by Phil Marsh

Runpast at Rannoch highlight of railway photographic courses this Autumn

Published: 30th September 2014

‘Chiltern Apple Autumn Rambler’ rail excursion

There are two railway photographic events this October, one run by the West Coast Railway Company (WCRC) on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th October and the other by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway on October 3 and 17.

The WCRC are offering a two-day photo-charter session on the stunning and spectacular scenery in the north west of Scotland based at Fort William. The company will operate several trains, one each day, which will carry photographers on the West Highland line.

Day one will see the train operate between Fort William and Corrour which at 1350 feet above sea level is one of the highest stretches of railway in the UK. The next day the special goes to Mallaig and back and the locomotives used will be the ex LNER 2-6-0 ‘K1’ No. 62005 and one of the LMS 4-6-0 ‘Black 5s’but the highlight may well be the Ex LNER 2-6-0 ‘K4’ No. 61994 The Great Marquess.

Day one sees the train operate to Bridge of Orchy and back across Rannoch Moor using the ‘Black 5’ outwards and the ‘K4’ on the return. A unique feature is that several runpasts have been planned in the Rannoch Moor area. Photographers travel on the train joining and alighting at either Spean Bridge or Tulloch.

Harry Potter location photography

The next day the ‘K1’ and ‘K4’ will be used on ‘The Road to the Isles’ using the ‘K1’ outwards and the ‘K4’ on the return. Again, there will be several runpasts and a break at Mallaig for lunch and participants travel on the special train. This route takes in the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct which featured in many Harry Potter films.

This is a unique opportunity only made possible by WCR operating the trains in conjunction with Network Rail and Scotrail. The weekend costs £275.00 per person for the two days and there are no booking available for just one day.

Many of the UK’s top railway photographers will be on this weekend and the chance to meet them and learn from them is a great opportunity for those who wish to enjoy the event and the operation from the lineside.

North Yorkshire Moors Autumn Photography Workshop

The North Yorkshire Moors railway is running several photographic courses this Autumn.

The October 17 day is an ‘Intermediate course’ aimed at ‘photographic improvers’ and the NYMR says that “These one day workshops are ideal for those wishing to learn to use their digital cameras more creatively, whilst photographing trains, stations, people and landscapes along the North Yorkshire Moors Railway”.

The events are led by professional landscape photographer, author and teacher John Potter who will advise on how to take good quality location and landscape images, as well as characterful portraits both at Pickering Station and along the NYMR.

The morning is spent at Pickering Station using the training room and around the station platforms with activities tailored to the exact learning needs of the maximum of six participants. Places cost £95and includes lunch, refreshments and train travel and advance booking is essential.

You will need to bring your own equipment and the day will look at using the more technical creative parts of your camera. Tuition in Photoshop Elements and Photoshop CS5 is also included as is a light lunch. The afternoon sees a workshop at Goathland station which will look at landscape and location photography. After a twenty minute walk across the moor, participants will be able to shoot the trains passing through Darnholme and later back at Goathland station. The day runs from 945am to 545pm.

The Autumn Chiltern ‘Apple Rambler’

Meanwhile in the Chiltern Hills, The Mid Shires Orchard Group (MSOG) has teamed up with the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway to promote ‘The Apple Rambler’ on October 18. The MSOG will lend its apple processing and pressing equipment to make apple juice and will also provide an apple display of several dozen different heritage apples and associated trees. Some of these will be on sale at the event.

There will also be some traditional apple activities such as apple bobbing (from a string) and 'longest peel' to try out.

The 'Apple Rambler' train will be a special single carriage ex British Rail diesel unit train No. W55023 carrying a suitable headboard and will be adorned with autumn foliage & apples. The train will stop at various places along the hilly Chiltern Hills line to show off the C&PRRA's own lineside apple and fruit trees. These are not normally visible for too long as the train usually runs past non-stop.

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