Wednesday 15 June 2022

A Series Of Snippets

Corporate Complications

The "other" bidder for GoAhead has popped back into the bull ring of corporate finance and asked GoAhead to reconsider their offer, possibly improved. The company concerned is Kelsian, also based in Australia. Here are some Kelsian pretty pictures.
They operate ferries as well ...
... and used to be called Sealink, but not that Sealink! So yet another antipodean group seeking to invest in the UK transport sector.

But please note; one of the Kelsian group of companies is ....

Tower Transit which has just been sold to Stagecoach.

Not previously recorded in this blog is a resolutely rejected approach to First Group from another global investment company.
If the First Group deal were to happen (unlikely - but you never know) this would leave most of the UK bus and rail industry in the hands of companies interested more in the "investment" than in running transport.

Nobody seems to want Arriva (currently owned by Deutsche Bahn and on the for sale shelf for ages). Poor Arriva, nobody loves you.
Can't think why!

And poor National Express! They bid for Stagecoach and got gazumped - there's nothing left for them to bid for. Unless they get Arriva on the cheap - in what is known in corporate world as a "fire sale"!!

Whatever the outcome, you can "bet your bottom dollar/euro/escudo" that it is the passengers who will suffer.

After Tower Transit, Another TT
Oldies like fbb will remember Tri-ang's range of toy trains branded as TT (for Table Top). They were to a scale of 3mm to the foot (OO is 4mm) and ran on a track gauge of 12mm. Like OO this made the track inaccurately narrow for a scale 4'8.5".
The smaller size did mean that you really could set up a layout on a table top.
But its popularity soon waned, leaving the gauge and scale in the hands of specialist modellers and a couple of European manufacturers of they furrin trains. For their age, and considering the mass production technology of the day, the models were remarkably good.
In an announcement that has shocked the modelling fraternity beyond rigidity, Peco have just launched a brand new range of UK TT products.
But this is NOT the Tri-ang TT of old.  The track gauge remains at 12mm but the scale is now reduced to 2.54mm to the foot - so micrometers at the ready, folks! 
This makes the 12mm track accurate for BR (and world-wide) standard gauge. Peco are at pains to point out that the sleeper spacing is exact for UK modelling.
To go with flexible track there is large (a k a "medium") radius pointwork ...
... not cheap but "beautifully formed"!

Peco is also offering a selection laser-cut "railway" model kits all to the correct 2.54mm scale.
On the horizon we find signals, small radius pointwork and (to be expected from Peco!) a selection of wagons.
"The lads" at Peco have even assembled a pretty model to show how the whole thing might look.
But there is a bit of a problem. Nobody produces locos or passenger rolling stock to run on it! Let's hope, for Peco's business plan, that these will be announced soon.

And a closer look at the TT120 station kit as assembled at Peco.

Lovely Doncaster Livery Delivery?
Readers may remember this bus. It used to look like this in Leeds ...
... and then like this is Sheffield.
But, most recently, it has been telling us to expect a super-duper new livery for the X78, Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster.
At the recent First Bus Doncaster depot open day it was revealed in all its glory.
It is branded "mainline", offers "up to every 20 minutes" when not long ago the X78 was every 10. But it is what appears between the decks that is, erm, disappointing. Next to the "mainline" is an unexplained pale blue squiggle.
Either somebody dribbled a spare bit of pale blue paint or it is meant to be the River Don. Who knows?

But worse is the summary list of names.
There is no such place as ConisbOrough.

It is Conisbrough.
Despite what some maps say, it is also Conisbrough Castle.
Is this an uncharacteristic Bearded Bus Beautifier from the Bush blunder, or bad briefing or not bothering from the bus bosses at First?

As yet there is only one vehicle so adorned. Perhaps they will get it right when (if) they do some more?

fbb thinks that the multiple diagonal lines are messy.

TT120 P.S.

It may be worth taking a 5 minute look at this Peco video launching the surprising TT120 range - effectively a brand new scale and gauge combo for UK modellers.

Tomorrow, a book review.

 Next holiday reading blog : Wed 16th June 

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