Locomotive lifted from Carrbridge derailment site
The derailed 167-tonne locomotive at Carrbridge train station was lifted last night, by a team from Port Services using a specialist crane that can lift up to 1,000 tonnes. I had reliable information that the lift would be happening that night, but still you never know exactly how fast these heavy-lift operations will go so I turned up at midnight, found the best angle, and waited with my flask of soup
It was around 3am when the lift began:
After the loco was raised by about 20-feet there was a lot of banging noises from near the crane so the loco was lowered again while adjustments were made. Then the lift began for real. The next photo was used by the BBC as their "Big Picture" for today. Nice to see a wide shot being used, as it tends to be mostly tight shots that are used nowadays. I think a wide shot can often tell the story better.
And the next photo was used on the STV News web site.
The photos have all been sent to the national newspapers too so hopefully some will be used tomorrow. I'm fairly sure this next one won't be used, but I like it because of the composition with the guys sitting on the vehicle at the right of the frame.
Close-up of the loco being loaded on to a transporter which will take it by road to wherever it's going:
As preparation for the night shoot I had gone along to the site on Saturday afternoon. There was nobody around so I took the opportunity to go down to where the loco had come to rest. Naturally I called my better half to let her know what I was doing, so if she didn't hear from me in 10 minutes then something was wrong. You should always do that if you're going alone in to any situation where there's an element of risk. (Or just don't put yourself in that situation.)
I also made a panorama of the whole site. It was a 60-megapixel composite of 35 photos, showing a full 180-degrees, although it looked a little silly having the road at both sides of the picture so I cropped it to this middle section.
This is how the full 180-degree view looked:
And for novelty value, here's a 53-megapixel panorama made from 24 photos showing the scene where the locomotive has been stranded for nearly six weeks.