Wednesday 21 September 2016

Another Test Train

Hot on the heels of the PLPR test train to Lowestoft on Thursday came the ultrasonic test train on Monday. Totally unexpected but a nice surprise and it gave me something to do. So I met up with Tim and waited. We knew what to expect - Colas Rail 37421 and a DBSO (9702) the other end. My first sight of a Colas Rail loco in the flesh and of course a 37 to boot. A few mins late and the magnificent loco loomed out of the Lowestoft light mist.

I have to say the lighting at Lowestoft Station is exceptional, making night time videos and pictures a lot easier. I can't think of many stations where you could get a picture to match this one for example.

37421 in its magnificence at Lowestoft
The Colas livery is pretty divisive it seems, but I don't mind it at all. I think the old Anglia Railways livery, for example would look a lot worse on a 37 than this one. Anyway we were lucky in that the driver was another really friendly chap who was standing next to me when I took the above photo taking one himself. We asked if it was worth driving to Oulton Broad North to get some good engine noise but he told us not to bother as this particular test train measures at 20mph and there wouldn't be any engine noise! So we stayed put and videoed it leaving. Now you judge for yourself, but did that driver time the acceleration deliberately so we got the best sound effect? Certainly seems to me he coasts a little longer than most would before accelerating. It's little things like that which make the mileage worth it.

And then came a bonus I wasn't expecting. Tim and I were nattering for ages by our cars, and many minutes had passed when I noticed a train in the distance approaching Lowestoft. Assuming it to be a 156 I didn't take much notice, then realised it was, in fact the Class 68 hauled short set making a very late night appearance. When I videoed it a few weeks ago 68016/19 were on it. Monday saw 2 different locos with 68022/24 on duty, in fact it turns out it was 68022's first day on the set.

68022 is the seventh Class 68 to have been employed on the set, which is now staying at least until the end of the year. The others having been 68004/9/16/19/23. My thanks to Richard Clinnick of Rail Magazine for that info. Unfortunately no major grunt from the 68's as they left ECS for Norwich, but what the heck we're just lucky to have them up here.

An unexpectedly good evening, and thanks to Tim for the company. For those of you pining for bus posts fear not, the next week or so will bring several bus posts. Tim and I are on our travels Sunday, and there should be enough material to keep everyone happy! I'm also hoping to get to Norwich tomorrow, man flu permitting, and hope to catch up with a few things there..

1 comment:

  1. Just look at that. Seats which line up with the windows! Legroom!

    What an APPALLING waste of space. "They" should be told.