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Saturday, 30 August 2014

Sepia Saturday - Take a Tour by Train

Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity to share their family history and memories through photographs.

There was so much to choose from in this week's prompt, but as I have never featured trains before,  it is time now to take a trip from the Scottish Borders to North Yorkshire Moors, to Argyll in the west of Scotland, finishing in Austria. 

In the village of Earlston in the Scottish Borders where I now live, the railway survived 100 years, opening in 1863 as part of the Berwickshire Railway. Following major flooding that hit the region in 1948, the station was closed to passenger traffic, and the last freight service operated in 1965.

Photographs courtesy of the Auld Earlston Group

Three miles from my home is the major engineering feat on the Berwickshire Railway -  Leaderfoot viaduct  The 19 span bridge crosses over the River Tweed, near Melrose.  It  was built in 1863, with trains running until the line closed in  1965.  The structure is now in the care of Historic Scotland.     A Roman bridge once crossed the Tweed here, conveying Dere Street north from the nearby fort of Trimontium. 

A holiday in 1977 saw us take a family holiday  at Grosmont on the North Yorkshrie Moors where the heritage railway between Gromont and Pickering  was a key attraction.  The railway was planned in 1831 by George Stephenson as a means of opening up trade routes inland from the then important seaport of Whitby and was first conceived as a horse drawn passenger railway.  The line opened in 1836 and closed in 1965, reopening in 1973 by the North York Moors Historical Railway Trust Ltd. 

These photographs courtesy of my husband.

A visit to the National Railway Museum at York was also on the itinerary where our  daughter enjoyed playing gymnastics on the giant wheels.

We happened to be on holiday at Taynuilt near Oban in the West of Scotland where there was a small station which one night hosted the luxury Royal Scotman on a tour of Scotland,  We had a peep through the windows and saw tables being set for dinner - silver service of course1  We were most fascinated by the badges on the side of the train.  

And finally to the Austrian Lakes  and to the ""Road Trains"  which  a number of the towns have to transport visitors around. Fun for children and adults alike. 

At Mondsee the train took visitors from the main car park into the town centre.  Mondsee is probably most famous now as the location of the church used in "the Sound of Music"  film for the wedding of Maria and Captain von Trapp.   

This "train" in the spa town of Bad Ischl takes visitors round the town's attractions that include  Kaiser Franz Joseph's summer retreat - the Kaiservilla.  -  where in 1914 he signed the order that plunged Austria into the  conflict that became the First World War. Franz Lehar, composer of operetta's such as "The Merry Widow" also had a summer  residence by the river.  He was granted ho.honorary citizenship of the town and his music is remembered each year in a Lehar Festival. 

Click HERE to find other blogger tales from this week's prompt. 


  1. That bridge looks like it was pretty impressive.

  2. The Leaderfoot Viaduct is absolutely beautiful. I used to travel regularly over what I considered (as a child) was a high railway viaduct but it was a baby compared to this one.

  3. The cute trains of Mondsee & Bad Ischl taking folks around town remind me of the buses made to mimic San Francisco's trolley cars that ply the streets in the Sonora area. While the 'trains' in Austria appear to me as sentimentally fun, I think the 'trolley' cars driving around Sonora look ridiculous, but it's all in the way one looks at it, I guess. Too bad the trains stopped running in Earlston. The station looks/looked friendly & welcoming.

  4. The old bridge is very picturesque, but it looks surprisingly fragile.

  5. Oh my what an amazing bridge. If I see any more trains through my reading, I am booking a train ride, seriously! Great photos.

  6. Your 'local' viaduct is wonderful, so high, it must rival some of those in Europe.

  7. Great photos! that viaduct is scary!

  8. As you could imagine Sue I loved your railway theme! Not a chance I'd have liked to go over that viaduct though...heights + edges ....ugh!

  9. Leaderfoot Viaduct is beautifully proportioned and must be strong even though it looks so delicate.

  10. That’s how I remember railway stations (as they were called then) when I was a child. I’ve done the Grosmont visit too; lovely pictures.

  11. That bridge is amazing and beautiful.

  12. I'm glad your daughter was hanging on those wheels -- helps me appreciate just how big those wheels are.
    I agree with Lorraine about the Leaderfoot Viaduct - it appears tall and thin.

  13. Thanks mum for showing that photo!!!!!


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