Saturday, 1 March 2014

A Streak at Crewe, and tilting in an APT....

Nice weather today, so Malc and I headed the little bikes south to Crewe Heritage Centre where they had a Model & Miniature Gala in progress.

 Two red C90s; Malc with his on left, mine on right, at Malc's house this morning ready to leave

Malc and the little bikes at Crewe 

Here's a loco we last met at the East Lancs Railway about a year ago (see here). Gresley K4 'The Great Marquis'.

87035 'Robert Burns' . These fine locos were the mainstay of West Coast Main Line expresses before the introduction of the Pendolinos, hauling or propelling (the loco was usually at the 'country' end of the train) rakes of supremely comfortable Mk3 coaches.

A Streak at Crewe! LNER A4 Pacific 'Bittern' which we last saw in the summer at NRM York in 'The Great Gathering' of all 6 extant A4s. 

 I think A4s look a lot better with their valances fitted over the driving wheels, as 'Bittern' has

In recognition of the 'Capital Streak' high speed runs this year by this locomotive, 'Bittern' carries this laurel leaved plaque, inspired more than a little by the world steam speed record plaque carried by A4 'Mallard', below

 Unique 8P BR Standard Pacific 'Duke of Gloucester' hasn't turned a wheel under power for 18 months while a wrangle over finance to pay for repairs is played out. Her name and number plates have been removed, presumably for security reasons.

Prototype Advance Passenger Train - if sensible finance had been available for development these tilting trains would be providing high speed services on the West Coast Main Line today, instead of  Italian Pendolinos. Take a look at ,this a report on our last visit here, with a rant about how APT was killed by lack of vision.

The APT designers could teach the Italians (and Virgin) a thing or two about train interiors. Compare this airy spacious ambiance to the claustrophobic, airliner-like, letter-box-windowed Pendolino. And these seats are far more comfortable than Virgin's. We enjoyed relaxing in them while the Heritage Centre staff activated the train's tilt mechanism. Nine degrees, apparently, compared to a Pendolino's 8 degrees.

One of several model railways on display 

On the way home we called in at the Victory Hall, Mobberley where a 'miniature beer festival' was in progress; 4 real ales on hand pump, 4 direct from the barrel. Here we are about to leave, having spent a pleasant hour or so chatting to John Oates, chairman of the Mid Cheshire Rail users Association, and owner of a vintage single deck bus. John and others can be seen in the cosy 'smoking shelter' behind the hall.


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