Andrew James is a freelance journalist and photographer. He writes regularly for market-leading photo magazines and is a partner in FotoBuzz - an exciting online community for photographers. He also leads and assists in photography workshops and holidays in the UK and abroad.
WHAT IS it about steam trains that can turn a grown man's knees to jelly? I'm as cynical as they come and I'm certainly no train geek but you only have to hear the whoosh of a steam train and see the vapour pouring into the sky and there is something inside that switches on. Compared to modern trains, steam trains seem to be alive and full of character. Perhaps, like most kids, a diet of Thomas the Tank Engine in my formative years has created this sense that steam engines are almost beings in their own right! The Rev. Wilbert Vere Awdrey has a lot to answer for! I'm lucky to have a steam railway less than 15 minutes from my door. Like all these types of railways it's run by enthusiasts who want to keep the magic of steam alive for each new generation. Here are a few images from my last visit to Nene Valley Railway.
If the cap fits!
I don't care whether you are five or 50, if someone says jump aboard and wear the driver's hat you are not going to need asking twice! Mind you, they didn't let me blow the whistle or drive it up the tracks.