Saturday, 18 January 2020

Weekend Variety (1)

Stop Horsing About!
Simply a news item via the BBC that fbb could not resist.
There is no mention in the report as to what fare the animal paid or was paid on its behalf.

Just Weird!
This popped into fbb's twitter tray. No idea whatsoever!

O, OO, TT Then N Followed By Z and T
Somewhere in there is a question for the Only Connect "Sequences Round". Those letter sets chart the progressive small-isation in the field of model railways. "O" was the fondly remember Hornby Tinplate; "OO" came via Trix, Hornby Dublo and Triang (4 mm to the foot); TT a k a "Table Top" came from Triang (3mm to the foot) and then N.
N began in the UK as OOO with the first readily available train sets produced by Lone Star (famous for their iconic cap guns!) "TrebleOLectric".
The Loco, D5900 (so-called "baby Deltic") ...
 ... was crude and bore only a passing resemblance to the real thing.
The coaches were equally, erm, poor with solid sliding window apertures ...
,,, but they did have glazing in the bigger bits!

It was a good effort for the technology of the time, but the range did not expand and eventually disappeared. Enter Graham Farish with, amongst others, a rather fine (for the time) model of a GWR pannier tank loco. The same company, now part of the Bachmann group, has just released its latest version of the same model. A comparison shows how these tiny models have progressed over the years. In each case the top pictures is the "heritage" version.
Be amazed at the buffer beam detail and the brake rigging, both absent on the older model.
Even in and around the cab, a relatively simple area to model, you would think ...
... but the new model has separately applied handrails and much much better cab detail; sadly no cast brass number plate! And the model is approximately two inches long!

Z gauge (1.385 millimetres to the foot), produced by Märklin, is smaller still and T gauge is microscopic running on a track gauge of 3mm!

Danger! Dawlish Drenching
This snippet of news reached some of the national media in a recent burst of bad weather. To add to the woes of CrossCountry's Voyagers (which really do not like big waves), we now have a much-derided Pacer suffering a potentially more dangerous fate.
Four very dirty windows were smashed by a "freak wave". Fortunately the train was lightly loaded and only one person received "slight injuries" - but it was probably very scary.
After this unfortunate and exceptional mishap, will we now see yet more trains banned from the "dangerous" sea wall when the weather is a bit lumpy. Or maybe it was just a venerable but ancient Pacer reacting badly to the onslaught. Once they have all gone to the diesel unit heaven in the sky (or more likely, Sheol we say, to another place!) self-destruct windows may be a thing of the past.

The Disaster That Isn't High Speed 2
Whilst environmentalists and nimbies continue to bleat about the impact of the proposed line on terrified wild life, a twitterer has sent in a delightful photo of a train travelling at high speed on High Speed 1.
Notice the traumatised cattle fleeing the intrusive monster. 

We are right to be concerned about nature and its wildlife, but, usually, nature copes better that mere mortals with our intrusions. The cattle choose not to be mooved!

Thought - Of The Provoked Variety
In case you were wondering what to read over the weekend ...
The February edition of "Buses" contains, as usual, lots of jolly good stuff. Two articles in particular aroused fbb's interest. One, the "cover" article, considers the ever controversial question of route branding versus a single company image. The other, more worrying, charts Denbighshire's sorry experience in attempting to run electric buses on some rural services.

It's the batteries and the charging thereof.

Both topics have made their presence felt in previous blogs and the news that Stagecoach is planning a revamp of its livery and general PR means that the subject won't go away.

 More varieties blog : Sunday 19th Januaty 


  1. Andrew Kleissner18 January 2020 at 09:10

    As someone who lives very close to where the "horse" incident took place ... The media has made light of the incident but it could have been extremely serious. I remember a similar incident some years ago on the A14 near Ipswich where both a driver and a horse were killed. I'm not quite sure if it was the bus driver who took the initiative as I know there were calls on our local community FB page for someone to source a horsebox. I believe the passengers were not "hoofed off" the bus but allowed to complete their journey!

    However I am sure of two things: the horse didn't need to pay as the H59 bus is a free service between a P&R site and Cardiff Hospital (an excellent service which I've often used); and that the horse left ample evidence of its presence on the bus!

    I had a Trebl-O-Lectric train set - and the earlier push-along Lone Star models from which it was derived!

  2. Could the cattle by the line have been models?
    Possibly a good conspiracy to get FBB!

  3. The Pannier cabs appear to be correct on both models. The older one is as carried by the 57xx version, and the newer version by the 64xx (auto-fitted). Round spectacle plates can be found on at least some 57xx examples. Much more information here: