Kingmoor blue day…

…in more ways than one! Despite the ridiculously inaccurate weather forecast by the Met Office, which predicted heavy rain for the DRS open day (Saturday 11th July), the sun decided to shine on DRS’s efforts and blue sky greeted an impressive parade of blue diesels in what was a low key, relaxed and beautifully organised event. The cutting of a ribbon at the depot gates signalled the opening at ten o’clock and in the lucky ticket holders went, to what proved to be an open day with a difference. The following is a fraction of the pictures I snapped. Clean diesels in an immaculate environment together with summer blue skies…a great combination.

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DRS maintains its Kingmoor facility to a high standard – no litter, everything clean and neat. Even the shed has clean painted floors…no oil spills, nothing.

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The event had the good old staples of open days: the naming of a couple of locos, locos on jacks to show how the lifting gear works and cab visits too. None the worse for that and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

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It’s good to see that not all operating companies apply purely commercial names to its locos. 37 423 was name ‘Spirit of the Lakes’. A very Cumbrian thing, I am sure.

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Most of the locomotives were cordoned off in the yard which on first inspection appeared as if it would hinder photography, just a little. As the sun moved round and DRS staff ran locomotives up to the yard gates and back, parading them for the cameras, the advantage of this approach became apparent. As things were moved around, the displays became dynamic as a result, offering different angles and displays, and no one got in the way of photographers. And…DRS was able to comply with safety requirements too.

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Colas Rail’s 47 739 was the only splash of different colour in a sea of blue. It runs slowly to the yard gate to the delight of photographers. Each time locos were moved up like this, they were left for a short time so everyone got a chance of a shot. I guess a lot of us all got the same angle, pose etc. But that did not matter – we all had fun by the looks of it.

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More blue against a summer blue sky – open days generally result in the majority of images being three quarters roster shots like this one. They are really useful for modelling reference pictures. The rain stayed away even throughout the afternoon, thankfully. It began to creep across after the event was over and heavy rain resulted Saturday night and into Sunday. As an aside, here in Nairn, the first proper spell of rain for months fell today (12th July)…if that had happened yesterday in Carlisle…

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Celebrity DRS Class 66s, ‘Eddie the Engine’ and ‘James the Engine’ in Stobart Rail colours were both on hand too. What DRS open day would be complete without them? That Class 37/0 is also a remarkable survivor.

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Back in the shed to get out of the hot sun which was beginning to burn.

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A lovely variety of classes were in attendance including Class 37s of various sub classes, Class 20s, Class 47s, Class 57s and Class 66s. Some former Class 50 thingy was there too…

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Fresh after its naming: 47 593.

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At the back of the shed…37 510 and another Class 57.

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Many thanks to DRS for putting on such an enjoyable event – I never forget that companies like DRS don’t have to do this, with all of the work disruption it can cause. All proceeds were destined for Cumbrian charities (there was no entrance fee, only a charitable donation request) and I hope DRS raised a bundle. We are still waiting on DB Schenker (EWS) and Freightliner to announce an open day of some description. How long it will be before one of them stages something along the lines of the DRS event? “Don’t hold your breath,” I hear you cry!

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