France 25.4.03-28.4.03 <  >

This wasn’t strictly a track bashing trip (though two of the party hadn’t done any of the track). It did involve travel on non-UK railways though, so has its place here. The target was the occasional steam festival at the Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme. I’d visited the previous occurrence in 2000 with another track-bashing friend and found it enjoyable, if wet, so H, PR and I set off by car, without the ‘assistance’ of Eurostar this time.

Friday 25.4.03-Monday 28.4.03

Not strictly a gricing trip but worth recording, at least in brief. Lo-o-o-ng car journey with H and PR in the Turbo Tractor, pausing for very brief refreshment at an expensive and unappealing GBG establishment not a squillion miles from Dover. Sea France to Calais, and on down the motorway to Abbeville via Noyelles (in the rain, again) where timetable info was gathered for the Saturday. Stayed at the Ibis on the outskirts of Abbeville (just like all Ibises) and dined at McDonalds before a shortish pub crawl. Les Deux Ponts, by les deux ponts, was a good find with a huge choice of Belgian beer. Saturday was spent on the narrow gauge, photting and doing all the track, and in various hostelries (notably the English run one opposite Noyelles station with an excellent view of the goings on). A decent dinner was had in a restaurant near the hotel (on the ‘out of town’ side). Sunday was mainly occupied with photting and videoing of the main line steam locos working specials linked with the CFBS festival. An excellent dinner again in Abbeville. Back in the Tractor again on the Monday, with intermediate refreshment at the much more satisfactory Castle Inn (Adnams) in Cambridge.

 

2-6-0T no. 15 waits to leave St Valery Ville for Cayeux.

No 15 making a very spirited start out of St Valery Ville.

It doesn't quite have the tidy look of a 57XX! CFBS pannier no 25 waits for water at Noyelles,
 
 

No. 2 catches the sun at Le Crotoy.

141R840 spent the day being admired and climbed over at Noyelles in between main line specials

It's hard not to be impressed with the sheer size of 840, here being made ready to go back to the main line.
 

 

 

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