The opening day of the Great Goodbye at Locomotion, the NRM's Shildon offshoot, was never going to provide photters with their perfect shot of the surviving six A4 Gresley Pacifics. What it did do was to inspire this enthusiast with the willingness of literally thousands of people of all ages to turn out on a cold damp February day to celebrate one of the icons of British engineering. This set of photos is dedicated to them, for they reinforce our hobby and help to ensure its longevity.
Today, five of the A4s were lined up in front of the museum, with the sixth on the brake van shuttle, giving hundreds their chance of a first ride behind an A4. Hopefully many of them will be bitten by the bug and will want to do it again on a preserved railway or main line run.
There was a spare road on the apron so hopefully the night shoot participants will get all six in a row. All in all, it appears that the excitement of the last eighteen months will end on a great big high.
© Peter Hewitt's Transport Pictures