I really don’t know where to place this on my website. It was originally published in Beat Motel issue 7. Beat Motel wasn’t just a music zine, we published columns about many different topics. This column was written by a friend called Ian Bareham who I met when running my record shop (Know Your Product).
OFF THE RAILS
A sideways look at the Railways
Well where do I start, like an alcoholic at an AA meeting. Hi I am Ian or Trainman (Cheers RIKI & ANDREW of KYP?) and I like trains, any sort of rail vehicle you can call me mad, sad, or a crank, railfan, trainspotter, basher but I don’t care. Well this column will be my look at things to do with railways music and trivia that might be of interest. So here goes! So if you want to drop me a line via Andrew and I’m sure he pass them on.
Joe Strummer, John Peel and Captain Sensible
Well most of will have heard of these 3 legends from punks past. But did you know they are also names on 3 heritage class 47 diesel locomotives still running on the mainline here in the UK. They are now owned by Costwold Railways and turn up Thunderbird duties on the London Norwich Intercity trains when they can’t be worked by the usual electric locos. Know Your Product has a copy of my photos Joe and John locos at Norwich. No joy yet seeing the good Captain since it was named at Brighton by great man in February2007. Check out my Fotopic site http://ianbareham4831.fotopic.net/c724905.html . Talking of Peel I’ve been helping Andrew do some CD reviews, just putting the randomly selected CD’s, has been great time. Bands I hadn’t heard of not had one I couldn’t listen too. So thanks Andrew for allowing me to help out.
3 Bombs and a Brush to Sizewell or 20/20 Vision Railtour Crewe- Leiston- Crewe 10th March 2007
Well you might be used to reading reviews of gigs. But here a review of train trip well a railtour, which is a special passenger train must are also named. When I heard of a planned trip to Leiston in Suffolk, using the freight only track for Sizewell Nuclear Power Station pulled my favourite diesel types, along with 700 or so fellow railway cranks I booked. But like most tours they don’t always start from your local station although this one started and returned Crewe. I planned to join at Peterborough to go 20 or so miles up the railway to Leiston some of which I never had a train ride on. The last passenger train to go to Leiston was way back in 1993, with the increase War on ‘errorism I didn’t another one would be allowed. Railtours tends to be away to catch up with old friends and fellow cranks it doesn’t really matter about the extra travelling. So leaving Ipswich on 06.00 Peterborough train that Saturday, armed with the gen (information) instead of the 2 pairs class 20 diesels or Bombs it was going 3 Bombs on the front, with a class 47 or Brush to work the train within East Anglia. But that didn’t matter as 2 of the 20’s I have never had before, I’m a basher which means recording all the numbers of trains that I’ve have had a ride on. I’ve recorded every train I ridden since 1987 which is now just over 3800, which is like a train ride ever 2 days. No wonder some people might consider me a little sad or mad, but this along with the music that keeps mean sane.
The tour rolls into Peterborough right on time. Well I know we’re in for a Hellfire day. Time to find my seat, I’d booked along with friends from Yorkshire, so we’d got seat together but I know the East Anglian guys are also out in force. So during the storming run across the Fens, flooded around Ely to Ipswich gave me chance to see the East Anglian guys. Did I say storming we made Ipswich early that hat having 3000 horses up front can do. Now for the real reason I booked the run up to Leiston, with the Brush add to the other end, we away again with it on in the lead. We Stormed up the Westerfield Bank to Westerfield and onto Woodbridge, where had to wait to cross a southbound East Suffolk train as it single track up to Saxmundham. The railtour is much longer than the normal small trains that we block the foot crossing south of the Station something that doesn’t happen that often. With the southbound unit safely passed it’s onto Saxmundham and onto the freight only section.
This part is new for me on a loco hauled train been from Ipswich to Woodbridge but never north to Saxmundham. Once on the freight only section at Saxmundham Junction the highlight of the day begins, once we’re safely on the branch the brush starts up but because we on a up gradient with a heavy train it makes slow laboured start. So what happens is the 3 bombs on the back open up as well, what a noise, the run to Leiston is slow as it got some many small road crossing which have to open and closed by hand. As we make our slow way to Leiston it soon becomes evident how unusual today’s train is. As well as the normal railway photographers well we’re the ones usually considered a little odd the locals are out to greet us. Leiston has the dubious title even here in Suffolk as a little backward, incestus, wrong side of tracks type place think of the film Deliverance or twinned with Royston Vasey from The League of Gentlemen. I don’t think having a Nuclear Power Station on your doorstep has helped either. Much of the humour on the train was turned towards the British medias anti-railway pro road stance. Recently we had stories from the various scummy gutter press about how easy it would be to plant a bomb on a nuclear fuel flask train. So every small hole in garden fences or a penknife bottle opener were joke as potential security risks and better not tell scum. Could they really cope with Nuclear fuel on our overcrowded roads network with the amount of brainless drivers we seem to have. Recently we had a Virgin Express Train crash in Cumbria sadly with a single death of a pensioner, which was national headline news for a week or so. But over the same weekend a number of pensioners were knocked over and killed on the roads around the country many didn’t even make the local press let along the national one.
Once at the tracks end at Leiston it another slow crawl back to Saxmundham for the 1st break of the day. This time even more locals along the tracks waving to us as we passed, it the most excitement they’ve had in years even waving Union Jack flags and toast us with glasses of wine. Saxmundham was also picture some sent out for Fish n Chips others to restock the bottle beers. But most of the train went onto platforms to get a photo. Even the train was too long for the short platform so we had to all queue to get off the front 2 as they were the only ones on the platform. So 700 or so mainly men with cameras were running around taking photos of a train was greeted with stunned looks from the locals. I don’t think this quiet Suffolk market town know what had hit it. Even the local wannabe Gansta rappers or Chavs, who would normally give us ‘saddos’ abuse just stood around open mouthed and were silent.
Then as soon as we arrived we were all back aboard and off for the rest of the day. Leaving rural East Suffolk to go back to its timewarp. From Saxmundham south the 20’s could put in a better run than the crawl from Leiston, south of Woodbridge the power and trashed was great considering the grand old engines up front are over 40 years old. Soon we were back to Ipswich Yard, then onto Cambridge with the brush leading. This was one of the fastest parts of the day. The brush came off at Cambridge leaving the 20’s to return the train to Crewe. Not before another photo stop in the dusk at Ely and back to Peterborough. Then back home to Ipswich with some more eventful delays instead of us cranks causing the problems it was the so called normal’s. At Peterborough a group of southbound Leeds Utd fans gave a group of northbound Sheffield Wednesday fans a load of abuse, but when the BTP Transport Police were called the just melted into the background and it was the Wednesday fans threaten with arrest. Then at Ely a Chav couple delayed the train for 30 minutes by having no ticket and no money again with BTP in attendence, should have left them there. But the behaviours of these so called normals didn’t spoil this railfans enjoyable day out.
New Model Army Thunder & Consolation
Well you can’t have a music zine without some mention of music. Here I’ll look a favourite artist or album. Well my favourite all time group are Bradford finest rock band. New Model Army. With my personal favourite album Thunder and Consolation, dating from 1989. Fav track is ‘Green & Grey’ just the lyrics take me back home to Yorkshire. Yes I’ve ridden on bus like that meandering over the moors between the valley of Green & Grey. At this time in 1989 Karrang! considered New Model Army one of the world last great punk bands.
Written listening to New Waves 45 Original 45s from the Post Punk Era (Various artist), Myriad Creatures ‘The Hero’, Saxon ‘The Inner Sanctum’, and The Grit ‘Shall we dine?’
Last Updated on March 5, 2023
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