Sunday, 23 June 2019
Weekender Part 2
Mr Gallop Has A Good Idea
It is the same good idea that has been occurring to many, many folk bemused by the strange economic process of Britain's regulated Government managed privatised railway network.
He wonders why, if the railways do not have enough rolling stock to enhance services, there are rows of HSTs parked in a field and gently rotting. His suggestion may not be the most commercially practicable, but ...
... there must be some way of getting these trains back on the tracks and filling them with people. In accountancy terms, they are worth nothing, so a few quid on fettling up and a few cans of WD40 and you have cheap trains.
Or maybe fbb and Mr Gallop simply don't understand?
The DEPG Have Done a Good Job!
That is the Diesel and Electric Preservation Group.
The British Railways "Modernisation Plan" eschewed electrification and rushed headlong into developing many different types of diesel loco. The Western Region had something of an independent spirit, doubtless inherited from Brunel's ultimately unsuccessful championing on broad gauge rather than standard 4'8½".
One of the exclusively Western locos was the Hymek.
The class was developed for the Western Region of British Railways, which had opted for lightweight locomotives with hydraulic transmission, when allocated funds under the British Railways Modernisation Plan of 1955. One hundred and one of the class were built between 1961 and 1964, when it became apparent that there was a requirement for a medium power diesel-hydraulic design for both secondary passenger work and freight duties.
They were allocated to Bristol Bath Road, Cardiff Canton, and Old Oak Common. None of the class was named. Withdrawal from service began in 1971, and was completed by 1975. Their early withdrawal was caused, primarily, by BR classifying the hydraulic transmission as non-standard.
The DEPG has just completed 24 years of work on its Hymek D7018 which was tweeted a day or so ago.
And here is a better picture from within the depot.
fbb is quite sure that the Hymeks never looked this shiny and clean except in the first few weeks after delivery ex works! Good job, folks!
Another Christmas Train Set ...
... this time a toy for dad, uncle, granddad etc., announced by Hornby.
It consists of the latest 0-4-0 incarnation - a rather fetching industrial diesel - with a long wheelbase van (with picture of Santa) and a container flat with two "boxes" all in Coca Cola livery. Also announced, and available separately, is a Coke tanker (without ladders!).
Once your train set arrives you can go hunting for suitable motor vehicles to enhance your layout.
Oxford Diecast will give you a choice of 32!! fbb needs a drink!
But not Coke - fbb finds it too sweet; ginger beer, bitter lemon, even dandelion and birdsmuck, all superior.
Stagecoach Impresses with New Expresses
We may well remember the large assemblage of commuter and express routes from Kent that developed with coach de-regulation.
Most of these have faded away, leaving only a few bits and pieces. This is partly due to the improvement in rail services PLUS the problem of increasing traffic congestion in London.
So it came as some surprise to hear the Stagecoach was starting, guess what, an express service from Kent to London. This follows the pattern of the South West Falcon (Plymouth, Exeter, Bristol) in that you pay the driver (like a bus) or pre-book using the Megabus web site.
The map shows its central core ...
... with Canterbury off map to the right and its London Terminus offstage to the left. And therein lies the difference between the old Kent expresses and the new offering.
It does not dare run into central London. Its terminus is North Greenwich Station ...
... which comes complete with a swish bus station, the O2 arena and frequent Jubilee Line (GREY) trains into the centre of the Metropolis.
Fares look competitive, too. Here they are from Canterbury (top) and Medway (below) ...
... needless to say (buy why?) tickets are cheaper via Megabus, saving about £1!
You do wonder whether the route number is trendy enough? M2? You also wonder which road is used between Canterbury and the Medway towns! (Chortle chortle).
fbb has just heard that he is to be invited to the launch of First's new airport service RailAir 2 from Guildford to Heathrow. Also coming up is the start of First's competitive tours in Edinburgh. fbb was also offered an invite to this, but graciously declined as the expedition would be too far and too expensive. He will wait for the press release.
As one tends to say, "It's all happening!"
Next Bodged Bus Stop Blog - Monday 24th June