Saturday, 3 April 2021

Saturday Variety

 How Important Is The Tram?

You may well begin to wonder when you see the nonsense in operation from this evening from approx 1900 until the end of service on Easter Monday. The whole of Sheffield's tram network is closed for various complex bits of engineering work. Currently HMG is footing the bill for the trams, but, apparently NOT footing the bill for replacement buses.

So the noble and worthy South Yorkshire PTE has agreed to provide replacement buses where no other bus service exists. Norfolk Park Estate has no bus service at all ...
... so the PTE is providing a minimalist replacement bus this evening and all day tomorrow and Monday. This, of course, is also funded by HMG as part of its global disbursement via the PTEs
It runs as far as the largely unused Manor Top interchange ...
... where the tram stop is across the busy dual carriageway Ridgeway Road.
But what about the rest of the BLUE tram route, we hear your cry? Well now; tomorrow and Monday a replacement bus service will run from Gleadless Townend to Halfway leaving an unserved gap in the middle.
It is tough bananas if you want to use a tram to Halfway tonight!
And the bananas are even tougher should you wish to catch a tram on the next two days from the missing link ...
... and equally tough fruit from the plantain family if you were hoping to make a through journey!

The general view of the cognoscenti is that there is more than enough time to run through buses from City to Halfway and all parties are simply playing childish and sulky politics with HMG's dodgy funding policies.

For the rest of the tram system the advice is straightforward, viz catch a bus! Of course that is no problem if you can cope with Sunday timetables on the two days.

In practice, replacement buses are usually close to empty as folk use alternative real bus services or simply stay in bed!

But whatever the politics or the philosophy, the PTE's paltry provision must rank as one of its most crackpot projects.

From the public's point of view it is an utter disgrace and heads should be banged together until pink stuff dribbles out, a fate that befell Piggy in "Lord of the Flies".

Farewell Faithful Friends
The former Isle of Wight Underground trains are being shipped back to the mainland for scrap, starting with those bits that have been left rotting in their sidings for many a long month (year?) ...
... seen here being low-loadered onto the Wightlink ferry.

Meanwhile the upgrade of the Island Line in preparation for its new old Underground trains is now rumoured to be further delayed, probably until August. So Islanders will enjoy yet another triumph at the hands of the Project Management team who will all blame it on Covid!

Meanwhile, what about passengers for the Isle of Wight Steam Railway who would have used the new old train to travel to Smallbrook Junction and there transfer to the choo-choos?

There is no road or footpath access to Smallbrook (non)Junction Station so the current replacement bus service is no help. Answer:-
Presumably the one bus an hour service is designed to "connect" with the Portsmouth to Ryde ferry service ...
... which will be back soon ...
... but Wightlink cannot be bothered to tell you what the timetable might be!
Meanwhile the rumour mill is grinding very hard amongst so-called informed Vectensians.

Rumour 1 : The Portsmouth to Ryde ferry will never return to a half hourly service - even at peak; which makes the gazillions being spent on the new railway loop at Brading to provide a clock-face 30 minute headway to connect with the half hourly ferry seems something of a waste!

Rumour 2 : Even with the new loop, "the lads" are saying that there won't be enough time to get the train driver from one end of his shiny new old train to the other at Ryde Pier Head - so the timetable is unworkable anyway.

But don't worry.

Rumour 3 : The temporary walkway on the old Ryde Pier tram tracks installed for work on the main pier structure a while back ...
... as to become a permanent feature.
But it won't be under cover, despite the "artist's impression".

But you could easily turn the trains at Ryde Esplanade and let ferry passengers walk. It is lovely when it rains and even lovely when a brisk sou-westerly rages up from the Needles.

All Fools Day and Other Titters.
Suez Stuck Ship Sorted!
Nice idea, eh? Sadly BR diesels don't float too well. But good news! The recently formed Suez Canal re-enactment society is preparing for its Summer tour.

Fine Teases From Tyne and Tees
OK, Scarborough isn't on either the Tyne or the Tees - but why spoil a neat alliterative sub-heading by being over bothered by geographical truth? Anyway, Toon town is!
But the very best from Thursday must be from Railway Architecture guru, the youthful and exuberant Tim Dunn.
Indeed they do, Tim!
Twenty past six!

Believe it you Can't from Minster Grant
It ought to be a joke, but sadly isn't.
It sounds really exciting, doesn't it? But it isn't really.
It is a chunk from the Boris Bus Bonanza report published nearly three weeks ago; but dressed up to seem like further magnificent munificence.

Peterville Quarry Railway Progress
As well as cleaning the track and wiggling the electrics (both successfully achieved), fbb has begun work on several projects that were unfinished when things were packed away for the winter. The carriage shed rebuild was complete but the roof was no fixed down.
The girder structure, five Airfix/Dapol platform canopy kits ...
... needed strengthening and fixing to the new walls, then the actual roof could be added. But before that, fbb has experimented with internal illumination. IF it works, more will follow in later blogs, but, for the time being a temporary lighting rig is in place.
Previous attempt failed as the "legs" on the LEDs were steel and they rusted to nothing in the external dampness.
Now models are stored away from the weather over the winter, things might just work!

As most readers will know, fbb's modelling skills rely on the well-known Bodgitt and Fudge series of handbooks. After fbb had finished putting he carriage shed together, he realised that the building was not square - its footprint was shaped like a parallelogram, not much out of true but enough to ensure that the roof roof did not fit!

Thankfully observers can only see one side and the front of the building, so a recent decision by the railway's infrastructure manager to fit a new roller shutter door meant that some unbodging and re-bodging could be undertaken. The mis-shaped front awaits painting, a bit more filler and the fitting of the almost fully open shutter. But, through the obligatory thick fog it looks a lot better.
Thankfully, most of it will be well obscured when the water tower is back in place across the entrance.

More stuff tomorrow!

 Next Variety blog : Sunday 4th April 

They Think It's All Over
The disciples had fled; for them the fun-time with Jesus had come to an horrific end and they thought that they might be next for the nails!

Just one of the gang of twelve is recorded as being at the foot of the cross.
Standing close to Jesus' cross were his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved** standing there; so he said to his mother, “He is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “She is your mother.” From that time the disciple took her to live in his home.

**Throughout his gospel that is how John refers modestly (?) to himself. It is these intensely personal touches scattered amongst the heavy stuff that makes you realise this was reality not a fanciful fiction.

The High Priests were well  pleased as they had got rid of the threat from the upstart blasphemer. It was all over.

The Jewish authorities had successfully unloaded the problem on to Pilate, c/o a "not my problem" moment for Herod. It was all over.

And the Romans had disposed of a minor annoyance in an unimportant corner of their vast and successful empire. It was all over.

The tomb was guarded and sealed - just in case, although in case of what was not clear. But the Roman military mind wanted to keep it "tidy" with all loose ends tied. Above all the troublemaker was very dead.

Anyway, It was the Sabbath and nothing could happen!

On Holy Saturday## Jesus was an utter failure.

The whole business of saving the world, forgiving sins and offering the people a "new living way" to eternity was over - it simply didn't work out. The messiah had failed his messiahship.
All that was needed now was for the women to go to the tomb after the Sabbath was over and do what was required of them by anointing and wrapping. the body. Then the tomb could be permanently sealed and Jesus of Nazareth would join the ranks of all the other do-gooders and spiritual oddities that appeared from obscurity and returned thence.

Everyone thought it was all over! BUT ...

That's Easter

## Holy Saturday. People are wont to call today Easter Saturday, but ecclesiastically (and pedantically!) you can't have Easter Saturday until after you have had Easter - Easter Sunday. Today, the day when nothing happened, is Holy Saturday. Easter Saturday happens, largely unrecognised, in a week's time.


1 comment:

  1. Several sources suggest that the Island Line costs £4m to run, and takes £1m in revenue. Probably not the most effective way to pump £3m of subsidy into the island's public transport, let alone the "investment" into the "upgrade".