Wednesday 19 January 2022

Catch-up in Cornwall (2)

Lack Of Nous - Mistake With MOUS

Due to lack of diligence, fbb misread the 6, M6, MOUS timetable and reported that the route ran every 30 minutes. Pish, tish, tosh and ferdaddle! It runs every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday, every 30 on Sundays. And in First Kernow's latest timetable book it has no route number as such, it is headed "The Mousehole.

Common Sense Prevails
Combined Services Presented?
Today's blog takes a look at the latest timetable book, but fbb is, himself, running a little late as this publication is dated from 31st October! This examination has been provoked by the substantial change of policy in the County. From "one network for the whole of Cornwall", consisting of two separate networks from First Bus and Go Ahead, there have been several steps towards making things better.
The very good news is that First is now admitting that there are extra journeys on some routes tendered to Go Ahead, and of course, fares are now inter-available so a First return will allow you back home on a Go Cornwall bus and vice versa; as below with journeys on the Tinner.
The red text is Go Ahead/Go Cornwall/Transport for Cornwall. fbb undertsands that First has always been prepared to include these journeys but the County refused, wanting to "own" all their "own" journeys. Thankfully common sense has now prevailed.

Well nearly.

Here is the evening service on route 27. Note that Go Ahead runs all the way to Bodmin, but First doesn't (apart from one solitary peak journey in each direction.
So, how do you get to Bodmin during the day when the First Bus service only runs as far as Carclaze.
It certainly isn't coming together if you want to go to Bugle, Roche Lanivet and Bodmin - or even to the exciting Cornwall Services!
It's a wodge of the usual suspects at providing fast food, plus a source of fuel and toilets. It has also got a Holiday Inn Express.
What you need to get to Bodmin during the day is Go Cornwall (GC) 26 or 26A. Like many GC timetables, this one is riddled with shading and notes, so it is easy to make mistakes, but the main daytime frequency is OK.
Surely it would be better to have  Monday to Friday panel and a separate Saturday table; far less chance of obfuscation.

If it really was all coming together, you might expect, at least, a note on First's 27 guiding the user to GC's 26/26a. Likewise on the GC 26/26a it would be nice to tell users that there is a daytime 27 from First, not just some oddly numbered evening journeys.

Of course, we know that the GC timetable books (blog to follow soonest) are advertised as showing everything, so you would be able to look there. Once again a note to that effect on both web sites would be very helpful.

Remember GC's up front web site doesn't admit to First's services. If you click on the timetable list you get what it says on the page ...
... just GC's 27 journeys. But, if you are brave and determined you can click on the PDF button and get the full combined timetable.

Why show the GC only tendered trips when you have got the full timetable available on the same web page?.


And, asks fbb in bafflement ...

What About The Atlantic Coaster?
It is well advertised on the web site and is the wonderful open top route from St Ives to Padstow ...
... a magnificent and glorious ride. But does it? Where is St Ives in the timetable?

Click on the Adventures by Bus panel and look for "when does it operate" ...
... and it draws a blank. Click on the "more information" button and things are even less clear.
Look closely at the network map and you will find the answer. Well you will find an answer, at least about the bit between St Ives and Perranporth ...
... but with no confidence as to which information is correct. But the timetable shows no times between St Ives and Perranorth, so maybe the timetable as published is right. If so, then the advert panel and its  "further information" is wrong.

It is perhaps a little unfair to criticise the few oddities, especially as the industry has been in headless chicken mode since March 2020.

But you have to ask the question, "If the GC booklets are truly comprehensive, why is First Kernow still producing its own?"

And there is another question. "What has happened to all those lovely buses that take folk to and from Truro College?" There used to be several oddles of them.

Its now a separate book, innit!

We will have a look tomorrow.

It's No Joke, Steam Not Smoke!
Some collectors still have their Triang locos with "smoke", indeed with "synchrosmoke".
In its new catalogue ...
... we are introduced to the concept 2022 style. Up to now the systems available generated smoke by heating a special oil dribbled into the tiny little "heater-upper" hidden below the chimney.
Hornby's new product uses some clever technology to generates "cold" steam (no, fbb doesn't understand - something to do with agitating the fluid until it turns into a very fine mist) using just water.
Combine it with DCC control and a sound chip (don't ask!) and your ludicrously expensive loco can chuff away making puffs of cold steam to match the speed and sound of the loco. Mind-blowingly clever and mind-blowingly expensive. Here is a video promoting the system as sold by a new company called TRS. Hornby's stuff is identical.
The mind boggles!

 Next Cornwall Catch-up blog : Thursday 20th January 


  1. Reports elsewhere suggest the First Atlantic Coaster, Discover Exeter Tour and Dartmoor Explorer have all stopped running without the public even being told? Surely not the case?

  2. They have stopped until the spring I think.