Sunday 11 December 2016

Building Bridges (1)

One of the most common features of a railway station is a footbridge linking the platforms. Even before the onslaught of "health and safety" the authorities didn't like passengers wandering across the tracks. Many lighter-used lines on the Continent don't seem to have this fear; and don't seem to lose too many passengers either!
as well as providing a link between platforms, footbridges also maintain a public footpath right of way over railway property.
Thus it was that every model railway owner also wanted to own a footbridge. In the declining years of Trix Twin, you could but a bridge as part of the clever mix and match station buildings range.
Like the rest of the range, it was crude but at least it sat at the right height on the station platform. The Hornby Dublo model ...
... was of high quality, made of cast metal and very much the top of the range. As such it was well beyond the pocket of a junior fbb! Even if it had been cheaper, the young lad would not have bought it, because it was designed to cross tracks from and to level ground and would have stood unrealistically too high perched on a platform.
So most "official" pictures showed the bridge at the bottom of the platform ramps! Not as it should be, thought the pedantic little fellow. If he had been able to do some research, however, he could have found many full size crossing that involved just such a manoeuvre. (the picture at the head of this post shows one such example.)

When all-plastic Triang arrived, they, too produced a footbridge that was too high to stand on a platform.
Imagine the excitement and joy in the late 1950s when Airfix arrived on the scene with a plastic footbridge kit for only three shillings (15p). The steps section could be arranged in a variety of positions and, if you wanted lower height for platform use, you could borrow mum's kitchen scissors and snip the bottom section off.

Exactly what fbb has done on his layout to produce a bridge that runs from platform level to ground level.
If the blue looks a bit garish, that is because it was photographed in the pouring rain; it has stood outside for over two years, been blown off the baseboard by high wind, been frozen and boiled in extremes of weather and has sustained no damage. Today the kit will cost you about £6, plus paint and glue.

Some years ago, Hornby produced a footbridge kit which can be found on sites like EBay ...
... at about £9,

Exactly the same model has re-appeared produced by Gaugemaster (adjacent to Ford Railway Station) ...
... as part of its Fordhampton range.
These are not actually created by Gaugemester; the Hornby signalbos which fbb has adapted for his layout was made by the German form Faller!
Fordhampton's bridge is also too high to stand on a platform! It costs £18 from Gaugemaster! OUCH!

Moors from the footbridge fanzine tomorrow.
Has Christmas Reached Rock-Bottom?
The gift for the man or woman who has everything!
Yes you did read it correctly.
What next? Christmas Pudding scented under-arm deodorant? Turkey flavoured hair spray? Thyme and Parsley chocolates?

The mind boggles.

Chocolate Brussels Sprouts ...
 Advent Calendar 
There are around two dozen passages in the Old Testament of the Bible that predict something about the coming of someone special. Believers consider that all of them are fulfilled in the life and person of Jesus of Nazareth.

The more cynical might opine that some of them are "stretching a point whilst confirmed rejectors of Biblical passage would simply, erm, reject them all!

It is true that, taken individually nd out of context, these prophecies might sometimes seen a bit too good to be true, but taken together, as a body of evidence, they do present a compelling picture of God doing something very special.

Isaiah was warning a king of two things. Firstly, God had a special plan.

Isaiah replied to King Ahaz, “Listen, now, descendants of King David. It's bad enough for you to wear out the patience of people—do you have to wear out God's patience too? Well then, the Lord himself will give you a sign: a young woman who is pregnant will have a son and will name him ‘Immanuel.’
But before that, very bad things would happen.

The Lord is going to bring on you, on your people, and on the whole royal family, days of trouble worse than any that have come since the kingdom of Israel separated from Judah—he is going to bring the king of Assyria.
The Assyrians wiped out the northern Kingdoms in 727BC, but miraculously went home without destroying Jerusalem in the south. That destruction came later.

Prophecies did have a habit of coming true! The idea of a "Messiah" was born.
 Next bridges blog : Monday 12th December 

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