I’m just about to come to the end of scanning my old albums full of UK rail slides as I’ve less than 60 pictures left to go. By chance, the final album is from the years 2000-2001 (I went digital in 2004 but the other albums jumped the queue) and it’s been quite an eye-opener because whilst many of the pictures remained fresh in my mind, a couple were real surprises. The picture they paint is of a railway industry that was still in the early stages of privatisation, with many old train fleets still in service, but also new routes that were attempted but that never survived, either because they were developed purely as ORCATS* raids to poach fare revenue from other operators, or because the trains and the routes they were used on made little commercial sense in their own right. Here’s a couple of examples which I scanned earlier today.
Here’s another one from the same year that didn’t last long either.
Back in 2001 there was a lot of old stock eking out their twilight years a long way from the routes they’d been built for. Here’s another one from Scotland.
It wasn’t just regional services that were changing either. The Cross-Country network was about to see see a major shake-up as loco-hauled trains were going to be replaced by ‘Voyagers’…
Many old BR built locomotive fleets were in decline with hundreds stored around the country before being stripped for spares and sent for scrap. Sights like this one at London’s Old Oak Common depot were common.
As you can see from just this small selection, scanning these slides has been an interesting look back nearly 20 years, showing how much has changed in that time. Of course this isn’t the end of the story, I’ve still got albums of foreign railways to scan, including a large collection of Indian steam pictures. Then there’s all the travel shots going back decades – so expect plenty more trips down memory lane!
* Operational Research Computerised Allocation of Tickets to Services
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