I AM CHRISTOPHER LEACH THE ARTIST. I started this blog so that I can share with everyone my vast collection of transport photographs showing a personal and nostalgic view of the industry with images that span some 45 years taking in the U.K and some of Europe. I have no darkroom and so rather than being the perfectionist after tidying them up I upload the images warts and all, and even those that won't scan squarely or are scratched. In a way it adds age and character. You are all free to download these for your personal use but please remember I still own them and you are not just free to use them without prior permission for any knd of publishing. Click on images to enlarge them and if you want to see more leave your comments or visit my website for the mother-site with galleries including those Buses & Girls: PICTUREWORLD

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

The sun is shining it's Bern and they're still green!

Luckily I made my last visit to Bern about one month before the last of a long line of my favourite make, the FBW motorbus was withdrawn from their hard working peak hour operations at the end of January in 2000. I even came back early from my daily travels late one afternoon so I could ride on them and make some recordings to enjoy back at home in glorious hi-fi sound. I rode them back and forth to the terminus sampling the meaty roar of Nos 277,282 and 283 as they still managed to romp up those hills with a full load.. Even though the FBW has obviously now long gone, I still half expect to see another favourite one of the then oldest traditional looking trams like No.621 still to be there repetative bell sounding, headlight blazing hurrying all the good Swiss obediently out of the way as it lurches away from a tram-stop or lights, the little steel wheels screeching on polished rails as it rounds yet another bend in this city of often chilly historic narrow streets. Even if this old tram friend is still there could I ever forgive this the most remarkable of conservative of Swiss cities for painting all those sober very businesslike machines a horrid pinkish-red like floats at some very latin Gay Pride Parade? In all fairness maybe I should come to Bern again to see what they've done with the red paint to the vehicles for myself and just maybe after a few beers and a nice meal any remaining older trolleybuses like once military green 1985 Volvo R&J No.62 might get the thumbs-up. Still they don't keep buses that long in Switzerland these days and that might be gone too.


cirdan05 said...

Hello again,

Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures.

Sadly, the standard bogie trams of Bern are no more - that is unless you are willing to go to Iasi in Roumania to see them.

Do you know? I think that buses and public transport in gerneral makes such interesting photographs precisely because it is taken so for granted. At the same time, the designs of the diferent vehicle types so much represent the age in which they were conceived that if they live to an old age, they remian as monuments to that age, and once they are gone, the link to that age is severed. This is why people can get so nostalgic about transport.

There was a time when you could see what city you were in just by looking at the liveries of the buses (and trams). In this way the public transport both iconised and reflected that city. Today, with liveries being replaced by advertising, or at best corporate identities having no bearing to regional identities makes that so different.

cirdan05 said...

As for Bern's trolleybuses, here is one of the Hess/FBW's (I think?). The last of these were withdrawn in 2006. There are still plenty of Volvos left though. Sadly several routes were de-electrified and so the withdrawn trolleys were not replaced.


christopher said...

Thank you for both of your comments and Cirdan you summed up the importance of transport photography and respecting it's heritage. Today in the UK as well as impersonal corporate liveries the companies often carry meaningless names like Arriva instead of something local and familiar. Also once areas had their own registration numbers and these of course were not just carried by buses but sometimes it became a part of the act, and if was an *HA it meant Midland Red for those were the letters for Smethwick. I'm not surprised those old trams have gone.

As for the trolleybus I'm sorry but I'm right this time as Nos. 62-66 were Volvos of 1985 and not older FBW's.