Friday, 18 July 2008

Railway rolling stock. Ahem.

I'm not and nor have I ever been a train spotter, OK. Just wanted to make that clear. But there's something about railway rolling stock that has sparked the synapses since I was a lad. When I was 9 or 10 I had a friend whose dad had an old railway carriage in his garden; it was our playground, and an utterly fascinating object of desire.

When my Godson was at a particular age, it was his uncle who scoured Hamleys in search of obscure Thomas the Tank Engine models; there's nothing you can tell me about Edward, Gordon and the rest.

Anyway, a couple of years ago I bid unsuccessfully for a small marine diesel genny from RAMCO, who auction MoD surplus gear and have been on their mailing list since. Now, not many people know that the Royal Engineers have for many years run their own railway, and Engineer officers used to be trained in operating trains and tracks. For some years they have been running down their operations and flogging off their rolling stock. So when Jill Stringer of RAMCO emailed me yesterday advising me of a future auction and wondering if I was interested in buying
... rolling stock which will be sold ‘as seen’ & ‘where lying’ and is based over three sites as follows; Ashchurch, Bicester, Kineton. The rolling stock consists of standard & narrow gauge including: • Miniloks DH 60 & DH 140 • Railcar Flat Trailer • Mk1 Bullion Coach • Minilok Spares • Warflats • Narrow Gauge 4W Flats ....
Damn me if I didn't start wondering if I could get one in my small London garden, even though I don't actually know what any of them are. Ahem. Oh dear.


cramerj said...

It is odd what was once quite respectable now needs a sort of apology. Back in 1946 I was an avid train spotter (and ditto for aircraft). Inhaling the thick brown smoke as we stood on bridges etc was held to be good for your lungs.
Odd really. Now at age 73 I see the most indoctrinated population England has ever had.
can you do anything without apology?

Anonymous said...


It seems obvious to me that Raedwald, is specifically NOT apologising for being a trainspotter, but strenuously denying that very fact!
People apologise for anything they think is socially awkward or overly obsessive. From your comment I detect that you are no longer a trainspotter - presumably once you reached the age of 12 you also decided against continuing your hobby - perhaps you were tired of defending it, or perhaps (like the majority of would-have-been trainspotters) you discovered something a little more interesting .
I would expect the ranks of modern day 'spotters would be far larger if it were not for the inventions of the PC, internet, video games, binge drinking and urban violence....