Saturday, 21 March 2020

The Princess And The P - For Power (3)

But First ... VDV Is Spreading
The latest organisation to be infected with VDV (The Verbal Diarrhoea Virus) is Transport for Greater Manchester which, following the lead of the senior Traffic Commissioner, has circulated bus operators with guidance as to how TfGM will be dealing with registrations.

fbb thinks this can be realistically summarised as follows.

TfGM will NOT be dealing with registrations.

The following paragraphs is headed for E B S R operators.

You will have one point of contact for registrations under normal circumstances which is myself. This will only change in the event of sickness. Please ensure any first line correspondence in respect of registrations is addressed to and myself directly.

Registrations will not be checked or analysed and therefore we will be unable to review to identify any errors; operators will need to ensure that their registrations reflect the prevailing tendered service requirements at that time.

Where service changes reflect a change to the timetable only, then first submissions may comprise only of a timetable – preferably in pdf format. Multiple timetables on one file for first submissions is acceptable. If there are changes to the route then a summary of the route change will suffice.

Only one submission will be required from operators, operators are not required to resubmit registrations unless there are subsequent changes to the first submission. The registration submitted to the Traffic Commissioner must match this first submission. Any further changes will require further timetable/route submissions.

Operators are asked to accompany these changes with one document detailing separately for each service:
Traffic Commissioner reference (PC number)
Service Numbers
Summary of change

Where operators submit first submission timetables with the accompanying correspondence, we will return supporting letters in lieu of proforma within 1 business day.

Where operators do not submit accompanying correspondence, then supporting letters will be subject to delay and no guarantees can be made in relation to response times.

Final registrations submissions must be made as normal via the EBSR process, unless Traffic Commissioner guidance amends this requirement.

In addition to supporting letters from us, we will contact directly the Traffic Commissioner’s Office to confirm our support.

A similar outpouring follows for non E B S R operators! Hopefully managers will know which they are.

Again, it is worth remembering that TfGM as the "local authority" has no "command" of the registration process - its statutory duty is to receive a copy of the service registration and respond if it so wishes.

Again, the document tells its bus managers, all of whom are sitting at their desks bored out of their minds with nothing better to do, that the TfGM office will not be staffed until further notice.

There is no cure for VDV.

Beyond belief. Thankfully, Winnie did not have to worry too much about registrations when he send the boats to Dunkirk.

46202 : Turbomotive : Princess Anne
Having been rebuilt into a "normal" Princess class loco, poor 6202 had a very brief life. Her re-creation was completed in 1952 and, sadly, on the morning of 8th October in that year, she was a main player in the awful rail crash at Harrow and Wealdastone.
Fog was the root cause leading to missed signals, tragic loss of life and a really tough clear up.
A more thoughtful book may be worth a read.
The rebuilt 46202 was badly damaged ...
... and it was considered too costly to rebuild her, leaving this historic loco as one of the shortest lived named express engines in the UK.

When Hornby announced their key products to celebrate their hundredth year it cam as no surprise to hear that a completely new Princess would be on offer, initially in packaging that remembers the original Rovex product.
The Railway Modeller magazine for April (now available) has a review of the Hornby model.

Needless to say, it has moved on a bit since Rovex made its revolutionary Prinny in the early fifties.
Take a look at the valve gear!
Take a look in the cab ...
... and the fire glows realistically! But, above all, look at the detail all over this beauty.
And it is now to exact scale length - not the well-remembered one inch short of the past.

Of course, this all comes at a price. £190 in 2020.
If you want DCC, the new-fangled electric control system, the won't cost you too much more surprisingly,
In the centenary box, it will set you back nearly £250. Allowing for inflation, the cheapest (?) 2020 Prinny compares with the 1950 equivalent of just over £100 for a complete train set.
Modellers will happily pay for the quality product now available, but the whole deal is way beyond the trainset toy of the fifties.

And, yet again, too big and too expensive for fbb to consider.


The effect of the virus crisis on the bus and rail industry is spreading; so part of tomorrow's blog will sample some of the cutbacks.

 Weekend Roundup : Sunday 22nd March 

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