Each a glimpse and gone for ever!

Many years before W H Auden’s ‘Night Mail’, the rhythm of Robert Louis Stevenson’s celebrated 1885 children’s poem ‘From a Railway Carriage’ evoked the thrilling movement of a train.

For me, though, it’s the final line that says it all. Since the demise of steam, so many fondly remembered locations along Britain’s railway system have been either totally consumed by development or have disappeared completely, and as in the case of Pete Fowler’s ‘Buntingford’ layout that we featured last month, the only way to model such long-lost spots accurately is to find historic photographs or paintings showing them exactly as they once were.

Peter Green’s painting of Winwick Quay in 1957 depicts the Up ‘Caledonian’ and Stanier 8F No. 48531 shunting in the adjacent sorting yard. The aircraft is heading for the long-gone United States Air Force base at Burtonwood.

One of my childhood spotting haunts was a lattice footbridge spanning the West Coast Main Line by the perpetually busy goods sorting yard at Winwick Quay, just a few miles north of Warrington.

Just north of this location was Winwick Junction, where the main line to Scotland curved right and the one to Earlestown station, its triangular layout linking with the original Liverpool and Manchester line, went straight on past the main gates of Vulcan Foundry from which so many fine locomotives – steam, diesel, electric and even gas-turbine – once emerged. PK

For the full article, see the February 2019 edition of Modelling – available now!
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