11.4.09 66563 6E73 Chalmerston - West Burton, Ais Gill Viaduct

11.4.09 66563 6E73 Chalmerston - West Burton, Ais Gill Viaduct - Ais Gill - Viaduct
On the 11th April 1989, after years of campaigning by many highly committed individuals and groups, a formal reprieve for the S&C was announced. Without the work of these individuals and not least, the Friends of the Settle - Carlisle organisation, a photograph like this would almost certainly not have been possible. Exactly 20 years to the day since the S&C was saved from the threat of BR closure, FHH workhorse 66563 powers slowly out of Mallerstang at Ais Gill viaduct in fantastic springtime conditions, on 6M32 Greenburn - Ratcliffe loaded coal service. I couldn't think of a better location to mark this anniversary, in my opinion, the view from this spot back down Mallerstang is one of the very best on the line. Garsdale was the centre of the celebrations today and for once, the weather responded appropriatley, it's almost as if it knew! It was a bank holiday weekend and therefore there wasn't much freight traffic to photograph but 2 southbound coal workings (one FHH and one DBS) somehow seemed to underline the shortsightedness of BR's attempt to do away with this magnificent route. Here's to another 20th years progress
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