60004 Lower Birchwood 9 April 1992

60004 Lochnagar passes Lower Birchwood (near Somercotes) with the 6M47 11:00 Lackenby to Corby steel coils on 9 April 1992. The wide trackbed here is a clue that this was formerly a junction for two colliery lines, both long since closed. The flat area on the left used to be the exchange sidings for Lower Birchwood Colliery, while on the right was the connection for Cotespark Colliery. This was also on the west side of the line, like Lower Birchwood. To cross the main line, the Cotespark line climbed a gradient, and then crossed over the mainline just above the entrance to Alfreton Tunnels (just out of sight in the background). This location is totally unrecognisable today, tree growth having blotted out virtually everything in this picture.