Over 50 Galleries in this section
The title of new Galleries will be self explanatory as to location.
August 1998 Southern Africa. Gallery 30
Flying from London Heathrow to Windhoek, Namibia thence to Cape Town, South Africa.
We now take the Union Limited train, via the Garden Route, from Cape Town to George, then down the branch to Kensna, passing over the famous Kaaimans River bridge. George was still operating a fairly busy steam shed at this time.
We now travel north to Oudtshoorn for a short stay, then start our return journey back to Cape Town via the Montagu Pass, George and Hartenbos which still operated a very active mixed traction shed with many steam locomotives on view. Our train has been mainly steam hauled throughout with only a short period of heritage electric traction on the night part of the trip. We now travel from Cape Town back to Windhoek, then on to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
This last leg of the journey was flown by a vintage Douglas DC6B.
At the time of our visit Zambia Railways had just started a steam trip from Victoria Falls to Livingstone, in Zambia, and back.
At Livingstone it was just possible to see steam locomotives in the museum as we passed by.
On our return over the Victoria Falls rail/road bridge a stop was made on the bridge and pink champaigne was taken. We could take in spectacular views of the Victoria Falls and the Victoria Falls Hotel.
Our Journey back to Windhoek was again by the Douglas DC6B. Despite the age of the plane the interior was luxurious to say the least and as good as, if not better, than first or club class on a modern aircraft.
From Windhoek we journeyed back to London Heathrow having spent three weeks in Southern Africa.
In 1998 I was amazed at the amount of steam traction still on offer in Southern Africa, but within a year or so most of what we saw had ceased.
February 2000 India. Gallery 3
We fly from London Heathrow to Delhi, India.
A few days are spent exploring the Indian capital which includes a visit to the National Rail Museum. The museum is well laid out depicting many early Indian (British built) locomotives. Most of the exhibits are in good external order.
The highlight of the day was a suprise visit, off the main line, of WP Class 7015 which had earlier run a special train. Fantastic. I understand 7015 is based at the museum.
We now journey on to Jaipur by Indian Railways.
There are many aspects of travel by train in India that are completly alien to rail travel in the West e.g. every carriage has it resident rat or mouse!
On sleeping trains ladies are advised to sleep in top bunks for safety!
Underneath all lower seats are chains. These chains are for you to padlock your luggage so as to prevent theft at night. (You provide your own padlocks).
Between stations very young children get on to sell food and trinkets. These children are followed by more children sweeping the carriage floor. After this work is done payment is demanded, usually from Western Tourists. I understand these children are organised by gang masters at stations. All money collected is paid to the gang masters and in return a few rupees pocket money is given.
The gang masters also provide protection to the children.
The dining cars on trains provide very good and fresh food. I can vouch for freshness as I was invited to inspect a kitchen car and found the staff very enthusiastic about their work. In one corner of the kitchen was a cage with live chicken in it.
If I ordered a chicken curry it woul be ready in 15 minutes with very, very fresh chicken!
On the journey, if our coach gets hot or stuffy, we simply pop along to the vestibule, open a door and lean out to get a cool breeze whilst travelling at 50 to 60 MPH! What on earth would health and safety say in the UK?
In Jaipur a different form of transport is the elephant. A ride on one of these is great fun.
We also did a lot of travel by road and this can be quite interesting to say the least. Many roads have pot holes the size of bomb craters and despite the rule of the road being 'drive on the left', it was not unusual to find cars, lorries and buses approaching on any side that gave the smoothest ride. This at times was quite hair raising. I would also suggest the use of a hard hat as my head hit the coach roof many times.
We arrive by train in Kalka for our trip to Shimla, some 96km distant via the meter gauge railway.
We are lucky to have one of the line's rail cars, No.2, at our disposal, these cars seat between 14 and 18 passengers.
On the journey we pass through 102 tunnels, although some of these are only a few yards long. Journey time is about 4 hours.
Our return journey is by the more usual diesel hauled train consisting of 6 or 7 carriages.
We now journey from the West of India to the East for our trip on the Darjeeling & Himalaya Railway.
It is very pleasing to note that the railway is now a World Heritage Site. We arrive in New Jalpaiguri and board our steam hauled train for Darjeeling.
The train journey is punctuated by many stops for fire cleaning and taking water.
For photographic purposes we can switch from riding the train to going forward on our tour bus.
I am also lucky to obtain a cab ride for part of the journey hanging on in a very precarious position with the driver and fireman.
The railway is 86 km. long with a journey time of 6 to 7 hours climbing and passing through 107 ttunnels.
At the time of our visit Darjeeling was a very cold place to be and one night, in a very pleasant but cold hotel, was enough for us. Our downward journey was as good as the up trip, with the exception of stopping off to see the famous works at Tindharia with locomotives and rolling stock at various stages of repair.
Our return to Delhi was by air and then via Air India back to London.
However, due to Air India overbooking our flight back we gained an extra day in Delhi!
Transport in India is a real experience, but travel by train is exciting.
February/March 2001 Across Canada. Gallery 32
From London Heathrow to Chicago, USA, then back to Toronto, Canada.
From Toronto we board The Canadian that will take us by rail to Vancouver.
Our journey takes us across the prairies to Winnipeg, Sioux Lookout and Saskatoon where the temperature is down to minus forty.
When getting off the train to take pictures, I find the temperature seems OK, but after about one minute I discover how cold minus forty really is.
We travel on to Jasper, via Edmonton, for a stop of a few days.
Jasper is an important junction and freight passing place.
From Jasper it is possible to take The Skeena to Prince Rupert. We take a more modest trip to Dunster, a mere 23 miles away, passing Yellow Head Pass, the Fraser River, Moose Lake and Mount Robson. The name Skeena means 'river of clouds' from the old Indian tribe Gitxsan.
Our return journey to Jasper is by car.
From Jasper we travel on to Vancouver.
From Vancouver we take The Cariboo Prospector to Lillooet via Whistler,157 miles distant. The train carries on to Prince George, a further 305 miles.
From Vancouver to Whistler the train is packed with ski fans, but for the rest of the journey we have the train virtually to ourselves, so we were granted a cab ride for a considerable distance.
Vancouver is a good place to see all kinds of transport with the highlight being a
senic ride in a float plane along part of the West coast.
We return to the UK flying from Vancouver via Chicago back to London Heathrow.
There was no steam on this trip, but the experience of travelling across Canada, plus two minor diversions, is something we will remember fo a very long time.
Transport in Norway. Gallery 19
Transport in Norway covers the period 04-08-2010 / 11-08-2010.
All the pictures were taken via a cruise on MV Saga Ruby that was from Dover to Bergen, Flam (For the Railway), Skjolden, Stavanger and return to Dover.
Via Euro Tunnel. Gallery 18
From London Waterloo International and St. Pancras International we journey to Euro Tunnel and through to Calais France then return to Folkeston.