Thursday 28 November 2019

First 3 Car Stadler Enters Service

No prancing hares or 25 men and women in suits for this one, but at 0604 this morning the first 3 car Stadler bi-mode for Greater Anglia quietly entered service on the Ipswich - Felixstowe line. 755336 was the unit given the honours, and I was on it. The first bum on the first 3 car and no one can take that away from me!

3 car 755336 at Ipswich having arrived out of service from Norwich

Brand new, smelling very new too!

Where else would you want to go on a windy, rainy Thursday morning!
To be honest I couldn't tell the difference between the 3 and 4 car versions. I was hoping for even better acceleration but given the conditions I can fully understand the driver taking it easy.

The 3 car sits at Felixstowe

A quiet Felixstowe Station

View from the Felixstowe end driving cab.
I was joined by Tim for the second journey when the darkness had faded enough to get a picture at Felixstowe showing the full length of the train.

The 3 car unit in its glory
The single car class 153's are being taken out of service at the end of the week. I will be attempting to capture them all in their final hours on our patch before heading to pastures new in Wales.

Tuesday 19 November 2019

First Flirt For Felixstowe

Today saw the introduction of the new Greater Anglia class 755 Stadler bi-mode trains on the Ipswich to Felixstowe branch line. I may have mentioned I like these trains, really like them, in fact they are by a street the best new train I've been on in the last 20 years. It seems the good people of Felixstowe think so too, as they appeared to be revelling in the comparative vastness of the Stadler - known as a Flirt (Fast Light Intercity and Regional Train) to the one coach class 153's which have been the staple diet of the Felixstowe branch for many years.

I just happened to be out and about when news reached me of the debut, and I thought it merited some attention. So here is a selection of photos I took at various points along the route, culminating in a video.

We start in Ipswich;

Departing Ipswich for Felixstowe
At Ipswich with a class 156, soon to be replaced
Looking quite small on the 12 car platform at Ipswich.
Moving onto Derby Rd;

The Stadler enters Derby Rd Station
At a stand..
...and departing.

On the other platform heading for Ipswich
Next stop Trimley;

755412 passes over Trimley Crossing

And departs the station
Finally Felixstowe;

At Felixstowe Station

The distance view at Felixstowe

Preparing to depart Felixstowe
Over the next few weeks I will be extensively covering the transition from the old stock to the new. Not just when the new stock is introduced but also covering the last days of the old stock, as the exercise of replacing an entire fleet on this scale may not happen again very soon, and I consider it important it is reported and archived. So check in regularly as there will be two or three posts a week.

Now, as promised, the video of the day, shot at Ipswich, Trimley and Felixstowe.

Wednesday 13 November 2019

Blog Update

Hi everyone - apologies for being away for so long. No particular reason except nothing new to report apart from the same old same old. I have been waiting for confirmation on a couple of things which are dragging out a bit - one for over a year now. It must be said my enthusiasm is at an all time low, and it's going to take something pretty special to lift it again.

In the meantime we have lost more bus routes, with even more on the way - Konectbus have announced the X6 is being scrapped and yet another town - this time Attleborough - is being abandoned by Go East. More cuts coming in January. The usual "woe is us" moans from the usual suspects in regard to council funding came from the Bus Forum in Norwich last weekend, yet those same operators can't get their backside in gear to sort out the bus stop timetable debacle, or adequately promote their own services and then wonder why no one uses them. Honestly, the apathy in this area compared to the likes of Harrogate and Nottingham is not only breathtaking, it's very depressing.

On the rails the roll out of the new Stadler trains slowly continues. I'm hoping to cover as many of the significant moments as possible but that is not in my hands and I'm awaiting responses from others. In the meantime, and this is based on nothing other than gut instinct, I'm not so sure we've seen the last of the short set after all. It will be interesting to see what happens when the leaf fall season is complete.

I am hoping to reveal the news I've been sitting on for a year now in the next couple of weeks, so you can guarantee it will be leaked before I'm given the official green light! Watch this space, but please don't waste too much time watching it.