Sunday 1 October 2017

Matters Arising, Mountainous Axminster ...

... More Catch-Up Bits
Opportunistic Frames
Earlier in the week fbb was passing on Northampton correspondent Alan's experience at Llandudno Junction Station. A quick wurgle through Streetview revealed three poster frames headed "Public Transport Information". fbb asked what they might contain as one looked as it it held a timetable. 
Alan replied to the query, reporting that he did not note details of the content but that it was most definitely NOT about bus services from "Platform 5"! The only bus information were he departure lists at the stop which were in much better condition tan those across the border in Gwynedd.

One comment writer seemed to think that departure lists were good as they were "quicker to use" than a full timetable.
Maybe, maybe not. But, for regular users of the route(s), a simple list can be ideal. For first-time users a better guide is essential, especially where there is a complex "network" (?) of services. If there is no timetable book, leaflet or map and nowhere to obtain one, departure lists are unhelpful.

Famous Five's Fantastic Foray
Have you seen GWR's latest advert?
Enid Blyton's "Famous Five", Julian, George, Dick and Ann plus Timmy the dog are having an adventure. Adorned in their 1950s heritage costume and unaccompanied by Uncle Quentin they join a shiny new IEP train at Paddington Station. Hopefully Uncle Quentin has been on the lengthy course to train him in the complexities of GWR ticketing.

How spiffing that thy managed to find TWO IEPs on adjacent platforms - even before they are in public service.
They get seats round a table of which there are now very few - even less in the new "pack-em-in" trains.

Well done fellows!

But, shock horror, Timmy manages to open a carriage door and nip off across a field ...
... where he is able to cadge a lift from a passing hot air balloon.

The Famous Four are able to replan their journey - without a laptop, ipad or phone!
The make a snappy cross-platform interchange on to a re-liveried DMU ...
... whilst Timmy lands on a motor bike and sidecar. From here this astounding dog hops on to a speedboat.
The Four have, mysteriously, found their way back onto the IEP and all are reunited on the beach a an idealised Dawlish.
What an adventure. And it only cost £212 for a super day out!
It is a glorious advert, evocative of days long gone; let's get stuck into the lashings of ginger beer!
Boo - only a small bottle for four of them?

Sadly rail travel simply isn't like that - it is stressful, often uncomfortable and fearfully difficult to plan, especially if you want a cheap fare. But it is "only an advert"!!!!

Perhaps GWR would fill their forthcoming increased capacity by introducing a simple fares structure without the pain and penalty of potentially punitive advance booking? That would make travel more of a pleasure. It's too late to get seats that match up with windows; but who cares if you can cram the punters in?

Who wants a jam doughnut? Or a spam sandwich?

The whole ad is on YouTube.

A Holiday With Timetables - and Snow?
A few blogs ago fbb was extolling the benefits of a sojourn in East Devon, where, in comparison with Gwynedd, you can have a FREE timetable book and, joy of joys, timetables posted at bus stops. Northamptonian Alan quickly reminded fbb of the delights of the Winter Ski season at Axminster as illustrated on a Friends of The Settle and Carlisle Railway Christmas card.
A Southwest Trains two-car DMU passes the snow-clad slopes of Stockland Hill**, just north of the town. fbb is off to schuss down the piste!

Edgbastion's Eventual Extension
The current edition of Modern Railways reveals that the next bit of Brum's tram network (can you call one line a network?) has been approved. This will take trams from, effectively, New Street Station, up the hill to the largest council house in the world ...
.. and on to "Edgbaston".
This phase of the tram's extension will end (eventually) to the west of the Five Ways roundabout ...
... outside Number 54.
Maybe the stop should be called "The Edge of Edgbaston" as it is at the end of Broad Street on the district's northern boundary,

And Yet Another fbb Boob
Thanks to correspondent Andrew who spotted a bit of a faux pas in yesterday's blog. In the piece about the forthcoming X10 between Barnsley and Leeds, fbb implied that this would bring Stagecoach back into Leodensian territory after an absence of many many years.

He forgot the X62!

Originally joint with East Yorkshire ...
... Stagecoach now operates exclusively ...
... on three journeys a day Monday to Friday. four on Saturday and two on Sunday.
Thanks, Andrew, for putting the old man right!

Tomorrow we go to Sweden.
** No, it isn't Stockland Hill (sadly); it is Mallerstang Edge near Kirkby Stephen.
Presumably the Stagecoach unit was once on hire to Northern.

 nästa svenska blogg: måndag 2 oktober 


  1. Despite the fact that the new trains are said to have more tables. Also when looking at a picture of the interior most of the seats do appear to line up with the window. Fbb complains when companies to nothing to publicise their services but then complains when they do.

  2. You referred yesterday to the new Stagecoach X10 'offering a possible worry for Mr Fearnley and Mr Arriva'.

    I don't think so. First and Arriva have both now quit Barnsley (except for Arriva's contracted operations run in disguise as Yorkshire Tiger), so the X10 will in no way tread on either operator's toes - the only direct competition is with Northern rail.

    Nor can I see an hourly inter-urban express from South Yorkshire leading to a competitive march on Leeds by Stagecoach.