Sunday, 8 March 2020

Weekend Oddments (2)

Out With The Old - In With The New

The Old Still Serves Brilliantly!
Happy Birthday to the Forth Rail Bridge which was a youthful 130 years old aon Wednesday March 4th. 
It remains the most magnificent piece of engineering.
Although the train ride across is amazing, by far the best views are from ground level, this from the shore on the north side.
Somewhere up there are trains which look very tiny indeed.

Temporary Replacement for Old; Now Old
In Friday's blog about Finsbury Park park fbb mentinned Harringay Station (as opposed to Harringay Green Lanes. It is served by all stops trains from the Hertford Loop, trains which use the former Northern City line to terminate at Moorgate.
The station was opened in 1885 at the behest of the developers of the surrounding housing and has no road access. The only way in and out is by footbridge well hidden at the end of culs-de-sac on both sides of the line.
There used to be a substantial wooden building in an extension of the footbridge ...
The was burnt down in the early 60s as a consequence of an arson attack.
In about 1969 it was replaced by a simple hunt as a temporary replacement.
Over 50 years later the temporary building is still in use today.
A short distance north is Hornsey station also footbridge and footpath served from the east ...
... but with something a little more substantial on the west.
Here a substantial building at bridge level has been replaced by something smaller, more modern and in brick.
This is linked to the train-served  platforms by a second footbridge, separate from the public walkway across the full with of the tracks.

Overground New : LMS/BR Old
Reading reports of new trains between Gospel Oak and Barking and (at last) new trains on the "West Anglia" branches taken over by Overground ...
... reminds the old man of how much Overground-ification has improved its various lines.

On a trip to the Big Smoke with chum Stuart sometime in the late and hazy sixties (hazy because of old age and fading memory banks, not hazy because of puffs on "special" ciggies!), fbb requested travel to the ailing  Broad Street station, next to Liverpool Street and a once grand terminus for trains from Richmond.
From memory (unreliable as ever) the exit from the gloom-laden concourse ...
... was via the open-sided steps shown in the photo above. Of course the station was slated for closure, but worse, so was the whole line all the way from Broad Street to Richmond. How different it all is now.
The trains were equally dingy and the depressing atmosphere was not enhanced by bars at the cell windows. These were applied to prevent fbb (and doubtless many others) from perring out of the open windows and indulging in a little self decapitation in Primrose Hill tunnels.
The development of all these suburban lines belies the anecdotes pof those who will tell you how good the railways were before Dr Beeching spoiled it all.

New And Repeatedly New
Thursday last (5th March) was World Book Day and, as a Bibliophile beset by shortage of space and a desire to be prudent with available funds, fbb picks up a tweet from Transdev Harrogate Buses ...
... with a timely Book Day reminder.
... that 36s carry a "Library". What? Reading books when you can enjoy the view?

Again it is food to see how this service has developed, its improvement beginning under the leadership of one Giles Fearnley.

Under New Management?
Erm ... weren't these things already happening before the DaFT coup d'├ętat obliterated Arriva?

Will DaFT get the train builders to built faster. Will DfT get Notwork Rail to improve faster? Will DaFT get its own house in order?

All unlikely!

Under Much Older Management?
Faster? Porky pies!
In real comfort? Not on bus seats!
Blue and yellow? YES! They got that right.

 Next Finsbury Park blog : Monday 9th March 


  1. I loved the dereliction and abandoneded feeling of the North London Line in the 70s. Broad Street station was always empty in the off-peak, despite its location in the heart of city - and yes you did exit via the open stairway.

  2. Andrew Kleissner8 March 2020 at 14:26

    When I lived in North London in the late 80s, the service at Hornsey and Harringay was 6tph not 4. However there was no Moorgate service at weekend.