Saturday 9 September 2017

Trams And Trains For Saturday

Children's Charity Chunter
fbb has very good reason to be grateful to the Sheffield Children's Hospital as the staff there saved the life of his No 3 son.
The little baby only had one kidney and the plumbing thereto had been damaged by infection. It was a close run thing, but ultimately was accompanied by a miraculous recovery contrary to all the accepted possible outcomes.

On Sunday 17th September Stagecoach Supertram have a "charity" event.
The timetable covers the full length of the three "branches" only omitting the short hop from Gleadless to Herdings on the "purple" route.
It is the first (?) opportunity to have a ride on a British Rail Class 399 "train", a tram which will, one fine day, run on ludicrously costly the tram-train route from Sheffield Cathedral ...
... to Parkgate. fbb reckons the Charity tram will be packed to the roof! Enjoy the squeeze! Proceeds to the Children's Hospital.

Dull, Dull, Dull.
Just over a week ago South Western Railway had a formal launch at Waterloo Station. There was a lunch attended by the great and the good - and Barry Doe! As part of the shenanigans, a class 444 train rolled up in the new livery.
The colour is a deep blue with white lettering balanced by silver on the rest of the carriage. fbb presumes a seven year old has "designed" the logo which might just be a schematic representation of the South Western Railway network.

Or, perhaps, it is a tree that regularly deposits its "leaves on the line" to the detriment of the smooth running of the trains!

Livery is always an emotive and personal thing, but which train looks the most attractive as it rolls along? Dull blue and dull grey ...
... looking like it needs a good clean; or ...
... something bright and cheerful to bring a little delight to the turgid travel on the commuter lines?

fbb, not surprisingly, prefers his own suggestion, made soon after the franchise award was made.
It was intended as a joke, but the new First MTR dullness suggests that something better should be cobbled together very quickly. The publicity also has an aura of gloom about it as well.
The first class 707 ran in revenue earning service a few days ago.
This is one of a a fleet of units for the Reading and Windsor route, ordered by Stagecoach and to be thrown away by MTR as new trains on order will be cheaper to buy and to run. It seem that the DaFT is living up to its name by approving suck a crackpot and potentially wasteful scheme.

A Poster Poser
This little gem popped up on a Twit site recently.
The "Fixed" train service (as opposed to one restricted by the tides) ran overnight and, although it quoted "the shortest and cheapest route" via Newhaven and Dieppe, the ad did not actually tell you how long the journey might be!

The Sea Side destinations are varied but one of of particular interest. Bonchurch has never has much of a "Sea Side" ...
... and it has never had a railway station!

Re-Upholstered - Really!
A Stagecoach Supertram in Sheffield? Indeed. It is part of a marketing campaign for a new IKEA store.

11-28th September 2017
To celebrate the launch of IKEA Sheffield, we are bringing The Wonderful Everyday to life with a tour of mini-events and installations across the city. Find out more about our events, attend or book activities and workshops in-store, join IKEA FAMILY, and learn more about the new IKEA store here.

The only picture of the tram so far available is unimpressive ...
... but IKEA has a strong track record of using public transport to promote its stores. The tram below is in Kassel, Germany ...
... reminding the residents that "Dein neues zuhause wartet auf dich." - your new home is waiting for you.
If only you could find the way in?

Here is a bit of French publicity ...
... and something more spectacular that heralded the Southampton store.
Neither fbb nor his dutiful Mrs have ever set foot inside an IKEA store!

The Sheffield store materialises on the main road to Rotherham, opposite the end of Weedon Street, where once stood Tinsley Wire Industries works.
Here is a view, from the other direction, of the Commercial Hotel ...
... as demolition was in progress on the other side of the street. But here is a tram-filled Weedon Street from the early 1900s with the squared-off corner of the pub clearly visible.
The trams were lined up to take shift workers home. You could not recognise the end of Weedon Street today!
But life moves on, and there is now no public transport along the Sheffield Road past IKEA, and not even a solitary bus is scheduled to pull out of the end of Weedon Street.
IKEA sits where the words "Sheffield Road" are shown above ...
The Weedon Street junction juts pokes its nose into the artist's impression, bottom right opposite the IKEA sign.

fbb moved from Sheffield in 1984 and return visits are always an eye-opener, soon to be an IKEA opener!

 Tomorrow we blog "Continental" 


  1. Dull, dull, dull. How I agree with you. Can't First Group afford an imaginative designer? Their GWR dark green might look sort of classy, but try photographing a dark green train, without a secondary colour, against a countryside background of trees and grass. The train simply disappears. SWR's dull grey is little better.

    The Stagecoach livery on SWT is bright and cheerful. London Midland and Southern did reasonably well with their bright greens and white. But don't get me started on plain white deliveries - boring!

    But, yes, come on First - you can do better than this.

    1. Couldn't agree more but dull grey seems to be in vogue for trains at the moment - Thameslink's horrible new fleet of wifi-less and USB charge point-less trains are the same, dull grey outside and all dreary greys and blues inside. Stagecoach has always gone for bright and cheerful liveries, much to their credit.

  2. The cover shown for timetable 20 indicates 'Sailsbury' so the standard of proof reading has slipped too.

  3. Oh dear ! And there are only two 'E's in Exeter St Davids. But at least this leaflet has Clapham Junction and Woking in the right order.

  4. Plus we've "Porchester" on the Havant table, winnersh missing off the front of the Reading timetable and Clapham Junction further from London than Woking as mentioned above, plus all the spelling mistakes on the front of table 20... let's hope this isn't starting as they mean to go on from this shower of incompetent idiots!!

  5. The timetables I picked up at Bournemouth & Southampton on Thursday (19, 20, 25, 27 & 28) seem to be correct. Have they spotted their errors and replaced them?

    1. Maybe it's only the online ones that have all the errors, but as at 20:10 on Saturday 9/9/17 they still have!! (At least tables 2, 18, 20 & 28)

    2. Yes, they have . . . . new leaflets are appearing as they spot the errors. An expensive start to the operation . . . .hopefully they'll get better.
      In re the livery - I reckoned one of the very positive things about S W T was the livery and images created - Best Impressions, of course. And how often did you see a dirty train? Not often - attention to detail again - S W R have a lot to live up to.

  6. There may be no buses past Ikea but Carbrook tram stop is right next to the store!