Tintagel Castle (the one with traction motors)
Well, of course, she has a number. Heck, all locomotives have one of those.
But what gives First Great Western Class 57 diesel electric locomotive 57603 her special panache
is the plaque with the evocative name “Tintagel Castle” she proudly wears on her rich blue livery.
She’s coupled to an equally handsome Riviera Night Sleeper train here in London’s Paddington Station. She’ll soon
smoothly glide out of Paddington to transport her slumbering passengers on the southwestward nocturnal journey to Cornwall.
I had to wonder if maybe just one of those passengers might have brought along a Walkman (does that date me?)
or perhaps a newer type player where it all comes off a chip (how unromantic is that!) and if that player might have
on its tiny cassette reels (or somewhere in the silicon traces) Sir Arnold Bax’s evocative tone poem “Tintagel.” (*)
What a heady audio cocktail when reclining in that Penzance-bound Riviera Night Sleeper – Bax’s rich orchestral
tone painting and, just under it, the reassuring rumble of FGW No. 57603, err, “Tintagel Castle,” gently gliding out
of Paddington into the London night.
Must remember to do that next visit (with my trusty Walkman properly loaded and programmed).
Photo, Design, Narrative ©2013/2015 Steve Ember