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We have lift off! 55 008 'The Green Howards' exits Gasworks Tunnel on the 16.05 Kings Cross - York

Belle Isle used to be my favourite photographic location, bar none, in the late 70s and early 80s. At one time working in the Greys Inn Road, it was a fairly short walk after work to take a few phots here before getting the train back home to Brighton. Despite numerous visits here this was easily my best colour shot of a Deltic attacking the grade out of the Cross.

The lineside bells used to warn of an impending train about to leave the tunnel, and the muffled roar of a Deltic working hard would be followed by a huge trail of blue exhaust as it emerged into the light, some more spectacular than others. The exhaust would often then drift for ten minutes or more from the tunnel bore! Not exactly ideal conditions for crews on following trains!

The erection of the OHL naturally spoilt this location considerably, but the cantilevered mast at this spot did commendably provide a slighter clear view.

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Taken on August 2, 1981