Thursday 13 July 2017

Variety Catch-Up

Who Writes This Stuff?
A question posed by comment writer Petras409, no, oddly, directed to fbb's blog (?) but by way of introduction to the article in our favourite newspaper, the Bristol Post, dated 3rd July.
New turbo trains will start running in Bristol today.

New? Actually hand-me-downs from the London area.
They date from the days of Network SouthEast although they have been refurbished and some are appearing in the new GWR livery.
But far from "new"!

The trains, which are more efficient than the older models and more environmentally friendly, will travel between the Severn Beach and Bristol Temple Meads stations.

The first turbo service will leave Bristol Temple Meads station at 8.45am and GWR managing director Mark Hopwood, managing director of Network Rail Western route, Mark Langman and West of England Combined Authority Mayor Tim Bowles, will ride the inaugural service.

The new engines are the first part of a major investment in the line by both Network Rail and Great Western Railway.

Erm engines? No.

The Bristol Post will bring you pictures and video of the turbo trains later on this morning.

Sadly, fbb could not find these pictures and video, but the article was headed with a splendid picture ...
... of a Cross Country Trains Voyager.

Ants In Your Pants Bus
In an ongoing attempt to escape from the really really bad diesel engine (which, you will remember, was once the really really good diesel engine) all sorts of ideas are being developed.
Formic Acid Sustainable Transportation.
And you are right to remember that Formic Acid is named after Formica, but not the celebrated plastic table top of happy memory. Formica is Latin for "ants" and the acid was once made from, effectively, pulverised ants,

Team FAST is looking to use Hydrazine (sort of derived from formic acid) to power a bus.
The team's web site is a little coy about the actual process, but fbb thinks it will use fuel cell technology as in hydrogen powered vehicles ...
... as currently on trial in London.
Here is the team with their bus.
It may be some time before a similar vehicle arrives on your local route.

Aldridge Oddities
Northampton correspondent Alan paid a visit ...
... to what used to be the Aston Manor Road Transport Museum. There are lots of buses, all with a West Midlands theme s advertised.
But one he spotted was definitely East Midlands in origin ...
... a Northampton Co-op horse drawn milk cart. What is more worrying, however, is that fbb can (just!) remember one such vehicle delivering the white stuff to his Granny's residence in Norman Road.
Apart from replacement windows and doors, the house is little changed, but the bus stops on the nearby Wellingborough Road have all moved away from the junction ...
... which is now traffic light controlled.
But the modern phone box still stands where the old version stood, from which fbb would be brave enough to "phone home" and press button "B".
Wellingborough Road is still served by route 1 but the buses have changed as well.

Also Exhibited ...
... eliciting a comment from Alan, "What would be a necessary rattle?" And a thought from fbb. If modern buses were kept back in the depot to deal with rattles, many services would come to a grinding halt.

Good Techie or G I G O?
A scrolling alert on GoTimetable Sheffield warns that there will be no trams between Hillsborough and Malin Bridge on Sunday.
Short-notice headlines, with important service disruption information, always ought to be headlined on a home page; but they can so often be buried deep down and hard to find.

But a simple mis-type of a date (2107 instead of 2017) ...
... gives a laughable heading. By the time you read this, it will have been corrected.

Won't it?

 Next book review blog : Friday 14th July 


  1. Who writes this stuff? I suspect the Bristol Post's story may well come from a press release which, as we know, can spin things in whatever direction is necessary

  2. Button B would be to get your money back if you didn't get an answer button A to connect if you did.

    1. I would always press button B before attempting to make a call, just in case the previous caller didn't claim their money back. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't

  3. Anon 0837 - If that were the case, then I would expect the train operator's own press release to be a little better informed than to refer to the Turbo units as 'Engines' and to provide the paper with a picture of one of their own trains.

    The message is surely that if you leave it to local journos, you can get some pretty garbled messages, as in the sensible timetable revisions being headlined as Savage Bus Cuts in Ayr and elsewhere.

    My suggestion to local bus and train operators would be to invite the local media to a cup of tea and a bun, with a primer of transport terms: A Train is not an Engine. A timetable change is not always a Cut. A bus is not always a Routemaster.
    You can probably think of your own examples.

    1. I'm sorry Petras, I am too cynical to believe that your sensible suggestion would make the slightest difference to the style of reporting that local news media seem to need to use to justify their 'raison d'etre' - not just for travel issues but for any subject they choose to 'report' on.

  4. As a passionate anti rattle campaigner can I possibly use that fantastic notice taken at the museum on my own blog. Many thanks and I love the apostrophe use in 'buses!