Saturday, 9 May 2015

Morceaux et (errm) Morceaux! (Bits & Pieces?)

Ticket Troubles
Whilst the Paris Visite ticket (cinq jours, cinq zones) was excellent value ...
... it would have been even better had it worked properly! On four of the five days fbb's electronic stripe failed to work the machines this preventing his entry to the Metro.
This would appear to be quite common as the folk at the "information" labelled ticket offices ...
... were adept as issuing a replacement. Meanwhile, chum David's ticket worked faultlessly for the whole five days. It must have been fbb's celebrated magnetic personality.

Check-In Mystery
Unlike the "queueing four times" system at St Pancras (read again), the Parisian version seemed to be:-
Amble along the balcony. Show your paper ticket to a bored Eurostar employee (machines à valider ne marchent pas?) ...
... show your passport to a bored Frenchie in a cubicle, then ditto a UK ditto and wander in to the waiting room. All very civilised and laid back. fbb set off the alarm in "security" much to the amusement of two "heavies" who were having a chat nearby.

Three attempts failed until fbb was asked to empty his pockets and the terrorist threat was obvious ...
... the foil on a packet of Ibruprofen! Much amusement was had by the staff at this dangerous breach of security!

Alan's Expedition Expectations
See "Another Bank Holiday Weekend" (read again).

He made it to Llandudno and back on the Saturday and even to Winchester on Bank Holiday Monday.

Travelcards and cheap day return tickets are valid all day but no one told the person who wrote the software for the self-service ticket machines so to get the cheap ticket and the discount requires the assistance of someone in a booking office. What a spiffing wheeze of Transport for London and others to want to close them all!

I leave Waterloo eighty five minutes after leaving Northampton with time to buy a cup of Costalot coffee. The train takes the normal direct route via Wimbledon and a leisurely sixty two minutes for the forty seven miles to Basingstoke (a word that teems with hidden meaning - W.S. Gilbert) where an announcement informs us where to find Sir Brian's replacement bus for the onward journey to Winchester. As a prelude to the bus running day we tour the lanes of Hampshire to find Micheldever station where, unlike Adeslstrop, someone left. Note:- Micheldever should be added to the "Stations not very near the place they are named after" list.

Ironically, at Winchester, Alan snapped an iconic Paris Bus ...
... and even took a ride thereupon.
Note the "redresser correctement" ticket nachine.When not touring Les Rues de Winchester, this bus resides at the Isle of Wight Bus Museum; the conductor is celebrated bus author Robert Jowitt.

Meanwhile in Glasgow
See "Fastlink Falters? - First Follows [1]" (read again) and  "Fastlink Falters? - First Follows [2]" (read again).

First launches its competitive response to the Fastlink service this weekend. It runs via the Clydeside Expressway and Partick i.e. NOT via Fastlink. Some Streetlites have been adorned by, arguably, a rather "ordinary" livery variant.
The service, as expected, runs every 10 minutes between Cty and Hospital with half hourly extension to the airport replacing the former 747 route.
A variant of route 34 will serve the hospital from Castlemilk and other southern suburbs.
The battle of Southern General is only just beginning.

A weary fbb cobbled this blog together upon return from his Paris trip yesterday evening, so apologies for its limitations. Normality should return tomorrow.

 Next bus/train blog : Sunday 10th May 


  1. Your Northampton Correspondent might care to note that Micheldever and Micheldever Station are two separate villages some three miles apart.

    Interesting to note your experience of Eurostar check-in at Paris. I have found the system at St Pancras to flow quite well despite the seriousness with which security is undertaken, whereas at Gare du Nord it has been so laid back as to be chaotic except when it got to the Border Agency booths and their thoroughness. There have been times of day with two departures about 30 minutes apart and people not getting through in time for the first one because they are blocked by those on the second. The queues often stretch down onto the main concourse.

  2. It does seem that there is insufficient physical space at BOTH terminals to deal with two departures close together. I guess the facilities were designed in happier times when our present fears were less worrying. Both my border agency officials gave my passport the most cursory of examinations.

  3. I also note that Micheldever station is at Micheldever Station and not Micheldever. Perhaps it should be renamed Michedever Station station!! Capital letters are signifcant.

  4. I can only assume that your Gallic trials and tribulations have left you so jaded that you now confuse an Enviro 300 for a Streetlites?

  5. Whoops! Pardon; je m'excuse mille fois. Vous êtes absolument juste. J'etais fort fatigué hier soir!

  6. As your Isle of Wight correspondent is the Treasurer, I hope you won't mind me taking the opportunity to give your favourite bus museum a plug. The newly re-located Isle of Wight Bus & Coach Museum is currently selling copies of member Robert Jowitt's hard to find book "The Girl In The Street or The Bedside Bus Book" for the original price of £17.95. A bargain compared to the Amazon price of £65. Also, this Sunday (17th) is our May running day which includes a recreation of the classic 'Round The Island Tour' as well as a visit from, and the chance to ride on, the London Bus Museum's RT1 amongst other buses and coaches.