Soldiering On

Last year was a bit of a disaster in terms of my transport photography. Apart from some good opportunities whilst on holiday in Scotland, I really didn’t get to do as much train spotting as I had intended. This was partly due to physical issues with my knee which impacted my walking early in the year. Equally, the high number of football matches that I had to photograph also absorbed a lot of my time. It’s funny how you seem to have less time to do things when you’ve retired than you seemed to have when you were working! Anyway, today I set out on a short local trip up to Hadley Wood to catch up with what’s been happening on the Great Northern main line. I should add that the choice of Hadley Wood was the first step of a new project – I am going to visit all of the stations at the furthest locations that my ‘Over 60’ Oyster Card permits me to visit around London.

I was expecting to see some new Class 717 units on the local services through Hadley Wood – they were supposed to be entering service from around September last year to replace the elderly Class 313 units. Not a single one did I see. The Moorgate to Welwyn Garden City services were still exclusively in the hands of the 313’s. They’re over 40 years old now and badly showing their age with fading paint from the previous operator showing through many layers of lime-washed graffiti. Although the ride in the trailer cars is very smooth the motor carriage can start with a bit of a jerk and the seats are an early example of minimalism when it comes to comfort. As for the Class 717’s, I understand that their introduction has been delayed by issues with the trip-cock mechanism required for operation through the tunnels to Moorgate. Siemens are testing new versions of the design to rectify the problems.

On a different note, the 365 units have all but disappeared – replaced by the Class 700 units. Some of them have found a temporary new home in Scotland while issues with the new Class 385 units up there are resolved – that lease currently terminates in May. I wonder if the 365’s will find another owner in the future but for the time being these units, that have yet to reach their 25th birthday, are being stored at Papworth Sidings near Ely. The other units to take over their work was Class 387, which are a Bombardier design. Here are some photos from today at Hadley Wood.

313050 arriving at Hadley Wood with a Welwyn Garden City – Moorgate service…
700140 running 4 minutes late with the 10:54 Peterborough to Horsham service…
And 700016 on the 10:44 Cambridge North to Kings Cross service running 3 minutes late…
Northbound, here is 387117 running to time and catching the sun on the 12:12 London Kings Cross to Ely service…

At New Barnet, here is 387107 heading to Kings Cross with the 10:44 service from Kings Lynn and 8 minutes down on the schedule…
And finally, 313029 arrives at New Barnet on time with the 12:47 service to Moorgate from Welwyn G.C. …

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