Friday, 16 June 2017

You win some you loose some...

If everything in this hobby worked exactly as one planned then I guess it would be boring. One of the things that keeps me entertained is that occasional sense of surprise- when something happens that you are not expecting. Of course it works the other way as well- sometimes the event you have planned for, or the picture you have meticulously planned doesn't quite go to plan- the light changes at the last moment, or worse, the train simply doesn't appear as you expected it or at all.

First, my 'win'- I was heading back from the pub in Surbiton where I had been with a couple of friends, seconds after descending to the country bound platform for my train home I noticed a streak of yellow passing through the London bound platform- a NR DBSO, a test train and on the back 37025 'Inverness TMD'. I had just time to check where it was heading on Real Time Trains before diving onto the next 'fast' service for London and beating it to Waterloo. Fortunately I had my camera equipment with me as I had been out photographing earlier in the day. Great to see this fantastic loco at Waterloo, especially in one of the low numbered suburban platforms. What good timing on leaving the pub!

Secondly my recent 'loose'. GBRf had published in good faith that for operational reasons the 23:50 Lowland Sleeper from Euston to Glasgow/Edinburgh would be powered by 87002 on 5th June. As 87002 is 'required' and with nothing planned the following day and seats available on the sleeper at late notice I decided to give it a go. Fingers crossed as I walked up platform 2 to view the engine- and there it was on the front of the train- 87002 'Royal Sovereign'. I took my photos and made my way to my berth at the front of the train. Checked in and then returned to the front of the train to await the departure- but what was this? 87002 was no longer there! 10 minutes before booked departure the loco had been removed from the train for reasons unknown and disappeared. It would never return. Some while later 90042 arrived to work the train the reason cited was a leaky cab in the class 87. A very unfortunate turn of events, but to be fair to GBRf there clearly was every intention of using the class 87 and these things do happen. Given the awful weather that night a leaky cab could have caused plenty of discomfort to the driver between London and Glasgow.


  1. Hello James,

    I have been silently reading your excellent blog for sometime now and thought it was time I said hello. I really enjoy reading about your travels on the rails and looking at your excellent pictures too. In fact it was you and several other bloggers that I have been following that inspired me to start my own blog and document my travels; .
    I have only just started with one post about my short visit to Belarus, but I do plan on posting more about my experiences both on and off the rails as time permits. I loved reading the trans-Mongolian trip that you and your friend Simon did in 2012, that must have been an amazing unforgettable experience!
    I still have a mountain of your previous adventures to catch up with. As I also have a keen interest in the SNCF, I must say that I particularly do enjoy reading about your French trips. Anymore planned soon? Get out there and record it while you can as I'm sure you know it all won't be around forever with more units on the way..
    Well, keep the reports coming, I look forward to the next one.

    All the best,

    PS, -(I think we may possibly have met in February last year, did you ride the sleeper diversion up to Oban with the 73's one weekend??)

    1. Hello Kris,
      Sorry for not approving your post sooner (I hadn't seen it in my inbox)- Thanks for your comments and I'm glad you enjoy the blog and enjoyed reading about your Belarussian adventure. It's a country that is on my list for someday!
      I look forward to reading some more of your adventures when you have time to post them. As for France- I've just returned from a weekend with the SNCF and hope to have the report on here very soon!

      (Yes- I was on the 73's to Oban on a very wet weekend last year!).


  2. No problem James, I know how busy everyone is on the railway!

    Thanks for taking the time to read it. I hope to get some more up later this month.

    I just read your latest report from France over at ERG. Well done getting for getting in le dernier voyage of the CC 72100, they are already being missed by many.. At least the small diesels remain for now. C'est la vie...
    I agree, it is always a bit of a lottery on French trips. You just never seem to know if the gods of le chemin de fer are going to be on your side to get your haulages in!
    I'm looking forward to viewing your latest pics, keep them coming.

    -Yes, you were with some colleagues in the bay opposite me, in the lounge car during our magical mystery tour of North London to access the ECML on sleeper to Oban last year if I recall!