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Thread: Railway remains & Pilot Memorial (image heavy)

  1. #1
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    Default Railway remains & Pilot Memorial (image heavy)


    Having been inspired by the many excellent railway related posts on here, I thought I would have a go at adding my own.

    The Dumfries to Stranraer railway opened completely in 1863 and was axed by Dr Beeching in 1965, although final dismantling didn't take place until 1968/69. By the time of closure the 75 mile journey took a leisurely two and a half hours. No diesel trains (apart from the demolition trains) ever ran the route. The line was extremely busy during the Second World War.

    Most traces have gone, this my attempt to capture most of what is left and also to find the memorial to a brave young pilot. I hope you enjoy these, the rest are here : https://flic.kr/s/aHskdG3zRj

    I started at Loch Ken viaduct

    Loch Ken Viaduct by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    Believe it or not, this bridge is still used as a private driveway to a nearby house

    Loch Ken Viaduct by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    On to the lonely Loch Stroan...



    Loch Stroan Viaduct by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    050 by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    Only three and a bit miles to walk to the next stop..

    Westwards through Galloway. by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    Next stop, Loch Skerrow halt. THis was an isolated station which was a request stop for fishing parties. For many decades after opening, there was no road access. It was an opportunity for trains to rest and take on water. Railway staff lived in small cottages nearby. Here it is in the early 1960s...

    10a by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    And (nearly) the same view today..

    Loch Skerrow Halt by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    058 by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    Waiting for the next train?

    059 by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    The other platform and base of the water tower.

    [url

    Remains of old snow fence made from sleepers

    056 by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    The remains of the staff cottages, which look almost like 16th century ruins...

    065 by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    067 by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    069 by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    On to the next landmark, the Big Water of Fleet Viaduct

    Big Water of Fleet Viaduct by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    016 by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    On the 18th of March 1944, No. 440 and 439 Squadrons of the Royal Canadian Air Force were being moved from RAF Ayr to RAF Hurn, Bournemouth. A refuelling stop was to be at RAF Woodvale in Lancashire. The squadron was flying a mix of Typhoons and Hurricanes. The Squadron was prepearing for offensive operations over France in preparations for the Normandy landings. While on the first part of the trip, Typhoon JR439 flown by 22 year old P/O K O Mitchell lost control and crashed near the railway line. The wreckage was not found until the next day. The pilot was buried with full honours at Ayr.

    This is the memorial cairn with a part of the planes' reduction gear at the top. The passage from the book of Solomon which reads : "Until the day break and shadows flee away" was chosen by the Pilot's family and is on his headstone at Ayr Cemetery.

    005 by tumble112 explores, on Flickr


    004 by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    I stayed here for a time and paid silent respect to the bravery of this man who was almost half my age when he died. Wreckage of the aircraft is still spread over a wide area. These are some of the pieces near the memorial.

    008 by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    012 by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    016 by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    010 by tumble112 explores, on Flickr

    I hope you enjoyed looking, apologies if it was a bit long. :)
    Last edited by tumble112; 6th May 16 at 10:15.

  2. Thanks given by: Andymacg, flyboys90, Hugh Jorgan, HughieD, jmcjnr, Locksley, Luise, Malcog, Mearing, Mikeymutt, oldscrote, Rubex, smiler, theartist, The_Derp_Lane, thorfrun, trainman
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  4. #2
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    No need to apologise for that being too long...love a bit a bit of railbex. Fascinating report.

  5. Thanks given by: tumble112
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    Quote Originally Posted by HughieD View Post
    No need to apologise for that being too long...love a bit a bit of railbex. Fascinating report.
    Thanks very much. it was the railbex posts from yourself and others that made me get off my backside and get out there! It did take me a few trips to find the memorial, it is difficult to find which is why so much wreckage remains untouched.

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    Great report, sort of thing I love is finding the remains of old railways. The cairn is a fitting tribute to a brave pilot
    May the shadow of Murphy never darken your door."
    Flickr

    Forgotten Fairmile
    Spuds Rural Explorations
    The Church explorer

  8. Thanks given by: tumble112
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    Great photos,at least the 3 trees survived Beechings cuts! Thanks for sharing.

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    Very interesting, some beautiful photos there Sludden. I love the old platform :)

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    you have taken some very nice photos, i enjoyed your report, thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by flyboys90 View Post
    Great photos,at least the 3 trees survived Beechings cuts! Thanks for sharing.
    Nice one!

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    Really enjoyed that one sludden
    I like to go where others fear to tread.

  17. Thanks given by: tumble112
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    I'm glad to see that the three bridges survived Beechings cuts because they are Grade 2 listed. I like the nice touch with the memorial and this is a good report. The 1960s photo shows "Black Five" No 45471 with the 3.50pm Stranraer Town to Dumfries on 19th September 1964. 45471 had a depot code of 31A which is Glasgow St Rollox. I found a link with a little more information about the downed pilot.
    The Scottish Military Research Group - Commemorations Project :: View topic - Loch Skerrow, Typhoon Air Crash
    When the going gets tough - the tough get going.

  19. Thanks given by: tumble112
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