Sunday 12 May 2019

Weekend Wonderments (2)

Isn't Technology Wonderful (1)
fbb has been keeping an eye open for some more terraced houses to grace the townscape on the Peterville (model) Railway. To match they need to be Hornby Kits from years past.
The last time a pack appeared on Hattons web site, fbb clicked on the "order" button about a millisecond after someone else and lost the deal. But this time he succeeded.
That was on Friday at 1045. Next came the usual acknowledgement ...
... followed soon afterwards by and picking and packing acknowledgement.

Note that stuff manufactured by Great Model Railways (Airfix) is of remarkably high quality and can usually be bough cheap as chips secondhand. The other two coaches are very good, even if not quite as well detailed as their modern equivalent which sell at between £40 and £50.

At 0845 yesterday morning, just 22 hours after placing the order, the front doorbell at fbb mansions rang and there was delivery man with box ...
... containing the aforementioned terraced houses kit. There was a delivery fee of £4 but it was standard delivery and not "next day express" at £7.

Two terraced houses duly delivered ...
... and ready for a winter project to rebuild Church Square, Peterville, The current scenic display was foolishly built on a piece of scrap MDF which reacts very badly to getting wet - yet another failure in the quest to create an outdoor weather-proof version of a small indoor layout.

Isn't Technology Wonderful (2)
In preparing data for GoTimetable Sheffield, fbb has excellent co-operation from First Bus, a slower and less "routine" response from Stagecoach and little contact with other smaller operators. It is often necessary to rely on Travel South Yorkshire, the publicity brand of SYPTE.

This reliance is unreliable. Here is a typical example. The text which introduced changed from the first weekend in March said this about First route 27.

27 First : Rotherham - Crystal Peaks
There will be changes to times.
Monday to Friday buses will run beyond Rotherham to Parkgate.

Clicking on this heading revealed the 27 non-leaflet (SYPTE produced no printed material).

No mention of Parkgate on the map (it is north of Rotherham centre ...
... but it does call at the hospital THREE TIMES!

No mention of Parkgate on the "cover" of the non-leaflet ...
... and no mention in the rather strange list of "places served".
By the way, service 27 does NOT run to Waterthorpe and never has done! There is no mention of Parkgate in the oddly defined list of "stopping points" ...
... which is, in fact, a list of roads that have bus stops on them, merged with a list of locations which are almost invariably in the wrong order. In the above list, for example. Aughton should be served BEFORE Swallownest, not after.
Finally, there is no mention of Parkgate in any of the timetables.
Remember that the pathetic PTE told us the whole point of this timetable change was to show journeys extended to Parkgate on Mondays to Fridays.

Fortunately, fbb used First's supplied data to send off to the GoTimetable team!
Thanks to Sheffield correspondent Dave for pointing out this bit of incompetence.

Isn't Technology Wonderful (3)
fbb noticed this on a recent Twit. It concerns the excellent Swanage Railway which has recently installed electronic computer-driven departure screens in its booking office.
As well as departure times and destinations, it includes the make-up of each train, loco(s) and coaching stock.
To add to the excitement, the trains scroll across the screen!

Whatever happened to the good old-fashioned "roller blind" type. Or even Glasgow Central; where a real live man placed wooden boards in a window above each platform number.
Or even the "punched card" type as at Waterloo.
Note the pole with which "the man" used to clout any flaps which failed to turn over completely.

Sigh! Those were the days.

Isn't Technology Wonderful (4)
This, from a "local information" board at Minehead.
Where is the QR code for the Bus Bottom?

Isn't Technology Wonderful (5)
Especially when it's good old-fashioned printing! No internet; no Facebook; no Twittering - just a simple notice stuck on the inside of a bus window.
Of course, by the time you have boarded the bus, you have overcome most of these intractable problems for the average passenger.

And Finally
From time to time debate erupts in the closeted world of Railway Modelling as to hows realistic the layouts should be. Given that all OO gauge models are unrealistic by definition as the track gauge (at 16.5mm) is incorrect - it should be 18.83mm - the debater is often about whether you should run a post-war diesel loco with pre-grouping rolling stock from the wrong part of the country.

Or ...

"Do you realise, old boy", quotes the expert, "that Wainwright's 0-10-0 class 54/J had 75 rivets on the second boiler ring from the front and you model has only 63?"

But hold on a sec, Mr Expert. The Heritage Railways (Preserved lines) are past masters at mix and match operation, guest locomotives and highly unrealistic double heading all for the delight of their cash customers.

Here is a picture from the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.
It shows an American-built locomotive dispatched to France to help the troops during World War 2 ...
... hauling a chunk of the prototype High Speed Train.
Hooray! If the K&WVR can do that, then fbb has no guilt at all at running his GWR railcar hauling an LNER teak-sided coach passing Thomas the Tank Engine at the Peterville Quarry Railway signalbox.
Both were testing the newly ballasted "main line". OK, the ballast looks somewhat garish, but a few weeks in the wind and the rain of East Devon's typical summer and it will soon mellow.

Just like the real thing.

 Next Park and Ride blog : Monday 13th May 

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