On Trains & Buses

Travel news, views & information from Europe & North America by an independent public transport user

No engine required for a hell of a racket

Posted on August 18, 2009

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Last week saw me travel to Aviemore for a few day’s stay by way of the Caledonian Sleeper and I perhaps foolishly stuck with seated accommodation in the spirit of thrift. Scotrail seem to use Mk 2 carriages for that role and the roar when the brakes are applies cannot be missed. Might I suggest earplugs for a more peaceful night’s rest?  The same din was to be heard from Mk 1 Craven carriages used by Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) until not so long ago but I reckon that they have been banished by newer coaching stock. In the days before the introduction of the Voyagers, the same metallic sound pervaded a cold December nighttime journey from Birmingham to Edinburgh after a job interview. In this day and age, it just makes me wonder why no one ever thought to change the bogies on the Mk 2 coaches to quieter ones like what are common on their Mk 3 and Mk 4 successors. However, that may have had something to do with the money available for such work when they were more commonly used. Replacing them with Mk 3 rolling stock is probably more sensible now that there has been an influx of new trains over the last decade and that the SuperExpress is in the offing. That leaves me to wonder when Scotrail might get to releasing the Mk 2’s from overnight duties. With the economic environment right now, that well may be a matter of money, a scarcer commodity in these troubled times.