Playing Trains

Respect to West Coast Railways for providing the Lake District branch with a rail service when the best Northern can manage is a replacement bus, but I can’t help thinking they’re just playing trains. OK, big toy trains but just look how many staff they’ve got. There’s at least three on the loco, though one may be a conductor driver if the WCR drivers don’t sign the route. If you look carefully in the opening sequence, where the 37 is pulling away, the driver is in his seat on the other side of the loco, there’s the second man looking back to get the tip from the guard and there’s somebody else in the second man’s seat on the near side of the loco. There’s probably a conductor guard on board as well as one from WCR for the same, route knowledge, reason. If the railway still used telegraph the train would be wired as “EGER ALERT 2Z01 OXENHOLME WINDERMERE” as a request for provision of assisting crew.

E(a)ger = Lost             Alert = Aware of being lost.

Moreover, the train is vastly overpowered with a tractor and a bodysnatcher topping and tailing. A single loco paired with a DVT or DBSO would be more fuel efficient. A heritage DMU would be even better, the last time I rode on the Windermere branch was in the 1970s on an old BR paraffin burner.

As I said though, you have to admire WCR for filling the gap, maybe they’re hankering for a proper franchise instead of just being a charter operator.


About Bob Hughes

Ex railwayman, life long railway modeller, lover of real ale and spicy food.
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