Weekly Photo Challenge: Ready


Torbay Express passing through Weston-super-Mare on it's way to Torquay

The Torbay Express is a named passenger train operating in the United Kingdom. Historically, the Torbay Express name was applied to services operated by the Great Western Railway from London Paddington to Torquay and Paignton.

In recent years, the name had been reused for a passenger charter steam locomotive service which runs on certain summer Sundays and some Saturdays, each year from Bristol Temple Meads, via Weston-super-Mare and Taunton to Torquay, Paignton and Kingswear.

In the image above you can see that the train is just getting READY to leave Weston-super-Mare. I managed to capture the engine driver just climbing into the cabin after doing an inspection of the wheels. The fireman on top is moving coal from the bunker, nearer to where he stokes the fire, to make it easier for himself when the train starts running.

37 comments

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  6. Judee

    This is an amazing picture, Mike. You captured the exact moment perfectly. I love the steam swirling around, it came out perfectly.

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  10. Judy

    I love trains and old train stations. This is an awesome train engine….and a fantastic photo! I love how you caught the steam! The clouds and even the flowers by the tracks give some nice detail to the photo, also! Great post…it certainly is READY!

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  12. annefreemanimages

    I like all of the activity, color and textures going on in this photo, especially that little patch of purple flowers amongst all that human and mechanical activity. Nice!

    ~Anne

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  13. islandbliss101

    Wow! That is one cool “so ready” train. I can almost smell and feel the smoke as I look at the vividly clear, beautiful photo. My son loves trains and lately we’ve been checking out the different kinds of transportation. Thanks. Best wishes to you and your family.

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  15. orples

    There is an old mining train in Cass, West Virginia, USA, that still runs as a tourist attraction. Your photo took me back there the minute I laid eyes on this train. It too is was driven by steam. I see you mentioned, this train runs on coal. If I remember correctly (from 20 years ago), the Cass train was fueled by wood. By the time the trip was over, we were covered in soot. But it was a fun ride, the landscape was beautiful, and somewhere in storage, I’m sure I still have the cap I wore climbing the mountain. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photo and reviving memories my trip to visit Cass. Maybe one day, I will have the opportunity to hop aboard the Torbay Express. One never knows. I can only imagine the beautiful countryside there is to see on that side of the pond. 😉

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    • Mike Hardisty

      We are very lucky here in the UK that there has been a revival of heritage railway systems all running on steam. Here in Wales we have many of these trains and I’ve managed to travel on a good few of them now. They all travel through beautiful scenery.

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