Enjoy the Class 90 locomotives while you can…
I’ve become a little disillusioned with the traction scene on the UK railways for a number of years. The decline of heritage traction coincided with the move to multiple units. The Voyagers and Pendolinos introduced by Virgin are charecterless, and in the case of the Voyagers are uncomfortable, cramped and seriously lacking in baggage storage. Thankfully, The Greater Anglia Class 90 locomotives still offer an opportunity for loco-hauled travel.
It look like the move towards soulless travel will continue with Greater Anglia’s move to a total Multiple Unit based fleet, and the introduction of the Hitachi trains on Great Western and East Coast franchises. This leaves only Trans Pennine Express buying locomotives and coaches (offering some degree of flexibility) for future loco-hauled travel.
The Class 90s currently offer the only full Inter-City loco hauled service between London and Norwich, so whilst it lasts and whenever possible I will be trying to travel behind and photograph the fleet.
Similarly the HSTs and Class 91s are soon to be relegated from regular travel, so again I will be trying to get haulage and photos of as many as possible before the onward march of “tubes” continues.
Photo Bashing/Timing Project
As part of the project to capture the last days of regular locomotive hauled travel I will also try and produce logs of journeys. Whilst travelling on an Anglia Ranger Plus ticket on 18th February I stumbled across and App for the iPhone called SpeedTracker. For £3.99 the app will produce logs of journeys including data output for speed, distance, altitude and time. In addition it also provides an accuracy figure based upon the GPS signal.
Having discovered the App late in the day, I only the had to use it on a journey between Diss and Ipswich, and the log of the journey follows below:
Date: Saturday 18th February 2017
Loco: 90002 ‘Eastern Daily Press: 1870-2010, Serving Norfolk for 140 years’
Coaching Stock: 11068/11101/10414/12151/12111/12137/12115/12093/12032
|Distance||Location||Elapsed time||Speed (mph)|
|3.79||Beecroft (Wright's) LC||03:34||93.6|
|3.91||Rectory Rd LC||03:39||94.3|
|9.49||Cow Creek LC||07:01||99.3|
|13.89||Regent Street LC||09:40||98.9|
|17.17||Gypsy Lane LC||11:39||100.1|
|17.89||Needham Market Station||12:06||100.7|
|25.46||East Suffolk Junction||20:22||38.4|
Using Microsoft Excel (which I am no expert in) I have also managed to generate a Speed and Altitude graph for the run as below:
As can be seen from the log and graphs, the Class 90 had no problem in accelerating away from Diss and continuing to do so despite climbing. 100mph was reached and sustained for most of the journey with a slight slowing for the bends approaching Stowmarket. Unfortunately, the high speed running was interrupted by a Signal Check near milepost 73 near Barham Sidings. I suspect that it was due to a preceding container train, but from then on the journey was somewhat slow!
I hope to undertake more runs and will be bringing these to the blog as and when I can.
I would be interested in any comments people may have on these posts, and whether they are interested or not really bothered!