Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Blue and Yellow

In May 1982, brand new HST power car 43191 stands in Crewe Works after a proving run – hence the flies on the fresh paint 😉 Originally destined for the Eastern Region, it bears set number 254033. But it actually went to the Western Region so the set number had to be changed to 253055 before it actually entered service! Set numbers slowly became obsolete as the realities of changing power cars around for maintenance took effect.

The Blue used on British Railways locomotives was called Rail Blue but was also known as Monastral Blue and used the synthetic pigment Phthalocyanine Blue BN. It was chosen for its light fastness, tinting strength, covering power and resistance to the effects of alkalis and acids – information from Wikipedia.

Blue vs Yellow – Rob Laney and Mark Kirby clash during a recent match between Wingate & Finchley and Haringey Borough…

Catch up with Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge Here.

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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. …

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Public transportation

More likely to be found on the motorway taking passengers from city to city, here is a historic shot showing a coach in an unusual environment. The image was taken in 1981 on a rail enthusiasts trip around the various depots and freight yards of Manchester. This is close to Miles Platting and Cheetham Hill. Behind the coach and are the buildings of the H Marcel Guest paint works. They are grouped on either bank of the River Irk which cuts deep into the land here – you can see a bridge connecting both sides of the factory on the right of shot just above the rear of the coach. The grassy embankment in the distance was the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway’s Prestwich line which was closed and the tracks lifted by the time this photo was taken. The embankment is now back in transport use as the Cheetham Hill depot for Manchester Metrolink Trams. The coach is a Leyland Leopard with Alexander Y Type body. Colour slide converted to digital B&W…

In its natural environment, here is a Fiat bus – a 418 with Breda bodywork I think. In service with ATAF on the streets of Florence, the type dates back to 1971 and was being phased out when this photo was taken in 1995. Colour print digitised and converted to B&W…

Long after the rush-hour, below the city streets, a Class 313 electric unit waits in Moorgate station for departure time. The train will form a service to Hertford North. Over 40 years old now, the 313’s are finally being phased out of service on the Great Northern routes and being replaced by new Class 717 units. Some may find further service elsewhere like a number of sister units that have been refurbished for duties along the coast lines around the Brighton area. This digital image was taken in 2010 and converted to B&W…

Catch up with Cee’s B&W Challenge Here.