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  1. Editing my latest Cumbrian Coast video the other day which has a few appearances by the Network rail Infrastructure monitoring trains I started to think about the previous times I have caught these in action. Finding them wasn't easy with my filing system as I've described them in different ways over the years and the old 'Ctrl F' button on Excel didn't find them all. However there was enough to make a video worth while starting with Network rail's own 'Doctor Yellow' a complete HST set converted for the purpose Seen here at Tapton Junction back in 2010. The power cars were the so-called Surrogate ones fitted with conventional drawgear and buffers In 2012 I was waiting at Kirkby Stephen on the Settle and Carlisle line waiting for the double headed Black 5s on the Winter Cumbrian Mountain express steam excursion. Snow still lay on the hills and an icy fog was lifting slowly just in time for the test train to appear. the other sets either use two diesels 'Top and tailed' or one diesel with a DBSO (Driving brake standard open) control car at the other end. In this case two of our Class 37/4s do the honours climbing Lindal Bank on the Furness line South of the Settle and Carlisle on the Midland railway's Skipton to Leeds line 37 025 blasts through Cononley with a DBSO at the other end. One of the coaches sounded like it had some serious flatspots on the wheels! Kev
  2. Official video, this shows the unit running under diesel power: Test run under electric power between Reading and Didcot, at speeds up to 200km/h. This is the first time a train has run using the newly installed catenary: http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/infrastructure/single-view/view/electric-test-train-runs-on-great-western-main-line.html
  3. Exciting times for U.K railfans as the Cumbrian Coast Rail line in North West England has the re-introduction of Locomotive hauled scheduled passenger trains after decades of being a DMU only line. to support the current franchise operator on the line 'Northern Rail' the freight operator 'Direct Rail Services' are supplying class 37s, Mk II coaches and train crews to provide more comfort and greater capacity on some of the busier trains. DRS had already started to support Scotrail by providing some of the new class 68s Bo-Bos and coaches to run the Fife circle around Edinburgh. The Cumbrian Coast line skirts the Irish Sea between the two historic rail towns of Carnforth and Carlisle and takes in spectacular scenery en route. One of the Class 37/4s is seen here at Green Road with the fells around Conston providing a backdrop. This location is on the westside of the Duddon estuary and on a quiet day you can hear the trains heading up and around the head of the bay for twenty or thirty minutes. Now the Class 37s allocated for the service are 37/4s equipped with ETS (Electric Train Supply) and were originally built between 1960 and 1966 by English Electric with 12CVST engines pumping out a modest 1750 HP, The 37/4s had the main generator replaced with an alternator. 37 423 'Spirit of the Lakes' is a typical finished in the latest DRS livery and here is seen on the rear of one of the early passenger trains at Askam in Furness station Now those of you who know British railways will immediately spot that the train seems to be on the wrong line, Not so, the train is running 'Top and tailed' with a Class 37 at either end and 37 423 is at the rear. The loco hauling the train is 37 609 a freight only loco at the leading end The trains are running in this formation until the DBSO coaches (Coaches with driving cabs) are ready for deployment when the trains will run in classic push-pull fashion. Running like this the rear 37 only provides the ETS supply in this direction but does everything on the retun leg with the 37/6 DIT (dead in train) 37 423 is seen again heading east on the steep bank from Dalton in Furness to Lindal in Furness which has always been a test of any loco. This is one of the test trains run before the service started properly to train the drivers and traincrew, mark out the platforms with the stopping points etc. You will notice the real mish-mash of coach colour schemes. Acquiring a large amount of loco hauled coaches in the U.K these days is really difficult and they come from various sources hence the mix of DRS, Virgin and Riviera liveries. Eventually they will all be finished in DRS blue/green and modernised internally. In the next instalment I'll show some of the other motive power used on the trains and link in the videos of the trains in action cheers Kev
  4. Unique (or bizarre, depending on your POV) way of providing more passenger services: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-28166639
  5. Yikes, here are a few YouTube-worthy clips. If you let each one play to the end, it automatically goes on to another. The one with the red automobile cutting in front of the one-car DMU, and the one with the cyclist at Waterbeach, are a bit shocking. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31100457
  6. Interesting article, photos of various emotions: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-29816152
  7. miyakoji

    rail reform in the UK

    Interesting BBC article, "Labour should reform the railways, prospective MPs say" http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27273672 (cool yard, someone should model it. Anyone know where this is?) I don't know much about it, but it's always surprised me that various operational aspects are in different hands, such as track and signaling versus rolling stock. Who does that actual scheduling? I think Yoshiyuki Kasai (current chairman of JR Central, and involved in the planning of privatization of JNR during its last days) wrote in his book that they discussed dividing different functions amongst various organizations, but decided against it.
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