Sunday, 29 July 2018

Compilation - You May Have Missed ...

Signalling Silly Cyclists!
One of Boris' bleats about bendibuses was that they were more dangerous for cyclists than "proper" buses. There was simply no statistical evidence for his claim, but it won him political kudos and that was all that was important. Any cyclist creeping along the nearside of a big vehicle, particularly at road junctions, is taking a huge risk. Although the driver has m byirrors, his concentration may well be on his next tricky manoeuvre, to the pedalers detriment.

Which makes a technology from First Bus in Bristol of considerable interest to both parties.
Clearly the idea of this extra technology is a "good thing", but is it yet another bleep in the cab and yet another bit of gubbins to go wrong or to be pinged to oblivion in a mid-deck scrape with overhanging trees?
Would a garish poster on the rear end be more cost effective?
And yes, in his far off youth, fbb has crept!

Mendips Misplaced?
First's first Mendip Explorer has been, we are told, a huge success. Originally just plain route 376, its branding and marketing has attracted many additional passengers.
The route skirts the foot of the Mendip hills as it trundles along the A39. It now has posh Streetdecks to offer the punters a splendid top deck view.
The brand was "developed" by bringing services between Bath and Wells into the scheme.
Single deck buses which previously plied the 376 have been used so far.
Now comes news that the routes are to be converted to double deck.
These buses are not new; but they have been extensively refurbished with an external repaint and an internal re-trim. Most passengers will think they are new buses! They also have the usual electronic gizmos to encourage passengers to plug their brains into their "devices" and ignore the scenery. Bristol's staff newsletter included a rather poor photo of 37772 and the thumbnails below show the bus in its previous livery emanations.
Yet another step forward for First. fbb will not mention Sh*ff**ld.

Background Information
Regular readers will remember (not at all sure why they should?) that, as part of a major refurbishment of fbb's outdoor model railway, the "main line" has been converted to double track.
In order to achieve this, the scenery behind the former single track has had to be expunged, taking away trees etc. and leaving a rather crude rolling countryside.

Trees at ground level would have impeded the progress of Peterville's passengers. Also, the trees covered up the poor quality of fbb's scenic workmanship!

Solution : do a bit of terraforming. This involves a length of two-by-one, some stonework cladding in plastic ...
... and the raising of the scenic items above the level at which they would scrape and derail the trains.

The retaining wall thus constructed is seen here under the watchful eye of the building inspector ...
... here in place to check clearances ...
... and here with landform raised temporarily to its final resting place.
It needs painting, of course.

You can see why fbb needs to get the trees back! They will cover the holes and dodgy joints in bits of plywood fields.

Of course, if his "trainset" were indoors, he could buy printed backscenes in huge variety. Peco (from Beer, just down the road from fbb) has been selling such painted and printed imaginations since the Middle Ages ...
They are a tad old-fashioned by today's standards and many modellers buy or create (using photo software on their confusers) true photographic scenes which are much more realistic. Neither product is suitable, however, for outdoors.

Peco have just introduced the first of a range of true photographic backscenes.
A small village creeps into the far left of Sheet 1 (here ludicrously over-enlarged) ...
... but it does prove that the scene is very real indeed. That is Axmouth Church, a short distance from fbb mansions ...
... with Peco's views taken from the trackbed of the Seaton Tramway. Next perhaps a fishing village (Beer) or a small resort seafront (guess where?) - who knows?

Trains Nouveaux pour La France
rtist's impressions" show long noses ...
... and a brand name that means "unheard-of".
At least it did when fbb "studied" French at school!

Tomorrow we must return to Buxton, Stagecoach, Travel South Yorkshire and Traveline to (hopefully) conclude the tale of the last-minute-itis bursting of Stagecoach onto the Peak District bus scene.

For those fed up with the mention of Sh*ff**ld, please be patient. On the way, in the next week or so, we will have first hand reports of buses in Bowland, trams in Israel, and trams, trains and buses in Stuttgart.

And as we come up to the start of the Autumn term, a favourite time for bus companies to play the re-organisation game, who know what may happen in the UK?

What could be more varied than that?

 Next Buxton Bodge-up blog : Monday 30th June 

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