Thursday, 7 December 2017

Long Buckby By Train - Now

The Sleepy Little Village ...
... now has THREE trains an hour, all through to London; the fastest taking just one hour and nineteen minutes. On Sundays there are TWO trains every hour ...
... a far cry from the steam-hauled sporadic locals of fbb's childhood.
The long arrows illustrate part of the longer distance services, mostly not via the Northampton loop, on old and new tables! There are a lot more of them as well for today's travellers.

As we saw yesterday, the station is not really well equipped as a busy commuter stop. Where once there were covered stairways to a substantial station building ...
... there are now open steps with not a jot of protection.
The route between platforms is via a gloomy subway ...
... and as we saw yesterday the only protection for waiting passengers is a bus shelter on each platform. Notwork rail, in its guide to the station's facilities, is anxious to tell us that ...
... there are seats inside the shelters. Notwork Rail obvious uses an "inventive" dictionary definition of "seats".

Here is a picture from 1997 which showed the Royal Train delivering Princes Harry and William to Althorp in the aftermath of the death of Lady Diana.
The orange portakabin is the "temporary" ticket office. 

Here is the ticket office in January 2017 (20 years later), looking "tired".
And now a quote from MP Chris Heaton-Harris:-
It is with great pleasure that I can announce that by the end of the month there will be a new ticket office in place at Long Buckby Railway Station. A number of constituents who regularly use Long Buckby station as their main source of transport had become increasingly frustrated by the fact the ticket office had been out of service for many months. This frustration had been exacerbated by extremely long queues behind the only ticket machine at the station, which was repeatedly out of order.  
I have supported many constituents in pressuring London Midland to give greater priority to the restoration of the ticket office. Given that usage of the station has continued to grow through 2015/16, with a total of 320,000 passengers entering and exiting the station, the introduction of the new booking office was an absolute priority in ensuring constituents residing in Long Buckby had appropriate means to conduct their transport. I am pleased that London Midland are now able to introduce a new ticket office, providing Long Buckby with the facilities it both needs and deserves.

And here it is. Ta da!
Yep! After more than 20 years it is a NEW temporary ticket office - exactly the same as the old one. But that is of no matter as the super new booking office is closed.
But the station does now have much enlarged car park ...
... but with a downside. From January this year you have to pay!
But you can now get discounted season tickets for the car park ...
...and you get them from, guess where?

Absolutely - from the ticket office which is closed. Rail travel is really good, isn't it?

Another bonus for Long Buckbyites is a Refreshment facility - a refreshment trailer ...
...specialising in delicious porridge.
One final picture says it all. This is the Long Buckby station bus interchange facility.
Spot the lavish timetable display and bus stop sign! And, as correspondent Alan says, "Bus shelters are for cissies." But many thanks to Alan for several of the up-to-date pictures and for his "on the spot report".

What did the Romans ever do for us?

Sometime late in the 2nd Century AD two things of significance happened. The Roman Cult of "Sol Invictus" appeared and was endorsed by Roman Emperors.

Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the official sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274AD the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults.
The god was favoured by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine I. The festival was celebrated on December 25th!

At about the same time, Christians began celebrating the Birth of Christ.

The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first Christian Roman Emperor). A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th December.

Was there a connection. Some think that the "success" of the Roman knees-up encouraged the Christian community to start up in competition on the same date. We shall probably never know.

The prophet Malachi (last book in the old testament; last to write before Jesus came) wrote some "challenging" words ...

But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.

And we actually sing those words every Christmas.

Hail the Heaven-born Prince of Peace
Hail the Sun of Righteousness
Light and life to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His Glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King

Malachi's prophetic vision was that Jesus' coming would be like the Sun rising to bring light, healing and a leaping life to all who accepted Him as Saviour. Just to complicate things, many versions of this "Hark the Herald" verse change "sun" to "son" because they think, wrongly, that is what Charles Wesley (its author) intended.

He didn't; he was quoting Malachi.
 Next Links View blog Friday 8th December 


  1. Unless I have had an irony bypass this morning, that is not a picture of the "new" booking office. It is the same one taken many years ago with Silverlink branding.

  2. Interested to see two operators of the station car park. London Midland, presumably, as the smaller area and Buckby Station Parking taking advantage of its land and proximity.
    Do they both charge at the same rate, or will the supposed rules of competition work to the benefit of commuters?

  3. The original smaller car park (28 spaces) is now for pre-purchased season ticket holders only so presumably there might be some discount available

    Application forms can be obtained from the not open ticket office. The self service ticket machine only accepts payment by card.

    Still after the weekend this will not be Govia's problem.

  4. Not a huge excuse but I know Stagecoach had wanted to install a timetable and flag in the turning circle at Long Buckby. But this land is privately owned, so Stagecoach were seeking the landowners permission last I heard. Until the Summer this stop wasn’t used at all. Just the main road stops which do have timetables, and a shelter!