|37175 is one of several ex-preserved class 37's currently seeing|
use with Colas Rail. It is seen leading a test train into
Guildford on 27th October with 37116 on the rear.
Closer to home the year started off with with poor weather which brought disruption to several routes in the UK- one of these resulted in the West Coast Mainline being closed into Scotland necessitating diversions to trains. Some of the most interesting of these were for Caledonian Sleeper services which took alternative routes, in some cases giving the opportunity to travel behind pairs of class 47's. There has been other good news for followers of main line heritage traction in the UK with both Colas rail and DRS returning some long absent class 37's to the network for both infrastructure monitoring and passenger operations.
|Blue BB67400's will continue to see use with SNCF into 2017|
but how much longer these veterans will last is difficult to
predict. BB67556 stands at Issoire on May 2nd 2016.
Looking ahead to 2017 it is great to see that the presence of loco-hauled trains in the UK is looking as strong as it has done in recent years with class 37's looking secure in the medium term both in Cumbria and Anglia and the new build class 68's continuing to pick up work.
Across Europe we must hope OBB can turn around the fortunes of the beleaguered City Night Line services which were withdrawn by DB in December. The operator clearly sees a future for these trains and recognises the valuable contribution they make to public transport. Undoubtedly as the year progresses we will continue to see more new locomotives and multiple units arriving across the continent. Hopefully enough interest will remain to sustain a few more enjoyable trips to France, though many of the trains which I enjoyed here only a couple of years ago are now very much on their way out.
|Enjoying a glass of bubbly in a Budd dome car on the |
Grand Canyon Railway.
All the best, James