Saturday, 11 May 2019

Weekend Wonderments (1)

It's All On-Line No 292
A couple of snaps front a well know on-line purveyor of Pictures of Interest which again illustrate the need to take extreme care when relying on the internet as your source of information.

Readers may spot straight away that something is wrong with the location of this lovely collection of Routemasters.
Likewise, people queueing at stands in a Midland Red bus garage was not totally unheard of ...
... but not usually in the bowels of the earth below Brum's once-iconic Bull Ring shopping centre.

Publicity Matters.
Promotion of bus services to "go somewhere" is rare these days - although it shouldn't be. It is almost as if bus companies only recognise commuters, shoppers and students. Here, however, is one with a simple message from Keighley buses:-
But Borders Buses (successor to First) goes one better by encouraging travel to specific events.
And slightly more "general" ...
... and there were several more. Maybe they should tell folk where Berwick's Royal Border Bridge can be found.

The multicoloured display looks fantastic.+

Northampton Alan On His Travels (1)
To a bus "do" at the West Midlands museum at Wythall.

The Museum is excellent but hard to get to by public transport. Landflight's 884 will get you there on a Saturday or for school holiday Wednesday opening if you don't mind the grind from Solihull (or Whitlocks End!)
The Wythall Church stop has a sweet people shelter!
As well as the expected Midand Red and West Midlands stuff, Alan sent two snaps of buses from fbb's past. ANH 154 is from Northampton ... 
... and, doubtless, your author saw this on many occasions in his youth. Also present was this:-
The badge tells you that it is a VR but the body is by East Lancs. Based at the now-closed Herries depot, this bus carried a Silver Jubilee livery for a while.
What impresses fbb about the Wythall pictures is the fine assemblage of "route equipment"; shelters, stop and stand signs and, of course, a Birmingham Corporation Bundy Clock, a predecessor of SatNav and bus location software!

Northampton Alan on his Travels (2)
On one of his many trips to Wales, fbb's chum sent this recent puzzle picture. Might it be, he wittily suggested, the National Museum of Rugby Balls and Love Spoons (Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Peli Rygbi a Llwyau Car) at Llantwit Major?
Alan gave fbb a very unsubtle clue ...
The first section of the Welsh Highland Railway to Porthmadog uses the trackbed of the former LMS line south from Caernarfon. The original station was on the north side of the town through the tunnel now, cruelly, used as a road!
Is a glass and plastic "carbuncle" the right way to emphasise a heritage railway? see also Seaton Tramway station!

Another Sinuous USA Freight Train
This is the Tehachapi loop line in California.

The Tehachapi Loop is a 0.73 miles (1.17 km) long spiral, or helix, on the Union Pacific Railroad Mojave Subdivision through Tehachapi Pass, of the Tehachapi Mountains in Kern County, south-central California. The line connects Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley to Mojave in the Mojave Desert.
Rising at a steady two percent grade, the track gains 77 feet (23 m) in elevation in the Loop. Any train more than 4,000 feet (1,200 m) long passes over itself going around the loop. At the bottom of the loop, the track passes through Tunnel 9, the ninth tunnel built as the railroad worked from Bakersfield.

Switzerland spirals, eat your heart out!

fbb thinks that the train pictured above has three power units at the font and two at the back.

When fbb used to run long trains on his teenage OO gauge model layout, the wagons always fell off on the corners. Presumably the Union Pacific Railroad does not have that problem!

More tomorrow.

 Next weekend wonderments blog : Sunday 12th May 


  1. I thought Bull Ring bus station was used as a depot also?

    1. The "Midland Red bus garage" was actually Birmingham bus station, and we Midlanders did queue for buses just as shown in the photo.

      It was only a bus station until the the mid 1990s, when Midland Red West also used it as an outstation (of Worcester garage!) after MRW stopped garaging buses at nearby Digbeth.

  2. It's on-line so will have passed FBB by, but Swindon's Bus Company (now GoAhead, formerly Thamesdown Transport) tweet with an idea of somewhere to go by bus at the weekend each Friday. This week it was:
    "Looking for things to do this weekend?

    The Kennet & Avon Canal is the perfect place to picnic, relax, think, run and walk your dog, all for free!"

  3. Event Days, and some others, at Wythall (24 in total this year) have museum services to the Maypole on the edge of Birmingham whence there are very frequent NXWM and Diamond buses to and from Birmingham.

    On a different theme, the Welsh Highland may be steam, but on my trip this week the loco was built in 1958, and the coach in 2010.The rebuilt line has now been running longer than its financially disastrous 1920s and 30s incarnation. The line has to be a compromise between its role as a tourist attraction- hence the need for loos, shop etc- and its heritage role.The site at Caernarfon is also quite confined and a traditional station building a al Kidderminster, say, would not be possible there. In my humble opinion it does so very well.