Rail Projects

Events : HST@40 – St Philips Marsh Depot Open Day

Events : HST@40 – St Philips Marsh Depot Open Day

We love our cars but we also adore the High Speed Train (HST), the iconic high speed train that’s just reached an incredible 40 years in public service – and is still going strong. Mike Humble travelled to Bristol and spoke to its stylist and designer, Sir Kenneth Grange, along with other key railway figures… Words: Mike Humble Photography: […]

Blog : Remembering the Peaks…

Blog : Remembering the Peaks…

For two decades this rugged design was the mainstay of express trains out of St Pancras to the north of England. Never a star performer in the way the Deltic was, lacking the style of a ‘Western’ diesel hydraulic.

By 8 October 2015 28 Comments Read More →
Blog : Remembering the Westerns…

Blog : Remembering the Westerns…

With around 2200hp available and weighing less than 80 tons, these locomotives, seemed to prove the point about the superior power to weight ratio of the diesel hydraulic over the diesel electric. The 2000hp Class 40 diesel electric weighed in at 133 tons. But the Western Region needed more power and this was to lead to the development of the ‘Westerns’.

By 10 September 2015 38 Comments Read More →
Blog : Remembering the Deltics…

Blog : Remembering the Deltics…

Ian Nicholls Question: What does the Lamborghini Miura have in common with the British Rail Class 55 Deltic diesel locomotive? Answer: They both appeared in the main title sequence of a classic Michael Caine film. The Miura appeared in The Italian Job, the Deltic in Get Carter, depicting the journey of the main character from London to […]

By 3 September 2015 62 Comments Read More →
Blog : Remembering the Whistlers…

Blog : Remembering the Whistlers…

Ian Nicholls One of the most fondly remembered British Rail diesel locomotives was the English Electric Type 4, later christened Class 40. Nicknamed ‘Whistlers’ by rail enthusiasts, due to their distinctive engine noise, it was at one stage the star of the British Railways diesel fleet, hauling top line expresses in the east of England and […]

By 26 August 2015 17 Comments Read More →
Blog : Let’s hear it for the Class 37…

Blog : Let’s hear it for the Class 37…

The Class 37 has had an even longer career than the Brush Class 47, but because it was more of a mixed traffic locomotive, and less powerful, it never hauled the crack expresses. The locomotive was a product of the English Electric company, which in the 1950s was riding high. During World War II, English Electric had built Handley Page Halifax bombers under licence at their Warton plant.

By 20 August 2015 11 Comments Read More →
Blog : Let’s hear it for the Class 47…

Blog : Let’s hear it for the Class 47…

I get the impression that editor Keith and Mike Humble are big HST/Inter City 125 fans. Perhaps they had the Hornby model as kids?
But I think the Brush Type 4 or Class 47 is a more remarkable locomotive. Introduced in 1962, some 30 are still in service in 2015, an amazing 53 years. The HST has only put in a mere 39 years service!

By 15 August 2015 41 Comments Read More →
Blog : Raise a glass to… Happy Birthday HST!

Blog : Raise a glass to… Happy Birthday HST!

Some of our previous BL/BR-themed content went down rather well in the past, so Mike Humble wiggles a glass to the only serious threat to the passenger car in the 1970s and one which also proved that not all State-owned companies were doomed if they featured the word “British” in the title… In a world where four wheels […]

The Bus Section : Leyland Bus – 20 years since closure

The Bus Section : Leyland Bus – 20 years since closure

Mike Humble While ploughing through my extensive archive of all things bus and coach just now, I was staggered to notice that, 20 years ago this month, in July 1993 – and, after much diversification, rationalising and inevitable streamlining under the ownership of Volvo, the lights were finally switched out, the doors were locked and the gates were closed on arguably […]

Events : Preview – AROnline visit to York National Railway Museum

Events : Preview – AROnline visit to York National Railway Museum

Mike Humble Sometimes it’s good to take a breather from the crazy world of cars. This month marks the 75th Anniversary of the record breaking speed run of Sir Nigel Gresley’s streamlined locomotive, Mallard, so we have decided to fill our lungs with steam and pay homage. Keith Adams, myself and regular contributor (and rail […]

Blog : Record breaking steam speed run remembered

Blog : Record breaking steam speed run remembered

Mike Humble Well, as I am sure many of you will know, our very own British Leyland and – latterly – Leyland Bus Limited, were once heavily involved in rail projects that first started in the early 1970s and continued right up into the late 1980s – not all of them successful. However, back in days […]

Rail projects : Class 91 – a potential never fulfilled

Rail projects : Class 91 – a potential never fulfilled

Mike Humble The East Coast Main Line (ECML) has been for many years, England ’s rail gateway to the North starting from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh some 392.7 miles in length. Some of the worlds most famous trains and locomotives have plied their trade with evocative names such as the Deltic, flying Scotsman, Mallard […]

By 16 September 2012 39 Comments Read More →
Best of British : BR Class 43 – High Speed Train

Best of British : BR Class 43 – High Speed Train

Twenty twelve is of course our Jubilee and Olympic year, and here at AROnline we celebrate our own transport legends in the first of this new short series that pay homage to some true gold-winning icons. Words: Mike Humble It’s quite staggering when you take stock and think that it has been 16 years since the […]

By 13 September 2012 57 Comments Read More →
Essays : Leyland Bus – the declining years

Essays : Leyland Bus – the declining years

It’s 20 years since Volvo delivered three killer blows to our motoring industry: 1992 saw the end of Leyland Lynx and Tiger production with total closure being announced for the following year. Mike Humble takes a look at the declining years of Leyland Bus. Recession of an Empire Moving fast, in a fast moving world Looking […]

Rail Projects : The BRE-Leyland Pacers – the dream becomes a nightmare

Rail Projects : The BRE-Leyland Pacers – the dream becomes a nightmare

Another development of the Leyland/British Rail partnership was the Rail bus. This time it all came to fruition for BL in a period when the bus market was dying. But this time, it got nasty, and had it not been for the Swedes, Leyland would have most certainly been sent into bankruptcy. Story: Mike Humble Far from being put off […]

Rail projects : When BL met BR – The APT

Rail projects : When BL met BR – The APT

Many people are unaware that some British Leyland products ran on the rails as well as the roads. AROnline looks at the Advanced Passenger Train (APT-E), which was BL’s first engineering partnership with British Rail. Story: Mike Humble I make no apologies for the fact that I love trains, and if it hadn’t been for […]