Saturday, June 22, 2013

APT

370 006I've always been fascinated by the Advanced Passenger Train.

BRs attempt to leap into the future with a train that could tilt was all the rage when I was a kid.

It was clever - tilting the coaches as you go around a corner allows for higher speeds without all that pesky track relaying that we tend to be a bit rubbish at.

There were all sorts of novel features such as special brakes, shared bogies and other cool stuff. The prototype (technically first prototype, the one that ran were also designated APT-P) looked like something out of Thunderbirds and was powered by gas turbines.

It was the future.

The someone decided that on the first runs you should fill the train with journalists who had been given access to a free bar. Most of them were filing, "I vomited my innards when I rode the tilting train." before they had left the station.

Starting the service during the winter when trains aren't at their most reliable was a master stoke too.

Of course whichever piss-poor incompetent government we had at the time panicked and cancelled the project.

Anyway, the thing got cancelled and I never had a ride. As a result, I'm a bit of a collector of APT memorabilia.

Wooden APT
 
Pride of place has to go to 2 (yes 2) wooden APTs intended for travel agents in the days when you might book a train ticket through one. Both came from the antiques centre in Wolverhampton and involved a fast walk to a cashpoint followed by carrying the thing back on a train.
 
It doesn't matter. One day I will place them back to back to replicate the real train with its central power cars. Oh, and both are in better condition than the one in the NRM.

APT Tie Of course, I have a Hornby model. They aren't rare, despite what eBay sellers might try and tell you. Actually there are two of those as well 'cos there is a plan to re-wheel and detail a set up to modern(ish) standards.

Talking of collectors, from the much missed Collectors Corner at Euston, I acquired loads of leaflets and booklets as well as this lovely tie which I wear to all my unsuccessful job interviews.

1 comment:

ADAM ORRISS said...

Fantastic reading��. I too have developed APTitus & am currently after memorabilia too, especially the Trave Agent models��. I just wish we could get the real thing moving!