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  #1  
Old 28th August 2018, 18:48
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Evening All

Evening fellow rail buffs! I'm Fearless, lifelong rail enthusiast from Somerset, looking forward to chatting to you all. You can also tell I'm a fan of English Electric diesels - hope there are some more of you out there!


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Old 28th August 2018, 18:50
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Hello Fearless and welcome to the forum from all the staff, feel free to join in, enjoy and all the best.
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Old 29th August 2018, 07:22
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aussiesteve aussiesteve is offline
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G'day Fearless,
We had, still do but not as many, some EEs Down-Under.
Got to drive em down in Tassie.
While I am an Aussie Alco nutter, them EEs come in a close second.
Steve.
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Old 29th August 2018, 13:27
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Good to hear from you, Steve! I'm so jealous that you get to drive them. I really wanted to be a driver but my eyesight let me down.

I'm interested to know if you guys have nicknames for these locos, as we do over here. Class 50s are Hoovers (after the vacuum cleaners!), 37s are Tractors. What do you call them?
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Old 29th August 2018, 16:21
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Beeyar Wunby Beeyar Wunby is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fearless View Post
Good to hear from you, Steve! I'm so jealous that you get to drive them. I really wanted to be a driver but my eyesight let me down.
Hi & welcome to the forum. I also love EE traction, especially Class 37s

On another vein entirely, I don't know how bad your eyesight is, but the UK railway has relaxed its eyesight requirement over the years.

For example one of the drivers at my depot had to start as a guard in the 1980s, since British Rail didn't accept traction trainees with glasses in those days. This seems crazy now - I can understand the RAF refusing to take on fighter pilots who wear glasses, but train drivers ? Come on !

Anyhoo, by the time privatisation came along in 1996ish the train operating companies suddenly found themselves short of hundreds of drivers, and hey presto, suddenly you could wear glasses so long as your corrected vision was 5/6 (or something like that).

At that stage you weren't allowed to wear contact lenses....and then about 5 years ago they started accepting them.

Needless to say laser surgery was right out...but guess what ? Just at the moment it's starting to become allowed. Thanks to political fiddling it's down the individual employer to decide.

So nowadays your vision can be pretty dodgy, so long as you can see alright with correction. In fact you are required to carry 2 pairs at all times, just in case you sit on your first pair. Never done it myself, but I have come close.

Links to eyesight stuff...
Railway Group Standards
Traindriver.org website - medical standards

Best wishes, BW.
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Last edited by Beeyar Wunby; 29th August 2018 at 16:25.
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Old 30th August 2018, 06:50
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G'day Fearless and BW,
Not sure what the current PPE SHE (used to be dubbed OH&S) regs are up in the UK.
Personal protection equipment now requires all train crew and anybody on or about the track to wear eye protection.
Especially for sun protection, hence sunnies and clear lens protection after dark.
During the soot belching era Down-Under, drivers were not supposed to wear spectacles.
Loose em or damage em on the footplate and you become helpless.
But, after diesels invaded, the rules were relaxed.
As to nicknames, well I can't repeat most of our Aussie nicknames for things in a family forum.
Mostly motive power was referred to by class identity.
Infact, not many footplate crew actually knew the manufacturer's model identity for locomotives.
Such identity has become more prevalent today.
From memory the Bananaland (QR) railway 1620 class EE (6 CSRKT) were referred to as jets due to the noise they made.
Plus, the earlier 1600 class 6 CSRKT were referred to as Pawpaws, though I could be wrong.
QR had a total of 7 separate classes of EE power.
None remain in revenue duty today.
The 1300 class and 2350 class EEs were shipped down to Tassie to bolster the original Van Demonians.
Becoming the ZC and ZB class.
Oddly, Tassie commenced as Vacuum brake system.
But, when handed over to Aussie National, it was converted to air brake.
But, the Davies Metcalfe air brake system adopted is not compatible with Westinghouse air brake system.
Hence the original Taswegian EEs could not multiple with the blow ins from up north.
If you want one of my nicknames for them, just ask me after suffering a horrendous night shift needing to divide the train by myself due to motive power failure.
But, mostly them EEs behaved them selves reasonably.
EE and Alco (MLW) are sadly a vanishing breed here.
Some are preserved, and a few continue to rattle around in revenue service.
The Port Kembla steel works also had a large fleet of EEs.
EEs existed on every Aussie state railway, except for NSW.
Steve.
PS, My memory does fade to grey as has me hair.
I forgot the most known Taswegian EE nickname.
Units 2100 and 2101 (ZP and ZR) class, were rebuilt ZB class which had erupted into flames.
They became knows as Bananas due to the then Aussie National yellow livery splashed onto them.
B1 and B2, as in that kids show on TV.

Last edited by aussiesteve; 30th August 2018 at 06:55. Reason: additional information added
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  #7  
Old 31st August 2018, 21:07
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Good evening BW and G'day Steve! Thanks both of you for such great information. It's fascinating to get an insight into railways on the other side of the planet, Steve. Keep it coming. BW, how kind of you to give all that info about eyesight and stuff: sadly, I'm approaching retirement age now so it's all a bit too late for me. And I doubt I'd have been much good at the shift work! Still, wearing specs certainly doesn't stop me enjoying those Iron Horses.

I had a quick look at the members list and I see there are a lot of us EEs (certainly Deltics and 50s) about. Are there any members naming themselves after 37s? It would be kinda fun to see if we can rustle up a whole fleet between us!
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Old 1st September 2018, 09:26
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G'day Fearless,
Shift work was fun.
HA!
But, like all else, you get used to it.
I can tell you that there ain't nothing more pleasant than reclining the seat back while waiting for the road.
Open the cab window on a warm summer evening.
And earwig the idling harmonics emanating from four Aussie Alco 80 class CE615 beasties echoing off a nearby concrete jungle.
Mind you, them residents inside them concrete jungle units may not have concurred.
The rhythmic thud of a Tassie ZA class EE 12 CSVT Mk3 idling weren't bad neither.
You will find a couple of me Tassie EE photos in the forum gallery.
Steve.
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