PHOTOGRAPHS MARCH 2008
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Not many miscellaneous photos this month, folks.
On my way up through France one night, somewhere between St Quentin and Douai, I was held up at a level crossing as a French double-decker train shot past. I talk about double decker trains at great length elsewhere so I reckoned I ought to try a shot out of the window of Caliburn.
It's not come out very well, unfortunately, but there you are. I suppose it's quite good really, in a surreal sort of way.
The reason why I was travelling was that I was on my way to a meeting in a UK hotel - a meeting that had a potential for a considerable amount of acrimony.
They must have heard about this at the hotel, for the reading matter that they presented to us was .. er ... shall we say "apposite"? Yes, talk about knowing that we were coming!
At the end of March I was up in Quintinshill at the site of the rail disaster of 1915, about which I also write elsewhere.
And parked at the site of the signal box that was the centre of the tragedy was this most unusual vehicle. It's a DAF lorry owned by Network Rail, the company responsible for maintaining the infrastructure of the UK rail network following the demise of Railtrack.
What is interesting about it (well, two things, really) is as follows -
i.... It has a tower platform. This is useful for being raised and lowered under bridges and overhead electric wires (when they are switched off, of course) so that the workmen can have good access to whatever it is that they are repairing overhead.
ii... It has railway wheels front and back that can be hydraulically lowered so that it can run up and down the railway lines (when all the other rail traffic has been stopped, of course).
I saw something similar to this near Gallup, New Mexico when I was driving along Route 66 back in 2002. I was impressed then, and I'm even more impressed now.