Monday, 25 January 2021

Monday Variety

 Shameful Shed Shambles!

When fbb published the above picture, supposedly of a guy who had bought a shed for his garden, fbb missed the point. Class 66 locos are nicknamed "Sheds" ...
... because the triangular shape of the roofline looks like a typical garden shed roof.
Maybe, if it has windows in the end? But that's a problem with old age. fbb was brought up on Jubes, Pates, Prinnies and Jinties - not Sheds.

Central & Penn - A Tale Of Two Stations!
Pictures of Grand Central Station in New York ...
... complete with wonderful lighting.
It takes you back to when rail travel was luxurious, pleasurable and largely unhurried.
Now serving just three commuter lines ...
... travelling north ...
... the station lost its inter city status in 1992 when Amtrak focussed its services on nearby Penn Station.
Much of the building above was demolished in 1963 in an act of architectural vandalism that has, probably, never been exceeded in the USA.
The platforms were always below ground level and that is where you will find them today - but without the magnificence of the original building.
But at least the colonnades remained ...
... although nothing above ground is in railway use. 

"One once entered the city like a god. One scuttles in now like a rat,” the architectural historian Vincent Scully famously wrote.
It makes the loss of the Doric Arch and the Grand Hall at Euston seem rather small by comparison.
The rest of the station was pretty much a dark and dismal dump.
Plans for the new station facilities (incorporating HS2 platforms) seem very fluid and many would like to see the arch (which isn't an arch, it's a propylaeum!) return.
An interesting (and very expensive!) idea - but somehow it doesn't look right.

We shall see.

Flyer Flies Further
Transdev took over the services from Leeds, Bradford and Harrogate to the Airport at the very end of August last year. Now comes news of a further development.

The A3 is, from 21st February, to be extended via Pool to Otley.
This will bring an hourly service from Otley to the Airport and Bradford via the somewhat less direct route through Guiseley and Shipley.
It is an odd time for such a route development, with the airport now extremely quiet and most folk locked down - but whatever the motives it is good to see SOMETHING happening in the bus industry, facing a continuing perioud of nothing much!
Nothing at all on the Flyer web site yet. Do all Flyer pass3ngers plus folk from Otley spend their lockdown days reading Tweets from bus companies?

Behold, Beauteous Bridges!
The new Forth road bridge from the venerable Forth rail bridge. The old Forth road bridge lies between the two but has faded into obscurity, eclipsed by the tower lighting beyond.

Breaking News
Great enthusiasm from the East-West Railway campaigners, but this money will only get trains from Bicester to Bletchley with a new station at Winslow. Mr Heaton-Harris (this week's rail minster) implies that it is a good start and the rest will follow.

The government said works between Bicester and Bletchley are expected to create 1,500 jobs.

Work will include the construction of a new station at Winslow, as well as enhancements to existing stations along the route, including Bletchley.

By 2025, two trains per hour will run between Oxford and Milton Keynes via Bletchley it is claimed. A second section of track could be laid between Bletchley and Bedford by 2028, and the final stretch be completed by 2030.

In a typical burst of incompetent  journalism, the writer of this piece hasn't quite grasped that there already IS a line between Bletchley and Bedford, so there is no "second sections of track to be laid"!!

Mr Heaton Harris, the rail minister at DfT, acknowledged the project was on an “ambitious timetable”.

Asked how it would affect the expressway (new road) project, he said: “I think my secretary of state [Grant Shapps] was asked about this recently and he gave that answer that the road project was paused.

“I am quite hopeful if we can do this – and the timescales we are looking at are doable: the first service by 2025, next to Bedford by 2028 – in that time we would have been able to demonstrate that if people vote with their feet that the paused road will be paused for a very long time.”

The expressway project was paused as part of the government’s budget in spring 2020.

Enthusiasm is clouded, however, by the news that the line will not be electrified.
Diesel engines? The Twittersphere is incandescent!
Quote right too.
Of course the BBC always knows better and has, in some miraculous way, found out how the new line s (East/West and North East) will be operated.

And The Great Debate
Over the weekend the Twittersphere has been throbbing with heated and sometimes acrimonious debate.Some things raise the omnibological hackles more readily than other. This is one such topic, joined in the last few days by such eminences as Ray Stenning (taking a break from creating desire) ...
... and Alex Hornby, (taking a break from viat Witchway duties).
the question ois, which is he right way to eat a sconn (or scone) with jam and clotted cream.
Well, neither of the above is correct as the sconn/scone has not been buttered first. From a purely practical point of view if the jam goes on first topped by the cream, you can get more jam and more cream on the one cake.

Irrespective of racial or geographic prejudices, jam first gives a better, more calorific scoff every time!

Debate over!

 Next comparison blog : Tuesday 26th January 


  1. I thought you were going to mention the new appropriation of the Post Office building adjacent to Penn Station for railway purposes.

  2. £760m to replace (part of) the X5 coach...
    Meanwhile £34m for the Northumberland line is reported as connecting communities to new job opportunities, as though the frequent bus services don't already do this - and which will no doubt be reduced when (if?) the rail line does open.

  3. I think FBB has misunderstood Penn station a bit - the building with the colonnades is the new extension (though the shell itself is old, as it used to house the post office)