If you live in Kent, and I know a few of you do, then you will be well aware that the railway between Dover and Folkestone Central has been closed since January, when the English Channel did a pretty good demolition job on the sea wall at Dover, resulting in the line being closed ever since. It says something that Network Rail can't get their signals to work properly every day (of which more later), but can rebuild a railway to withstand the elements over 3 months ahead of schedule. They achieved it at Dawlish a couple of years ago and now Dover. The line officially re-opens to passengers on Monday 5th September but a few test trains have been on the line already. This picture was taken by Kelly, who has kindly given me her permission to use it here - what a shot of the Javelin on the rebuilt line curving towards Dover Priory, the P&O ferry and Dover in the background in glorious sunshine. Well done to all concerned in the rebuild and thanks to Kelly for the picture.
|Southeastern Javelin on the rebuilt line at Dover. pic (c) @xMissKellyx|
|Simonds MCV Evolution on the 581 at Beccles|
|And connecting with the 580 to Yarmouth (take my word for it)|
It is never pleasant to have to report the sudden demise of a bus, but on Thursday Our Bus' E300 VAG 608R caught fire on the A47 near Acle and was unfortunately totally destroyed. Luckily the bus was empty, and the driver, the owner of the company, escaped without injury. There are pictures floating around if you search for them, but I've decided against publishing any.
Now a little follow up from last week. It would appear my comments regarding window hanging enthusiasts were not welcomed by all window hanging enthusiasts, so I might just point out one thing. I was talking about public trains, such as the short sets where window hanging is illegal anyway, not heritage lines where the trains aren't going fast enough to affect ventilation, and as a rule Mark I stock is used which have opening windows in the coaches. You don't want a reputation, don't earn it. But there is a much more serious point. There is currently an inquest going on as to how a man was killed after his head was struck by a signal gantry near Balham in South London. It would appear the victim was trespassing in a guard's compartment on a Class 442 Gatwick Express train, and leaning out of a window which had a notice above it saying "Do not lean out of the window". When I first heard about the incident I rather assumed it was a person probably drunk showing off to his mates as I saw a thousand times in my time as a guard. But no. This man was a volunteer on the Bluebell Railway. If anyone should have known the dangers of sticking your head out of a window at 60mph it was him. I have extreme sympathy for his family, friends, those who witnessed it and had to deal with it, but none whatsoever for him. This is the precise region what is now Southern had bars put across the windows of VEPS in the 90's. I expect some person will anonymously very bravely call me names again for expressing my views but I stand by them.
|VEP with window bars - do we have to go down this road again?|
Have a good week everyone and don't lose your head.