Sunday, 22 February 2009

Train of the day


This is what we used to call (and I still do) a Thameslink train, until the idiotically and meaninglessly named First Capital Connect took over the franchise. I have rather a soft spot for these dual-voltage electric units, even though they have never been enormously reliable. They were produced by British Rail in the 1970s 1980s for the then new route through the Thameslink tunnel, crossing London from north to south for the first time. (They were needed because of the two different electrical systems north and south of the Thames -- yet another of those technical nuisances bequeathed to us by history.)

This one is setting off from Bedford for Brighton. This clip captures what I love about these sets -- the distinctive whining noise they make when picking up speed, which reminds me very much of the old Southern Region electric units with slam doors that I remember finding so exciting when I first came to London as a schoolboy in 1957 (when they were all painted green).

2 comments:

Dave Cole said...

It looks like I'm going to be getting very familiar with FCC as I'm moving up Huntingdon way. They do seem to be rather expensive...

Jonathan said...

There's a great reason why that whine reminds you of the older units - they both use the same type of traction motor, the English Electric 507.

And yes, the Class 507 (closely related to the dual-voltage 313) also uses EE507 motors. I'm not sure whether that coincidence is accidental.