Monday 17 October 2022

Monday Variety

Holiday Wednesday - Envoi 1

The modern town of Oban grew up around the distillery, which was founded there in 1794. A royal charter raised the town to a burgh of barony in 1811.Sir Walter Scott visited the area in 1814, the year in which he published his poem The Lord of the Isles; interest in the poem brought many new visitors to the town. The town was made a Parliamentary Burgh in 1833. A rail link – the Callander and Oban Railway – was authorised in 1864 but took years to reach the town. The final stretch of track to Oban opened on 30 June 1880.

But when it arrived it was the wonder of the age. The terminal building was of high quality ...
... eventually with an overall roof ...
... and four platforms.
The line opened up the town to tourists who could then transfer to ferries to Mull, Lismore and even the tiny island of Kerrera. They still can! But now the station is an anonymous brick "hut" ...
... with just two platforms, numbered 3 and 4 (obviously!) of which one is hardly ever used. Instead of the covered roof you now shudder in open fronted shelters that offer scant protection against the incoming weather which can come in quite ferociously.
fbb took a look while Mrs fbb tottered around a few nearby shops. Their coach had travelled north from Inverary.

The information rack in the booking hall was stacked full of ...
... air. There was engineering work affecting trains on Saturday and Sunday ...
... but nowhere could fbb find any obvious information on the effect of this on the journeys of the ill-informed passengers. And the effect could be massive. 

Trains run from Oban and Mallaig and couple together at Crianlarich for the onwards journey to Glasgow ...
... so ANY interruption ANYWHERE will destroy this standard operating procedure. And it is all single track with passing loops as well; so it all has to fit together!

A lone class 153 stood sadly at the platform ...
... presumably awaiting to augment capacity for the holiday crowds at some time in the future. The next train away was the short working to Dalmally "which has 2 carriages".
The adjoining ferry terminal is always busy, but now with cars and their passengers, lorries and coaches.
The classic foot passenger from days gone by is something of a rarity,
Outside the two terminals is Station Square where a lesser replacement for the former station clock tower stands not very proudly.
Its diminished status was not helped during the fbb's visit last Wednesday by all its faces resolutely stuck at 10 o'clock whilst real time was about 1530!

But Station Square is, de facto, the bus station for Oban. fbb will share his impressions tomorrow.

By the way, the town is pronounced Oh-b'n NOT as many of the fbb's encoached companions were saying, Oh-BAN with the erroneous emphasis on the second syllable. Next Scottish pronunciation lessons will include Saltcoats, Milngavie and Wemyss Bay.

Hornby's TT120 Is Small But Big
TT120, introduced to an unsuspecting Model Railway world by Peco a few months ago is being further developed by Hornby.

We've Been Here Before!

Triang developed their TT range which was very successful for a while ...
... and Hornby branched out into N gauge with a range made by Minitrix.
Both these ventures failed to survive long term.

The news that fbb broke last week, namely that Hornby are introducing sone TT120 stuff ...
... was dramatically trumped by an article in the November Railway Modeller, complete with a front cover headline.

The article revealed that Hornby's intention is far greater than what appeared at first to be a "toe in the water" project.

Lots of locos are planned between now and the end of 2023 ...
... a wide range of coaches ...
... wagons, track and scenic items.
So, without a doubt, this is a major new product range from Hornby.

Apart from the obvious risk in any new product, there is a dark cloud on the horizon. Hornby have announced that this range will only be sold on-line and NOT via Hornby Stockists. 

Surely this is silly! 

Potential TT120 modellers will want to see these models "in the flesh" and  handle samples before spending their money.

It looks as if TT120 will be almost as expensive as OO.

fbb feels that the well known commentator on business matters, Wolfgang (from "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" if you are old enough to remember) has a point!

World's Most Awful Livery?
This is a marketing scheme for Middlesbrough's X93 and X94.
The X93 runs between Middlesbrough and Scarborough. The timetable from Arriva is, as usual, appallingly presented and utterly incomprehensible to an innocent passenger. They are, of course, through journeys!
fbb has yet to find an X94!

Yet more variety tomorrow and, AT LAST, the answers to the M5/M6/M74 quiz.


 Next Variety blog : Tuesday 18th Octiber 

1 comment:

  1. ScotRail uses the Class 153 to carry bikes more than people.