Sunday, 5 March 2017

Weekend Miscellany (2)

The Worry of Windy Weather
Friends and acquaintances are often bemused when fbb admits to having a small model railway in part of the extensive outside property to the rear of fbb Mansions. "What happens when it rains?" is an oft uttered query.

The answer is, of course, that everything gets wet; just like in a real railway. But because most bits and pieces are plastic, no lasting harm is done. Locomotives are safely snuggled in their boxes or parked in sheds or tunnel.

But when the wind blows!
Recent gusts removed one of the station buildings, eventually dropping it on to ground level. Sounds familiar?
But a certain Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto advise ...
... that if you follow the yellow-slab road you may just make it to the Emerald City.
Or is it Malachite Green with Sunshine Yellow lettering?

September Start for Seaton Station
the 2017 brochure for the Seaton Tramway ...
... is readily available around and about. A glimpse at the timetable reveals some cross-hatched days if operation in the autumn.
These are revealed as days when something unusual is happening.
Shuttle bus service? It took fbb some time to find out what this was all about.
The new station was originally due for opening for the 2017 season but was delayed because there were the usual problems with planning permission. Quite what effect these changes may have had on the 2017 scheme is unclear.
The new building was to have covered boarding; the trams would run into a boarding "lounge".This overview sketch shows Tesco above and right and Seaton Jurassic top left.
No-one seems to know why the terminal is raised on a podium. The existing station and its tracks are all on level ground.
Projected cost is £2 million; a superb commitment by the company to a vibrant and forward-looking business plan.

Less vibrant and forward looking is the note n the leaflet about local buses.
The 52A last ran in May 2016!!

90% Fares Increase from Stagecoach!
When it stared the Falcon was a coach service with no local fares and no validity for OAP passes. A recent change was to register two chunks of the service, one at each end, and make local fares available. The middle bit (largely on the M5) remained as a coach service.

This meant that OAP passes would not be valid or the longer journeys. But a £5 "anywhere return" was on offer for seniors and children.

This becomes £9 return with the fiver being the price for a single,

Seems a big jump all at one go.

Well Done That Man!
February's Modern Railway Magazine ...
... there was debate about the whole question of delays caused at stations by those inconsiderate people, namely the passengers! How, the writers asked, can the railway companies ensure that stations can operate slickly?

Wider doors, signs on the platform, more staff or (nostalgia rules OK) blowing whistles?

The current issue (March 2017) ...
... popped through fbb's letterbox on Thursday, last. Your slow-reading blogger eventually got around to reading the letters pages whilst spending some time in the first floor "reading room".

One letter was brief and to the point.
The letter, quoting the book exactly ...
... was by none other than our Northampton correspondent.
What was slightly more spooky was that fbb was at a meeting yesterday at which the Chairman of Notwork Rail, Peter Hendy ...
... (sorry, SIR Peter Hendy) was the keynote speaker. He ended his peroration by quoting exactly the same passage!

Had he remembered the quote or had he,like fbb, just read Alan's letter?

 Next night bus blog : Monday 6th March 


  1. Andrew Kleissner5 March 2017 at 08:05

    They certainly blow whistles at stations on the Great Eastern line such as Ipswich and Colchester.

    Quite often more than once!

    1. And on the East Coast main line too (-:

  2. Sorry to be pedantic, but an increase from £5 to £9 is 80% - rather than 90% as implied by the heading. Perhaps you have caught the exaggeration bug from the Bristol Post ?

  3. The reason for the tramway terminus being 'raised on a podium' is described in the council planning committee report:
    "The external site levels immediately around the building would be raised, akin to those of the adjoining superstore and visitor centre in order to take the building out of the flood risk zone. The perimeter of the raised area would be formed by stone filled gabions. To the west the existing linking footway and landscape planting would be retained."
    The report quotes the raising will be" by up to 2 metres above existing ground levels".

  4. Sir Peter has used the Fiennes quotation in previous lectures long before the publication of the March 17 edition of Modern Railways.

  5. Nor does the X53 serve Seaton!

  6. Whoops. Missed that, Anonymous above. Bad house point for fbb.

    1. Tbh I'm surprised First still runs the infrequent newer X52 through Sexton - I guess it doesn't want to through the towel in too quickly!

      Have you looked at the massive looming Dorset bus cuts reported in the Dorset Echo a little while back (scheduled for July I believe)?

    2. *Seaton* I meant - typing on small screen (& throw for that matter)!