A moment in time 2370 views on 25/01/2014
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My graphite pencil drawing is of a Type 9F at full steam on a line in Yorkshire.
When I was young I lived in a village, in Yorkshire, that was a train spotters dream and during the steam era, every young boy was a train spotter and dreamed of being a train driver.
The village played host to two of the largest rail companies in the country ie LNER – London and North Eastern Region and LMS – London, Midland, Southern. Together with a cross country line the crossing lines made a triangle that allowed the trains on all 3 lines to be watched.
This was the time of the great steam engines eg Mallard and Flying Scotsman and all rail companies were trying to achieve the fastest speed from their trains and these trains thundering through the village at colossal speeds were a highlight not to be missed.
All to soon the steam locomotives were to be replaced by electric and diesel engines and steam engines were phased out. The final class of engine to be built for British Rail was the type 9F, a 2-10-0 designed by Robert Riddles during the 1950s, which was intended for use on fast, heavy freight trains over long distances. It was one of the most powerful steam locomotive types ever constructed in Britain, and successfully performed its intended duties – pulling anything up to 1600 tons.
At various times during the 1950s, the 9Fs worked passenger trains with great success, indicating the versatility of the design, sometime considered to represent the ultimate in British steam development and even today they still perform a useful service in private hands.
The last of the class, 92220 Evening Star, was the final steam locomotive to be built by British Railways, in 1960 but a further 9F was completed in 2010 (Tornado) by a private syndicate and is now in operation.