Tuesday 8 June 2021

A Quango, The Lingo, Bingo! A Fandango (2)

Did you spot it?

There it is, a brand new bit of railway line providing a direct link between Leicester and Coventry. Midland Connect has come up with a spiffing idea to link the two cities with a brand new rail service - which will cost a modest £100 million.

To make sense of this proposal we need to step back a bit.
Nuneaton Trent Valley station, on the West Coast main line was a major and complex junction. Travelling north towards Stafford there was a left turn for Birmingam and a right turn for, ultimately, Loughborough. Travelling south towards Rugby the left turn led to Leicester and the right to Coventry. Of these, only the route to Loughborough is closed; the other three still carry passenger services.

But things have changed. If you take the B4114 towards Coleshill, you will soon cross the railway line from Birmingham, followed very closely by the Coventry Canal. From the canal bridge, gaze to your left and a small single storey brick building is visible.
This is the last remnant of Nuneaton Abbey Street station originally owned by the Midland Railway and closed in 1968.
The remnant was the passenger shelter for those wishing to travel to Leicester.
Trains on this route tended to eschew Trent Valley and take the avoiding line, itself now closed ...
... as Leicester trains now have a shiny new flyover to get them into the remaining station. Many moons ago, fbb and Northampton Alan used to classify the grottiness of BR stations in units of "Nuneatons" based on their experience of interchange between Abbey Street and Trent Valley.

The Coventry line enjoys an hourly local service.
So along comes the Midlands Connect Quango with their cunning plan, received with great enthusiasm by all concerned ...
... and feted by the local press.
Currently such a journey would involve the local from Coventry to Nuneaton, then a change to a Birmingham to Leicester train at Trent Valley. The through journey is pitifully slow.
Helpfully, Midlands Connect provide a detailed (?) map.
A chum contacted fbb to recount this plan and he reported that the money would be spent on "building a tunnel under Nuneaton".

fbb thinks not. Look at the old map of the Coventry, Leicester and Rugby end of the junction.
And lo! There is a line linking the Coventry branch with the Leicester Line via bridge (a "dive under") below the main line. fbb confidently expects that the Midlands Connect plan would do reinstate this link. A look at Google Earth suggests that the route is still there lost in substantial undergrowth.
New-build Caernarfon Drive comes to a dead stop at a fence behind which the new track and train service will run.
Obviously the estate's developers are eyeing the chance of developing into that undergrowth-covered triangle.

But there might be a little snag with the Quango's fandango! Unusually the MP has spotted it!
A chocolate peanut for Marcus!
The new super half hourly service from Nottingham to Coventry via Nuneaton will not actually serve Nuneaton because it will not find its happy way into the station, merely passing by on the by-pass.
The Nuneatonian headlines are somewhat different from  those at Leicester or Coventry!
fbb thinks they mean that the trains must stop at Nuneaton - the upgrade can go all the way!

Of course, all the joyousness of speeded up running times will be somewhat mitigated by a trundle into the station, a wait while the driver changes ends and a longer wait whilst several Pendolinos storm through with absolute priority over the backwater bumble between the home of the Sky Blues and the Foxes.

Will it ever happen?

Midlands Connect is a splendid talking shop but, as is so often the case with such campaign groups, they have no money!

So the cunning plan (either via Nuneaton or avoiding Nuneaton) joins the many other cunning plans awaiting the disbursement of funds by H M Treasury.

Will it ever happen? Guess!

fbb was enjoying a cup of coffee whilst seated in the extensive grounds to the front of fbb mansions when along came a delivery from Potbury's in Sidmouth. Potbury's have an auction house, an undertakers and a posh shop. The company does have a link to Public Transport as their yard is a Stagecoach micro bus depot once auction business is over for the day.
Anyway, here is yesterday's delivery in progress.
It was the tag line below the logo and name as painted on the side of the "box".
Two possibilities arise. (1) are beds "furniture" or not? Or/and; (2) is the furniture "quality" and the beds, well, not worth buying?

Answers on a postcard to the usual address!

More Marquee Making Moments
In amongst making a large pot of tomato soup (tinned toms, onion, red pepper, potatoes for thickening, herbs and stock) fbb has continued, using the guidance of his mentors Bill Bodge and Fred Fudge, with work on the Marquee for Peterville's station caff.

It is seen here "posed" in its eventual "situ".

Hopefully some tent poles will eventually materialise to hold up the canvas.

 Next Jurassic blog plus : Wednesday 9th June 

1 comment:

  1. Andrew Kleissner8 June 2021 at 07:23

    The question is, should "Quality" be regarded as an adjective? When I was a child, it was definitely a noun (except, perhaps, in the case of a certain brand of chocolates)!