Wednesday 11 January 2023

Something Old, Something New (1)

Something Replaced, All Things Blue!

Before we explore Blue Star's replacements for First's Southampton network, it is worth reminding our readers that Solent Blue Line (later Blue Star) has had its share of Rebranding, Retrenchment and Reduction over the years.
The simple, bright and relatively easy business-like paint version at the head oif this blog was replaced with something far more complicated (above) and its subsequent re-replacement (below) was equally complex.
There was a one-off double decker style ...
... repeated more often on mini and midi buses.
Customers enjoyed a special livery for the unsuccessful express route from Southampton to Portsmouth ...
... which reminds your aged blogger of places where once Blue Line ran but goes no longer. There were buses to Bournemouth and Poole, buses "the back way" to Winchester and a substantial local network in Chandlers Ford and Eastleigh. 
The latter were once branded Red Rocket!
And we saw Blue Line (or Blue Star) retreat completely from Hedge End where once blue was the dominant colour!
Blue Star 3 was the last remnant of the network. A and B were the relatively short-lived operation of Phil Stockley's Velvet Bus.
But the lure of lucrative loadings ultimately brought Blue Star deeper into Southampton and a growing attitude of competition towards First.

fbb supposes that these blogs reveal that GoAhead's Southampton business, started very differently by Southern Vectis, won the long slow war of attrition.

But, should the travelling public be treated as innocent pawns in the Game of Thrones that is today's "commercial" bus industry?

Of course they shouldn't.

So let us begin our look-see as to what will happen from 19th February.

First 1 - Calmore : every 30 minutes.
This is not replaced. It arrived in response to Blue Star's incursions elsewhere in the City; but existing frequent Stars to the Totton area ...
... include the 12 to Calmore ...
... running every 20 minutes. 

When First's 1 was introduced, it ran every 10 minutes ...
... a real, but ultimately unsuccessful attempt whop the incumbent!

First 2 - Weston City Millbrook - every 10 minutes
First's 2A journeys from Weston to the Hospital (Monday to Friday early morning) will disappear.
Both Weston and Millbrook are (relatively!) modern developments of the City; but service 2 ...
... is not being replaced by Blue Star (BS).

Existing BS 18 runs every 10 minutes to Millbrook ...
 ... and BS 17 is also every 10 to Weston. 
Complicated liveries are easier these days. You paint the bus blue all over and add copious quantities of sticky backed plastic. Blue Peter would be proud of Blue Star.

In the case of First's 1 and 2, there will be more revenue for BS with no extra cost! Whippee!

Which leaves the rest!

Yesterday, The Day Before Yesterday
The listings magazine and the TV screen ALL told fbb that he could watch (and was watching) the programme about Hornby, the first of a new series of ten episodes. But instead he was actually watching a repeat episode of ...
It was about the idea of creating a mid-Atlantic airstrip on an purpose built iceberg. Apparently, if you mix ice with sawdust it is called Pycrete and doesn't melt so quickly. So they reckoned they could keep the "aircraft carrier" frozen with a simple fridge pump.
Apparently, they built a small test version on a lake in Canada; but the idea was not pursued because the threat from U-boats had diminished.

fbb did watch a Hornby programme on UKTV play. But it turned out to be the last of the previous series. It was all about new Scalextric cars, interesting but not previously watched by fbb.

So we have an unsolved mystery. Who pinched episode 1 of series 2?

Vladimir Putin again?

Modellers' Or DIY Tip
Mix baking powder with Superglue. Why?

Knowing the price of Supetglue, surely it would be cheaper to buy a new plastic gear wheel?

But, whenever fbb wants to hang a 28 pound weight on a steel screw fixed to a plastic tube, he now knows how to do it!

What Happened?
Here is where a right hand point was once inserted at Peterville Quarry station. Note the remnants of the new ballast etc.
What went wrong? Answer to follow later!

Maybe You Forgot - It's a Timtable Book
Remember when it was "cool" to encourage folk to use public transport? This was many years before we wanted to reduce car use, save the planet and be kind to little furry creatures. Maybe not "cool" maybe "groovy"?

Roger French's blog, uploaded yesterday, is oh so revealing.
Search for "Bus and train user" and enjoy whilst being venomously frustrated by today's appalling lack of useful comprehensive publicity!

 Next Southampton blog : Thursday 12th January 

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