Sunday 28 February 2021

Sunday Variety



Today's service is live and ON-LINE.
with no congregation attending.
 Click on this link (here),
which will take you to the YouTube page.
Then click on the page for today's date.


Going Topless This Summer

It seems to be the thing to do. Once Boris lets us out of house arrest, we will, apparently, all rush out to travel on open top buses. Above is a Stagecoach "tease".

Meanwhile First Kernow's tree lopper ...

... has been spotted in operation at Minehead, doing its stuff for Buses of Somerset.
Less happily the service 20 from Weston super Mud ...
... is NOT topless. Apparently the Council (BANES - Bath and North East Somerset) have refused to carry out their statutory duty to trim the trees and want First to pay them to do it!

Seems unsatisfactory. Couldn't First Bristol borrow Kernow's "Grey Lady" and institute a bit of DIY?

Then we now have pictures of the actual buses that will operate First's new Dartmoor Explorer ...
... which will start on Sunday May 16th. That is always assuming .,..
Sadly, these are not open top but the service is planned to operate all year round and WILL be available to those with "Old Codgers" passes. A potential long day out for fbb?

'Anwell Upgrade
Hanwell Station's upgrade for the Crossrail/Elizabeth Line/TfL Rail service is now complete.
The main job had been the building of a lift tower from the north side access road, complete with anonymous Elizabeth line roundel ...
... and a lift from within the Subway that leads to Platform 2 from the Station Approach to the south.
The new Platform 2 lift has been clad in timber to match the rest of the building.
Thankfully the historic and quaintly rural station buildings remain.
More than that, the traditional station signs have been retained ...
... which is worth two or three chocolate peanuts for Notwork Rail.
The waiting room is also fettled up in a traditional and sympathetic manner.
What? No coal fire in the grate? Scandalous!

Hanwell presently has four trains an hour, two to Heathrow ...
... and two offering a connection to Reading at Hayes and Harlington. At some mysterious time in the future these four trains will dive into the real Cross Rail tunnels near Paddington and re-appear out east.

A Birthday Gift fbb Did Not Receive
'Tis a clock made to look like a standard mechanical B R shunting signal but somewhat smaller. Nice!
Many are now replaced by they new-fangled electric light thingeys - they'll never catch on!

East Midland Trains has painted one of its ex Virgin (?) HST power cars in trandition Inter City "swallow" livery and very smart it looks.
All they need now is a matching rake of coaches!

Meanwhile a computer buff has been playing with a YouTube clip of a Virgin (L N E R) liveried HST.
He has made traction and trailers appear is if painted in EMT ecclesiastical purple.
And here it was before red became purple.
fbb still prefers the InterCityl!
Somehow it looked more luxurious than blue and grey.

It's Amazing What You Don't Know
The thin, wiggly bit of Lyme Regis is a pain in the brake pedal. It gets clogged, things get stuck, often buses!
It would be nice of there were a back road that by-passed the town centre. Well, there is, BUT ...
From lower left, you can take Clappentail Lane ...
... down to the old Station hotel. Straight across into Roman Road is banned.
But you can hang a right and then a left into Haye Lane which is narrow and wiggly ...
... and leads into Roman Road - which is also narrow and wiggly.
Roman Road crosses the River Lymm on a bridge which is narrow and no wiggly (thankfully!) ...
... when you will find you way out to the official through route.

Amazingly it is a bus route!

Maybe stick to the main road?

Damory (Go Ahead) Service 71 has a near unfathomable timetable and map ...
... but you can spot the route and the bridge.

fbb really does need to explore Damory 71!

Tomorrow we are off to Gosport.

 Next Rapid Transit blog : Monday 1st March 

Saturday 27 February 2021

Saturday Variety

Le Mans : Town Of Two Stations

Most of us remember Le Mans for its celebrated 24 hour race (neeeeeeeow, neeeeeeeeow etc.) ...
... but the town had a splendid railway station ...
... which, come the TGV, got a massive make-over, At first glace it would appear that its original arched magnificence has been given over totally to steel and glass.
But observe the whole shebang more closely and you will see that ...
... the arches are still there behind the glass frontage. You will also see that a tram line passes in front, curving across the broad piazza. There are also some very snazzy looking buses.
Opposite the station's main entrance, and served by said tram, is Avenue Generale Le Clerc.
The trams have a similar amount of snazz!!
Also qualifying for a Le Mans "Snazz" award is the Hotel Concordia ...
... which looks a bit over-snazzed for the likes of the fbbs! Anyway, the Hotel Concordia used to have an off-street car park, which is has no longer because it is for sale. The car park is owned by a familiar name, Veolia - yes the bus and bin lorry operator that came to the UK, saw. and failed to conquer.
The reason a Veolia subsidiary owns it is that it was Le Man's coach station.
It was, when in use, a glorious example of Art Deco transport infrastructure.
Like the Tardis, it was much bigger inside!
It had a glorious waiting room ...
... a notable "guichet" for tickets ...
... and taxis outside for your homeward last leg.
C'etait vraiement magnifique. And it is for sale!

'Endo's Or 'Endisons
Sheffield's favourite sauce, far better that Worcestershire with which is is often sadly, confused, now features on a First Bus bus.
The former brewhouse is now owned by the University ...
... but fear not, the Relish to be relished by huge numbers of Sheffielders is now concocted in uncharacteristically new premises on the Parkway Industrial Estate.
How can such a fancy factory ever produce the real 'Endo's?

fbb has a confession. He has NEVER relished the Relish. But, in penitence, the old man has, as this blog is typed, ordered a bottle of the dark and spicy nectar via Amazon. It will replace the now finished bottle of Worcestershire sauce in Mrs fbb's kitchen cupboard.

Crossrail/Elizabeth Line/TfL Rail
Passers-by on Eastbourne Terrace (alongside Paddington Station) have only really been able to see hoardings around the new Crossrail building site. But pictures have been released of "down below".
It is all very impressive.
And very deep. But there will be trains down there sometime ...
... and somewhere to sit to watch it all happen.

Four Cheers For Transdev
The company is keen to stress that printed leaflets are still important and they will produce plenty.

It may be all on line - but it is much more useful and accessible all in pocket.

The company has also published photos of its van ...
... which, it claims, will be used for keeping roadside information up to date.

How refreshing. How sensible. How positive a plan with the aim of creating desire!

More stuff tomorrow.

 Next Variety blog : Sunday 28th February