The Ultimate in Grafitti
A complete graffiti job. This is the unit that was heavily damaged in a highway accident, the damage is all on the other, non-graffiti, side.
Grafitti is an unfortunate part of the current railway scene. Although some decals are available, few modeller choose to replicate this despicable form of vandalism on their models. While making a flying visit to one of my favourite narrow gauge railways in
chemin de fer du Blanc à Argent runs from
Salbris via Romorantin, Gievres and Valençay to Luçay le
Mal. I took an early train from
At Salbris I walked out of the main line station and into the goods yard where I found the double section, articulated train waiting. It is painted SNCF blue but with "Blanc à Argent", the name of the independent railway, painted n the side. The municipality purchased five of these purpose-built metre gauge trains a few years ago at a cost of about C$20 million. They have all the latest SNCF gadgets such as TV cameras at each end on both sides so the driver can observe the station stops. They are also fitted with a standard SNCF toilet, a first for the BA.
The stationmistress came out and gave us the right away by waving a short stick to which was attached a green metal circle.We passed over the SNCF electrified main line and on to Le Ferté Imbault where we were met by the stationmistress. The local stations are a distinctive design and most are staffed even though there are very few passengers. At Selles St. Denis we met another train and there was a short delay while the stationmistress flirted with both drivers before sending them both on their way.
The railway has to use extreme transition bars when changing from the normal track (on the left) to the new switches (on the right)
The railway has spent some money replacing many switches and rail on curves. The worn rail on the straightaways gave a lively ride while the transition rail joint bars to accommodate significant differences in rail section had to be seen to be believed.
is the centre of the line from an
operations and maintenance point of view. I
walked around the town and enjoyed the Christmas
decorations – there
were a large number of red clad Santas climbing up ropes over balconies
into the windows of the houses.
Back at the station, I had time to
around the yard and see that several of the older railcars were still
and in service. Turning a corner I found
out the reason why. Two of the almost
new articulated sets are out of service. One
had obviously been in a serious crossing accident and
it will take a
lot of work to get it back in running condition again.
Going around to the other side I was
surprised to see the extent to which it had been covered in graffiti.
They say there is a prototype example for everything, so if graffiti is your thing you can cover the entire side of a train knowing that there is a precedent for this in twelve inches to the foot.Ottawa Valley Associated Railroaders - OVAR, The Interchange, May 2007.