Sunday, 20 November 2016

Peterborough, Pretty as a Picture (2)

The Man and his Model
It was an article in the current Hornby Magazine that re-awakened fbb's interest in Peterborough. There is a video of the layout on YouTube but the picture accompanying the article show considerable progress.

The owner (Gilbert Barnatt) has dealt with his limitations of time and skill in a simple (but possibly expensive!) way. He has commissioned others to do the tricky bits, like making up "home made" track. The buildings were commissioned from a professional; architectural modeller.

So here is the interior of the Peterborough North trainshed as modelled ...
... and here is the same location (roughly) for real.
Both notices read "Way out and footbridge to platforms 3 4 5 and 6 and Great Northern Hotel"

Likewise an exterior view of the trainshed as modelled ...
... and for real.
Note that substantial chunks of the screen above the tracks has fallen off in reality. The station did suffer from collapse as Mr Barnatt has modelled the north-facing bays after most of the structure collapsed and was removed.
Another feature of the real Peterborough (North) is the Crescent Bridge ...
... situated at the southern end of the platforms. This, too, is beautifully modelled.
The current Google Streetview view shows it as painted a delicate shade of pastel blue.

As usual, fbb alternates between unbiblical covetousness and deep depression when reading about such superb models. Realistically he could never afford to commission professional model builders and is too stubby fingered to even approach that standard of craftsmanship himself. Hey ho; back to the plastic kits and little pots of Humbrol enamel!

One picture that popped up on line was this:-
From 1955, it shows an A4 loco and its tender with one coach in a state of disarray on the pointwork at the north end of the station. Apparently as the train left the platforms at about 20mph, the frame of the front bogie broke with obvious consequences. Injuries were not huge but embarrassment was significant.

Crunches like this are a regular feature of fbb's model but without snapped bogie frames, so at least in this respect, the old man's layout is hugely and repetitively realistic!

Falcon Fares are Fettled
First South West's prestigious coach service between Plymouth and Bristol was just that, a coach service with limited stops and no local fares. But all is due to change from December 3rd. This appeared on the VOSA site a few weeks back (coloured red by fbb's correspondent to highlight this particular item).
Effectively, it was a new local bus service registration. The full picture is explained in Stagecoach's staff newsletter.
By registering two sections with an unregistered M5 bit in the middle, the clever folk from Exeter have ensured that old fogeys' passes cannot be used for longer distance journeys. They have to pay their discounted £5. But Local fares are now available between Cullompton and Plymouth and between Churchill and Bristol.

The new timetable is broadly unchanged, but additional running time has been incorporated to aid reliability - very much needed.

Information-wise, the Falcon has one annoying failing. Search for it "logically" (?) and it isn't there.
You have to know that it is called FLCN.
The company is currently offering cheapo cheapo fares on Mondays ...
... but only if you book via the Megabus site; and only if you search for the dedicated Southwest Falcon pages.

What's Happening at Christmas?
fbb has been preparing information about seasonal service changes for the GoTimetable Seaton web site and Android App. A grid will appear on both systems later thus week.
Details vary according to route and operator so there is plenty to sort out.

For GoTimetable Sheffield, however, things are more difficult. Emails to the operators have elicited "nothing known yet" as this example from First on 14th November.

Also, unfortunately, we still have no news
on Boxing Day and New Years Day.

A correspondent bravely contacted Travel South Yorkshire by email. But because everything is automated, his enquiry ended up in the South Yorkshire Traveline office. The reply was both amusing and baffling.

The unanswered question is this, "If the operators know nothing and the PTE knows nothing, who is making the decisions?" And all fbb has to do is to log on every day "nearer the time" in the hope of finding exactly what is happening.

So the situation is (a) normal and (b) unhelpful in Sheffield.

For details and downloads of the two GoTimetable areas, search for:-

 Next Bedford bus blog : Monday 21st November 


  1. 'First South West's' - don't think you meant that!

  2. Registering (most of) the Falcon as a local bus service comes as no surprise, but Stagecoach South West can be complimented for keeping to their word and sticking to the original timetable for several months.