RAILDATE 2023.10.06

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Sorry: There is no Raildate next week [2023.10.13] ...

... and the following week will be postponed from Friday to Sunday [2023.10.22]. All because your editor is travelling somewhere very much off-grid.

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Thank you to this week's contributors.

The Weekly Poser: Where is this?

The photo was taken on Tuesday. A theatre overlooks the former site of a GWR railway station. It closed to regular services in 1987 but saw the occasional charter until 1999. The platforms are still in situ but the buildings previously on the right have gone. Where is it?

Last week's Where is this?

LNER Class A3 4472 Flying Scotsman is by the sea. Where is it?

Answer: San Francisco. Congratulations are due to the following for their correct answers: Paul Hopper, Dave Goodyear.

[When posing this question, little did I know that the loco would be making the news anyway.]

The locomotive was sent to the US in 1968 as the centrepiece of a trade mission, though Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s “White Heat of Technology” speech made it an incongruous choice. Regulatory problems in the US quickly turned into financial problems for the owner Alan Pegler, who was bankrupted by the experience - though he did make a subsequent career lecturing about it and paid off his debts.

By 1972, the loco was in San Francisco running trips on the San Francisco Belt Railroad. We see it on the Western Pacific’s car float operation, Las Plumas, heading to San Fran. The barge service was discontinued in the early 1980’s and the vessel moved to Vancouver.

There's a book about the US tour, released earlier this year. Look for: Flying Scotsman in America: The 1970 Tour

I’m grateful to the Western Railway Museum for permission to reproduce these images. The museum is located mid-way between San Fran and Sacramento, and was set up to celebrate electric railways, interurbans and streetcars.


Zoom meeting: Monday 9th October 19:30

UK Rail Freight Motive Power Options Going Forward, with Bob Tiller of GBRf

Readers of Raildate are invited to attend this special event, organised by the RCTS. Tickets for non-members are £2.50.

At present, the standard option for rail freight motive power is a diesel locomotive, from one of several classes. With the ongoing environmental ‘green’ pressures, changes will be coming – but to what? Bob Tiller, Engineering Specialist with GB Railfreight Ltd, one of our leading railfreight operators, will be coming to give a presentation of the options for the future. Following this, there will be an opportunity for questions and discussion.

66726 and 69003 at Barrow Hill on 27th August 2022. Image credit: James Milne

Naming ceremony for 69003 The Railway Observer. Bob Tiller: With sunglasses. Image credit: Alan Buckett


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©  Matthew Shaw 2023