The Railway Men: Black & White Sunday

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The Talyllyn Railway in mid Wales is the oldest preserved steam railway in Britain. Over the past half century it has inspired many other such ventures and there are now some 500 miles of restored lines across the country.

That they are there at all and can offer us steamingly enjoyable train rides is mostly down to armies of enthusiastic volunteers like these chaps in the photo. It’s an enterprise fraught with responsibilities too; the health and safety implications are momentous: track, rolling stock and passengers all to be kept in good order.

And in case you missed it back in June, you can read more about Tish and Graham’s big train day out at:

Partners in steam on the Talyllyn Railway – Woo-hooooo


This week at Black & White Sunday Paula’s challenge is COMPOSITION. Please visit to see her own very fine composition, and the other entries it inspired.

My own photo was composed in Dynamic Monochrome.

46 thoughts on “The Railway Men: Black & White Sunday

  1. Cheers to the volunteers keeping up this tradition and spreading so much joy. 🙂 One of the biggest attractions in North Norfolk is the The North Norfolk Railway, also known as the Poppy Line. We love to watch the various steam engines when we go for walks. The train stations look like out of a history book its old interior. There’re so many dedicated helpers and volunteers, I’d say 95% men, we very seldom see women.
    Have a happy Sunday, Tish,
    with love from Norfolk,
    Dina & co

    1. Nothing like a steam train for raising the spirits. You’re right, too, about the ratio of male to female enthusiasts, though I did capture a pic of a young woman in the steam engine on our Severn Valley line. On the other hand she could have been visiting her boyfriend on the footplate i.e. as the only means of getting to see him 🙂 Happy weekend to you in Norfolk, Dina!

  2. a dynamic conversational vignette made for monochrome Tish – all our steam railways owe so much to such people. I thinks it’s because the steam engine is a living entity that fires us up!

    1. Are you watching the totally fab series on the BBC – Steaming Ahead? Ruth Goodman may be a touch eccentric, but boy do they nail a lot of fascinating history in each episode.

      1. missed this – wonder I can do ‘catch up’ before Septmeber?!! thanks for the info

  3. A complex composition with some very candid portraits in front. Lovely! I am very glad you could join me today, Tish. Thank you. Have a great Sunday!

    1. What was great, and very lucky about this shot was that I could see the men composing themselves as they moved towards each other along the platform. I just pressed the button 🙂

  4. I do love the old trains! We have on old train running once a week through the backwoods and swamps. It travels VERY slowly through where the old mills were … now empty shells. No one rides those trains. They were never meant for passengers, just cargo … and with the mills and factories gone, there is no cargo so they run it weekly just to keep the tracks clear. Otherwise, no trains anymore.

  5. Oh, how this resonates with me; family from Wales coming to America to establish coal mining in PA and WV, and the backbone of transporting coal being the old steam railway. The sound of that train today instantly brings me back to the mountains and that long ago era. Thank you!

      1. Hmmm… might be a good idea. My blog is about teaching, although stories might be a better description. I do include ‘Jennie stories’, so perhaps I need to weave more of my childhood history into this. Just the word “train” makes my heart race. Excellent idea; thank you.

  6. I lift my hat to the volunteers who keep these rails and the Victorian locomotive going! I went back to look at her in your original story and she’s a beauty. Love the other pictures too.

  7. I enjoyed the photolog as much as the commentary–though Welsh pronunciation is beyond my skill set. I recently read (listened to) Terry Pratchett’s novel “Raising Steam” and your story resonates with that fantastical realm of the birth of a train-loving fervor in imaginary Ankh Morpork. If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend it.

    1. Many thanks for the book plug. I love the Terry Pratchett books that I’ve read, but did not know this one. And yes, Welsh pronunciation is quite something. A Welsh poet once described the double ‘ll’ sound, roughly ‘cthl’ as being like the sound of sea on rocks. I understood it a lot better after that – a language that comes out of the earth and ocean 🙂

  8. hi tish – it looks like these men posed for you – love the smile you gabbed and in “dynamic monotone” it has the timeless feel of a railroad – and rich contrast with the hats and back iron. I also like the “joy” of those in the picture – they feel like kind and caring fellows…. great mood you give us

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