Loughborough - All Aboard The Santa Special
w/e 15 December 2002
As the days hurtle on towards Christmas,
what better way to embrace the merriment than by joining many
families with excited children aboard a Christmas Express. "Express"
may be too grand a word for this outing as the steam driven engine
trundled gently along the railway line between Loughborough and
Rothley bringing back memories of similar train journeys when
the journey was part of the fun and today's breakneck expectations
of speed were but a dream. A Christmas tree and carols from a
barrel organ greeted passengers on the platform.
The paraffin lamps were trimmed as engine no. 63601, the "Santa
Special" built up a head of steam.
The garlands decorating the awning added
to the festive atmosphere as the passengers boarded the train
at Loughborough Station.
Smoke (on the left of this picture) from
the engine drifted by the Rothley Cabin signal box as the train
slowed on its outward journey before reversing a few hundred
yards to come to a halt in Rothley Station.
Here there was the chance to disembark
to get a closer look at the 63601.
But it was soon time to climb aboard again
for the return to Loughborough and the last passenger to take
his place was that man in red with the white beard waving to
me from along the platform.