Photo of 975081 at London Cannon Street

Vehicles in this photo

The following vehicle(s) appear in this photo.

  • 975081 - Structure Gauging Train Driving & Instrumentation coach. Formerly Laboratory 17 "Hermes"

Photo details

  • London Cannon Street
  • 27 September 2006
  • © Ben Williams


Your comments

  • Mr G A Woodward MIET IENG

    25 March 2007, 10:09:30

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    This could be the hermes that I worked on in Swindon works in 1978, but it could also be the other one that I wrote about?

    Thank you Graham Woodward

  • SD0853

    25 March 2007, 13:07:50

    Quite correct, this is the legendary "HERMES"

    RDB975422 "PROMETHEUS" was the other 1978 swindon works conversion.

  • Ben Williams

    26 March 2007, 11:43:35

    Graham also asked about 975091 Mentor - does anyone know where this was converted and when?


  • Mr G A Woodward MIET IENG

    26 March 2007, 12:41:17

    Dear Ben Williams,

    Many thanks for coming back to me, as Hermes could have been one of two possibles on the web site.

    I now know that the one shown in your photograph above is the correct one. I can't recall Prometheus, and I get the feeling that it would have been a later mod. I left the works in 1979.

    I did get my dates a bit wrong, as I left the Swindon works training school as an apprentice vehicle builder in 1972, and so I must have done a lot of work on Mentor 975091 in 1973. I apologise for the error.

    Actually Hermes was in the 19 shop at Swindon at the same time as Mentor, and I did a little bit of work on it. I worked on mentor for about a year i.e. all of 1973, and worked like a trojan, i.e. young and very, very keen. I must have been a star apprentice.

    I recall going down the con yard as it was called at Swindon, along with the two mates that they had put me with to pick up the pantograph, that had been dropped at the siding.

    We manhandled on to a flat bed truck, and then took it in the workshop.

    The fitter had marked out the possition on the flat roof for the thing using 'engineers blue' and a rule and scriber, and that afternoon we hauled the thing up on to the roof using ropes, as we had no overhead crane in 19 shop. Health and safety, and the hazard/risk assessment boys would have nightmares, if it happened these days.

    These two mates that I was put with to learn the trade, also on that day sent me to the other end of the railway works to see a fellow about a long wait. I asked them what they needed a weight for and they said, to put on top of those steel panels over there, to stop the corners curling up.

    They told me the chaps name that I had to ask for this weight, and said he knows you are coming, as we have phoned him up.

    Ii remember having a devil of a job to find the workshop that they sent me to, but eventually found this bloke, and he said who sent you? what have you come here for. I explained that my two mates needed a long weight, and so he said sit there a minute next to my little cupboard.

    having sat there for three quarters of an hour, i became a bit uneasy so to speak, and he noticed this, and came over and said, with a smile you have been set up. Didn't it dawn on you? he then made me a cup of tea.

    When I eventually found my way back to 19 shop, my two mates were looking out of the window lites of Mentor, both with broad grins asking, where have you put the weight?

    The time has gone so quickly, and I look back with found memories to these days.

    I would love to know if Mentor is still used to this day, and has not been cut up for scrap. I would also love to know where it hangs out these days, and what sort of condition it is in.

    Many thanks, and I will keep watching the web site for any news.

    Kindest regards


  • Tom Alexander

    9 April 2007, 19:02:21

    Can anyone tell me what vehicle this was converted from? I am wanting to model it for my layout and need to find a base coach. I have a feeling it will be a big cut and shut job.


  • wolf27

    9 April 2007, 20:34:25

    Hermes was converted from a BSK. This could be done from a Lima model but it does involve a bit of surgery.


  • Roland Turner

    10 April 2007, 20:21:03

    Hermes could also be converted from the Hornby BSK. This has the advantage of removable sides that would be easier to work on than the Lima BSK. I recall an article in the Railway Modeller some years ago where the 3 vehicle Structure Gauging train was modelled. The livery at the tiem was similar to the Mobile Track Assessment livery.

    Best Regards,

  • gary westgate

    29 May 2007, 20:25:43

    975081 was converted from a class 432 driving motor coach commonly known as a 4 rep..

  • SD0853

    30 May 2007, 15:58:14

    I think you'll find that this coach (975081) was converted from BSK M35313 (according to the rolling stock library anyway)

  • SD0853

    30 May 2007, 16:09:06

    Just to futher back up the evidence that Hermes was once a LHCS vehical, in the 1970's picture of this coach at Eastleigh the ex-vaccum pipe is still visible under the corridor connection.

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