Driver Gary Baldy & fireman Brian Bourbon, a couple of jammy dodgers, are in charge of the banking engine today. The 1 in 29 here is one of the of the steepest banks in Little Britain, with most trains, apart from the very shortest requiring a push up the rear.

If Bob Hobnob, the miserable old guard riding in the brakevan doesn’t like the loco crew in the engine at the front or rear of the train (or occasionally both, which to be honest most of the time), he very gently applies the brakes ever so slightly. But the crews are aware of this, and at the beginning of his shift put laxative in his tea and offer him several fig rolls as revenge whilst taking the biscuit out of his misdemeanours as desperate Bob tries the water the track surreptitiously from his bouncy brakevan. Bob falls for the trick every time. Don’t be like Bob.

The photographer’s new telephoto lens does a wonderful job showing off the gradient as the train nears the crest of the incline, giving the impression that the already steep gradient is steeper than it really is.

The Roger Spockets here will notice the wagons with their faded former private owner liveries still showing, but of course with British Railways lettering (the wagon number beginning with a ‘P’ to indicate such). In the 1950s, this was not that uncommon, for in early post war Britain there was little money around for repainting old wagons, other than re-numbering. And for the modeller, this adds a little more interesting variety and a chance to have some fun weathering up and renumbering former pre war private owner trucks.