at Ponders End can be seen beyond the Nags Head Road over bridge.

For reasons I will not go into, I failed to get the going away shot I intended to take. I console myself with the thought that this second shot would have been looking down through a forest of catenary so not so good (as my earlier practice shots on National Express East Anglia Class 317 units attest).

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