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. …

Trucking Digest

Christmas… When I penned my previous post I was feeling a little out of sorts. I went down very quickly over Christmas Day with what I can best describe as Man-Flu – high temperature, aching limbs and sore throat. Plans for Boxing Day went straight out the window because I was in no fit state to cook nor eat anything too rich. So that was my Christmas 😦 I’m feeling a little better today although the chill effect seems to come and go during the day. Fingers crossed I’ll be back to normal come New Year’s Eve.

I want to write a bit about one of the changes that was brought into Euro and American Truck with version 1.33. You may recall that v1.32 brought improved realism to trailer stability with new physics based around cargo weight and centre of gravity. This was a major improvement. In v1.33 SCS Software had a one-liner advertising further Physics improvements (suspension, damping, braking, COGs). I was somewhat surprised when I started driving in the new version to find that my trailers weren’t appearing very unstable any more. Surprised? – Perplexed would be nearer the mark! It took a lot of questions to the development team by long time simulation reviewer Squirrel to get to the bottom of what was going on and he shared his findings in a video on YouTube which SCS also promoted through their social media accounts… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx43bLMZmxU …I have carried out the necessary changes to the stability and suspension in the background config using the games console and it is such an improvement. Now there is a need to ease back on the speed when approaching sharp corners. If you don’t the truck and trailer will develop an outward lean and ultimately roll over. There is an unforeseen positive – before, in v1.32, there was little warning that you’d reached the critical point for the trailer and it would suddenly go over onto its side. Now, because the truck is also unstable, you get plenty of warning and can take suitable action to avoid reaching that critical point 🙂 In American Truck you won’t notice the effect quite as much in the conventional vehicles such as the Peterbilt 389 because these vehicles are more stable than the European trucks. To have a fun rolling ride you really need to get out and about in one of the old-school cabover’s like the Freightliner FLB 😉

The other news was the annual Christmas Event which began on 18th December. We all had to deliver 12 Christmas Loads in ETS and ATS to qualify for the personal rewards and the community had to achieve 1 million deliveries for the community rewards to be released. I finished my last delivery for this on Christmas Day morning and since then I’ve only done one more run because I didn’t feel up to it (that’ll tell you how unwell I’ve been!). I believe the community completed their target later on Christmas Day. The delivery count is still rising though as there are other members trying to complete their personal targets. I’ll probably try and do a few more runs when I’m back up to speed. Some of the community would like to breach the 2 million mark by the time the event closes on 13th January 🙂 Here’s a few shots from my deliveries…

I think that will have to do for this post. Hope you all had a great time over the Christmas period and that you’re getting ready to see in the New Year. Keep on Trucking 🙂