Friday 25 March 2016

Episode 2 - Culham station is at Culham Station ...

... and is More Interesting than you Think
Like the footbridge.
See how a new bridge deck and stairs has been glued on to the old poles, and by inserting little extra bits, has been raised; hopefully high enough for the forthcoming electrification. Clever eh?

Oddly, on the "to Oxford" side of the station, a pickled egg's throw from the B&B ...
... the footbridge is inside the station fence. But when you descend on the other side, you are outside the station fence with no obvious way in!

That's because the station is no longer the station. The old building is no longer in use, but neither is its associated platform.
That's because you have to toddle along to a completely new platform to the north of the original. Presumably there is some obscure regulation, designed to make everything more expensive, that prevented the original platform from being used. If there is, it is daft and quite unnecessary for the number of passengers using the "facilities".

But one delight at the foot of the footbridge is the former gents' urinal in all its architectural glory.
And the internal acoutrements are still in place!
But, sadly, locked and barred.

And there are trains to see. In addition to an hourly stopping train between Oxford and Paddington (calling at Culham roughly every two hours - with gaps!), there are half hourly fast trains ...
... whizzing by, supplemented by half hourly cross country (CrossCountry?) service between Reading and Birmingham. Add in an hourly Cotswold line service ...
... and you have six trains an hour in each direction. Most GWR services are operated by 165s ...
... one of which formed the 0917 "stopper" to Paddington.
One person boarded and one plus bicycle alighted. Frenetic activity indeed. The 0933 to Oxford attracted no passengers, either on or off.
 Apart from the inevitable CrossCountry Voyagers ...

... you might be lucky enough to see a Cotswold working by an HST. fbb was not on hand for such an event so has pinched a screen shot from a traiunspotter's video, taken just a little further north than the station
Likewise no pictures of the many freight trains that trundled through, mainly container traffic to and from Southampton. 

But it was very impressive. What began life as a quiet Great Western Railway branch from Didcot to Oxford is now a busy main line carrying loads passengers and goods.

Britain's new railway at its very best.

 Next Oxfordshire blog : Saturday 25th March 
A reminder : Easter weekend blogs (Friday to Tuesday) have been posted in advance as fbb will be bereft of wifi and phone signal for most of his sojourn in Beddgelert, North Wales. Apologies; comments cannot be acknowledged or given a prompt reply.

STOP PRESS : Due to a non-serious health indisposition for Mrs fbb, the trip to an electronically empty establishment near Beddlegert has been cancelled. But fbb is not going to waste the blogs!
Lamb for Easter - Baptised!
John The Baptist was busy preaching that the Kingdom of God was on its way (Nigh, as the old language says!) when up strolls his cousin, one Yeshua bar Jusuf. We call him Jesus son of Joseph. Hesitantly John did the water plunging bit and then a few weird things happened, according to Biblical accounts.
The heavens opened
The Spirit of God descended on Jesus
God spoke, "This is my Son"

But it is what John said, as Jesus approached, that is significant for this snippet.

"Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world!"

And today, "Good" Friday, the Christian community remembers just that. The day when "The Lamb" was sacrificed for the Good of the people, to carry off their sins into the wilderness of oblivion.
The shed blood saves the people and "The Lamb" brings them strength.

But it didn't seem very "Good" at the time.