Sunday 8 February 2015

Snow, Snow; Thick, Thick Snow!

And, Talking of Videos?
This one was sent by No. 1 son, spotted on YouTube.
There are several "Things to Note".

1. The location, Canada. (Salisbury, New Brunswick)
2. The shortness of time between warning lights (with clangs)
     and the arrival of the train.
3. A totally ungated level crossing on a proper (?) road.
4. No fences along the track.
5. The length of the train and ...
6. The snow. In the UK the line would have shut down completely!

If you are thinking of visiting, here is the crossing in finer climes ...
... accessed by turning off Salisbury's main street at the XTR petrol station ...
... and following road 112 (Fredericton Road) northbound. Snow not guaranteed!
The crossing is top left and is the location of the former Salisbury passenger station, long since closed.
The first permanent settlement of what was to become the Village of Salisbury was begun in 1774 by immigrants from Yorkshire, England. Taking advantage of the fertile soil of the Petitcodiac River system's intervals, these first residents built successful farms and also turned to the area's timber-rich forests to establish thriving lumbering operations.

Dairy farming and lumbering continue in the locality to this day, while fur ranching has been a tradition here since the early 1900's.

Transport of goods in and out of the community was by means of the river initially, as well as over the region's rough trails and roads.

The arrival of the European and North American Railway in 1860 provided access to the ports of Saint John and Shediac, no doubt increasing business prospects immeasurably.
St John station; c. 1895

The village is believed to have been connected to the outside world by a telegraph office located in the railway station as early as the 1860's.

Nearly half a century later, in 1906, the village's first telephone exchange was established.
E and N A R loco

Salisbury was/is on the line from St John to Moncton; the dot above the "T"" of North.
click on map to enlarge

Memories of "Snowdrift at Bleath Gill", British Transport film from 1955 ...
... available in its entirety on YouTube.
Bicycles Underground
Storing bikes underground happens in Tokyo and a nice Australian man wants to do the same here.
We are not told how much the parking fee is!

But that's just storage. Cycle Paths underground (no, it's not April 1st) are proposed for London. Using closed tube tunnels. Here is the article from yesterday's "Times" - so it must be true?
It is true that the Jubilee Line used to run from Green Park to Charing Cross, eventually to continue via Aldwych and Fleet Street then on out East. It was originally to be called the Fleet Line. And it is true that there a tunnels some distance east from the station.
These tunnels do progress under the Strand towards Aldwych.

It is also true that the line between Holborn and Aldwych is closed but still usable.
But they don't join. Making the link, even if it were practicable, would be horrendously expensive. And who pays for the ramps to cycle down to tube level? Or do we have a series of Eco Cycle twiddly whizzers for bikes with motive power still ensconced on the saddle?

The mind boggles!

fbb has a better idea. How about mini-personal hovercraft using London's sewers?
Don't pooh pooh the no bovver hover!

For more tasty (?) pictures click (here).
 Next rail blog : Monday 9th February 


  1. Train speed at that crossing? Train speeds at a UK crossing?
    From not recent holiday experience I'd guess over there driver discipline and patience has something to do with outcomes of near encounters. Compare that with the UK!

  2. Like the train video; so typical of much of the world. Speeds, traffic levels and visibility of road to rail play a part, but drivers learn to give a quick look anyway whilst avoiding the worst of the bumps and holes in many crossings. Note also the light fluffy snow, its cold. You can clear it from the drive with a large cheap plastic shovel; toss it in the air and it blows away. So unlike our wet icy stuff.

  3. I agree with the last comment (10:11), but you have to consider the lack of visibility for the train driver for quite a few critical seconds as he approached the level crossing. The snow clouds, whilst visually impressive, made him effectively blind as he sped towards the crossing. Thankfully there wasn't a road vehicle stuck across the tracks. Driving with a great deal of faith and hope, I'd say, onto what Network Rail describe as the most risky component of the rail network - the uncontrolled interface with the public highway.

  4. Obviously the "right" kind of snow!