Saturday, 13 November 2021

Saturday Variety

Signs Of The Times (1)?

The above appears at Bedford railway station. It may confuse those arriving who mistakenly think they have alighted from their train at "Bedford" yet may need to catch a bus to "Bedford". "Bedford" should, of course, read "Bedford bus station".

Leaving the station, you will spot a fairly recognisable bus "thingey plus shelter".

It can even have buses parked, so that you know what the "facility" is. It is located on Ashburnham Road.
So why does the sign in the station tell you to "board at Midland Road Alexandra Road"? Or is something more scrolling along?

And where is Midland Road Alexandra Road?
It is round the corner and further away (see map above).
But there are a few caffs around, notably the Flying Pizza (which sounds somewhat dangerous!), where to rest you weary limbs whilst you work out which stop you want from the excellent signage.
There is, as you would expect, no "flag" at all on the shelter.
Fortunately, Alan (one of the many, this time the one from Northampton) has solved it. The stops on Ashburnham Road, right outside the station and designated R1 and R2, and are for buses going away from Bedford.

There is no stop at the station for buses going to Bedford bus station. For that you need the aforementioned stop on Midland Road, designated R3.

Now we can appreciate that the departure list at the station makes a bit more sense as does the scrolling (?) message along the bottom of the display.

There doesn't appear to be any on-line map from either Notwork Rail, East Midlands Railway or Stagecoach to show where these stops are. And, of course, they are not physically labelled as R1, 2 and 3.

It's called "Building Back Better Worse." "Worse" is the wrong word - it never was much good to start with.

Signs Of The Times (2)?
As we eagerly await the report, we can read the signs at bus stops in the town centre, as photographed at couple of days ago.
Message to the Council:- its a bit late!

A report has now appeared. fbb has glanced through 35 pages of aspirational pseudo-guff which can be summarised simply thus:-

Nothing much will change but we are expecting the government to pay us loadsmoney to tinker with the less frequent services that nobody wants to use.
A cunning plan indeed!

What We Need Is A London-Style System!
So cry Metro Mayors and many other politicians who seek to propose better bus services for their citizens. They should be careful what they wish for. Here is a headline from a recent blog from Roger French.
And here is just one paragraph from his pontification **.
** Please note that only the Pontiff (a k a Pope Francis) can, technically, pontificate.
Rog hasn't got the job ...
... yet!!

Give A Hand For fbb!
Long-term readers will doubtless remember that the old man has accumulated a collection of OO scale fuel tank wagons, an example of each model ever produced from the earliest days to present. But one model has been missing from the collection.

Hornby Dublo's first tank wagon was released in 1939 in three different liveries, Esso (buff), Royal Daylight (red) and Power (green). The green-liveried Power was a fake; no such tanker existed in reality but the colour was attractive for a toy train set.

Post WW2 Hornby Dublo adopted a coupling designed by Sydney Pritchard the founding father of Peco. Then the design of the tank itself changed with the usual  "PETROL" being originally "ETHYL" in red. 

The logo of Power was a rather spooky white hand.
Pre war Power tankers included this hand. But, to confuse matters, the hand remained on the model for a while post war as well.

The model illustrated at the head of this item was an fbb fake. It was a pre-war chassis with pre-Peco couplings but with a post war un-handed tank body added.

So you can get a white hand with a Peco coupling ...
... on a post war wagon! But, fbb always cherished a white hand and a pre-war coupling; a real pre-war model.

As we shall see tomorrow.

UNO 601 - Except U Don't
The 601, tagged the Alban Way, runs from Welwyn Garden City ...
... via St Albans to Borehamwood. So what, pray, is this?
Ingleborough is a mountain in the north west ...
... where its distinctive flat top is very recognisable. But fbb has never heard of a "Crossing". Aston is a suburb of Birmingham OR Sheffield but Wavesworth does not exist.

Intriguingly Chancet Wood is a small infill housing estate in sunny Sheffield, currently served by First Bus 76a every hour.

The twitterer was, apparently, extolling the virtues of London's multi-track destination displays ...
... despite the fact that such useful things are now expunged by the (n)ever-helpful Transport for London.
Interesting debate?

 Next Variety blog : Sunday 14th December 


  1. The online map for Onward Travel Information for Bedford is where they all are, on the National Rail website under Stations & Destinations
    It not only shows all of the stops and roads mentioned, but how to get to the bus station too. An extensive listing shows which stop to use for a wide range of destinations.
    It should be on display in the station somewhere - I don't know what GTR policy is (note - this is not an EMR station) but former fellow Go-Via company Southeastern is pretty good at keeping these up to date.

    1. As someone who ran railway stations for 10 years, these posters are often required to be displayed at each station...but generally in a really daft location