Monday 31 October 2022

Monday Variety

Pleasing Perth Prices

You get a very weedy ticket! The machines seem do-able with clear instructions and you can pay a bus driver (possibly with Covid restrictiions.
But the important question is, "Emma Chizzit" (UK readers will be able to translate from Strine, fbb hopes!)

The web site explains at some length as follows:-

How Transperth fares work
Our fare system uses a combination of zones and time limits. Usually, one fare lets you travel anywhere within a certain distance of your starting point until the time limit expires, on any combination of bus, train or ferry services.

The Zone map ....
... is provided on-line with the caveat that it is only a "rough guide" and you may need to check zone boundaries. (Where and How?). There are at least NINE zones to cover the extent of Transperth services.

But it is clear that the fares are on the same standard scale whichever transport mode you are using; bus, train or ferry. So, three cheers for Transperth, no rip-off fares to the airport!

And here are the fares ...
Currently an Australian Dollar is worth about 55 pence. That makes a two zone ticket £2.75 or a day ticket £5.50. But what about a 5 zone ticket, or a 9 zone ticket?

The MAXIMUM single fare the 2-zone fare at five Ozzy Dollars or just £2.75. And it is even cheaper with various discount cards!.

So what is a "two section" fare as opposed to a 2-zone fare?

Two-section fare
This is our name for a trip of 3.2 kilometres or less. It gives you a one-way ride on a single bus, train or ferry service.

So a short hop fare using the "two sections" label which might refer back to a previous fare scale. The shirt hop is actually quite long!

Then what about a Family Rider, priced at the same as a one-person day ticket?

FamilyRider for up to SEVEN people
A cash ticket that gives a group of up to seven people unlimited travel on the day of purchase, provided no more than two of them normally pay full fare. You may buy one at the following times.

Weekends and public holidays
any time.

Monday to Thursday outside school holidays
after 6.00 pm.

Fridays outside school holidays
after 3.00 pm.

You woud guess that schools close early on Fridays.

Monday to Friday during school holidays
in Zones 1 to 4 – after 9.00 am.

Monday to Friday during school holidays 
in Zones 5 to 9 – after 8.30 am.

Complicated, but a bargain if you fit their times.

Which just leaves us with the time restrictions to calculate.

Time limits
Transperth fares are valid for a limited time and this time varies depending on how far you are travelling:

Travelling one to four zones
your fare is valid for two hours

Travelling five to nine zones
your fare is valid for three hours

The two-section fare is valid for a single one-way journey and cannot be used to transfer between services.

Cash tickets will have an expiry time printed on it. You can ride on any number of bus, train or ferry services to complete your journey provided you get on board before the expiry time.

In case you haven't twigged; although the maximum fare is £2.75, you need ti specify how far you are going to invoke the Zone/time restrictions.

Observant readers will have noticed that the 2 Zone ticket illustrated at the top of this blog is for an out-of-date fare.

Needless to say, if you use the Transperth equivalent of "Oyster" or "Tap and Pay" on a debit card, your total will bett automatically capped at the ten dollar day fare.

There are assorted concession fares and the electronic equivalent of season tickets, but UK readers can just marvel at a ride from Central Perth to the airport for just £2’.75 cash or £2.50/£2.20 with various discount cards!

It almost makes you want to go to Perth and ride around for a few weeks.  Forget about sweltering on Bondi; ride on bus, train and ferry for the day then back to the hotel for a barbie and to split a few tubes.


Too bad that it's a long way and a costly way to go.

Depending in time constraints with the Saturday and Sunday duplicate fellowship meetings coming up at the weekend, fbb may take a look at buses and longer distance rural train services.

And there is still Perth Underground station!

Don't Use The Bus - Buy A Car
At first Roger French thought that Arriva were offering to buy your car and sell you a cut price bus season.
Southern Vectis tried something similar a few years back. It was ineffective!

But, alas, no. will, indeed, buy you car and then sell you another one.
Yet another good idea to reduce the number of passengers!

How It Should Be Done
The travel centre is run by West Yorkshire PTE (Metro) and within its portal you will find racks of bus timetables.
The leaflets are from Transdev Keighley Buses.

These two sets of piccies are via twitters from Roger French. The Bearded Bus Beautifier from the Bush was quick to twit a reply ....
A batch of Brontë bus leaflets were loaded upside down!

Observant? Or just a bit picky?

As well as selling cars, how is your printed publicity doing, Arriva? And how many of your enquiry offices are still open?

Sorry, fbb forgot. You don't want passengers, do you?

fbb's Hangover!
Some time ago, fbb reported that, as part of his burgeoning tank wagon collection, he had purchased a new Hornby container wagon c/w three demountable tanks.
Yes, of course; yhen, as now, fbb posted the picture vertically because it was too long to be appreciated when correctly orientated..

But these models have a huge problems on today's model railway layouts.
See how much hangover (more usually referred to as overhang) there is on a two-point crossover. And consider the various tensions when this wagon is coupled to another similar. The swing at the couplings is equally horrific.

And yes, fbb's wagon does tend to fall off, especially if coupled to other wagons!

Thankfully it is part of the old man's display section and would not normally run to Peterville Quarry!

Puzzle Picture
Where was this signal box ...
... and where is it now? Answer tomorrow.

The answer's not hard if you know The Shard!

 Next Northampton blog etc : Tuesday 1st Nov 

Sunday 30 October 2022

Sunday Variety

 It IS All On Line ... And ...

There at the top of the home page is what many Perth (Australia) people will be wanting to check out - namely the new Airport Line. But what comes up next on the graphic is even more helpful.
Also "front and centre" you get the considerable list of bus changes that have been made to integrate fully with the new train service. It would be tedious for fbb to explain them all and possibly well beyond the old man's pay grade! Suffices it to say that there are two network maps for the "greater" High Wycombe area; one for the more spread out eastern bits ...
... an one for the more closely packed areas including the three new stations.
Of course our readers, unless residents or keen visitors to Pert will struggle with these, but just take a look at a more detailed extract.
There is no colour coding by route or groui pm of routes, but the detail is easy to follow. Only one local bus serves the airport itself (37) ...
... but the blue-blob T1. T2, T3 and T4 are intriguing. They refer to the FOUR terminals (three domestic, one international). 

As well as car park shuttles ...
... there are special buses to link the two terminal blocks which are on opposite sides of the main runway.
Transferring between terminals

There are two terminal precincts at Perth Airport that are separated by a short, 15-minute drive: the T1/T2 precinct and the T3/T4 precinct.

If you need to transfer between T1/T2 and T3/T4, taxi and rideshare services are available on the respective terminal forecourts.

The terminal transfer bus is also available and operates every 20 minutes between 06:00am and 22:00pm and every 30 minutes between 22:00pm and 06:00am. 

The Ozzies don't seem to bother with the 24 hour clock!

... Printed As Well?
Back to the train. The web site provides a PDF of the train timetable for those who like to do their own thinking and planning, eschewing journey planners and the scrolling on-line timetable. Hopefully these are available in printed form.
There is, sadly, no network map to enhance the route specific information but a second version of the line diagram appears, tperhaps unnecessarily, inside.
The timetables are thorough using repeat patters for the standard 15 minute 7 days a week frequency. Trains run every 12 minutes at peak (it is a long peak!) and every 30 minutes at the extremes ends of the day.

For UK eyes the layout takes a few minutes to get used to as it is horizontal rather that the usual vertical table that fbb is used to. Every stop is timed as per th extract below.
At just 10 minutes for a ride to Perth central it will beat the traffic at any times of day. As wyll as the usual advertorial material, there is a useful diagram showing which platform you need for onward travel.
Two more snippets to investigate, then. What is "Perth Underground" and where or what is "Australind!?

And wht about fares? Shoukd we expect the usual rip-off "premium" fares to and from the airport?

Readers, please control your excitement. We will resolve these matters in tomorrow's blog.

But, it looks as if the new Airport Line is worthy of a "world-wide" chocolate peanut?

But Not In Sydney?
That's over on the east coast and a long way from Perth; 3935 kilometres or 2446 miles in the old money. Australia is, to use a technical term, big.
Route 37 runs locally from Bronte to North Bondi ...
... and yes, that is as in Bondi Beach!
The route is local in that it does not go into central Sydney.
At North Bondi it has a little turning area shared with routes into Sydney itself ...
... with the silver sands and swelling surf just a short stroll away!
At Bronte, the 379 lays by in full view of the sunshine and sea!
fbb doesn't do "hot" but it would all be lovely to look at before retreating to an air con hotel room. It is something of a contrast to an occasionally sunny Seaton.

Anyway, the 379 runs every 10 minutes as the PDF timetable on-line shows (extract only below!).
It was a twitterer whose twit intrigued fbb, especially after the item yesterday on Central Bedfordshire's appalling departure list!

Here are some shots of the information at a typical 379 bus stop.
There are three columns of departure times, presumably for Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This is an extract from what appears to be the Saturday list, although there is no heading to confirm that. It was the  middle one.
Seems OK? But look closely and you will see that there are NO BUSES between 0825a and 1908a (where "a" does NOT mean "am"!)
What's going on?

Well, in another frame beside the strange departure list all is revealed; or it isn't.
This suggests that there is a slight possibility. that buses run every 10 minutes and, aha, there it is, at other times refer to departure lists.

Well it makes a bit of sense, but what a messy and potentially confusing way to say it!

What is wrong with "and then every 10 minutes!?

And Now - Obscure Bus Models
After a plethora of one-off expensive BR loco models, we now have some less well remembered bus models from Rapido Trains. The company began its foray into bus models with the Birmingham half-cab "new look" Faimler (i.e. with tin front hiding he traditional radiator).

They followed this with the Birmingham  and WMPTE Fleetline ...
... with umpteen different route numbers and in umpteen different liveries. "Got to catch 'em all" as the kiddies used to say about Pokemons!

The latest Fleetlines come in the liveries of (mainly) disappeared independents. One is of particular9 interest to fbb, namely Andrews of Sheffield.
Andrews was a key player in the post deregulation competition shambles that engulfed Sheffield's much loved bus system and from which it never recovered! This decker is shown as competing on the busy (and presumably lucrative) 501 to Mesdowhall shopping paradise.
Rapido have priced it at £54.95 but, at that price, fbb will NOT be tempted!

Andrews, and its Ecclesfield depot, later fell into the hands of Stagecoach.

More stuff tomorrow.

 Next Variety blog : Monday 31st October 

Saturday 29 October 2022

Saturday Variety

Transperth To The Airport

Trying to follow the brand new Perth "Airport" branch "on the ground" is a bit of a struggle as it is all very new. 

Once upon a time Bayswater had a cosy little railway and a sweet traditional country station ...
... seen in 1901 long, long before Transperth Metro was ever thought of!

The new line forms a junction with the "Midland" line at a more recent Bayswater edifice which, c/o Google maps and streetview, still seems an innocuous little station.
But such modesty would, surely, be inappropriate for a junction with the new branch and, now under construction, a second branch running north-ish to Ellenbrook.
Needless to say, Bayswater is getting a massive rebuild! And there's a video all about it.
A bit different eh?

Streetview shows the construction at an early stage ...
.... but it seems that the new line plunges into tunnel ...
... lower right, to cross the Swan River. Perth's Redcliffe road bridge is a bit bigger that Bristol's!
Despite the new railway, this massive bridge is being widened to take yet more road traffic! 
At Redcliffe, Streetview shows nothing but a dual carriageway cutting through scrubland!
These carriageways are being opened into a sausage shape with Redcliffe Station constructed in the sausage.
A more recent bit of Streetview shows the station under construction across a blasted heath!
Then it is back into tunnel again to reach the Airport Central station guarded stoically by the massive control tower.
The line then turns south to terminate in fresh air at High Wycombe.
There is an 14 minute video on line showing High Wycombe train station and its bus connections, but it is just what is says on the tin; three car trains ...
... and many buses at the substantial bus station.
It is worth noting the utterly obvious, namely that buses and trains are all operated under the same banner, Transperth; and they all share the same grey and green house colours.
There were also bendy buses!
What spoiled the overall impression a tad was the preponderance of windows obliterated by contravision. POOR.
It would be fair to say that, when the video was made, there wasn't a substantial number of passengers on either trains or.  buses. But it has only been running for a few weeks, so give it time.

The station is in a "brown field" ex industrial area, seen here under construction ...
... but all the bus routes that formerly served High Wycombe urban area have been diverted or extended to the new interchange from day one!

None of this "waiting until it is commercially viable" nonsense in High Wycombe!

More on fares and timetables to follow.

Bouquet & Brickbat for Beds
Correspondent Katie emailed fbb with effusive praise for Central Bedfordshire Council. She even suggested, generously, that the local authority deserved one of fbb's rarely awarded chocolate peanuts.

Why this unsolicited enthusiasm?

Central Bedfordshire had ensured that their electronic displays for soon to be Ex Stagecoach 72 and 73 were programmed with a comforting notices about the continuation of the routes under the reliable busmanship of Grant Palmer Ltd.

These screens were displayed well before this coming Monday's change ...
... and they gave the company phone number as well!

fbb was just arranging for a small-time local radio personality to award the chocolate peanut at a ceremony at the Grant Palmer Flitwick depot and was going on to invite the world's press and tv when Katie sent another picture

Central Bedfordshire has posted departure lists (no timetable, of course, that would be a silly idea!) at bus stops before the change happens; better, fbb concedes, than waiting until several days afterwards.

But just look at what is posted.
Not only are both services mixed up on the one list ... BUT ...

(How it should be done if you MUST have departure lists)
One table for all buses from Bedford to Sandy
One table for all buses to Potton
One table for all buses to Bigglswade

... BUT ,,, and a ghastly BUT ...
... BOTH DIRECTIONS appear on the same table.

Has anyone ever heard of anything so crackpot! To compound the stupidity here is how the notes are explained in small print below the departure list.
More crackpotter than crackpot!

Katie suggest withdrawing the chocolate peanut award; a policy with which fbb concurs. Maybe the old man will have to institute a "slimy mouldy peanut" award as an alternative in cases like this!

Tyneside Electrics
The North Eastern Railway was very keen on electrification, even as early as the 1900s. One later plan was to electrify the mainline from Newcastle to London. Where would we be today if this had happened early-ish in the 20th century?

One scheme which did happen was to electrify a freight branch from Trafalgar Yard at Manors down to the Quayside. It was a struggle for small steam locos and anything bigger ...
... wouldn't go round the sharp corners!

So the company commission two electric locos. Out in the open they would run from overhead wires ...
...and in the tunnels where there was no clearance for overhead wires, they would pick up power from a third rail. Later the bow collector was replaced with a pantograph.
They survived into BR days, latterly repainted into LNER green.
26500 is preserved at the Locomotion Museum, Shildon.
The Quayside line has long been closed and is mostly redeveloped with very few snippets left for the keen observer to find.
As blog readers will have noticed, model railway "manufacturers" are competing with each other to produce OO versions of all varieties of obscure locos. 

Rails of Sheffield have announced their production run (actually from Heljan in Demark) of various versions of 26500.

Ot looks a beautiful model ...
... at a beautiful price at ONLY ...

... yes, ONLY ...

Hurry, because, with a limited production run, they will all be gone before you can say N E R steeple cab bi-mode electric shunting locomotive.

Mind you, £220 doesn't seem too bad when compared with the ancient Triang "toy" steeple cab which some joker will sell you on Ebay for £129.50.

fbb thinks the original cost about £1 (probably 21/6).

 Next Variety blog : Sunday 30th Oct