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Front cover of Modern Railways Pictorial Magazine, September 1981 Issue
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Modern Railways Pictorial Magazine, September 1981 Issue

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Contents Listing - Articles & Features in this issue

Birmingham via Banbury
Class 50s to Exeter from Waterloo
The Settle & Carlisle Line
Picture Parade
Doncaster — railway centre
Photonews
Railscene

Cover: Class 33 Bo-Bo diesel electric No 33.1 14 takes empty stock through the washing plant at Bedminster, Bristol in May 1981. 

Article Snippets
Article Snippets
Introduction
A poll of modern railway enthusiasts to find the
most popular classes of locomotive or multiple unit would be an extremely interesting exercise. All classes have their devotees, but clearly a shiny 'Deltic' at the head of an express train will create more interest than a Class 08 shunter at the back of a diesel depot. A number of factors influence popularity. One of these is the number of locomotives in a class. There will inevitably be more followers of a small class of engines (with nameplates) such as the Class 50s or 55s rather than the ubiquitous and relatively anonymous Class 47s. Similarly there are far more 'Peak' and "Crompton' fans than Class 31. 37 or 56 supporters, although this has something to do with regular haulage by the former classes in particular geographical areas. On electrified routes the trainspotters always get more excited when a Class 82 or 83 appears as compared with the more common Class 86/2s, despite the nameplates carried by the last.

Another factor which may influence some enthusiasts is the sound of particular classes. How exciting the high-pitched sound of a revving 'Deltic'. or the earthy beat of a'Hoover', compared with the comparative silence of a Class 47 or the hum of an electric multiple unit. However, there are many classes which fall between the raucous and the silent such as Class 20s, or the classes using six-cylinder Sulzer engines. Then there is the affection for the veterans of the road such as the Class 40s. This brings us to the 'status quo' and whether current BR policy will lead to a spate of withdrawals. As a class nears extinction there always seems to be an upsurge in interest. Railway photographers in particular are likely to be influenced in their activities by a desire to record a disappearing type on film for the sake of posterity.

The appearance of some classes no doubt affects the number of supporters they attract. Although aesthetic attraction is in the mind of the beholder it is generally agreed that some locomotives and multiple units are better looking than their rivals. For example the new Class 140 dmu is unlikely to win a beauty competition. However, this factor may be of less importance when one considers the sleek lines of 1C 125 units which probably have more followers in the ranks of the general public than in gricers' circles. Whichever motive power we support we must be grateful for the variety which still exists. A little friendly rivalry among enthusiasts is" healthy and encourages discussion and comparison, thereby stimulating overall interest in today's BR scene. Our objective — already made plain — is to cover all classes of motive power — given time. The next issue ofMRP will feature the push-pull Class 47/7s; Parkstone Bank; a famous Yorkshire cutting; Southport and Old Oak Common, in addition to Picture Parade and Photonews. The usual comprehensive Railscene feature will include the latest traction information available — all for 50p.
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