Monday, 18 January 2021

Monday Variety

 Then And Now

As it was back then, lots of blokes shovelling ballast and humping heavy rails. And now ...
... less blokes and blokesses and lots of very clever machines!

A New Shed For The Man Of The House?

Sadly, no room at fbb  mansions.

Just A Great Picture

Stay Safe ... But Where?
Statistics show that most infections come from interaction with other people, socially or at work. Statistics show that a train or a bus is one of the safest places to be.
So should the government be demonising Public Transport?

Bored With Lockdown 1 ?
Collecting rocks with at least one flat-ish face is one suggestion from a Twitterer. There are plenty of nice round pebbles just a few yards from fbb mansions!

Then use them as your canvas!
Transport for Wales on a chunk of solid Welsh rock.

Disaster Strikes

Instead of spending much fine gold (well over £100 nicker) on a pre-war tank wagon, fbb decided to make a surrogate version. Take one pre-war box van ...
... in tatty condition and thus only £20 (only!) and add a cheap, but wrong, Power tank body at £6. Like many museums which cannot afford the real thing, a good repro at least gives the punters an idea of what things were like.

For many, many years all Hornby Dublo wagon were attached by little tabs to the same bog-standard cast chassis ...
... there they are, in the centre and nestling below the outer edge of the cast metal wheels. East peasy!
Take the tanker's body ...
... also with tabs and insert same into the slots in the box van chassis ...
... and the pastiche is complete! Seemples.

Only it wasn't!
The tank body has four end tabs which fitted exactly. The middle of the tank sits on a piece of cast metal which, in turn, should fit in the centre two tab slots.
Its purpose will appear obvious in due course. Only it didn't fit. Thus the whole thing would not sit properly; so, try to ream out the slots just a smidgen so the thingey would drop into the slots as its designers intended.
Then IT happened. So incensed was fbb in self imposed venom that he forgot to check the out-of-focus picture he took ...
... but his precious £20 pre war chassis split asunder. fbb assumed the foetal position in the cupboard under the stairs (well, not quite) and snivelled pathetically.

The whole project ruined? Another pre-war wagon required?

Why not just glue the bits back together. As Hamlet said (Act 3, Scene 1):-

To glue, or not to glue, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of damage,
And by some glueing end it: to glue or not;
To glue, or fail to glue; aye, there's the rub,

The material from which Hornby Dublo's castings were made is a sort of metallic porridge. It doesn't deform easily but when it does it tears, distorts and shrinks (yes, shrinks) and, most importantly, does not always go back together. 

And fbb's broken bits didn't! It took a couple of hours of patient filing, a tiny bit at a time, to get the bits back together. The effect of the "stretching and shrinking" deformation of metal is shown by the tab slot which literally ripped apart,
There were no bits of metal left over to fill the bigger gap. Milliput ahoy!

But the result, courtesy of Superglue ...
... was less than ideal, but bearable compared with the "good" side.
A dob of dark grey paid will hide a multitude of filing and glueing sins and the old man must remember to take his photographs from the un-slaughtered side.

But there is still that bit to fit!

The conclusion to this sad and sorry tale will appear later in the week. If there is a positive conclusion. If fbb jumps on the whole thing and throws it in the bin, there may be NO conclusion to be published!

But it seemed a good idea at the time.

Bored With Lockdown 2 ?
While fbb is footling frustratedly (?) with tank wagons, Mrs fbb is busy with her skills. Hat by the Mrs, grandchild (Sophie, not overly enthusiastic!) of chums from the Isle of Wight

Service Reductions - To Be Expected?
On Tuesday 12th January, Sheffield Supertram announced Virus related cutbacks, with the previous timetable ending on Saturday 16th. With just a few days' notice the Blue and Yellow routes have reduced frequencies and the Purple and Tram-trains have revised times.

There is a summary of the changes on the Supertram site and Travel South Yortkshire ...

In response to reduced passenger numbers as people follow travel guidance, and also to ensure continued service reliability, the Supertram timetable will change from Sunday 17 January.  Full timetable details will be available on the Supertram website (, but a summary of services is shown below:

Blue and Yellow routes will operate a 15 minute frequency throughout the daytime Monday to Saturday, with a 20 minute frequency early morning and 30 minute frequency in the evening from around 7pm.

Sunday frequency will be every 30 minutes on all routes.

Tram-Train services will continue on the current 2 services per hour frequency.

Purple route frequency is unchanged, although some timings are altered.

As of yesterday, only Supertram had the actual timetables available ...
... and GoTimetable Sheffield, of course.
fbb does not intend to report in general on these emergency cutbacks, except where publicity for them is really really bad OR really really good! You would suppose that, in these unprecedented times, 5 days notice of a timetable chop[ is the best we can expect.

Let;s hope tram customers have the nous to keep a close watch on the web site; or they may be in for a bit of a surprise this week.

Printed timetables? Guess?

 Next Perfection In Paris (?) map blog : Tuesday 19th January 

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