Dutch in the Desert

Dutch F-16AMs J-0010 (ex 88-0010) and J-366 (ex 84-1366) of the 148th FS based at Tucson Arizona fly in close formation over the desert on 6th December 2017.

Dutch F-16AMs J-0010 (ex 88-0010) and J-366 (ex 84-1366) of the 148th FS based at Tucson Arizona fly in close formation over the desert on 6th December 2017.

Dutch Air Force F-16s train all year round in the US Desert

In November 2017, our aviation photographer John Stiles visited the West Coast of the United States with a COAP (Centre of Aviation Photography) visit to a number of airfields and aviation sites. A few days were spent with Dutch pilots who train with the 148th Fighter Squadron based in Tucson, Arizona.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force aren’t blessed with the best climate to train their pilots, so it has relied on partnerships with other air forces to provide a base suitable for training pilots all-year round. The most obvious place is the desert areas of the United States; and so, the current training partner is the Arizona Air National Guard’s (AZ ANG) 162nd Fighter Wing based opposite the commercial terminal at Tucson International Airport. Tuscon lies in the Sonoran Desert and is surrounded by a number of mountain ranges that provide an environment perfect for training pilots in various combat scenarios that mimic their most likely theatre of combat operations.

The 148th Fighter Squadron currently hosts the traininee F-16 pilots from the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The 148th FS flies ten F-16 aircraft; five F-16AM single-seat fighters and five F-16BM twin-seat fighters all owned and operated by the Dutch Air Force. All aircraft within the training wing are identical to those aircraft flown by the 306 and 322 Squardrons back in Holland, and any modifcations are immediately made to the US-based aircraft so that pilots do not need to undergo any further training when they move to an opeartional squadron back home.

We are slowly making photographs from John’s trip available to buy, and the photographs from John’s trip to Tucson as well as a visit to the ‘Top Gun’ school at NAS Fallon can be found here.

If you would like receive updates when new photographs are available then please subscribe to our blog using the facility on the right of this page.

Clapham Junction Carriage Sidings

Class 74 E6007 awaits its next duty at Clapham Carriage Sidings sometime in the early 1970s. Two Ladies walk back towards Clapham Junction station deep in conversation, but who are they?

Electro-Diesel Class 74 E6007 awaits its next duty at Clapham Carriage Sidings sometime in the early 1970s. Two Ladies walk back towards Clapham Junction station deep in conversation, but who are they and what are they doing?

This fascinating photograph by Peter Collins shows two ladies deep in conversation as they walk towards Clapham Junction station from the adjacent Carriage Sidings. I know its a long shot, but does anybody recognise them, or possibly know what role they had with the railways. The photograph was taken sometime in the early 1970s.

The GUV parcels van will be working a postal or newspaper train later in the day from Waterloo,  possibly hauled by E6007. The TC set behind the ‘ED’ is a familiar site; but what is intriguing are the two Buffet cars in a rake off coaches seen on the right of the photograph.

Given the photo is of Clapham carriage Sidings this isn’t unusual in itself, but did any of the Boat Trains run from Waterloo have two adjacent Buffet cars in the formation?

Anybody who can help identify the two ladies or their possible job, or who can yield information on the 2-Buffet train formation please contact us using the form below or via Social Media

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Trollies and Parcels at Crewe

An interesting mixture of the modern railway of the 1970s with traditional adjuncts as AL6 Class 86 number E3176 awaits departure southbound from Crewe with a West Coast express whilst all around are period trollies and the flagstones of years past. Note how much parcels traffic was still being conveyed by rail.

An interesting mixture of the modern railway of the 1970s with traditional adjuncts as AL6 Class 86 number E3176 awaits the 1A28 departure southbound from Crewe with a West Coast express whilst all around are period trollies and the flagstones of years past. Note how much parcels traffic was still being conveyed by rail.

Trollies everywhere!

An evocative photograph by Peter Collins taken at Crewe in the early 1970s. Class 86 Electric E3167 (later 86007, 86407 and now currently operational as 86607) awaits departure amongst the trollies with working 1A28, a southbound express to London; but can anybody tell me the actual service?

I’m a little rusty when it comes to West Coast electrification and without a Working Timetable I don’t know if this is an Anglo-Scottish service or one from Liverpool or Manchester.

In addition to the service I’ve also slightly enlarged both the driver and the trainspotter, so if you can identify either of them I would also appreciate it. I believe the photo to have been taken in 1971-1973, but cannot give a more precise date than that. The spotter has a pen and piece of paper in hand, and is maybe looking use one of the empty trollies as a seat for the next few minutes.

Many things have changed since the photograph was taken; the complete lack of trollies at stations these days, the removal of flagstones on platforms and of course the lack of any parcels traffic on stations. The only surprise is that the locomotive is still operational with Freightliner running as 86607. What I wouldn’t give now for such a scene at Crewe or any station these days. The bland trains stand at a bland station, and more often than not the spotters are over 50!

Please use the form below to contact us if you know the service, or can identify the driver or spotter.

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Seventies Stratford Syphon

Sniffing the East London air from inside one of Stratford Motive Power Depot’s maintenance sheds are two typical stalwarts of 1960s and 1970s Great Eastern Division train working; a Syphon and a Ped. In the mid 1970s, a Class 37 Type 3 number 6744 shares cover with a Class 31 Type 2. One of the lights needs attention in the nose of the Type 3, which seems to be recently ex-works, although Stratford did a lot of loco work themselves including complete paint jobs. In contrast the Type 2 has obviously not seen much cosmetic care for some time in line with the majority of its class-mates.

Sniffing the East London air from inside one of Stratford Motive Power Depot’s maintenance sheds are two typical stalwarts of 1960s and 1970s Great Eastern Division train working; a Syphon and a Ped. In the mid 1970s, a Class 37 Type 3 number 6744 shares cover with a Class 31 Type 2. One of the lights needs attention in the nose of the Type 3, which seems to be recently ex-works, although Stratford did a lot of loco work themselves including complete paint jobs. In contrast the Type 2 has obviously not seen much cosmetic care for some time in line with the majority of its class-mates.

This fabulous shot shows Class 37 ‘Syphon’ 6744 (later 37044) in what appears to be a fresh coat of BR Blue paint, next to a BR Green Class 31 inside one of Stratford’s maintenance sheds. Peter’s notes seem to suggest that this photo was taken in the early 1970s; but looking at the excellent Class 37 Locomotive Group website, I am beginning to doubt the dates being this late, so I’m hoping somebody may be able to help me.

According to the C37LG 6744 received it’s first coat of BR Blue some time in August 1969. It was Dual-Brake fitted in September 1969, but I am unsure where this work would have taken place. There looks to be an awful lot of pipes at the front of 6744 in the picture, but not being an expert maybe somebody can help me out. The bodywork, bogies and pipe valves all look to be be freshly painted so it does seem to be ex-works. The loco is still sporting frost grills over the radiator vents, so maybe this helps identify the date too?

The final piece of the puzzle is that the loco is still sporting a March shed code (also showing 31B), so this puts the date before September 1973 when the loco moved to Stratford shed.

So, can anybody help me narrow down the date between August ’69 and September ’73? Also can anybody tell me where the nicknames ‘Syphon’ – for 37s, and ‘Peds’ – for 31s came from? If you can help with either then please contact me using the form below.

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Night-time Lancaster

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's Lancaster, PA474 'City of Lincoln', at RAF Coningsby at a night shoot on 21st September 2012.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster, PA474 ‘City of Lincoln’, at RAF Coningsby at a night shoot on 21st September 2012. © John Stiles, ellybelly Pictures.

As we revealed in our last post we are pleased to showcase photographs from the renowned railway photographer, John Stiles; but at least initially we will be concentrating on John’s renewed passion for military aviation and vintage transport. Our first featured photograph is of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Avro Lancaster PA474 ‘City of Lincoln’. This fabulous night-time shot was taken at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire in 2012.

The photograph re-lives the routine that Lancasters and other aircraft of Bomber Command would go through during the Second World War when night-time raids on Germany were a regular occurance. As it happens, PA474 never took part in any bombing raids as it was built after VE day, rolling off the production line at Vickers Armstrong Broughton factory at Hawarden Airfield, Chester on 31 May 1945. It was being prepared to be shipped to Japan when the war ended in the Far East too!

After use in photo reconnaissance work in South Africa, and various roles in experimental aerofoil designs the aircraft was reprieved from being used as a static exhibit by Wing Commander D’Arcy, the Commanding Officer of 44 Squadron (then flying Vulcans at RAF Waddington) in 1965. Having been flown to Waddington it was found that the aircraft was in sound condition and over the following eight years the aircraft was restored back to it’s original condition, joining the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in 1973. (For more information please visit the BBMF website.)

The photograph is now available to buy as either an A4 or A3 print, or as a Digital Download. We do offer Wall Mounted products too, contact us through the Form below for further details, and we will see how we can help meet your requirements.

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Introducing ellybelly pictures

Introducing ellybelly pictures

Introducing ellybelly pictures

Introducing ellybelly pictures

We are proud to introduce a new brand within Lineside Photographics called ellybelly pictures. Our photographers are not just interested in railways, and whilst the theme of transport may always be strong, we hope EllyBelly Pictures will allow other subjects to be covered; including transport, wildlife, military and the odd person or too!

Our first new photographs available for sale are from a well known steam railway photographer, John Stiles! John has had many images featured in many railway magazines over the years; but more recently has concentrated his efforts on vintage transportation, vintage re-enactments and mainly military aviation, both historic and modern.

For those of our customers who favour railway photographs, don’t worry! We are working through a large collection of negatives and slides to add to those currently available, and we intend to keep adding!

In addition to John, Ian Simpson will be showcasing some of his none railway images too. If you feel that you would like to sell some of your images, but don’t want the hassle of the sales process, then make contact with us through the form below and we will see how we may be able to help.

We have also decided to move back to Loxley Colour laboratory for prints. Whilst they are a little more expensive, their attention to quality and detail means that customers are assured of a high quality photo or product at all times. This switch will not be instant, but will be completed over the next few weeks.

The move back to Loxley allows us to widen our product offering too; although some products will not be available directly through the website, we will be giving details on how to order things such as wall products to show images off to their maximum potential. Look out for further announcements in the coming weeks!

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Kensington Olympia Royal Train – Part 2

The stock of the Royal Train, with what we believe is 47086 'Colossus' at the front, awaits departure from Kensington Olympia some time between Summer 1974 and Summer 1977.

The stock of the Royal Train, with what we believe is 47086 ‘Colossus’ at the front, awaits departure from Kensington Olympia some time between Summer 1974 and Summer 1977.

As a follow up to our last post which featured the Royal Train at Kensington Olympia, I thought I would post this shot of the train showing eight of the carriages. If possible I would like to tray and identify the carriages that can be seen in the photo.

The carriages that can be identified at the moment from other photos, and a bit of research, are as follows (from the loco towards the photographer):

Ex LMS Coach (10071) numbered 5155m and described as a Staff Couchette
Ex ECJS 3908 Queen Alexandra’s saloon (a 12-wheeler)
Unidentified Coach
Unidentified Coach
BR Mk.1 Sleeper 2013 (In Blue/Grey livery)
Unidentified Coach
BR Mk.1 Restaurant Car M325 (this went back into BR service in 1977)
Unidentified Coach (a 12-wheeler)

If anybody can help identify the unidentified coaches I would appreciate it. The  12-wheeler closest to Peter should be easy, but I cannot find any reference to it at the moment. It may be another ECJS coach which was used as a generator van and staff coach, but it’s got me flummoxed!)

When trying to research older photographs like this the internet always seems to be able to help, but in this instance I have struggled to find an online resource for the Royal Train, other than a useful Wikipedia entry! If anybody can point me to an online resource about the Royal Train I would very much appreciate it.

Finally, I am pretty sure that the locomotive is 47086 ‘Colossus’. Depending on the date of the photograph the loco was allocated either to Old Oak Common or Cardiff Canton depot. Given my limited knowledge of Royal Train engine operations, I think this may also help narrow down the date for the photograph to before October 1976 when the allocation to Cardiff was made; as I don’t suppose the loco would be prepared in Cardiff  for a movement starting in London.

So I think the photo was taken in the summer of 1974, 1975 or 1976. Does this jog anybody’s memory?

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Kensington Sulzers meet the Royal Train

Due to extensive engineering works outside Euston station one Sunday in the 1970s, many long-distance West Coast trains started and terminated at Kensington Olympia and here a set of empty stock to form a Scottish service is brought into one of the West London platforms by double-headed Sulzer Type 2 Class 25s. On the adjacent platform stands the empty stock of the Royal Train which then consisted of some pre-grouping vehicles as well as Mark 1 coaches.

Due to extensive engineering works outside Euston station one Sunday in the 1970s, many long-distance West Coast trains started and terminated at Kensington Olympia and here a set of empty stock to form a Scottish service is brought into one of the West London platforms by double-headed Sulzer Type 2 Class 25s. On the adjacent platform stands the empty stock of the Royal Train which then consisted of some pre-grouping vehicles as well as Mark 1 coaches.

This photograph raises lots of questions that I would love to know the answers to. Peter Collins seems to think that the diversion of some trains to Kensington Olympia from Euston was in the early 1970s, but can anybody get any closer than this? The trees seem to be in full leaf, so sometime between May and September; but which year? Can anybody actually identify the train, and really pushing the bounds of optimism the pair of Sulzers actually used?

I am no expert in the Royal Train, but does anybody have any details on the make up of the train in the early 1970s. There is a Mk1. Sleeper within the rake of coaches in blue/grey livery and also a maroon restaurant car. In addition there are two of the dedicated Royal Train saloons, but which ones I am unclear.

Whatever the service is, there is a buffet available for passengers given the contents of the trolley on the platform, although there doesn’t seem much if the service is a long distance one; half a dozen milk bottles won’t last long!

The photo captures the era when British Rail was moving away from steam and into the diesel era, at least when looking at the left hand side of the image. Look to the right half, and we see semaphore signals and steam era coaching stock (Royal or otherwise).

If anybody can help with further information, then please make contact through the form below, or via social media.

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Short and Sweet, a diverted Slug with Clag!

Freightliner 'Slug' (Class 70), 70003, heads through Heaton Chapel station on 19th June 2017 with a very short 4L90 (MO) 11.17 Trafford Park F.L.T to Felixstowe South F.L.T. service.

Freightliner ‘Slug’ (Class 70), 70003, heads through Heaton Chapel station on 19th June 2017 with a very short 4L90 (MO) 11.17 Trafford Park F.L.T to Felixstowe South F.L.T. service.

Maybe it was a bit too hot for ‘Slug’ Photography

On Monday 19th June 2017, I had decided to use the clear summer skies to photograph the diverted freights through Stockport; by 11am I had already realised it was possibly a bit too hot as temperatures were already approaching 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Having decided to find shade as much as possible, I managed to get this decent shot along with a few more. Class 70 ‘Slugs’ are a rare breed on the stretch of line between Slade Junction and Wilmslow, but with all freight being diverted from their normal route via the Styal line due to some issues with pointwork at the junctions feeding Manchester Airport, they are currently seen several times a day.

The 4L90 service is scheduled for a 1275 tonne train, so when only 4 wagons turned up I managed to get a decent composition as the driver opened up for the quick sprint towards Stockport. I’m not sure whether this is a normal load for this Monday Only (MO) train, but I might have to see if I can catch it again soon.

I’ll put some more photos in another post soon, but thought this one deserved to be seen on its own!

Is it all going wrong for Virgin and Stagecoach on the ECML?

Running 5 minutes late, Virgin East Coast HST 43312 heads 1E09 the 09.30 Edinburgh to King's Cross through Doncaster on 27th June 2017. Power Car 43290 was on the rear.

Running 5 minutes late, Virgin East Coast HST 43312 heads 1E09 the 09.30 Edinburgh to King’s Cross through Doncaster on 27th June 2017. Power Car 43290 was on the rear.

The ECML threatens another private venture; good news for the UK Taxpayers perhaps?

Yet again we hear excuses that its all Network Rail’s fault, as Stagecoach announced today that they have set aside £84m to cover the operating costs of the East Coast franchise it runs with Virgin. Other reasons cited for their woeful performance include Brexit and Terrorism, which apparently have affected their ability to attract more customers. They have admitted that in hindsight they paid too much for the contract (£3bn), and having spent £140m on refurbishments of train interiors and station facilities, no doubt egged on by Virgin who always want to appear glitzy, they want to re-negotiate the terms of the franchise!

I am a regular traveller on the ECML, and I know that since Virgin/Stagecoach took over the franchise the price of my advanced tickets have increased by nearly 25%, on average, for the same journeys. First Class Advanced fares have increased by even more, no doubt to recoup the cost of the new leather seats; but the service itself hasn’t changed much. Is it any wonder, then, that the public are travelling by other means, or using other operators that Virgin/Stagecoach are so keen to prevent running at all. Privatisation is supposed to bring competition, but not on the railways it seems.

As well as Network Rail, they have also blamed a “delay” on the introduction of the new Azuma trains, yet by all accounts (DfT), work is progressing well with these and more can be seen at the Doncaster Carr depot almost on a weekly basis. I am yet to understand how the new trains will help increase their revenues. The current trains are generally clean and comfortable, so will brand new trains really make a difference? Remember, it was Virgin who brought one of the worst and most uncomfortable trains to the UK with the Voyagers…….

Surely the time has come for a complete re-think on the railway franchise system? I’m not sure re-nationlisation would work without a significant increase in funding, but then I would rather put the money from HS2 into the whole network. HS2, like Crossrail, is just to get commuters into London; do they really think that us in ‘the North’ will be falling over ourselves to travel to London in half the time, only to waste all of the gained time on getting to and from an HS2 station at either end of the journey?

The next few months will see whether Virgin/Stagecoach can re-negotiate the franchise deal, probably at the expense of promised services; but maybe, just maybe, another failed ECML operator will yield a properly funded and properly organised UK rail system in the future!

Could we also get another livery on the HSTs before they get sent to Scotland, and maybe the scrap yard?