Secondly some good news if, like me, you're a fan of the Short Set. Greater Anglia have confirmed that the Class 37 hauled set will be in use until at least early 2019 when the new fleet of trains arrive. The 68's are still due to go at the end of the year though but I must say I'm chuffed to bits over the 37's - far more nostalgia on the railways right now than there is in the bus world.
And so to the second half of what turned into an epic day. If you haven't read the First Half click here. I arrived at Paddington with one thing only on my mind. After having the security forces come down en masse on me in Kent just for taking pictures of trains at an official viewing point designed for enthusiasts to take pictures of trains at I didn't want to be surrounded by SWAT teams for daring to snap an HST so immediately sought somewhere to sign in. Took me ages to find, which involved asking three members of platform/gate staff who couldn't have been friendlier, and in one case really bubbly and giggly. I eventually found the office, signed in with another really nice lady, attached my ID to my lapel which got me in and out the barriers at will and got to work.
I went to Paddington with one thing in mind - HST's. 40 years old this year and I was after two of them in particular. However the bog standard ones don't look bad either! From nearest first we have 43169/056/140/141
|Still impressive 40 years on, the HST line up at Paddington|
|Heathrow Express 332010|
|Business First on Heathrow Express|
|Even Standard Class looks good|
|front view of the 387|
|A Class 165 in new GWR livery|
|43187 London end of The Welshman|
|43188 at the country end|
And here is 43146 with some self publicity for GWR
The biggest surprise I had at Paddington was a service I didn't know existed together with rolling stock I wasn't expecting. To be fair it's only been running 11 years and as I haven't been to either Paddington or Heathrow in that time I forgive myself even if no one else will. The Heathrow Connect is a stopping service from Paddington to Heathrow, taking 15 mins longer but far less from your wallet, using 5 car Class 360 Desiros, which I thought, in my ignorance, were only to be found on the GEML. Not so, as Heathrow Express also have one 360 for the Terminal 4 shuttle.
|360204 on the Heathrow Connect service|
|43185 looking amazing in Swallow livery|
|And from the other side|
|43002 "Sir Kenneth Grange" looking just magical|
I'll put many more pictures up on Flickr when I get round to it! I would just like to thank all the lovely people at Paddington, a really friendly station. In the meantime I made my way home which included an extreme game of sardines on the Jubilee line, and reflected on quite a day.