Saturday, 17 March 2012

Shanklin Super-Station

Perhaps not quite as "Super" as the "new" Kings Cross ...
... which opens on Monday. Perhaps not as intriguing as the famous Platform 9 3/4 as discovered by Harry and Ron ...
... but, considering its relatively minor role in the railway hall of infamy, Shanklin Station is not at all bad.
It opened in 1864 ...
... with a coach connection to Ventor until the through line was completed two years later. The present station building is bigger but the original bit remains relatively unchanged as seen here at the far end.
Bus service 3 now provides the link to Ventnor with a 30 minute frequency connecting with the 20 and 40 minute train. See yesterdays blog for a note about why the train isn't every half hour (read again) ...
... providing a replacement for the previous dedicated Rail Link bus, withdrawn a year or so ago.
Station facilities include a staffed ticket office (albeit with limited hours), toilets, waiting room and taxis. It also has a well-stocked shop selling sweets, snacks, periodicals and soft drinks.
fbb is particularly impressed with the wording on the (original) shutters ...
... although he suspects that the service advertised there may be no longer available! Traditional "sausage" station signs are a feature of the whole line. Delightful.
And of that is not enough, across the road is a splendid caff...
... which served fbb with a piping hot mug of tea and a well filled bacon sandwich as he passed through.
But, back to the bus link which stops in the station yard. With such splendid facilities you would expect there to be really clear information about the bus link to Ventnor and, in addition to a departure list at the stop ...
... a splendid map showing the visitor where the bus stops are.
Sadly, the map is wrong and directs people away from the Station, and away from the new stop in the station yard.

Does anyone actually read these posters? Does anyone actually check them? Does the person that designs them know where Shanklin is?

Despite this budner, Shanklin Station is a credit to the managers of Island Line and should be a lesson to operators of small stations on the mainland. Can we do it?
Brian Souter, lying down on the job, as usual!

Yes we can, says Brian the Builder.
 Next Blog : due Sunday March 18th 

3 comments:

  1. As we learnt yesterday, there is no longer a Southern Vectis office in Shanklin, but once upon a time it also functioned as a British Rail agency. There was a regular stream of customers from the railway station, which seemed unable to sell anything remotely complicated. SV also sold National Express tickets, so most parts of the country could be reached one way or the other.

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  2. The ticket office at Shanklin (and the conductor guard on the train if the counter is closed or busy) can sell any "normal" rail ticket between any two stations on the National Rail network. Company specific offers can be more tricky.
    Such is the deep joy of electronic machines.
    Whether the operative would be keen to do the necessary button pressing is another matter!
    Of course, in the "good old days" complicated tickets had to be hand written and researched in fares manuals.
    Today's facility is, possibly, one of the real benefits of technology.

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  3. Well when the line closed between Shanklin & Ventnor closed in 1966, a dedicated bus service was run to Wroxall & Ventnor as service 39, on Summer Saturdays this service ran every 12 minutes!,it was withdrawn in the 1980s & replaced by service 16. this in turn was replaced by service 3, the draw back is the service serves Ventnor first, then Wroxall & VV
    Whoever thought of that?

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