Saturday, August 2, 2014


At the buffers

In Derby and a little early for my train I walked along the road near the station and came across this, looming out of the dusk: the cab of a Class 37 locomotive sitting quietly in the car park of the Alexandra Hotel. It’s clearly just one example of an enthusiasm for railwayana hereabouts, as the Alexandra has various railway signs and other bits and pieces in the adjoining garden, none of them as eye-catching as this. When I got over the surprise I looked it up online and it seems that the cab is being restored and will eventually be repainted. 

Although the locomotive wasn’t, I think, actually built in Derby, it’s an interesting reminder of Derby’s railway heritage and in its stationary state is virtually a piece of architecture – a distant relative of those houses made from old railway carriages that I’ve noticed in the past. I look forward to returning and seeing the finished project, whether the restorers choose British Rail blue, EWS red and yellow, or some other colour scheme that might be appropriate. Whatever the colour, it will no doubt attract people in for a pint.


bazza said...

It's interesting to see that a class of locomotive as relatively recent as this has become 'collectable'. Railway memorabilia is always popular of course. There's a shopping centre in Swindon (can't remember the name, I'm sure you will know it) located in a former railway manufacturing building. They have some wonderful old locomotives there.
In Chingford, London there used to be a restaurant in an old Pullman coach which, sadly, is gone.
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Philip Wilkinson said...

The place in Swindon is called, if I remember rightly, the Brunel Centre. Some of the buildings are the old railway works and close nearby are the offices of both English Heritage and the national Trust.