English Electric in the Douro Valley One Year Ago.

It was just a year ago, March 30, 2019, that I exposed this digital image of a Comboios de Portugal (national railway of Portugal) passenger train winding along the picturesque Douro Valley near Aregos .

Denis McCabe and I had spent a week documenting Portuguese railways. Fine weather and excellent scenery combined to make this an enjoyable and successful Iberian adventure.

For this photo, I worked with my compact Lumix LX7. This compact camera produces outstanding results, owing in part to its Leica Vario-Summilux lens. Previously on Tracking the Light I published some of my Douro Valley photos exposed using my FujiFilm XT1.

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3 comments on “English Electric in the Douro Valley One Year Ago.

  1. David Arthur Cook on said:

    Yes, Brian, you WERE lucky! Two corrections to mine above. These Clas 1400s had 8CSVT engines – I think that means the engines are ‘scavenged’ or something like that. The power is
    1 330hp so they have a bit more get-up-&-go over the classic BR Cl.20!
    Some have been sold on to the Portuguese equivalent of short-lines!

  2. David Arthur Cook on said:

    Good Heavens! Are those EE hood-units still running in every-day service! They were basically a 1 000hp EE Class 20 BB, but with an Alco RS-like hood and cab. But the engine noise is pure EE 8SVT and beautiful with it. I stood track-side in NW England in the mid- to late-60s and watched some of the original EE Cl.20s emerging in shiny green, and later BR blue, from the EE factory at Newton-le-Willows.
    When I visited the Douro Valley in 1973 the emphasis was very much on seeing narrow- and broad-gauge steam. I saw and heard but 1 of these hood-units, accelerating a local passenger across a grade crossing one evening.
    The Cl.20s are finished now in service in the UK, except for a few preserved units. I will always hear the harsh chattering exhaust of pairs of them in real freight service (before BR was swamped with EMDs……… )

    • From what I understood, the week we were there was just about the last gasp for regular EE diesel working in the Douro valley, and was related to a line closure further west on the line for electrification works. I also saw some of these EE diesels switching in Lisbon. I’m not 100 percent up on the Portuguese diesel scene, but I do know we were extremely lucky to catch these antiques on the move.