Saturday, 19 November 2016

Peterborough, Pretty as a Picture (1)

But First, A Couple of Oddments ...
Gare de Bastille and/or Vincennes
In yesterday's blog, fbb revealed  possible howler in his talk to the Thorncombe Rail Activities Club. Yesterday, the old bloke continued his researches in the line by looking at a set of absolutely stonkingly good track maps of the RER**.
These show the closed bit of line from Vincennes to the former terminus with the ambiguous historic name. The fully detailed map uses Gare de Bastille (top left) ...
... but another map, showing works undertaken for the Paris Great Exhibition of 1900, shows the station as ...
The red line with square blobs is Metro Line 1.

Kernow Red for 14 and 18
First Bus in Cornwall (First Kernow or just plain Kernow) announced some time ago that it was purchasing new buses for the long trunk route between Truro and St Ives or Penzance; and these were to be in a red livery. Snippets thereof have appeared on the company Facebook page. Firstly a general view:-
Two vignettes suggest a variety of sub branding with this vehicle showing a tin or copper miner ...
... and an appropriate tag line.
They are due on the road in January. It will make a change from the collection of everybody else's tat that had typified the Kernow fleet in recent years and represents a visible turn-around for what was once a First Bus basket-case!

And So to Peterbrorough
In a burst of serendipity and whilst sorting through a box of photo prints, fbb came across this oddity. It was taken in 1964 by your blogger (as a student) trying out his fist 35mm camera - and not making a very good job of it.
fbb thinks it is a B12, the subject of n fbb blog a few days go.
The loco was operating on a train between Peterborough and Northampton, a few months before the service was withdrawn. It was taken at Billing Crossing a mile or so from fbb's ancestral home.
The service was hardly lavish, and, frankly, was never busy.
The above timetable extract shows trains as terminating at Peterborough East, arguably a less convenient station for the city and offering little chance of connections with the East Coast Main Line whose station was then named Peterborough North (top left in the map extract below).
East (closed in 1966) is lower right.

Part of the line at the Peterborough end is now the Nene Valley Railway where, amongst other grander things, you can see a rather strange-looking Thomas ...
... hauling some very strange and un-Sodor-like coaches!

Ashamed to admit it, but fbb has never visited Peterborough. Once he and his Mrs stopped for a few minutes for fbb to photograph a couple of Viscount buses and once on a trip with a gang of youff from Sheffield to the aforementioned Nene Valley line.

As a teenager he was taken by his Bible Class leader on a trainspotting trip to nearby Sandy. The leader's car was old and unkempt and had a partly melted pound of lard on the back shelf. The trainspotting was forgettable, but the smell of rancid lard was a truly memorable experience!

The modern station (formerly "North") is efficient and uninspiring.
It gained extra platforms in 2014 ...
Bay platform 1 was removed and a new 3, 6 and 7 added.
It is indicative of how much our modern railway has grown when you consider that the old North station only offered three through platforms; and all up (TO London) trains, whether stopping or not, had to travel via Platform 1 (red-ish line on diagram below)!
But it was an article in the current Hornby magazine about the old Peterborough North that drew the interest of your friendly blogger.

**RER - Réseau Express Rapide; line A was the first of five "Crossrail" type routes in Paris.

 Next Peterborough blog : Sunday 20th November 


  1. Oh Peter ... the loco in your photo is not and could not have been a B12 - they had all gone by then (the last one is at Sheringham, as you know). In any case they were Great Eastern engines and unlikely, I would have thought, to have been found on that spur of the London and North Western - though some did run in Scotland!

    But look carefully - the loco in your photo has outside valve gear, unlike the B12. It is in fact the much more modern Thompson B1, the LNER equivalent of the famous "Black 5", produced in droves in the 1940s. One or two - such as 61306 "Mayflower", have been preserved.

  2. Thank you Andrew. the more I looked at it, the more I realised that the driving wheel spacing alone was wrong for a B12, . Thank you for the correction. Unfortunately I did not have time to check before publication. Another bad mark!

  3. I can confirm siting B1 61005 "Bongo" on Northampton to Peterborough trains. The first 35 were named after types of deer. Nowadays the bus journey from Northampton to Peterborough takes 2 hours 23 minutes.