Unlimited Bashing

Widewanderer at Eastleigh Station

The author wants to be a train driver...

“Bashing”. That's the colloquial expression used by English railway enthusiasts for travelling around on trains, just for fun. So I understand. For millions, travelling by train is a necessary evil, just surviving the journey and getting from A to B. For a handful of others, it's just innocent fun. No harm in it.

I must admit, I indulge in bashing myself. Just riding along in a train, gazing out of the window onto what is arguably one of the greatest natural shows on earth. And I quite enjoy the art of railway photography to boot.

Photograph of a young Wideanderer

Early days at Bristol Temple Meads Station!

There is something uniquely fascinating about trains. Gone are the days of the hissing, belching steam engines – sadly – but the interest and fascination still remains. Maybe it's something to do with the connection offered by unlimited travel around a network. After all, a train can be the start of a much larger adventure, maybe an aeroplane or cruise ship awaits, or a loved one or dearly missed family member. Travel by train has lost a large part of its romanticism, maybe, but at least a sliver of it still remains.

Bashing is really not a practical proposition in the remote little corner of Western Canada where I currently live, so it is something to look forward to, when I get to visit the mother country, back in Good 'Ol Blighty. In Kamloops, the passenger train only comes along three times a week, and then it's the middle of the night when it does. One really has to want to get on that train!

Image of a foggy day t Westbury Station

A foggy morning at Westbury junction, Wilts

For the photographer, capturing the railway scene has steadily grown more of a challenge as the years have rolled past, and fears over security and health & safety have grown. No-one is encouraged to linger at the railway station any more, and the age-old ritual of buying a platform ticket at the Big Station for a young lad's Saturday afternoon pleasure of train spotting is but a distant memory. The modern photographer has very much got to camouflage himself and blend in – the last thing he wants is for some over-zealous railway official to accost him, automatically assuming him to be something more sinister than a humble enthusiast. It's a bit like setting up a bird hide – except this time, we don't want to be scaring officialdom!

Image of freight train and signal

Down Main to Down Relief

Undaunted, I search out interesting locations and picturesque scenes in which to record the modern railway scene. After all, it is still part of the history of our land. I aspire to emulate the likes of the late, great Ivo Peters or Bishop Eric Treacy in the recording of this little corner of English life. Dear reader, I sincerely hope I have succeeded to a small extent, and present a small selection of my recent work. Do, please, enjoy, and let me know what you think…


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