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Every now and again…

May 24, 2007
…you see something that you’ve seen before, but never really noticed, then suddenly it strikes you that what you’re seeing is completely bizarre.

Today for example – I was on the M6 (again!) when I saw two brand new vehicles on the back of a low loader. I’ve seen similar things before, but today I wondered “Why do they do that?”

The reason I asked myself the question (but couldn’t answer it) is that the two brand new vehicles were locomotive units for railway trains.

Why don’t they transport these things by rail, when that is what they are designed to be used on?

There must be a good reason why brand new rolling stock is transported by road, but I’m buggered if I can think of one.

I’ll leave you to ponder that and other mysteries of the universe for a while.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. James permalink
    May 24, 2007 17:00

    Often they’ll have to go through “rigourous safety checks” before they’re allowed on the railways, partly to make sure that they’ll trip all the signalling circuits they’re supposed to (so they don’t disappear from the track displays), partly to make sure that their electronics don’t interfere with signals, and partly because if the new loco has a problem that strands the train on the middle of the West Coast Main Line, that’s as big a headache as the entire M6 being closed.

    And running a special train is an expensive business. It might make sense for ten locos (with one driver), but not for two.

  2. Whichendbites permalink
    May 24, 2007 17:17

    Welcome back……..Have you heard yet, is it good or bad news or is it too early yet ? Did you get all your diversity and P.C. bits in ? Did you get to mention your strategic priorities ? Too much operational is not good for you, you know.
    As for the transportation, could be something to do with costs, perhaps they never had the means to drive or paerhaps someone who can make those sort of decisions was too far removed from reality to see the obvious. Perhaps a relative has a haulage business. The options are endless and seemingly open to ridicule and a vivid imagination.

  3. Richard permalink
    May 24, 2007 18:42

    Too expensive (seriously).

  4. Anonymous permalink
    May 24, 2007 22:06

    Too big. Unless these things are fitted out, certified and ready to go, they can’t run them on the track, and if they try and load them onto another wagon, there are loads of bridges and tunnels they’d collide with.

    Also in this world, it’s quite likely that they get made somewhere that doesn’t have railway links.

  5. Stan Still permalink
    May 24, 2007 22:21


    The results are out at the end of June. I’ve done all I can now – it’s in the hands of the assessors.

    As for the rest of you – I never realised so many trainspotters visited my site. Are you all with British Transport Police? 🙂

    Thanks for looking – keep dropping by.

  6. The Thin Blue Line permalink
    May 25, 2007 18:57

    It’s probably because there’s more chance of it turning up at the right place at the right time going by train.

  7. Anonymous permalink
    May 25, 2007 22:42

    They usually get transported by Heanor Services of Derbyshire 😉

  8. ReallyEvilCanine permalink
    May 26, 2007 19:45

    Most likely:

    1) Made for non-UK customer; track width or electric supply different.

    2) Weight or size restrictions between factory and destination.

    Good to see you back.

  9. totallyun-pc permalink
    May 28, 2007 14:20

    maybe it was the wrong kind of road!

  10. Whichendbites permalink
    May 31, 2007 14:07

    You’re in the hands of the assessors ? That sounds worrying.
    You make it sound like some form of claim. I suppose in some twisted way it could be thought of as that. Till the end of June then.

  11. Big Fella in Blue permalink
    June 3, 2007 00:00

    Probably cheaper, easier and more cost effective to move by road. You would have thought it was the other way round.

    Good luck hope its good news.

  12. SirBusy permalink
    June 3, 2007 20:58

    The current new locomotives come from Canada on a ship. They go along the roads here because it is cheaper.

  13. uphilldowndale permalink
    August 1, 2007 16:41

    We once overtook the ‘Flying Scotsman’ on the Taddington bypass, strange but true.

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