Probably the most iconic of all British trains, the Class 43 is something to be proud of and we still are nearly 50 years later. Somehow I've never had the opportunity to travel on one, until this week. Atos have an office at Winnersh Triangle near Reading which fate had it I needed to visit, without a seconds thought my tickets were booked! I knew that trip involved a HST and I couldn't wait. It's quite amazing how different these diesel monsters are from the Class 395 trains that use to get to London. The noise, smell and sense of power is something that you simply don't get with electric trains - it's a real shame, but at least they aren't going anywhere any time soon. One thing I noticed immediately is just how visible the interior of the cab is from the platform, modem trains tend to have tinted windows to hide away all that stuff. My other favourite feature? The 'slammy' manual doors, instructions: lower window, reach out and use exterior handle. Imagine that, humans doing something more than just pushing a button.
Map credit to Project Mapping, (c) Andrew Smithers
Reading station is undergoing some fairly major work at the moment and it's very apparent when you get there, building work and Heras fencing everywhere. The works are taking shape and the new station looks very smart and modern, it's fantastic to see this continued investment in our infrastructure.
Winnersh Triangle on the other hand was a completely different world! Wooden platforms with no barriers or staff. But with such close proximity to the office and 2 trains an hour who's complaining?