Scottish Class 37s: No. 1: The Steam Heat Years

 
9780954803513: Scottish Class 37s: No. 1: The Steam Heat Years
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Although allocated to the Scottish Region since the 1960s, it wasn't until the early 1980s when large numbers of Class 37s moved north of the border. The majority of them were former East Anglian machines, based at Stratford or March and with their steam heat boilers and air brakes, they took over from class 26s & 27s on passenger and freight duties on both the West Highland and Far North lines. After a few teething problems and further reallocations two distinct pools of locos were housed at Eastfield and Inverness depots. For the best part of five years (prior to the introduction of ETH locos), these steam heat beasts turned Scotland's scenic railways into Class 37 heaven. Virtually unknown locos, like 37012 and 37025 became celebrities in their own rights. They were named, painted into bright liveries with their own branding and became the flagship locos of the Scottish highlands. This book covers the 1980-1986 period. It's all steam heat, mostly BR blue or early large logo with Mark1 coaches and vacuum braked freights.

As a former 'basher' myself, it was in 1982 when the combination of school holidays and sufficient money saved from my paper round allowed me to purchase my very first 'Freedom of Scotland' ticket. What an amazing week of loco hauled action, lots of red lines in my book, not much sleep, an overdose of enjoyment and an introduction to the Class 37 - Scottish style. Many more trips followed over the years until the loco hauled trains fell victim to 'modernisation' in the shape of 'Sprinters'. 22 years later, in 2004, I was back in Scotland for a rail based holiday and as they say, 'nothing was how it used to be - everything has changed'. That whole 1980s era of steam heat, blue and grey coaches and class 37s has gone forever. This inspired me to flick through my old photos and 'moves' book and recall those fantastic days of the Scottish Class 37s. The end result is here. This is not meant to be a detailed history book of Class 37s in Scotland, just a photographic tribute to the locos that served the Scottish highlands so well in that period.

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