Heritage Diesel Day at Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway
Today was a Heritage Diesel Day at the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway, with 27 001, restored to service by the SRPS Diesel Group, running a number of trips between Bo'ness and Manuel Junction. Hoping for some mid-morning sunshine I headed to Bo'ness early on to find 27 001 already idling in the station with a rake of carriages.
I bought a ticket for the 10:30am departure from Bo'ness and then spent some time on the platform. As departure time neared I got a spot in the first carriage behind the locomotive and settled in to enjoy the short ride up to Manuel. Despite having been to Bo'ness on a few occasions, this would be my first trip on the railway.
The line runs through trees outside Bo'ness before turning north and traversing more open countryside as it climbs towards the mainline at Manuel junction. The leaves are just starting to turn and the occasional sunshine brought some much needed light to the landscape. After the pretty station of Birkhill the Avon viaduct provides a final grand vista before the end of the line is reached.
At Manuel the locomotive was disconnected and run around the carriages for the return journey down to Bo'ness. In the September sunshine passengers got out to enjoy the fresh air and the sounds of the Sulzer engine ticking over as it rumbled over the points.
After completing the maneuver and hooking back up to the carriages, the guard's whistle had us all back on board and soon we were rolling back through the countryside heading back south towards the Forth.
Back at Bo'ness I watched them restore the locomotive to the front of the service ready for the next departure.
After a warming lunch of soup, coffee and cake at food@34a I headed home, catching sight of the 12:30 departure as it rounded the curves along the foreshore.