Monday, 3 October 2022

Monday Variety

 Bits Of Blogging Business.

1. Apologies for the appalling number of tripeing mistooks in yesterday;s blag. Two things didn't help. Firstly the eyes are giving trouble; and secondly after a tiring day you are simply too crurdled (technical medical term) to think straight. Usually the text is checked at the end of the day - but if the day has been unusually hectic, this process is highly unreliable. On Saturday fbb was trying to complete his GoTimetable Sheffield updates.

2. Apologies for NOT writing about Rennes today as previously announced. Hopefully that post will follow tomorrow.


Caught on Camera At Catcliffe

So there IS bus stop publicity for the timetable changes that started yesterday. The above was a rare find by correspondent Roy.

Really helpful if you have turned up at the stop and are waiting for a bus, innit?

Bigger Bakerloo Beckons

The extension of thy Bakerloo line from Elephant and Castle to Lewisham has been a sound proposal for nigh on 25 years. Nothing tangible has happened and nothing seems very likely due to the parlous emptiness of Transport for London's moneybox. In view of recent political decisions, it seems highly unlikely that ANY UK government will have the lolly to spend on such a project for the foreseeable future

This does not prevent an occasional outburst of pressure from the locals.

This time it is the local authority that is campaigning.
Good on you, Southwark and Lewisham but ...
... don't hold your breath too long. And as for the further extension to Hayes?

Puzzle Picture

Taken some time in the 1960s (clearly under the blue/grey livery regime) the setting is Waterloo Station on tracks that later served the Eurostar terminal and now serve a very posh bit of the rather ordinary Waterloo station!
The long coach is a Cinema and the small coach is (probably) a former Great Eastern Railway 6 wheeler converted into a generator wagon. It is undoubtedly the oldest vehicle to receive BR blue/grey colours.

And here is a model of the self-same coach offered by Hattons.

It is being held in the hands of Sam Turner.


He claims to own 500 OO gauge locomotives. He must have a huge layout - or maybe he just collects the models.

Sam Turner is, fbb believes, known as a Vlogger; he makes videos under the generic title of "Sam's Trains". Hattons had asked him to be part of the announcement for the launch of their new product.

Maybe not quite new - more of a clever paint job.

If you compare the model with the reality you will see that it is not quite accurate. It is, in fact, one of Hattons enormous range of "Genesis" generic 4 or 6 wheel coaches which are now filtering on to the market. Some of the livery types are labelled "sold out on pre order" but fbb has one (can't remember whose livery) coming soon.

Sam tells us that Hattons have had only 300 blue/grey made without lights and 300 with lights - so here's guessing that they, too, will be sold out before most modellers are tempted buy them.

Sam thinks they are oodles better that similar coaches produced by "another company". (That would be Hornby, Sam!)

fbb will proffer his considered opinion when the vehicle in question arrives.

fbb would bet a substantial sum (maybe a shilling) on the fact that few railway modellers had ever heard of an ancient six wheel coach in BR blue/grey livery. fbb hadn't!

Maybe someone should make a model of the former LNER (that's to old LNER not th modern state-owned upstart!) Buffet Car, also in blue/grey!

The Elizabeth Line line

As TfL have decided to call the Elizabeth line the Elizabeth Line line, maybe it is time to do a bit more renaming ...
... in the interests of consistency, of course.

Give Them Credit For Trying!

Above is the latest speculative venture from the Derbyshire company, Hulleys. Sadly most of their speculative ventures have failed! But they keep on trying, which is more than can ber said for the big groups! Sadly, fbb can tell you no more about Service 7 as the PDF refused to Define any Printer File. It don't ackle!

Sheffield Changes ... More Of

When fbb was a keen student at the Uni, the Greystones area had a paltry hourly service on route 74. This became route 61 and then was absorbed into the frequent cross-city 81, 82, 83 and 84 service complex from Middlewood to Ecclesall etc.

Front yesterday its half hourly service 83 (still keeping one of its route numbers) running seven days a week has been withdrawn completely by First Bus.

Its route 6 tendered replacement (Stagecoach) runs roughly every hour with nothing in the evenings and nothing on Sundays. The recent 83 ran half hourly seven days a week with evening buses every day.

Potty again.

First has also totally withdrawn its 27 from Rotherham to the Crystal Peaks shopping paradise (?).

This has the knock-on effect of reducing the service between Rotherham and Swallownest from every 30 minutes to hourly ...
... ANd leaving parts of "greater" Swallownest with no buses at all. Which parts are so deprived are not revealed by Travel South Yorkshire. So adieu 27.
Of course there are no maps - don't be silly!

Pottier than potty!

Whatever happened to Mayor Dan Jarvis' promise to improve bus services through South Yorkshire.

He even commissioned a report!

So he must be keen.

Sadly, not keen enough. Very quickly he became fed up with playing at Metro Mayorhood and returned to being a full-time MP.

So that was all very useful!

Tomorrow we return to the comparative sanity of La Belle France.

 Next Rnnes blog : Tuesday 4th October 

Sunday, 2 October 2022

Sunday Variety

The Biggest Changes Since 2015 ...

... And All Of Them Negative!
On line information from Trayval South Yorkshire is poorly presented as here for service 8 ...

8 First/TM Travel
Birley – Sheffield – Ecclesfield
From Sunday 2 October there are
route and timetable changes. 
Service 8 is curtailed to Birley Tram Station.
For journeys to Crystal Peaks,
please see TM Travel services 8/8a.
Evening and Sunday services
will be operated by TM Travel and
only run Sheffield - Birley. 
For journeys to Ecclesfield, 
please use Stagecoach service 7.

8 TM Travel
Crystal Peaks – Birley
From Sunday 2 October
TM Travel service 8 replaces 
Monday - Saturday daytime First 
service 8 between Crystal Peaks and Birley.
Will operate hourly, Mon-Sat daytimes.

8a First
Crystal Peaks – Sheffield – Ecclesfield
From Sunday 2 October
service 8a is withdrawn. 
All journeys will now run as service 8.

8a TM Travel
Crystal Peaks – Birley
From Sunday 2 October
replaces Monday - Saturday daytime 3
First service 8a between Crystal Peaks and Birley. 
Will operate hourly, Mon-Sat daytimes.

Yikes! Travel South Yorkshire have been using the bus orators guide to making things sound moe difficult thyn hey are. Here is what is really happening.

Of course a map would make it much clearer ...
... but only if it is up to date!

Then there are the disappearing Saturday services. As hinted yesterday, First have published timetables for 18, 41 and 73 showing a near normal Monday to Friday service.

But on Saturdays only the existing tendered journeys will run, early morning and throughout the evening. There is nothing during the day, except for route 41 where T M Travel have been brought in to run the Saturday service.

Here is the whole Satrday 18 ...
... there is nothing else. Then we have an extract of the hourly Monday to Friday service ...
... and the hourly Sunday service.
Utterly potty all round!

Then here are the evening journeys on the revised X5
Monday to Friday there is nothing between 2035 and 2335; on Saturday between 1935 nd 2335 but on Sunday every hour all evening.

Even more Potty.

And how is all this being publicised? Frankly, it isn't.

There are a few posters dotted around the city centre (as above) ...
...  mainly at the bus station now used by few passengers. Note the unhelpful departure screen! As of yesterday these screens were ALL equally unhelpful. There is nothing like good advanced notice if timetable change and this was well, nothing!

Whilst at the bus station, passengers can rejoice  in the guidance on offer at each departure stand.
They tell you nothing useful!

Unless you are willing (or, more to the point, are able) to consult the internet at every stage ...


... you will be like this from Monday 3rd.

fbb's correspondent reports tht there is NOTHING on any of the buses and NOTHING at any bus stops except the existing WRONG timetables.

Just to cheer us, correapondent Roy has sent a few pictures which encapsulate the chayges.

First Bus no longer runs to Crystal Peaks (as above rout 8). Through passengers have to change to T M Travel or the "Supertram" at Birley and pay again. THEY WON'T.
Service 110 from Maltby and points west to Rotherham via the hospital, running at shift times, in withdrawn. Hospital staff will have to ride into Rotherham and back out to the hospital. THEY WON'T.
Once upon a time we were all encouraged to support the NHS, but, apparently, bus operators don't care.

The M17, a delightful little nurdle linking estates south west of the city, is withdrawn "because Travel South Yorkshire could not find another operator" - i.e. were not paying enough tender money. People wil have to walk. THEY WON'T.
The M17 serves a very hilly area.

Stagecoach 24 will no longer serve the Longford Road estate at Bradway, one of the few Stagecoach cut-backs. People wil have to walk. THEY WON'T.
First have pulled out of the X54 to Harthill handing it over the T M Travel who already run the service on Sundays. So a positive move? 
No change is better han no bus, of course. But why does the Sunday X54 take a different route from the Monday to Saturday X54. 

On Sundays it runs via the Parkway Industrial estate when nobody wants to go there because it is all closed.
The X54 ran via Parkway to provide a Sunday service to balance the Monday to Saturday X74 - which has now almost disappeared midweek.
Will Sheffielders understand that the Sunday service is different. THEY WON'T.

What these messy, ill thought out, changes will do is to discourage Sheffielders from making bus journeys at all. More will go by car or not go at all. Whatever the alternative, there will be less and less passengers and more ans more cuts.

Potty again!

The problem is that these decisions are made by staff looking at computer screens and seeking statistical "savings" and "cuts" without any thought. Cut off the end of a route and the remaining new end will become unviable, so soon you will cut that off. A recipe for self-destruction.

There is a good chance they don't know where the buses go anyway.

Sorry : not much variety. Try again tomorrow.

For a break, try the second section of the fbb Fellowship quiz.

Puzzle Picture
Where and what?
Answer tomorrow.

 Nexy Variety blog (Yes, variety) Mon 3rd Oct 

Saturday, 1 October 2022

Saturday Variety

Spotted On Spotlight?

One of the problems with BBC television is that, as far as fbb can tell, the lunchtime news which should run from 1300 to 1330 seems often to be dramatically curtailed. Some might opine that fbb has oft nodded off, but surely he is not old enough to examine the inside of the eyelids during the day? Yesterday fbb became suddenly aware of an item on Spotlight .... 

... or maybe is was just a dream!
Whatever it was, your bleary eyed blogger just caught the name "Taunton"/ (Spotlight is the local news programme for the West of England). Regaining something of his "sang chaud", the old bloke quickly turned to his confuser and searched for "new buses at Taunton".

And there was this item.
But it did not look right for Buses of Somerset's depot in the eponymous county town. And the bus looked weird and differently weirs from the "thing" glimpse on the telly.
Aha! It's a different Taunton, innit?
Whilst the snap below could just be the River Tone ...

... the court house would not be apparent in "our" Taunton. 
By now fbb was fully alert and bursting with excitement at the original picture. A more careful perusal of the interwebnet solved the problem.
The spotlight presenter (fbb re-watched the news item on i-player) was anxious to explain that the bus carried an "attendant" but, at no stage was their convincing proof that it actually ran in "self drive£ mode. Yes, you are right, they mean "autonomous"!
It really IS plug-ugly! Even the TV reporter suggested it looked a bit like a road sweeper/ 

But Taunton is third on the list for the show-off. It has previously been in Solihull and YouTube has a video of operation in Cambridge.
The company has a web site which doesn't tell you much except how innovative, wonderful and "green" they are.
Of course they are!

Bet its VERY expensive!

There's A Bit Of A Buzz from Bees In Manchester. As there was in the past.

Then they buzzed way back when. It started with "bread vans" ...
... then the vehicles got a bit bigger ...
... and they even had a few double deckers!
Beeline Buzz soon buzzed off.

A coach company, domiciled at Lympne in Kent was called Buzzlines ...
... Although it went into liquidation in 019.

But he broad BEE concept is set to return to Manchester c/o Mayor Andy Burnham. He has unveiled the first of a fleet of buses which, under the "Bee" brand, will revolutionise bus travel in Greater Manchester.
These buses will arrive next year for the first public demonstration of the new-look network; if young Andy can persuade someone to give him oodles of cash to run it!
If the concept and the colour seem vaguely familiar, you only have to go left a bit and see Steve Rotheram's new bud launch in Liverpool - the originally named "metro".
Perhaps Steve and Andy have designs on a break-away People's Elected Republic of Southern Independent Lancashire - or PERSIL for short!

Mixed Emotions Nostalgia
Google dredged this picture up from somewher - fbb cannot remember where, It shown No 1 son (now 47) holding No 3 son tightly, with the late No 2 son planning his next escapade. The folding chairs are in the back "garden" of their residence in Upper Fulwood, Sheffield.

Fellowship Meeting Month
Two bits of quiz. Both reasonably easy. Here is part one:-

What's Going On
A mysterious Saturday timetable from SH - You Know Where.
Journeys from Sheffield at 0532, 0632, 2025, 2125, 2225 and 2325.

Is there nothing during the day on a Saturday?

More tomorrow.

How Much?
A new loco from Hornby. It is magnificent in every way!
ONLY £258!

And here's the real thing.
For those of you who remember the original Hornby 9F, EBay will sell you one in very good nick for £90. There are some more obviously dodgy ones awaiting bids at £25.

 Next Variety blog : Sunday 2nd Octiber