Michael Laing (rock_dinosaur) wrote,
Michael Laing
rock_dinosaur

By train to Hastings and Ashford


On 5th August, 2003, I went by train from London via Lewes to Hastings. 1950s and '60s Mk.I electric multiple-units were being withdrawn from service at the time, and I was fortunate to have my first and last opportunity to travel on some of the last of these spacious and comfortable trains on my journey from London Victoria to Hastings, and from Ashford back to London Bridge station. I didn't have much time to look around Hastings, but I did venture down to the High Street, where I took this photo.


Hastings High Street on 5th August, 2003.


Semaphore starting signals at the north end of Hastings Station, Sussex, 5th August, 2003. It's ironic that in this most affluent corner of England, the railway still utilises (or did when I took the photo) amongst the most antiquated signalling and rolling-stock to be found on the main line in the UK.


Semaphore starting signals at the north end of Hastings Station, Sussex, 5th August, 2003.


Semaphore starting signals at the north end of Hastings Station, Sussex, 5th August, 2003.


Inside the DMBS (Driving Motor Brake Second) car of BR Class 205 'Thumper' DEMU No. 205 025 somewhere along the line from Hastings, Sussex, to Ashford, Kent, 5th August, 2003. These trains were popularly known as 'Thumpers', and a journey in one of those was certainly a noisy and sluggish affair compared to the light-weight, bus-engined DMUs used outwith the former Southern Region of BR. Nevertheless, the seats were aligned with the windows and were less cramped, more comfortable and far better-sprung than those in many trains operating today, such as the class 14X railbuses and the dreadful class 150 'Sprinters'. Plenty of luggage-space too!


BR Class 205 'Thumper' DEMU No. 205025 at Ashford, Kent, after arrival from Hastings, Sussex, with the signal already cleared for the return journey, 5th August, 2003.


Control-jumpers, brake pipes and buffing-gear between the cars of BR Class 205 'Thumper' DEMU No. 205 025 at Ashford, Kent, 5th August, 2003.


BR Class 205 'Thumper' DEMU No. 205 025 prepares to depart from Ashford, Kent, on the shuttle-service to Hastings, Sussex, 5th August, 2003.


BR Class 205 'Thumper' DEMU No. 205 025 prepares to depart from Ashford, Kent, for Hastings, Sussex, 5th August, 2003.
Tags: ashford, hastings, south eastern railway
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