Wednesday 17 June 2015

The 47's Are Gone, Long Live The 37's

After the farewell to the Class 47's on the short set on Monday, today saw the first day in service of the Class 37's. Not any newer but without doubt the playground bullies of the loco world. The 47's make you stop and stare but the 37's have you doffing your cap and calling them 'sir'!

Their first journey was the 0747 from Lowestoft to Norwich and I'm very grateful to Grahame Bessey who was there to capture the moment.

37425 in the early morning Lowestoft sun with the first 37 hauled short set service.     pic (c) Grahame Bessey
  I had decided to go somewhere a bit different to get my pics and so ended up at the wonderfully picturesque and peaceful Brundall Gardens Station for a couple of hours. Brundall Gardens Station was originally built in the 1920's at the request of a wealthy landowner who had created the Brundall Gardens which had become a very popular tourist attraction. The Gardens have long gone but the peaceful station remains, and is accessed by an unmade road.

Looking back down the approach to Brundall Gardens Station
There is also a path running parallel to the Norwich bound track, which if followed brings you out in a field with a great view of the line. I decided this would be the spot to photo the short set on its way to Yarmouth. The test pic of a class 153 didn't turn out too bad!

153309 having just left Brundall Gardens heading for Norwich
2 mins later and I heard the rumble of something big approaching. There are no words to describe just what a sight this was, and sound too. We have waited a long time for the 37's and boy has it been worth it.

37405 heads the short set heading for Yarmouth.  Just wow.
I had to wait nearly an hour for it to return and in that time my camera decided to misbehave. The idea was to take the pics from the footbridge at Brundall Gardens and indeed my distant shot didn't come out bad, catching 37425 approaching the station.

37425 approaching Brundall Gardens
However my close up shot failed miserably so I had to settle for a shot from the platform of  37425. One thing to note is that with the 47's the trailing loco was just idling all journey and the front loco did all the work. Not so wiith the 37's. Both loco's share the work and so the sound is in glorious stereo and what a sound it is. Spine tingling. I have a feeling it's going to be a regular jaunt during the Summer, finding as many different locations to photo these magnificent beasts.

37425 leaves Brundall Gardens heading for Norwich
Now I have a question for those of you more knowledgable of the local rolling stock than I am. The very first train I photo'd today was one of the 3 Class 153's on the Yarmouth/Lowestoft routes today and I noticed something for the first time. Can someone please tell me why they have two different looking ends. I assume it relates to their former two car lives, but which end is the original! If you compare this pic of 153335 with the pic of 153309 above you'll see what I mean.

153335 passes through Brundall Gardens heading for Lowestoft
Finally tonight I had time on return to Norwich to grab my first pics of freshly pained Gemini2 36180. I have to say that after the majesty of the 37's I was left feeling rather underwhelmed!

Newly painted 36180 at Castle Meadow


  1. In regards to the 153s, they were built as two-car 155s, and then they were split up in the early 1990s. The original cab is shown on 153335, whilst the second cab is as it is due to the lack of room at the inner end of the carriage to have an identical cab...I think.

    1. Thanks, Laine, and thanks Harry for contacting me offline. Just one of those things that had passed me by.

  2. Shame that the headlight surrounds on 36180 have been painted over as well. I was quite the fan of the black surrounds, plus it made the bus look modern (something the Norwich fleet is definitely not).

    1. That could well be the reason I felt so underwhelmed. 37562 had passed a few mins before and to be honest 36180 didn't look much diifferent. Perhas a simple touch like the black headlight surrounds would make that ittle difference.

    2. Take a look at some of First Leeds' Gemini 2s with their black surrounds in Olympia livery. As you say, the black surround just finishes it off.

      Plus what happened to the front being painted? Where the pink stripe and the light blue stripe not continued? Job half done

  3. Laine is right the second cab is smaller due to them being squeezed in. There was the idea after cascades that some of the 153's would be rebuilt as 155's again but it will be cost again