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Taking on Water... No. 419

Taking on Water... No. 419
Photo Information
Copyright: John Cannon (tyro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 207 W: 93 N: 875] (4422)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-07-18
Categories: Transportation, Decisive Moment
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II, Jessops 58mm Skylight 1A
Exposure: f/8, 1/125 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Rails, «amazing world of railways & trains» [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-03-09 9:19
Viewed: 3293
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Not great weather of late, so trawling through some old images to see if I can find something to upload! This is yet another picture taken at the Scottish Railway Preservation Society site at Bo'ness Station, this time of Caledonian Railways No. 419 taking on water.

From the SRPS website:

"Caledonian Railway 419 is the flagship of the Scottish Railway Preservation Society. It appears on the society's letter heading and has represented the SRPS at numerous events on both sides of the border.


"The locomotive was one of the Caledonian Railway 439 class, which totalled 92 engines built between 1900 and 1925, almost all of them at St Rollox works in Glasgow. They saw duty all over the Caledonian system, on suburban passenger trains, branch line work, train banking duties and shunting. The 439 class was a direct development of the earlier 0-4-4T locos of the 19 and 92 classes which could trace their parentage back to an 1884 design by the legendary Dugald Drummond.

"No 419's earliest service is not chronicled but by World War One it was shedded at Polmadie to work suburban trains out of Glasgow Central, a duty which it was to resume in 1952! However, still in Caledonian days (i.e. prior to 1923) it went south to Lockerbie where contrasting duties would have been light passenger work on the branch to Dumfries and banking turns on heavy trains from Beattock to Beattock summit.

"Following the formation of the London Midland and Scottish Railway in 1923, the locomotive became No 15189 and its Caledonian Railway blue livery gave way to a more sombre black. Its home depot became Ardrossan and later Edinburgh Dalry Road. The LMS gave it a new boiler and fitted vacuum brakes to supplement the Westinghouse equipment favoured by the Caledonian.


"The 1948 nationalisation of the railways brought the locomotive a change of number to 55189 and the legend British Railways on the tank sides. It was out-shopped in this style on July 6 1949. Line closures in the Edinburgh suburbs, for example the Barnton branch in 1951 caused 55189 to be transferred back to Polmadie, from which depot it performed zealously on empty stock duties between Glasgow Central and Larkfield carriage sidings from 1952-59, plus the occasional dash round the Cathcart Circle or sortie to darkest Lanarkshire.

"During this time it acquired a less than flattering stovepipe chimney, which the SRPS later replaced with a Caledonian example from a sister engine destined for the scrapheap. No 419's working life ended on humdrum pilot duties at Carstairs, where it was shedded until withdrawn from service in December 1962, along with 200 other steam engines in Scotland; surely the largest number to go at one time.


"As the last example of a Caledonian Railway 0-4-4T engine, 55189 held great appeal for the then recently-formed Scottish Railway Preservation Society. The asking price of £750 insignificant as it may seem today, proved difficult to raise and only a cash injection by Worcestershire farmer Mr W. E. C. Watkinson secured the Caley tank for posterity. It changed hands in March 1964. The generosity of Mr Watkinson over the purchase of 55189 is perhaps his greatest epitaph within the SRPS, following his death late in 1981. He had also provided £500 to enable the locomotive to be externally restored to its Caledonian blue livery. This was carried out during the summer of 1964 at the now closed Cowlairs Works in Glasgow, former stronghold of the Caledonian's arch rival, the North British Railway.

"In April 1965 it became the first inhabitant of the society's Falkirk shed. SRPS members returned 419 to full working order and its first public steaming was in the autumn of 1971. Since then it has carried the SRPS flag at open days, celebrations and railway events all over Britain, including the Stockton and Darlington 150th anniversary cavalcade in 1975.

"Over the winter of 1981/82, the locomotive was re-tubed and new side tanks were fitted. The opportunity was taken to overhaul various components, including the Westinghouse brake system.

"In April 1982 it went by road from the SRPS depot in Falkirk to the Bluebell Railway in Sussex, as part of the line's centenary celebrations. It arrived at Bo'ness in March 1983.

"The locomotive is currently in service


"Built 1907

Class 439, Caledonian Railway

Designer: J. F. Mcintosh (CR locomotive superintendent Loco weight 53tons 19cwts Boiler pressure 160lb/sq in Cylinders (2) 18ins x 26ins

Length over buffers 33ft 11 1/4 ins

Numbers carried: CR 419; LMS 15189; BR 55189

Withdrawn from Carstairs Depot December 31 1962."

Picture shot in RAW and converted using RawShooter Essentials. The sky was very blown-out, so I also converted the same RAW file, this time "underexposed" by 2 or 3 stops, and combined the two images in Photomatix Basic before final editing in Photoshop Elements 6. It would appear that combining images in Photomatix fails to preserve Exif data. All comments/critiques welcome.

mickyg, graffer, mortcdz has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To mortcdz: Thomas and Friends.........tyro 1 03-14 17:19
To bucanas: Thank you, Ralf!tyro 1 03-10 10:33
To andrei: Thank you, Anrei!tyro 1 03-10 10:30
To graffer: HDR Imagesgraffer 1 03-10 02:19
To mickyg: Thank you, Michael!tyro 1 03-09 12:19
To graffer: Thank you, Peter!tyro 1 03-09 12:14
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Critiques [Translate]

This shot is so full of colour with plenty of interest to keep the eye roaming around the shot. The engine is superb and that deep blue really sets it off from the traditional black. The architecture to the rear and the rusty lines along with the man filling it up just add so much interest John .. keep digging into your archives to see if you have anymore beauties like this ..

Hello John,

A lovely crisp and colourful image – the composition is excellent too, with the strong diagonals of the rusty rails in the FG acting as a fine foil for the red, blue and black colours of the locomotive. The rusty red water tower stands out against the blue sky, and balances the composition nicely.

I’m interested to see you using the Photomatix software – you have done a very good job of blending the two images with it.

I came across another very simple free program called DRI from http://www.idimager.com/, which will combine two images, very simple and a small download. It doesn’t seem to come with any instructions though. You have to work out for yourself how to use it - I haven’t tried it out seriously yet.

My only tiny niggle in this excellent image is that fine white line that appears along the junction of the sky – whether it's from combining the two images in the Photomatix, or from sharpening I don’t know. There must be a way of avoiding it, I wish I knew how!



Good strong colour and the subject fills the frame. I like the orange rust on the track - nice contrast agains the strong blue.

Hi John,

Beautiful photo,beautiful locomotive.Congratulation.
Best regards,

My 4 year old saw this picture and immediately said "Thomas the tank engine". Great colours and a super POV.
Thanks for sharing

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