Back in 2017, I had a week to kill between meetings in Birmingham (England) and Paris, so I decided to visit somewhere I’d always wanted to go – the Isle of Man. It’s a tiny self-governing British dependency in the middle of the Irish Sea, about halfway between England and Nothern Ireland. It’s also filled with historic railways.
The new trip report with dozens of photos of all the island’s operating heritage railways is posted over here.
It’s been quite a few years since I’ve actually posted any new photography from any railfan trips. Mostly it’s because I just run out of time. By the time I get home from the trip, there’s just enough time to dump all the images into my big storage server, maybe post one or two to Trainorders, and then crash so I can get up and go to work in the morning. And then life happens and I never get back to editing and publishing.
I’ve decided that’s going to improve, and as my first attempt, I give you the Lerro charter that happened on the Niles Canyon Railway out in California two weeks ago. Yes, that’s right, it’s only taken me two weeks to get this thing edited together and posted, and that includes inventing a workflow with WordPress that fits my new website.
The charter happened on Saturday, Feb 8, 2020, and the two stars of the show were Skookum, the only 2-4-4-2 logging Mallet in North America (and one of two anywhere), and Clover Valley Lumber #4, a 2-6-6-2 logging Mallet. After several trips where Skookum didn’t operate, I figured this was my chance – I’d finally see it do more than roll out of the engine house and back in.
I’ll give you a broad swath of the history of both locomotives and the route itself in the trip report. But if you like articulated steam, you’re going to like this one.