Monday 19 December 2022

Monday Mini-Blog

Frustrated by Footbridges

At Ryde St Johns Road station there was a footbridge to take you across to the southbound platforms 2 and 3 for trains to Brading, Sandown, Shanklin and, back in the steam days, Ventnor. If fbb's memory is on track, it was made of wood and abutted the road bridge on the aforementioned St John Road road.
But, less of a while back, it was deemed unsafe and beyond repair. It was replaced by a new metal bridge at the far end of the platforms doubling the entry and exit route for passengers from the pier and to Sandown and Shanklin. But what amused train watchers and infuriated some creaky passengers was the height of this necessity,
It was taller than normal even for mainland stock and ridiculously excessive for Island Line 1938 Underground cast-offs.
Maybe the excess was appropriately prophetic, but, at the time, no one had even considered the possibility of mainland sized trains for the Island.
You can see where the old footbridge was in this screenshot, equivalent to the stam loco picture above.
But railway modellers have been installing footbridges that are too high for years. Way back in the 1950s the Hornby Dublo metal footbridge ...
... was designed to be plonked on the layout at baseboard (or floor) level. They did look odd on the platform.
Likewise the original Triang footbridge.
Both looked too high (because they were too high) when placed on a platform. Even the wonderful Airfix footbridge ...
... was not only equally inappropriate for platform installation, but was shown as such on the packet.
Really, it is not right on a platform!
And here's another one.
Some later Hornby models were better designed. This version ...
... based on one on the heritage North York Moors railway ...
... is often advertised as a platform footbridge. Another Hornby model is called a trackside footbridge ...
... but is, nevertheless, often just plonked on a platform.
Footbridges of the correct height just look "right" ...
... unless you are preparing to electrify you line with 25Kv overhead wiring. Then you would need extra clearance. In the real world many had to be jacked up to clear the wires.
See the later addition of concrete blocks underneath the metalwork.

fbb's Airfix footbridge (awaiting proper installation on the indoor layout) ...
... has one side at platform level and one side at track level. Trains fit snugly underneath,
Of course, there are no rules for a model railway - you do what pleases you and ignore all picky criticism. If you do not want to slice bits off your footbridge and prefer a tall footbridge rather than none at all, good on yer!

But it does frustrate even the "bodge and fudge" enthusiasm of fbb to see a beautifully crafted layout spoiled by a footbridge that is too high.

Even if there is a good precedent on the Isle of Wight!

They look much nicer when they are the right height.

 Advent Calendar Day 19 

Strengthened by the Spirit

Many folk will take a nip of e.g. whisky to give them strength; to keep out the cold; to cheer themselves up; to provide a little confidence or just because it tastes nice!
Or maybe, sadly, sometimes to just escape?

After Jesus' resurrection there was no great exuberance. His immediate followers were distraught that he was gone and thoroughly befuddled by the empty tomb. Despite Jesus warning them that he would "rise to life on the third day" they were still so frightened that they would be next for the nailing that they remained largely in hiding.

Except for the very few occasions when met the risen Jesus.

They were terrified, thinking that they were seeing a ghost. But he said to them, “Why are you alarmed? Why are these doubts coming up in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet, and see that it is I myself. Feel me, and you will know, for a ghost doesn't have flesh and bones, as you can see I have.”
He asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of cooked fish, which he took and ate in their presence.

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “This is what is written: the Messiah must suffer and must rise from death three days later, and in his name the message about repentance and the forgiveness of sins must be preached to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.

But more was necessary. They needed an inner strength, an extra confidence, a turbo boost, before they could do as Jesus (as God) required.

When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. 
It is well-nigh impossible to imagine a picture of this event, but something dramatic happened.

The frightened followers suddenly found they had the confidence, the oomph, to get up out of their confused sulk and start preaching and teaching powerfully about the risen Jesus as the source of forgiven life now and eternal life later. History confirms this change.

This Advent Calendar is a direct result of that spiritual gift and the earthly completion of CHRISTmas, Emmanuel, God with us.

But Christmas is not just for Christmas!
 Next Tuesday Tiny blog : 20h December 

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