Saturday, 18 March 2017

Blupdates and Snippets

W C P R Timetables
In an outbreak of incompetence, fbb missed the "timetable" page on the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway enthusiasts web site. Thanks to correspondent Andrew for sorting the old man out! The page is (here) and a sample extract is reproduced below.
fbb was wrong in another assumption. First's slick and super X5, even with the benefit of a run along part of the M5 ...
... takes eight minutes longer between Weston and Portishead (0945 to 1053) than the hour's chugging time of the little train! Progress indeed.

Crosville's Costly Construction
Correspondent Peter informs fbb that there is more to Mr Jones Pratt's empire than just running buses. In the January edition of "Steam Railway" we read ...
In a corner (a very big corner!) of Crosville's depot lies this ...
... a real but dead Great Western "Castle" locomotive.
After scrapping by British Railways, 7027 was sold to the then Birmingham Railway Museum and left as the 23rd departure from Barry Scrapyard in August 1972. After being purchased by Pete Waterman's Transport Trust, she was stored outside the Crewe Heritage Centre in her Barry Scrapyard condition. 
In July 2016, 7027 was purchased from the Waterman Trust for an undisclosed sum by transport enthusiast Jon Jones-Pratt, owner of 4936 Kinlet Hall ...
... and the revived Crosville Motor Services, who plans to restore the engine to full mainline standards. Restoration has started at the Crosville depot in Weston-super-Mare.

Kinlet Hall, currently being overhauled, is certified for operation on the national rail network but is based on the West Somerset Railway (Bishops Lydiard to Minehead). The building after which it (she?) is named is now a private school and is located at the village of Kinlet (surprise, surprise!) in Shropshire.

Derek's Devon Donkey Developments
The April edition of Buses magazine dropped through fbb's letterbox on Thursday last with a splendid front cover illustration of Ex IoW bus conductor Derek Gawn's open top VR.
Names like Mendip Mule, Devon Donkey and Axe Valley Ass derive from Derek's ownership of the former Southern Vectis open top RE. This operated the seafront service on the Island's east coast under the name of Shanklin's Pony.
Services based on fbb's home town of Seaton in East Devon are to be expanded this year and some of this is included in the Buses article. When fbb receives timetables he will reveal all.

Night Service Notes
See previous blog (here).

Just to report that both First and Travel South Yorkshire (TSY) have now realised that this service exists. First Bus managed to add the timetable to its web site a couple of days before the service started; TSY failed to acknowledge it until sometime last week.
Whilst there may well have been publicity for Sheffield University students, nothing in the way of  leaflet or printed timetable has appeared for anyone else that might wight to use it.

So they won't!

Try, Try and Try Again : ERTA's Efforts
Today the English Regional Transport Association in meeting in Bedford.
One of its campaigns is for the re-opening of the Northampton to Bedford branch. This seems a jolly good idea subject to finding the necessary funding - which probably makes it a jolly bad idea!
It is not too daft an idea as much of the trackbed is still accessible and the route into Northampton station is still (sort-of) in place as a former freight link. Northampton station is top left in the map extract below; the Bedford line disappears bottom right.
But there would be an awful lot of bridges to put back, as here at Church Lane and Park Road Oakley on the approaches to Bedford.
Whilst the ERTA's motives are laudable and the reinstatement would undoubtedly be a huge success (they always are), the project will certainly fall into the APP** filing cabinet at DaFT.

A few more bits and pieces tomorrow.

**APP - Avian Porcine Projects

 Next blupdates blog : Sunday 19th March 

1 comment:

  1. The modern Crosville is now only part of a wider company which start as "Fast forward to 2005, when Jonathan Jones-Pratt acquired the dormant company name Crosville Motor Services Ltd. At that time he was also completing an extensive and costly restoration of ex-Crosville Bristol L5G single deck bus, KFM767, fleet number KG118. This bus formed the nucleus of a heritage fleet that now numbers 14 vehicles. ..."

    For details of the extended business including a steam bus, Dotto train, Southern National, Somerset Passenger solutions (Hinkley Point power station) ... see