Sunday, 20 August 2017

At Largs in Large (1)

A Trouble-Free Journey - Almost
A short drive to Axminster Station, where eight day' parking is cheaper than to taxi rides, brought the fbb's to the 0656 to Exeter.
Sunshine and showers were forecast for the journey but as the old crusties would be under cover until arrival at Largs, the weather was not a problem. Readers may remember that SouthWest Trains is keeping its Saturday timetables a closely guarded secret but at least the 0646z was unchanged.
"z" means it arrive at 0643 and, unnoted, it also sits at Honiton for ten minutes waiting for an up train to pass. It was formed of six coaches, in preparation for the crush later in the day as the intermediate Salisbury to Waterloo "shorts" run to Reading are are thus unpopular.

fbb has never really considered baby changing; such facilities were unthought of when his nippers nipped.
Having spatchcocked the infant, father or mother is not allowed, apparently, to lower the table to, say 45 degrees from the horizontal (or, more excitingly, 45 degrees from the vertical), a procedure which everyone knows is highly desirable and practicable.

Arrival was spot on time at 0642 and, had fbb been unencumbered with luggage, arthritis and Mrs fbb, he could have nipped (oh yeah?) across the footbridge and caught the 0745 to Birmingham; pointless haste as the reservations were for the 0823.
The four car (yuk) voyager (yuk) ...
...  left on time ...
... and remained so until arrival at the utterly dismal Black Hole of New Street. The next leg ...
... a through Pendolino from London Euston to Glasgow via Birmingham would depart at 1115 from platform six of the Brummy ferroequinological catacombs.

Only it didn't. Always interested in how things pan out, your technologically savvy (oh yeah?) blogger had a prod at National Rail's train tracking thingey as the Voyager (yuk) approached the great City of Sterilised Milk.
This little snippet illustrates perfectly why trains are late. It would appear that the driver or the guard was delayed on their unbound run at Euston, so the Pendolino left late. But it takes some skill to lose another eight minutes by Milton Keynes.

Sounds crackpot, but easy to achieve if the late Virgin train was then following a slower London Midland train running on the fast lines. Despite this now 16 minte delay, things looked more hopeful at New Street.
How hopeful will be revealed tomorrow.

Bet you can't wait.

Hey Big Spender!

I could see it was a coach of distinction
Arriva big spender -
Good lookin' so refined
Say, wouldn't you like to know what's goin' on in my mind?
So let me get right to the point
I don't pop my cork for every coach I see
Hey big spender,
You bought brand new coach for me
Wouldn't you like to have fun, fun, fun
How's about a few laughs, laughs
I could give you a good ride
I could give you a good ride!

It is the great Burley Chassis who sings this song of praise.
This as yet unpublished version is extolling a significant investment in new vehicles by a well known bus operator.

Arriva the Shires has taken delivery of 13 new Mercedes-Benz Tourismo coaches to run on the 757 Green Line service between Luton, Luton Airport and central London ...
... in a new £2.6million investment.
All of the buses and coaches are Euro6 compliant – which means they will significantly reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) over current technology – and feature stop/start systems to further cut air pollution by ensuring engines are not left running for long periods at stops and terminus areas.
Maq Alibhai, area managing director South at Arriva Midlands, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming these vehicles to our fleet at Arriva Luton which will provide cleaner air for all residents and a higher-quality service for our customers between Luton and London."

The company and its predecessors has maintained a steady policy of investment in this service ...
... but the latest livery is less green than the advertised credential of the new motors.
“This investment in coaches reflects Arriva’s commitment to providing greener journeys for our passengers by using the latest technological advances in passenger transport.”

Maybe the white has been chosen to make it easy to repaint the coaches when they, too, get downgraded when the next new batch arrives. But it doesn't look as good as some of the most recent green Green Line vehicles.

More Largs tomorrow, plus other stuff.

 Next delay blog - Monday 21st August 


  1. A wee bittie harsh in re New Street there, fbb . . . . now the platform refurbishment is finished I've found that there is more light and certainly more circulating space on the platforms; plus I like the Grand Central concourse upstairs - a huge atrium with lots of light and, again, plenty of space.
    You'll not improve the platforms much more; they're underground, after all, but I reckon they've done a fair job.
    In other news . . . . the 1977 re-launch of Green Line was with coaches in dealer white, but with a broad green band . . . the "Green Line"! The stripy livery with two-tone green was a development of the NBC local coach standard livery in the 1980's.
    Route 757 has always had the first crack at new coaches; the surprise was that Route 758 had them initially this time; 758 usually got the 757 cast-off's!!
    With buses on Route 724 now in normal boring Arriva livery, and deckers on Route 702 in a strange "sort of Green Line" livery, it seems to be up to 757 and 758 to keep the image alive . . . .

  2. Plus First's Volvo/Wright deckers on the 702....