Model "Blue Train" Class 303 EMU

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Martin Stewart
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri May 06, 2022 3:46 pm

Model "Blue Train" Class 303 EMU

Post by Martin Stewart »

It was interesting to see the discussions on a model "Blue Train "Class 303 EMU.
I actually contacted Accurascale a few months ago regarding manufacturing Class 303 units in their original Caledonian Blue livery.
They will consider this at their development meeting - so fingers crossed it will generate interest to manufacture this iconic and much loved train.
Attached are a few pictures and a shot of unit No.35 which was experimental and with outward opening plug (Peters) doors and thyristor control.
No.35 was the last unit built in the first batch and the only change to second batch unit's was all passenger window frames were aluminium.
Attachments
scan0003-1.jpg
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No 35..jpg
No 35..jpg (112.81 KiB) Viewed 481 times
No 35...jpg
No 35...jpg (105.43 KiB) Viewed 481 times
No 35....jpg
No 35....jpg (123.94 KiB) Viewed 481 times
1960 Caledonian Blue.jpg
1960 Caledonian Blue.jpg (117.71 KiB) Viewed 481 times
jasp
Posts: 558
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:40 pm

Re: Model "Blue Train" Class 303 EMU

Post by jasp »

Great pics of an interesting variant.
Jim P
WCML55.68
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 4:37 pm

Re: Model "Blue Train" Class 303 EMU

Post by WCML55.68 »

Great photos, thanks for posting. I remember the 311 variants had a vertical grille at the inner end on one side of one coach, was it the Guards compartment? which was the only variation I had spotted. I will see If I can find some of my own shots and post ...

I think the words "iconic and much loved train" some things up. Well said Sir.

Its amazing that an RTR has never been produced in 62 years ... lets hope Accurascale respond favourably. :) :) :)
Last edited by WCML55.68 on Wed May 18, 2022 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
John Paton
Posts: 246
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:50 pm

Re: Model "Blue Train" Class 303 EMU

Post by John Paton »

Very nice nostalgic images Martin.

My memory of the Cravens 311s was as WCML says, on one side of the centre coach there was a grille between the last passenger window and the guards compartment, and that last passenger window was half-length and did not have a sliding ventilator. Internally they had longitudinal florescent lighting (initially with diffusers) unlike the 303s which had individual bulb fittings (also initially each with its own diffuser). If I remember correctly the seat coverings and wall formica patterns were the same as the 303s - fashion had not moved on in seven years.

As a youngster I was regularly on the Cathcart Circle blue trains from their introduction until 1965. I remember that they started off with white or very bright silver roofs and that their introduction was accompanied by a vast array of leaflets, brochures and posters. Unfortunately I was too young to appreciate their future value and interest, but luckily my aunt was a season-ticket holder at Maryhill Central station and the she persuaded the staff there to give her a copy of Cuneo's Blue Train poster, which I still have. Following a family house move in 1965 I became familiar with the north side sets. Does anyone remember the distinctive difference between the north and south sets? Those working on the north bank smelt of cigarette smoke; the south bank sets smelt of cigar smoke!

Martin's photo of a Balloch set at the Craigendoran Pier platform is a reminder of the Balloch Pier to Craigendoran Pier workings that were run in association with the three-lochs tour (Craigendoran - Arrochar - Tarbet - Balloch - Craigendoran).

John
WCML55.68
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 4:37 pm

Re: Model "Blue Train" Class 303 EMU

Post by WCML55.68 »

Heres some shots of 303s and a 311.

Im afraid 303001 is the closest I can get to one in Caledonian blue out of my own photos, taken shortly after its repaint at the new Partick Station on an extremely dreich day.
303085 and 311110 both unmistakably at Glasgow Central.

There are actually two grilles on the 311, not one as previously thought, and of note are the Gresley designed bogies under the trailer cars which gave such a superb ride, a tribute to the Great Man that they used a 40+ year old design. I remember the way the 303s used to softly swing from side to side when traversing crossovers on the approach to Central.

Love the anecdote about the cigar smoke!

311110 Glasgow Central.JPG
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303085 Glasgow Central.JPG
303085 Glasgow Central.JPG (120.04 KiB) Viewed 328 times
303001 Partick.JPG
303001 Partick.JPG (60.99 KiB) Viewed 328 times
John Paton
Posts: 246
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:50 pm

Re: Model "Blue Train" Class 303 EMU

Post by John Paton »

I also see that the windows did have ventilators - my memory is even worse than what it used to be.

I remember a family trip to Gourock for a sun-drenched Clyde Steamer cruise (QMII if I remember correctly) in 1969, sitting behind the driver. It was a semi-fast train which the driver took up to the full 75mph on the long straight through Bishopton and the tunnels down to the Clyde. The Great Man's bogies in that front coach were bouncing us right out the seats!
duncan
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:47 am

Re: Model "Blue Train" Class 303 EMU

Post by duncan »

The one thing I remember of the original coaches was the super thick bouncy seats.
Angus McIntosh
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:44 pm

Re: Model "Blue Train" Class 303 EMU

Post by Angus McIntosh »

What stands out in my memory of the Cathcart Cicrle was the brown dust covering on the sleepers from the brake blocks as the units braked heavily into the stations.

Angus
David Blevins
Posts: 243
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:26 pm

Re: Model "Blue Train" Class 303 EMU

Post by David Blevins »

I remember that "Brake Dust" well, for I was a Guard in Glasgow Central from 1981, and ended up in the Eye Infirmary because of it. The Brown Brake Dust was actually slivers of metal, flung up from the Bogie under the Guards Compartment.
One of the Duties of a Guard, back then, was to observe the Signals when entering a Terminal Station, Glasgow Central, and be ready to "Pull" the Brake if the Driver made a Mistake, which meant sticking your Head out of the Guards window, looking at the Signal Gantry, and as the Driver Braked Invisible Brake Dust went into my eye.
Ouch watery eye, another New Guard caught out, the Old Hands all having a Good Laugh ! Sent to Glasgow Eye Infirmary to have pieces of rusty metal removed from my eyeball, turned up next day at Glasgow Central with a bandage over one eye to be told I had to go home. As I was a "New Guard", there was No "Sick Pay" - not in long enough, and I had to take a weeks Holiday, otherwise the wife and 3 children would have No Money for Food, etc. The Good Old Days ???? - but what "Fun and Adventures" we had as Guards, especially for me after 17 years of "9 to 5 Office Work", being made Redundant from the Steel Industry and being Lucky enough to experience "The Railway".
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