The operation of steam locomotives in cold winter weather has its challenges, but also its rewards – when the low sun shines, the steam condenses in the cold air ad the paintwork burns white with reflected light, the results can be very attractive. To illustrate this, here are a few photos taken on nothing more sophisticated that an iPhone, capturing John Howe at Rowley Station. The locomotive hasn’t any more days of operation ahead of it at Beamish – where has the latter part of the year gone?! It will head for home at Preston in the new year, to be replaced in February by IWD No.34 (Portbury). John Howe has operated regularly and without fuss throughout the second half of the season at Beamish and we are grateful to its owner and the Ribble Steam Railway for making it available to us. Here are five minutes of its day today, Christmas Eve, as it goes about its business on the NER branchline.