The venerable (and wonderful) Class 442’s are in trouble. Back on their old Wessex line runs, they seem to be automatically changing signals.
The 30-year-old Class 442 trains were reintroduced by South Western Railway (SWR) in June after a £45m upgrade. The firm said they had been taken out of service as a precaution due to an issue involving line-side signals. SWR said it would cancel two daily services and shorten some trains until the issue was resolved. The mothballed trains – nicknamed “plastic pigs” – have been running on routes from London to Bournemouth and Portsmouth. They are suspected of accidentally turning signals yellow or red as they pass through Earlsfield in London, BBC Transport Correspondent Paul Clifton said.
Never knew they were called “plastic pigs”. I’m amazed that they were refurbished, as someone told me that each unit had a unique wiring diagram. No standard build at all. But perhaps that was what was refurbished?
There would be no trains that morning. I returned to the hotel – again covered in mud after torrential rain – left with no choice but to fly. But the internet was down – not an unusual situation in Ethiopia these days – so I had to book my flight by phone. And by the time I should have been arriving at Dire Dawa’s new station at 15.50 that day, I was instead in the departure lounge at Addis Ababa airport waiting for my gate to be announced.
Finally, this interesting picture appeared on RMWeb.
It’s a 1929 photo of the junction “Northeast of Llatrisant”. It shows a nice assembly of GWR 4- and 6-wheelers. We had been discussing at the club as to what colour coach roofs were in service. This photo shows that a good mix of white, grey and black was entirely possible – and realistic. One comment on the forum said that:
“Shh, don’t say it too loud, some people get very agitated when they find out white roofs didn’t oxidise to black within 30 seconds of leaving the paint shop.”
Useful pre-nationalisation information for the paint shop.