Saturday 7 March 2015

The Train Departing From Beccles...

You will have seen the cartoons where a sudden surprise has eyes poking out on stalks. Luckily my eyes stayed put but the surprise was the same when BorderBus posted a pic on Twitter of a rail coach on a low loader preparing to leave Beccles for a private railway line in Bicester, although after a quick search I can't find an obvious candidate. I asked Andrew Pursey if I could use the pic, which he not only agreed to, but said his superior half, Nicky had more on her phone which she would, and indeed did send to me.

The CSS CIG coach on the low loader at Beccles
 The coach involved is a Driver Trailing Coach from a Southern Region Class 421 CIG unit, a real blast from my past. Not only did I love travelling on these but I also guarded them and they were without doubt my favourite units. What makes this extra special is that 421853 is in Connex South Central livery. It was Connex I first worked for on the railway, a French company who ran South Central from May 1996 - August 2001, and the South Eastern Franchise from October 1996 - November 2003. This unit ran on the lines out of Victoria and London Bridge to Gatwick Airport, Brighton, Hastings, Eastbourne, Worthing, Littlehampton, Horsham, Chichester, Portsmouth and Southampton. Here she is leaving Hastings close to the end of her career in September 2003. The pic is by Christopher Livings, whose Flickr page you can access here.

1753 leaves Hastings in September 2003.     pic by Christopher Livings
So how did this great train end up at Moor Business Park in Beccles? I have absolutely no idea so anyone who can fill in the gaps pleae let me know! According to Nicky Pursey it has been in storage for over 10 years and it makes you wonder what else is under our noses out of sight! 3 of the carriages are going to Bicester, which begs the question which one isn't, as it's a 4 car unit. My guess would be the motor coach, which is also where the guard's van was located, as apart from being much heavier unless the private line has third rail electrification the motors will be unusable.

Just love this pic. Nice one Nicky!
Just one thing about the pic though - the coach is facing forwards, therefore should be showing whites on the route indicator not reds! Think I've found my new header pic though!

I think I would have liked to have been there
Now there is a young man who I imagine has sat in more bus cabs than he has had hot dinners, but yesterday Jamie Pursey achieved something that even I haven't managed yet - a ride in the cab of a big truck. I am reliably informed that 2015 is now complete. Good on ya, Jamie - I'm jealous on two counts now - you were there AND you got a ride in the truck!

Jamie Pursey in the cab of the DAF tractor unit. Just love Epress Delivery!

My thanks to Andrew, Nicky and Jamie Pursey for the pics, information, and permission to publish. I think it rather nice that a bus family has created a train post! Perfect for this blog too.


  1. It belongs to the Network SouthEast Railway Society

    1. Thanks, Martin. If you read the news round up 8/3/15 you'll read a bit more about 1753, where it's going and another great pic.

  2. Your info was clear to see, and My partner and i appreciate that it was concerning Brighton+hove to Gatwick,Gatwick to brighton+hove. Thanks regarding keeping that simple but very educational and beneficial.

  3. No, the reds look correct to me.