Friday 6 January 2023

A Nose Around Mr Noad's Nodes

Yesterday, fbb commented that Mr Noad had included Heathrow Express (HEx) on his map, showing it as a direct route eschewing the actual track it uses which is the same as the Elizabeth Line line route.
So, whilst his "more geographically accurate" tag may apply to the relationship between nearby stations, in this case it doesn't apply to the track! For the record, HEx no longer serves Terminal 4, leaving that delight to the Purple people eaters only.

Also for the record, HEx trains used to look like his ...
... i.e. something special. They now look like this ...
... very much an ordinary train with different branding. HEx will have lost a whole bunch of travellers now that Elizabeth Line line trains run right through to central London. Despite Mr Khan's withdrawal of off peak fares from Airport to Zone 1 back in September ...
... and the daftness his increase created; fbb wonders if it is high time that rip-off HEx should become a "normal" service, maybe even with non stop journeys from Paddington on extra Elizabeth trains.

A look on-line shows that HEx is now offering cheapo fares in an attempt to regain market share.
Which would you prefer? £5.50 or £25 single?

Back to Mr Noad's Map,

The relationship between Watford (Met terminus) and the rest of Watford  is still a bit too distant, but is far far superior to TfL's effort!
And it would be easy for TfL to put that right!

Oddly, Noad's Northwick Park is shown inaccurately to the east of the Bakerloo/Overground at Kenton when it is geographically to the west.

Kenton to Northwick Park is shown as a "walk link" on the official map.
Whoever attempts to draw it, the area around Euston and Kings Cross is always cluttered.
But, arguably, Mr Noad (above) does a better job.
Whilst looking at Kings Cross, we should note that Thameslink is also included in the "amateur" version and beautifully too.
fbb would prefer to see Blackfriars station shown as bridging the Thames with an elongated sausage - because it does! A jiggle to give City Thameslink its rightful font size would help.

Liverpool Street and Moorgate are a problem for any cartographer and Mark Noad was working with an incomplete Elizabeth Line line which adds an extra complication. So no link to Moorgate as the Liz tunnels were not yet occupied by trains.

Whitechapel now has its own super-smashing stop for the purple one! 
On present blogged comparisons, TfL copes better but still confusingly.
One goody is that, on the newcomer, the Elizabeth route is shown as a straight line "anchor" ...
... which it very much isn't. TfL shows more wiggles ...
... but the straight line, although technically NOT geographically accurate, does, somehow, emphasise the speed and power of the Crossrail concept.

Here is the Noad map as a full-sized JPG ...
... which you might be able to download.

It certainly offers several improvements over the "official" "Tube" diagram but it probably needs a few extra and more revolutionary changes to make the whole thing easier to use.  

Tomorrow we will look at a 2015 "Behance" re-design which does offer a certain amount of more distinctive ideas.
Weekend variety will follow on Sunday and, possibly, Monday.

An Old Buffer And His Buffers
Some time ago (some long, long time ago) one of fbb's Sheffield correspondents, Dave by name, complained that the sidings at Peterville Quarry station were bereft of buffer stops and that The Railway Inspectorate would "close the line down instantly" in response to this public safety infringement.

fbb responded defensively that he had bought half a dozen Hornby "rail built"  clip-on buffers ...
... but they insisted on "clipping off". Made of nylon-like plastic, they didn't glue very well either and pinged into railway modelling oblivion! He has one left!

So fbb turned to really old buffers, namely those produced by Hornby for their three-tail trainsets of fond memory.
They are almost indestructible but fbb popped then on top of the shed, pending installation, and forgot about them. The buffer heads and shanks have rusted (it is called "weathering" but here with real weather not paint and powders!) but they have survived their forgotten status.

So yesterday they were provisionally installed at the end of the newly ballasted station sidings.
They need a touch of "cleaning up" but fbb's repaint has survived!

But there is a snag. They are made of metal ...
... so they will tend to short out the 2-rail track power.

fbb will be adding  a small "wodge" (technical railway modelling term) of gaffer tape to isolate any bits of track that might come into contact with the buffer stop.

Let us hope that David from Sheffield and the Railway Inspectorate will now sleep soundly in their track beds.

 Next Cartographic blog - Saturday 7th January 

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