What train encapulates your childhood?

Iron Girder

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9 Nov 2014
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4-SUB. Everything about them was evocative to a 9 year old me, from the whirring of the compressor (my dad told me that it was winding up the elastic band), the brutalist bulk and shape of them, in grimy corporate blue, and, most of all, the resigned moan of the motors as they pulled away from rest. Mine had an 18 on the front. In stencils.
 
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RailUK Forums

Seans like NSE

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I'm only 13 so I never ever seen a class 303 or a 105 but class 319s are the best.

class 319s were the best before stupid class 700s came.
 

tbwbear

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28 Nov 2017
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For me - it would be the daily visit of the Trans Pennine DMU to the South Fylde Line after 1970.

She was the only "real train" :D we ever got and even gave us the chance to sit in a compartment on the way to Preston !
 

RAPC

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I grew up in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, so remember the various freight operations passing by the St Werburgh's Road area in the 1980s before the line closure.

There used to be a regular 47 hauled freight service just after school, so I saw that a lot. During the school holidays I used to spend a fair bit of time playing cricket on a field next to the railway line, so got to see any of the more ad hoc movements. For that reason, I seem to remember the odd class 25 popping through, usually with a random load behind it. As well as these services, it was often a class 25 on pilot duties at Manchester Victoria around that same time as well, so they are probably the best reflection of my formative years.
 

Bolendo

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11 Mar 2021
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Gourock, Inverclyde.
I'm pretty fond of them myself - the motors sound fantastic at high speed.
You might like this audio track on Soundcloud (like Youtube, but for audio recordings). Class 303 number 048 was the last unrefurbished set to run in ordinary service, and was chosen for preservation as a result. It really wasn't anticipated that it would run at all, as it wasn't the best of the existing unrefurbished units at that time. The idea of the preservation project was to keep it intact until space could be found for a driving trailer to be exhibited permanently in the Museum of Transport. Sadly, that never happened. However, once repainted into Caledonian Blue, it proved popular, and ran on a series of specials, as well as being used by the S&T for testing of some radio equipment. It did a lot of mileage in preservation.

It was also used by the ScotRail PR department (where I worked) to convey guests and the Press to station opening ceremonies and the like. The most memorable event was its return to regular timetabled public service operation as a Christmas train, over two weekends in December 1992, covering most of the north and south Glasgow networks. The interior was transformed into a three-car mobile Santa's grotto, complete with seasonal music and twinkling coloured lights. In this guise, it can be seen in the STV Glen Michael's Cartoon Cavalcade last ever show (remember him?)

The last journey from Airdrie into Yoker featured a particularly fast run between Blairhill and Easterhouse, the driver, David Dansky entering into the spirit of the occasion. Here are some extracts from that final run. https://soundcloud.com/bolendo/blue-train-303-048-glasgow-suburban-unit
 

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4COR

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4-VEPs, and the Uckfield Thumpers (that used to slowly cause the pictures on the walls to go off horizontal). On some warm nights, when conditions were right, you could hear the late night ECS trains going into and sometimes out of the London side of Riddlesdown tunnel (a good few miles away).

455s used to serve the Caterham line, but they were not a patch on the Oxted line trains.

Occasionally, 4-CIGs to Horsham, having changed at Purley.
 

Bikeman78

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4-VEPs, and the Uckfield Thumpers (that used to slowly cause the pictures on the walls to go off horizontal). On some warm nights, when conditions were right, you could hear the late night ECS trains going into and sometimes out of the London side of Riddlesdown tunnel (a good few miles away).
One evening I got off a down train at Cowden. I could hear it thumping almost all the way to Ashurst. Not long after I could hear the up train for most of the journey from Ashurst until it shut off power to stop at Cowden.
 

Tracked

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1st Gen DMU's - more than one type, mainly Doncaster-Sheffield/Gainsborough in the 80's, but the only type I can definitely remember were the 101's (when I was at Uni in the late 90's I used to get them from Manchester-Sheffield rather than the 158's)

31's and 37's on loco-hauled services (Doncaster-Sheffield mainly, on the old non-Swinton route and stopping at Rotherham Masborough, which would've been mid-80's) and also on freight.

Could include the introduction of Sprinters and Pacers too, didn't like them then either.

Didn't like HST's at the time either, can remember coming back from York via Leeds in the late 80's/early 90's just to get on the 47 + MK2's between York & Leeds.
 

birchesgreen

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Birmingham
A Class 310 in BR blue & grey, I did my spotting as a youth mainly at Stetchford in the mid-80s so it was 310s, and the occasional 312. Plus plenty of Class 86s screaming past of course.
 

Jon_jpwh

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14 Jan 2021
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St Leonards on Sea
For me it was visits to my grandmother who lived in Forest Gate. We caught the train from Liverpool Street and I remember being fascinated by the sliding passenger doors. I think the train was a EMU Class 306. As we lived in Chelsfield I was more used to the slam door trains on British Rail Southern Region. The end of my grandmother's garden overlooked the Great Eastern Mainline so when I stayed with her I could spend all day watching the trains.

I also remember visits to my great aunts in Leigh on Sea. I think we usually caught the train from Barking and my memory is of old fashioned carriages, hauled by steam, which appeared well overdue for replacement.
 

UrieS15

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1 Feb 2020
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Whitby
I suppose it has to be the pea green engine with plum and spilt milk carriages that used to rush through West Byfleet. As a tiny I couldn't really make sense of what the station staff were clearly amused by. The spilt milk was replaced by the more serviceable cream and the malachite green died with nationalisation, although surely it would be BR who were experimenting with the carriage liveries rather than SR?
 

MistaMatthews

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20 Apr 2020
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Brighton, United Kingdom
4-VEPs, and the Uckfield Thumpers (that used to slowly cause the pictures on the walls to go off horizontal). On some warm nights, when conditions were right, you could hear the late night ECS trains going into and sometimes out of the London side of Riddlesdown tunnel (a good few miles away).

455s used to serve the Caterham line, but they were not a patch on the Oxted line trains.

Occasionally, 4-CIGs to Horsham, having changed at Purley.

Being from Oxted, I absolutely second this!
 

Aictos

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InterCity Swallow Class 91s with MK4s in matching livery and Regional Railways Class 15X.
 

Acey

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16 Nov 2018
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For me it has to be the Class201/202/203 DEMUs on the London -Hastings line,that delightful warbling note as they pulled away,the smell of diesel fumes and their uniqueness of being the only non-electric trains that I used to travel on as a kid ! also for the interesting story of how they come about and the actual line they travelled on as well,not a mile that isn't straight or level and all those noisy smoke filled tunnels,used to love driving on that route !
 

30907

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Airedale
I suppose it has to be the pea green engine with plum and spilt milk carriages that used to rush through West Byfleet. As a tiny I couldn't really make sense of what the station staff were clearly amused by. The spilt milk was replaced by the more serviceable cream and the malachite green died with nationalisation, although surely it would be BR who were experimenting with the carriage liveries rather than SR?
Plum and spilt milk was an early BR trial, while the loco presumably hadn't been repainted.
 

317666

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I'd say 317s and 365s in equal measure! My earliest train memory is travelling on a newly refurbished 317/6 from Cambridge to Kings Cross.
 

Swanley 59

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6 Apr 2021
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Northumberland
Class 40s in corporate blue hauling Mk 1 coaches in blue/grey between Newcastle and Manchester Victoria. Progress across the Pennines was always on the leisurely side - which was just how I liked it at the time.
 

Clayton

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Clayton class 17s on the line at the end of my grandparents garden near Ayr. My mum and I called them Scottish diesels. Also class 20, 25, 26, and 40.
 

billio

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9 Feb 2012
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A LMS 2-6-4 tank dragging 3 or 4 old coaches into Radcliffe Black Lane on the way to school in Bolton.
And then the return journey from Bolton, platform 1a. The highlight of that journey was the connecting train from Glasgow running into Bolton a few minutes before we departed. The Glasgow train often a Britannia, a "Firth".
 

75A

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Over 50 years ago standing by the side of the track about 500m west of Woodgate Level Crossing, (between Barnham & Chichester) waiting to see the Flying Scotsman haul a special westwards. It was over an hour late and I was not happy and grumbling, but when it came, WOW, smoke, steam, the noise, the smell. I'd never seen a steam engine until then and was hooked for life. My Dad understood and a couple of months later I got my first trainset, the Engine? 4472 what else!
 

Bikeman78

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I'd say 317s and 365s in equal measure! My earliest train memory is travelling on a newly refurbished 317/6 from Cambridge to Kings Cross.
They were lovely when they were fresh out of refurb. The 317/6 spent nearly twice as long post refurb as they did in as built condition.
 

Dublo71

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29 Mar 2021
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I had the benefit of being taken by my granddad, retired Streatham Common signalman, to his allotment alongside the tracks and being told not to touch the third rail as it will sting. Endless streams of green EMU's punctuated by, Schools and Nelsons, WC/BoB/MN on the express trains were all to be seen. It wasn't until I was older that I realised nearly everything in his house and garden was painted green, I wonder where that paint came from. I must have been 5/6.
 

greatvoyager

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15 Aug 2019
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Exeter
One thing I used to like is the Class 47 in Virgin Trains Red/Black, and the usual mixed livery coaching stock.
 

ls2270

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I'm pretty fond of them myself - the motors sound fantastic at high speed.
Absolutely! I remember them brand new. They were rocket science compared to the EPBs we had had previously on the Catford Loop!
 

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