Monday, 4 January 2021

Post Festive Tidy-Up

Yesterday's blog vanished for part of the day. fbb found it under the table, mixed up with empty chocolate boxes, used wrapping paper, rotting Brussels sprouts and a snoozing Mr Tubbles. It was republished at at 1530. No idea what happened.

Mini Or Maxi?

At least one committed blog reader had commented that fbb's "mini" blogs over the Festive Season have been much the same length as his normal outpourings of omnibological verisimilitude. fbb would counter that by saying that size does not matter; it is the blog's content that defines mini-ness or maxi-ness. Writing a daily blog about an industry that has slipped remorselessly into rigor mortis has been a huge challenge; and sometimes standards have not been as high as fbb would like/

An on-line wag asked whether there is a name for the period between Christmas and New Year. Mr Higgorant should know that CHRISTmas started at 0000 on 25th December and ends officially on Twelfth Night, 6th January. Kriss-Muss starts in mid October (or even earlier!) and ends, with a huge sigh of relief at bed and bloat time on 25th December.

So, hopefully, the old man will now, post festive fun and frolic, find more taxing topics to tempt the tired transport trendsetters from their tempestuous travails and into more "rounded" postings. If not it will be the same varied offering as 2020.

Tomorrow, we do look at the controversial new London Underground map.

Meanwhile, Back In Berlin.
Funf Und Funfzig Plus Funf Gleich Funf! (3)
2020 saw the opening of a mini chunk of underground but, possibly, with maxi significance. The three-stop disconnected line U55 finally realised its destine and was joined, from Brandeburger Tor to line U5 at Alexanderplatz.

It was pictures of these three stations that provoked fbb to look back and describe the change. Readers will remember that many of the stations on U5 retain their utilitarian origins ...
... but the three newcomers are very different. Unter Den Linden's entrance is typically prosaic as it sits under the lime trees ...
... but down below ... all is black, white and 50 shades of grey. One writer describes it as 100% gloomy and only relieved by ...
... the arrival of a bright yellow train!

Rotes Rathaus ...
... cleverly named "Red Town Hall" (you may wonder why!) is similarly gloomy.
The only red is for the signs for emergency telephones ...
... although you might have thought the trumpets holding up the roof could have been painted red.

The third new station is Museums Insel but quite what island the Museum is on is unclear at first. Wikipedia saves the day as always. The Island in the River Spree is quite big ...
... and is named Spree Insel on the map, a name skillfully chosen because it is an Island in the Spree; dashed clever these Europeans! Apparently the top bit has a few museums on and near it ...
... one called the Altes (Old) Museum and next door (guess what?) ...
...oh, well done, you guessed!

Anyway, the neues U-Bahn station is not open yet.
But when it does open its doors (in 2020 we are told but ....) it will be black, white and grey like the others; BUT it will have a blue "starry starry night" roof. Berliners are justifiably excited.
As fbb has never visited these stations, he should, in the interests of even-handedness, point out that whilst some see only gloom, others are boundlessly excited with the revolutionary new architecture.

For U5, there may be more.

The grand plan for U5 originally included an extension that would run from the city centre to Tegel airport, meeting the U9 at Turmstra├če and the U7 at Jungfernheide. Platforms were even constructed at the two transfer stations, although they have never been used.

After 1991, when Berlin resumed its role as the capital of a unified Germany, plans for the U5 extension were quickly revived. The new part of the line would run beneath Unter den Linden, through the new Bundestag complex and the Hauptbahnhof - both then under construction - and onward to Tegel, perhaps one day extending even further.
Sadly for the grand plan, Tegel Airport ...
... has closed, replaced largely by the new Brandenburg site ...
... so that plan is, as they say, kaput! Alternative plans for U5 are being considered, depending on what actually happens on the ground at Tegel.

Well, that blog turned out to be less-mini than originally planned; so here are few bits and pieces as part of the tidy-up

Farewell and Hello.
Farewell to the Isle of Wights 1938 stock, having been in near continuous service for over 80 years. Preservation beckons, mayhap for two units but neither will ever run again under its own power.

And welcome ...
... to East Yorkshire's new X5 which starts today running between Goole and Hull, part of a plan to "improve" the corridor by reducing the frequency!

Subtitle Silliness
This lady was reading the story of the Magi from Matthew;s Gospel, appropriate on Epiphany Sunday. Sadly, the auto subtitle algorithm had the wise men going to Harrods rather than Herod. Maybe they bought the Gold, Incense and Myrrh in the food hall?

Furry Tailpiece
The cat is called Felix and he lives in Russia.
Well done - Felix!

Farewell, Again, Old Friends!
Sleep tight!

 Next cartographic blog : Tuesday 5th January 

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