The withdrawal of certain trains making me feel old

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Paul Jones 88

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After reading about the possible scraping of some Networkers I suddenly felt old, it seems like only a little while since I got a Networker for the first time having been used to EPBs in SE London and 305s in North London.
It made me wonder if anyone else gets the feeling of being old when a type of train is scheduled for withdrawal?
 
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The recent removal of the Pacer had the same effect on me. I worked on the prototype "cooler group" for the Pacers at IMI Radiators, Bolton in the '80's
Also I served my apprenticeship in the late 1960's at a Textile Machinery manufactures. I can now visit the machines at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester. Mmmm!
 

43066

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After reading about the possible scraping of some Networkers I suddenly felt old, it seems like only a little while since I got a Networker for the first time having been used to EPBs in SE London and 305s in North London.
It made me wonder if anyone else gets the feeling of being old when a type of train is scheduled for withdrawal?

Funny you say that the networkers (or at least a few of them) going triggered exactly the same feeling for me. I can remember them being introduced as a kid, commuted on them (still do!), ended up driving them for a while.

Objectively they’re not the best trains out there, and are somewhat unloved, but I hope the remainder of the fleet sticks around for a few years.
 

ChilternTurbo

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I think a symptom of getting older is time seems to go by a lot quicker. I felt this way when a number of Class 373 Eurostars were sent for scrap. I remember seeing these as a teenager, lined up at Waterloo International looking sleek, sophisticated and ultra modern. It was a shock to see one these trains parked up amongst piles of fragmented metal at the EMR Kingsbury scrapyard back in 2017. For me the 1990's still feel like they were about a decade ago!
 

mikeg

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The InterCity 225s. The trains of my childhood.

Add to that the 185s were introduced when I was at uni, the refurb made me feel old, as it doesn't seem long ago since they were brand new but by the refurb some of the seats were thread bare
 

nw1

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The 442s. They are the only class that I would consider 'local' to my area that was introduced during my period of interest in the railways (late 1982 onwards) and I remember being new.

If the 442s are discounted due to using older equipment - none just yet, but when the 455s and 150s finally go that will really make me feel old. Just about remember both being introduced in the early days (first 2 years) of my railway interest. As I've said before, the fact that the earlier 455s are now older than many 4SUBs were in 1983, and certainly older than the EPBs were that year, really makes me feel old.

I of course remember the mass withdrawal of the slam-door types around 2005, but seeing as they were already mature, well-bedded-in units by 1982, it didn't make me feel old as such. It was strange, as CIGs and VEPs were 'part of the furniture', so to speak, but given that they were introduced well before I used trains, it didn't make me feel old.
 
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hexagon789

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314s and IC225s. Both trains of my childhood I can vividly remember travelling on as a kid.

When the 156s go that will reinforce it even more - I remember travelling to East Kilbride on them with my grandparents.
 

EveningStar

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Young 'uns! Remember the introduction of now largely disappeared classes ... 87, 56, HSTs alongside Westerns at Reading, 313s at Moorgate, 58s being built at Doncaster and so on ... got the photos and they seemed such an innocent times, even if the truth is that I was the innocent as the times were far from serene.

Think there is some truth that as one gets older life passes more quickly. Suspect it is simple mathematics, as another year at my age is 1/58th, while for my youngest it is merely 1/21st.
 

Bletchleyite

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After reading about the possible scraping of some Networkers I suddenly felt old, it seems like only a little while since I got a Networker for the first time having been used to EPBs in SE London and 305s in North London.
It made me wonder if anyone else gets the feeling of being old when a type of train is scheduled for withdrawal?

Merseyrail 50x as they're the same age as me! :)
 

JBuchananGB

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Think there is some truth that as one gets older life passes more quickly. Suspect it is simple mathematics, as another year at my age is 1/58th, while for my youngest it is merely 1/21st.
I completely agree with this. 1 year for a 5 year old is 20% of their life, a very long time. 1 year for a 50 year old is a very short 2%.
 

sluf

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I remember as a boy being on a Crewe Works tour sometime in 1976 and saw the first HST Class 43 power car in the then amazing yellow and rail blue livery and thought wow - the future
so I am adding HSTs to the list
 

nw1

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Merseyrail 50x as they're the same age as me! :)

Though some later CIGs and VEPs were about the same age as me, but as said above, given they were already well-established by the time I used the railway, they didn't make me feel old when they went. Strange, and sad, as they were the bread-and-butter of Southern travel and a mainstay of my teens and twenties, but not old.

With buses, it's even more the case... buses I noticed when I was 12, which were the same age as me, already seemed really, really old by then. Nowadays, of course, a 12-year old bus would seem relatively new...
 
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Iskra

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The InterCity 225s. The trains of my childhood.

Add to that the 185s were introduced when I was at uni, the refurb made me feel old, as it doesn't seem long ago since they were brand new but by the refurb some of the seats were thread bare
I agree, that was 'the one' that made me feel a little old, since they are basically the same age as me and being scrapped!
 

nlogax

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442s tbh. I used to live beside the Bournemouth main line in the late 80s and witnessed night after night of brand new units being dragged / delivered to BM (behind class 31s iirc) and the follow-up test runs which gave problem after problem in the plug-door dept.

Next up it'll be the demise of SWR 455s which I remember being in new shiny blue/grey on the suburban Surrey branch near where I lived as a young kid, replacing the absolutely dilapidated EPBs.
 

Wolfie

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Though some later CIGs and VEPs were about the same age as me, but as said above, given they were already well-established by the time I used the railway, they didn't make me feel old when they went.

With buses, it's even more the case... buses I noticed when I was 12, which were the same age as me, already seemed really, really old by then. Nowadays, of course, a 12-year old bus would seem relatively new...
Re your last para that rather depends where you are. DfT's 2020 report suggests that the average age of buses in UK is 8. TfL for one has restrictions on how old buses running it's franchised services can be.
 

nw1

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I completely agree with this. 1 year for a 5 year old is 20% of their life, a very long time. 1 year for a 50 year old is a very short 2%.

Yes, exactly, that makes absolute sense.

Can''t remember clearly much about when I was 5 (I only started having consistent memories aged around 6), but certainly in the year when I turned 8, the year I turned 3 already seemed ancient history - helped by the fact that I have no memories of that year.

Now, 2016 seems just like yesterday, and any year of my adult life, post 18, seems 'relatively' modern - even though my early adult years are sadly now a frightening number of years ago...
 

Wolfie

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442s tbh. I used to live beside the Bournemouth main line in the late 80s and witnessed night after night of brand new units being dragged / delivered to BM (behind class 31s iirc) and the follow-up test runs which gave problem after problem in the plug-door dept.

Next up it'll be the demise of SWR 455s which I remember being in new shiny blue/grey on the suburban Surrey branch near where I lived as a young kid, replacing the absolutely dilapidated EPBs.
EPBs, particularly the compartmented stock used in rush hour, felt positively antediluvian from the late 70s. They were obsolescent in many ways at best when built.

Yes, exactly, that makes absolute sense.

Can''t remember clearly much about when I was 5, but certainly in the year when I turned 8, the year I turned 3 already seemed ancient history - helped by the fact that I have no memories of that year.

Now, 2016 seems just like yesterday, and any year of my adult life, post 18, seems 'relatively' modern - even though my early adult years are sadly now a frightening number of years ago...
I'm sure that it's in part that when you are a child you always have new and exciting things to look forward to.
 

nw1

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Re your last para that rather depends where you are. DfT's 2020 report suggests that the average age of buses in UK is 8. TfL for one has restrictions on how old buses running it's franchised services can be.

Ah but my point is that it is based on perception - as is being discussed in other posts.

For a 12 year old, with little experience of the world, a 12-year old bus seems really old, when compared against the newer buses (5-7 years old or so on average) you're used to. Maybe you also notice subtle differences (between Bristol VRs of various ages, let's say) more at that age, because you haven't experienced so many bus - or train - types.

Nowadays, the last 12 years are only a small fraction of my life and a 12-year old bus would have been introduced well into my adulthood. So its lifetime is a small fraction of my own, and it seems relatively new. Whether it actually is new - compared to your average bus - is not so important.

OT but related to your point - I remember N-registered (original series) buses on Badgerline in 1993/94 which must have been 19 years old by then, and P-registered buses (18 years old) were positively commonplace!
 
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GRALISTAIR

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I had already been married 8 years when the Channel 4 Equinox series “Running to Time” documentary was aired on TV about the Class 91s. That they are being withdrawn definitely makes me feel my age.
 

bramling

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Funny you say that the networkers (or at least a few of them) going triggered exactly the same feeling for me. I can remember them being introduced as a kid, commuted on them (still do!), ended up driving them for a while.

Objectively they’re not the best trains out there, and are somewhat unloved, but I hope the remainder of the fleet sticks around for a few years.

Must admit I never really get the hatred seen for the SE Networkers on here. The interior is a little drab, but that’s more down to the colours used more than anything else. I get that the 3+2 is cramped at times, but it’s better than the awful interiors London Overground have, and could easily be fixed by removing the third seat (but then people would moan there aren’t so many seats).

The Networker fleets have certainly been unloved. Both the 365 and 465 have been thrashed over the years, yet with little attention paid to the interior ambience. The 365s were spoiled to some extent with the refurbishment, compared to their 1990s state the 2007 and 2017 changes introduced drab colours.

Rather unfortunate really as fundamentally they’re a decent train.
 

NorthKent1989

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Must admit I never really get the hatred seen for the SE Networkers on here. The interior is a little drab, but that’s more down to the colours used more than anything else. I get that the 3+2 is cramped at times, but it’s better than the awful interiors London Overground have, and could easily be fixed by removing the third seat (but then people would moan there aren’t so many seats).

The Networker fleets have certainly been unloved. Both the 365 and 465 have been thrashed over the years, yet with little attention paid to the interior ambience. The 365s were spoiled to some extent with the refurbishment, compared to their 1990s state the 2007 and 2017 changes introduced drab colours.

Rather unfortunate really as fundamentally they’re a decent train.

I agree, I love the Networkers, I think they could easily go on for another 10-15 years, considering the slam door trains they replaced were 45 years old by the mid 1990s, the Networkers are only 30 years old, what they need is a decent refurbishment and to be brought up to date, considering that some of the trains on the Southern and South Western networks are a decade older than the networkers too
 

YorksLad12

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I never 'did' trains when younger. It wasn't until I went up to Horsforth in 1986 to do my degree that I semi-regularly caught whatever train they were using. So it has to be the class 141 railbus and the Pacer classes 142 and 144 (with the custom-made centre vehicles) for me as they ran on the Harrogate Line. Gone, but not (easily) forgotten!
 

Gloster

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For me it is the disappearance of those trains that I remember when they were exciting because they were new. I grew up with the South Western Division’s EMUs (4-EPB, 4-VEP, etc.), all of which have disappeared with no more than a vague feeling of sadness for the loss of something familiar. However, I can remember going to Reading to see the prototype HST and also making a trip to see the 313s when they were introduced. That these two types are now reaching the end of their life does definitely produce a feeling that a lot of time has passed by. (I can even remember being on duty in a box the night they shifted the stock around to get everything in place for the start of the first full HST timetable for the West of England.)
 

nw1

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Must admit I never really get the hatred seen for the SE Networkers on here. The interior is a little drab, but that’s more down to the colours used more than anything else. I get that the 3+2 is cramped at times, but it’s better than the awful interiors London Overground have, and could easily be fixed by removing the third seat (but then people would moan there aren’t so many seats).

The Networker fleets have certainly been unloved. Both the 365 and 465 have been thrashed over the years, yet with little attention paid to the interior ambience. The 365s were spoiled to some extent with the refurbishment, compared to their 1990s state the 2007 and 2017 changes introduced drab colours.

Rather unfortunate really as fundamentally they’re a decent train.

Like others, I will say it's difficult to understand why they are withdrawing (some) 465s already, they are around 25 years old? Seems to be a waste of money to withdraw a not-so-old train so early.. it does seem to be symptomatic of the current railway to write off some classes of train before their sell-by date, though I do understand that the 442s are a special case. That said there are still a number of classes remaining with a healthy lifespan (455s, 321s, 317s, 313s, 158s, 156s, 150s...)

I think I only used 365s once, to and from Cambridge in 1998. I did almost the same journey five years earlier on a 317, so the 365s seemed very new and high-tech when I used them.
(Mind you, even in 1993, the 317s seemed relatively new, which I guess they were...)
 

snookertam

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The initial class 317 and 321 units being removed is starting to have this effect, as I know it wont be too long before our Class 318s and 320s will go, which are the first units I can recall being introduced into service in Scotland.
 

Wolfie

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And why is that not a good thing? I was saying is that with a bit more TLC the Networkers could go on a bit longer
I am assuming that what was meant is that longevity, particularly if finance and usability are being ignored, is not intrinsically something which should always be pursued.

A great case in point was the early withdrawal of the 1983 stock on the tube because they had been unsuccessful, had undesirable characteristics, and major rework wasn't economically viable.
 

Bletchleyite

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I am assuming that what was meant is that longevity, particularly if finance and usability are being ignored, is not intrinsically something which should always be pursued.

A great case in point was the early withdrawal of the 1983 stock on the tube because they had been unsuccessful, had undesirable characteristics, and major rework wasn't economically viable.

I think there's a culture that a train should last at least 40 years. Many of them do, and you can be pretty sure there are some on the rails that almost certainly will (Pendolinos and 350/450s to name two), but to give another example I'd be surprised if Class 22x weren't all razor blades within 10 years, because large-engined DMUs are no longer acceptable and it isn't economically viable to convert them to bi-mode (it's been studied in depth). That'll have them only about 30 years old by the time they go, possibly newer.
 

PeterC

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As I started my working life commuting tpn the class 306 its the withdrawal of the 312s and 315s that make me feel my age
 
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