This blog is dedicated to all things rail. It’s inspired by the apparent lack of an online rail magazine (I’m yet to find one that’s as good as what can be found on the shelves in the newsagents).
While I’m interested in rail policy and the latest developments, it’s the rolling stock and particularly locomotives that really float my boat.
Until the age of 12 it was all about cars. Then I got a pack of Ace Top Trumps containing basic specs on the UK’s top locomotives. Car engines by comparison were suddenly puny and it was all about trains.
This sudden interest in the railways coincided with the upgrade of the Chiltern Line and the introduction of Class 165 Turbos. The opportunity to travel on these was initially a real treat – though this was quickly replaced by nostalgia for the Class 115s they replaced.
Modern Railways was initially my magazine of choice, but this was usurped by Rail as the withdrawal of the Class 50s grabbed my attention. At the time I remember thinking, if only I’d been interested in trains in the 80s.
Twenty years on, after attention in my late teens and 20s was diverted elsewhere, my interest in the industry has returned. Suddenly though it seems like the early 90s were a golden age with the once ubiquitous 37s and 47s now a rare treat in the GM and multiple unit dominated world.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Heritage railways seem more popular than ever and main-line certification of previously retired locomotives enables my generation to sample the Westerns and Whistlers of yesteryear.
And the advent of YouTube has even given rise to the phenomenon of the “couch rail fan” able to view thousands of clips covered by those far more dedicated than themselves.