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Pylon hunt 16: Elstree substation, 26th August 2023

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Destination Elstree National Grid substation via Borehamwood
Notes First attempt to take review shots from the new camera
Goals L3 (Blaw Knox), symmetrical PL16 DD60
Distance 15.5 miles (total on foot)
Walk number 171

With the full realisation that the weather wasn’t great, I set off to Elstree to get some Blaw Knox L3 shots. It was also a rail strike day, but there were enough services still running to make this happen. Despite the forecast for lousy weather, I’d been waiting all week to do this walk and went ahead with it anyway, and indeed there was no bother with the trains.

I took both my old and new cameras (and my work mobile) to compare all three in preparation for writing a review of the Canon IXUS 285 HS. The iPhone is shagged; it managed two photos (the second one completely out of focus) and died.

We start out in Borehamwood:

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Some nice houses
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Closer look
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More nice houses
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Closer look
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Heading off down the road
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A harvestman fell out of the sky and landed on my old camera.
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This seems to be an “in” style for new builds
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This place is fairly serene

Leaving the road behind and taking a public footpath, the route bypasses Elstree entirely.

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Pleasant open space
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The sun has come back out, for a minute
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Growing wild
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Taking a picture of a person taking a picture …

The route passes around the side of Aldenham reservoir.

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Aldenham reservoir
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L3 angle tower on the far side of the reservoir; I came here specifically for Blaw Knox L3 as it was the last remaining pylon type anywhere near me of which I had no photos.
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Looking out across the water
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Not the most inviting water I’ve seen …
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… although the mallards don’t seem to mind
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Here be birbs …
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Lots of birbs
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Canada geese, coots and what appear to be seagulls
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Egyptian geese (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
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A final scenic view

Having passed the reservoir, now on the way to Elstree Substation:

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Crossing under the power line; I really thought I’d come across an L2 line at first; L3 towers look remarkably like their bigger and higher-voltage L2 cousins.
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275 kV L3 and 132 kV PL16 lines, both Blaw Knox–designed towers
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An impressive abode
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Crossing under the flight path of Elstree Aerodrome
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Looking along the L3 line
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The strange shape of this L3 shows that it’s been given a height extension
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PL16 DD2S towers; note the double earthwires that used on some lines for the first mile from a substation
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This is a mystery: a PL16 DD60 with symmetrical crossarms, yet barely a change in angle
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The end of the line, literally. L3 DTU45 (formerly called DTV45°) terminal tower seen in the distance
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The sky darkens …

At this point, the heavens opened with a wonderful rainstorm.

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275 kV suspension insulator detail
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Sunshine after the rain; a L3 D60 against the sky
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Close-up; note the weighted jumpers on the right-hand side, to maintain tower clearance under strong winds
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L3 line passing offices
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L3 angle tower used a mobile phone mast; using pylons as masts is common practice
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Aldenham reservoir again
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Peering through the trees

Finally back at Elstree & Borehamwood station:

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EMR Class 360 no. 360101 speeding through the station towards London …
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… and an EMR Class 222 no. 222012 heading north
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Design-by-committee flats built alongside the railway
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Looking along the platform

Walking home …

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With all the rain today a rainbow was expected and the sky delivered.