Three more links and a picture

Three more links…..

Firstly the BBC describes…..

‘China freight train’ in first trip to Barking

China has launched a direct rail freight service to London, as part of its drive to develop trade and investment ties with Europe. …

The train will take about two weeks to cover the 12,000 mile journey and is carrying a cargo of clothes, bags and other household items.   It has the advantage of being cheaper than air freight and faster than sea.

Perhaps Dapol and Farish could use it to prevent the 5 year delays in delivering models?  I liked the fact that….

Because of the different railway gauges involved, a single train cannot travel the whole route and the containers need to be reloaded at various points.

Three times, I believe.  That will stop us modelling Chinese stock on the old Great Eastern.  Another article suggested that the real reason was not speed, but the need for an alternative trade route if hostilities broke out in the South China Sea.


Second up, the BBC is….

All aboard Morocco’s high-speed train

Morocco is set to have the first high-speed TGV train in Africa. It is undergoing its first phase of tests ahead of a planned launch in 2018.

Fairly standard French TGV stock offers the potential for an African layout with high speed trains speeding through the Sahara.  At least one wouldn’t have to risk life and limb with the static grass applicator!

Finally, the BBC’s article on a subject that has occupied a good number of column inches on the various forums…..

Average age of British passenger trains is 21, study says

Trains on Britain’s railways are 21 years old on average, an investigation by the Press Association has found.  It shows the age of British trains is at its oldest in at least 15 years. Rolling stock on the Caledonian Sleeper service is the oldest, at 41 years old…..

Campaigners said train quality was a “postcode lottery” but the government says it is rolling out new carriages.

Trains in London and south-east England are typically 19 years old, while regional services are 24 years old.

Ed Cox, director of think-tank IPPR North, said it was a “national disgrace” and not what you see in Germany, France or Japan. “It is little wonder that Britain lags behind other developed nations when commuters pay through the nose for decrepit trains,” he added.

I looked at this and thought, what a load of total rubbish!  A quick Google search suggested that….

“While the average age of a U.S. domestic commercial airliner is 11 years old, it is not uncommon for aircraft to still be in service at 24, 25, even 30 years old.”

And another site gave the average of airliners as:

  • Air Canada – 14.4 years
  • British Airways – 12.6 years
  • United Airlines – 14.1 years

Puts it into perspective??

Allowing for the fact that trains, like airliners, are refurbished and updated to keep them attractive to passengers, one would think that a 40 year design life for modern stock is not unreasonable?  It’s not entirely fair to compare modern stock with older stock, as I’m sure that modern trains have planned obsolescence like most modern products, but one might consider…..

  • Class 20 diesels – over 50 years
  • Mark 1 coaching stock – 30-40 years
  • 4 COR EMU – 35 years
  • Adams Radial 4-4-2 Tank – 85 years
  • British Railways sandwich – 15 years

It looks to me that 20 years is an entirely reasonable average age for the stock on British rails.  We have come a long, long way from this…..


Still, a certain railway in the south of England won’t have to renew their trains for years – they just don’t use them!!

And at least the recent tube strike was good for bus spotters as TfL used its heritage buses (photo BBC)….


About snitchthebudgie

Secretary of the East Surrey N Gauge railway club
This entry was posted in Inspiration, Out and about, Prototype, Weird and wonderful and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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