Blue and grey and all that…

Slam door DMUs, the Class 101 second only to the 121 in longevity of service, some reaching 47 years on the network. Born in the Metro-Cammell factory in the mid to late 1950s these steel framed aluminium bodied work horses were many of our childhood introductions to train travel… 

I remember them at Chester. Pre-electrification they ran on the Chester to Hooton trains I could see from my back garden. They also ran to Altrincham and I recall trips to Waltons model shop in the 1990sn board their aging but comfortable seats. Blue and grey and all that.

Sat here in N gauge, barely 25cm long this miniature marvel looks and performs beautifully. A glorious characterisation of a utilitarian vision of comfort vs aesthetics, quite unlike many of the more common 3 window paned cab end units. A vehicle not only in conception but also for my imagination. 

You see how many of us started our journey on platforms like these, on trains like these. The love was as if it had always been there, the journey ahead, the rest of our lives. Even today there are children stood boarding Sprinters, today’s older statesmen, and in years to come they’ll be covering models of 150/156/158 units whilst the current crop of 195/196/197 style units age and form the same experience for their children. The wheel of life coming full circle as it runs along parallel lines towards familiar and new experiences. Until next time, more soon…

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  1. My 101 is in regional railways livery and is the backbone of my branch line train service. Superb little model. Thank you for the reminiscing too James. Nostalgia is a vital part of my model railway experience even if the finished layout is fictional. I had a wonderful trip to Aberystwyth today on a 158. It was great to see and take a journey on trains that I usually only see on your blog! A real treat. The long drive home to Cornwall beckons tomorrow. Take care.

    1. Thanks Tom - sounds like you had a wonderful time up here, we've not had the greatest weather in the Dee Valley this week mind, I hope the weather 'shone' on you a little better. Safe travelling!


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