I’m up early and waiting To grab a quick breakfast before heading off to the Institute of Mechanical Engineers with my colleagues from TALGO, ready for this morning’s press conference where the company has an exciting announcement to make…
Sunrise over Hounslow.
My fellow conspirators on the tube.
The District line may be busy, but at least the stock is full size – and air – conditioned!
Ready to rock and roll…
09:43. The President of TALGO, Carlos de Palacio (right), discussing the future with The Scottish Transport Minister, Michael Matheson.
It’s official: TALGO’s factory site is Longannet in Scotland, with an Innovation centre to be built in Chesterfield, England.
Job done, I’ve taken my leave of IMechE and popped over to Parliament to offer my support to the people opposing the madness of Brexit which is carrying on across the road right now.
Weather wise, it’s a beautiful day in London.
Politically, it’s an utter shambles. The area around Parliament’s swarming with camera crews eager to grab shots of the political circus. Will we still have a Government in a couple of weeks? Who knows?
I left the political madness and headed to old haunts out East to see how the Great Eastern suburban service from Liverpool St to Shenfield’s changing now. Having been absorbed into the London Underground a few years ago there’s further changes now. The Class 315s which have been the backbone of the route since 1980 are being replaced by the Bombardier built Class 345s. Only a handful of the new trains were running today, but the writings on the wall for the 315s as several have already headed off to various scrapyards. Mind you, I’m not complaining. The new trains are a lot more comfortable! Here’s what the interior of the 345s looks like.
I’m now homeward bound on Grand Central’s 16:27 Kings Cross – Bradford Interchange – and it’s absolutely rammed! This 5-Car Class 180 has people camped out in the vestibules in Standard Class whilst there’s just a single seat spare in 1st Class. Not bad when you consider this service is non-stop as far as Doncaster! Gone are the early days of the West Riding service when having a couple of dozen on was an average load, now GC are incredibly successful. The problem now is how they cater for future growth as the 180s are fixed formation sets – and a small fleet to boot.
The 16:27 has been retimed recently, which appears to have contributed to it’s excellent loadings (this is a Peak service too). It used to leave London at 16:05. That extra time in London means business folk have more flexibility, making it more attractive. Here’s how it looks in Standard and 1st today.