A Blast From The Past
Whilst tidying the office today I found a March 2003 copy of Railway Magazine lying around. We'd kept it because it had an article about our first train decontamination operation at MOD Shoeburyness, so I took a time to browse through it and see what a different place the railways were 8 years ago.
Apart from our article illustrated by pictures of 302s, there was a full page spread on Fragonset's facility at Derby outlining their plans for expansion and domination of the spot hire market. As we all know, the future turned out to be very different.
Eastleigh was still run by Alstom and was storing 375s (for Bombardier? I didn't know that) as well as carrying out crash repairs to 423 units 428 and 452.
Next door in the depot Fragonset (them again) collected 73104, 73139 and 33046 for movement to Carnforth.
4CEPs were operating to London Bridge and Virgin 47s were still in service, whilst GNER had a Eurostar set in traffic. Freightliner took delivery of 66564-6 at Newport where the latest class 70 was bent last week.
The last 303s or Blue Trains were sent out of service by a lone piper on December 30th whilst Siemens were using our MOD base for testing 450012 with a 47 derived shore supply.
So on a cold January in 2011 I wonder what the industry watcher of 2003 would
have made of our position now ?
Freightliner ordered more 66s but who would have predicted that we would be storing 4 of them off lease only 8 years later ?
Siemens now overhaul the 450s at Eastleigh Works so I will get a chance to meet unit 12 again soon. CEPs, VEPs and CIGs are long gone and would be completely alien to modern commuters, whilst Fragonset found out that truth and publicity are not the same thing and went down owing money to just about everybody.
Oh and Alstom baled out of Eastleigh Works leaving it to that bloke from Shoebury to pick up the pieces.
My waistline was less than it is now but I have had some fun since 2003
Here's to the next 8 years. Anybody care to make any predictions ?