Sunday 18 August 2019

Sunday Snippets

Coronation Scot Addendum
fbb was interested in the film uploaded on Friday's blog and repeated here ...
... and has spent some time trying to spot the locations.

Obvious is the former Ovaltine factory at Kings Langley.
Now there is much more industrial development between the main building and the railway.
Next is Denbigh Hall, Bletchley; where the line crosses what was the A5, now a super road wiggling through Milton Keynes.
It is now completely built up.
Then we have Tring cutting ...
... where we worry far less about encroaching vegetation now we have the lectric to power our trains.
Tring is out of order in the film!

Courteenhall road bridge is where the Northampton loop diverges from the direct line; the girders that support the deeper bit of the cutting are just about visible beyond the arches.
This is no longer the remote secluded spot enjoyed by teenage fbb in his brief year or so of trainspotting.
But the final screenshot, one of the few other populated areas in the film, has so far beaten the old man. First thought was that the train was speeding past  Roade station where once stood a factory that made hinges for pianos and by extension hinges for car bonnets and later, by a further extension, other bits for they new fangled motors.
But the road bridge is at the wrong angle.

fbb is, at the time of writing, mystified. There is, however, a road parallel to the track which ought to give the game away.


From Our Switzerland Correspondent
No 3 son sent this picture of an "e-bus" in Basel. It actually says on the front "Ich bin ein e-bus" so that must be right.
This is the first stage of a proposed major upgrading of the city's bus fleet.
The press article is reprinted here.

The VDL SLFA-181 Electric is a low floor bus with a length of 18.1 metres, equipped with an electric powertrain. The Citea SLFA-181 Electric for BVB is equipped with a 248 kWh battery pack and a 450 kW rapid charger. During the pilot period, the rapid charging will take place at the BVB depot. The electric bus is charged in about 50 minutes.

The 35 is a suburban service linking tram No 6 with some very "back-road" communities at its far end. It terminates here ...
... at Inzlinger Zoll, i.e. the customs post at the border with Germany. The unused custom post is just beyond the bus stop in the trees.
There is nowhere to turn at the border so fbb assumed that the bus runs forward into Germany to find a suitable place. And, lo and behold, there it is thanks to Google Earth. 
The customs post (with zigzag roof) is bottom right and a superb turning loop is upper left. 

fbb does not know whether passengers are allowed to ride to or from the loop!

The Language Problem
The lad also sent this picture:-
He knows his dad's love for a certain yeast extract spread and was amused (and maybe confused) as to what the delicious dark brown goo was doing is a German (Swiss? French?) packet of stock (Bouillon - French; Töpfli - German??).

"Marmite" is French for cooking pot, hence the illustration of such on a pot of, erm, Marmite.
And here is a "marmite" containing a delcious "casserole".
 It's all very confusing. But they are "stock pots" in English but still 8 "marmites" in the box.
It makes international bus travel seem quite simple - it is usually just a "bus"!

Coronation Scot An Added Addendum
In research Friday's and Saturday's blogs, fbb came across this.
It claims to be a picture of the Coronation Scot but has had a few livery changes for its journey through some not very UK scenery. Bénin has quite a track record of issuing stamps with trains on them, trains from all over the world.

Here is a "miniature sheet" with very tradition UK steam locos ...
... and one of several featuring the dreaded Harry Potter.
There are, at the time of writing, 717 West African francs to the pound, so a stamp priced at Fr1000 is about £1.50.

Are they ever used for real postage?

And, in case, like fbb, you didn't know, Bénin is net door to Nigeria.

The Language Problem Part 2
This picture popped into fbb's in-bop a few days ago. It is Glasgow, of course and the top flag on the pole indicated a Glasgow Corporation "Fare Stage".
This was usually a replacement for a standard yellow bus stop sign.
So whose was a "fare station" and was it the same as a fare stage?

Answers, please, via a comment or to

Livery Delivery
More buses are appearing in Buses for Sheffield livery. It is a bit of a pigs ear with little evidence of the silk purse, like the whole non-event that is the Buses of Sheffield "scheme".
From 1st September the 1a becomes 11 and is severed from its "partner" service 1. Will "Buses for Sheffield" liveried vehicles still operate on the 11?

How Many Different 66s Could You Buy?
A question which we will attempt to answer tomorrow as part of another batch of snippets.

 Monday Mentions blog : Monday 19th August 


  1. A possible long shot, but is the "Fare Station" perhaps Central SMT? It would be broadly the right colour, and the hills in the background make it look as though it might be somewhere on the way to Clydebank.

  2. Andrew Kleissner18 August 2019 at 10:01

    I had the same thought; it's a pity we can't read the destination indicator. My wife hails from Clydebank!

    1. the "Fare Stations" signs were used by the trams and the "Fare Stage" signs were used by the buses - the colours were used help conductors tell the difference as the fares stages for the trams were diffrent from the buses as the trams had bigger stages and were cheaper by the mile compared to the buses

  3. 'More buses are appearing in Buses for Sheffield livery'. I'm not sure this is true - the 2018 deliveries to First and Stagecoach all carry this livery, but as far as I know nothing else does.
    Application of the stickers to buses that don't carry the livery is also very patchy. Older ones have never had them despite their use on 'Buses for Sheffield' services and nor do many newer ones. 'R' registered buses are still to be seen on front-line service in Sheffield!

  4. Andrew Kleissner18 August 2019 at 18:13

    Thinking back to the two versions of the streamlined Pacifics on yesterday's post:
    1. The Meccano Magazine still entitles the red one as the "Coronation Scot" which is clearly wasn't!
    2. Last April's "Backtrack" carried the same picture, this time with no headlight but a reporting number board. The coaches are also more like those in the "red" version than the "blue" one. And a specific date is given. The loco, it's claimed, is "Duchess of Gloucester".

    I wonder if one photo was taken, which has subsequently either been copied as a painting or retouched> The steam wisps and background are the same in all of them.

  5. I think yor guess of Roade is right. The curved boundary to the field in the background marks the line of the spur from the Stratford-on-Avon & Midland Junction Railway. The odd dog leg in the road through the hinge factory is confirmed by the ever excellent NLS maps:

  6. Andrew Kleissner19 August 2019 at 17:53

    Whoops - of course the MM picture is supposed to be the second "Coronation Scot" train which was red!

    I think ...