Saturday 18 February 2023

Saturday Variety

Gunnislake goodies

The original station at Gunnislake was north of the road leading down the hill to the village - note the low bridge signs.
There was a reasonable station building on an island platform, thus providing a loop to enable trains to pass on the single track Callington line.
But once the line was truncated at Gunnislake, the track became a simple stub.
It was not long before the building was demolished and replaced with a simple shelter.
Then, in 1996, the station was moved to south of the road ...
... and the bridge was removed.
A rather twee line of bungalows replaced the former station ...
... and a new "interchange" (of sorts) was created.
The train offers connections with useful buses. It is certainly an improvement on what was offered before.
Northampton Alan visited soon after the new station opened and was impressed with the punctilious work of Notwork Rail's health and safety staff.
In passing he did wonder what fiendish dangers lurked at the foot of the platform ramp just beyond the buffer stops.
Maybe the danger of tripping over a rail or a sleeper or, even worse, blundering into the undergrowth. People do need to ve warmed.

More Northampton Heritage
Alan also reports that two more vehicles have recently joined the collection of the Heritage Transport Trust. He took a trip on one of them last weekend.
GRP 260D began life as a cream coach with Tilling green band ...
... later being promoted (?) to National Express work.
It found its way to independent Buckland Buses based at Woodbridge in Essex.
The SU coach later acquired a very attractive blue and red livery. It will, of course, revert to its original colours in due course.
Also joining the fleet is one of these.
Latterly it had been in the much missed fleet of Harris Bus ...
... but the most recent role of PBD 40R was as a playbus in not too fetching blue plus cartoon characters.
It also lacks seats, so lots of work will be needed to restore it to its Corporation glory.

Hulleys Holiday Offer
Sadly when you read this, half term will be over. But it is good to see that Hulleys of Baslow are still in the business of attracting passengers to their service - a task which is becoming more and more rare!
And the genuinely stunning offer?

And, Talking Of Cheap Offers ...
H M Government has finally decided what will happen when current bus subsidies run out at the end of March.

They won't run out! They will keep going for a further three months!

Breaking news: Three-month extension to Bus Recovery Grant and Bus Fare Cap Grant in England

After months of lobbying and negotiation by CPT, £80m of Government funding has been confirmed to extend the Bus Recovery Grant in England for a further three months to 30 June 2023.

CPT welcomes this announcement as it is an opportunity to provide some breathing space while we continue to negotiate a longer term settlement that gives the industry, and local authorities, the certainty needed to make longer term decisions on investment.

The Government has also announced £75m for a three-month extension to the Bus Fare Cap Grant in England. We have made it clear to Government that operators will need time to consider the implications of this for their business before agreeing to take part – for example whether it causes overcrowding issues on certain tourist routes that are more popular during the warmer months, and whether any uplift for inflation is sufficient. 

So, another three months of support for the industry and encouragement for passengers.

Why not make them both permanent. It should help HMG's oft vaunted "green" agenda.

Puzzle Picture
Can you identify this station. It is now a terminus ...
... and looks like this.
It used to have a bus station attached but very few buses served it!

Weathering Powders : Phooey
Modern railway modellers are not in favour of pristine out-of-the-box locos, wagons and coaches. Even scenery needs dealing with. The answer is to spend a lot of money of "weathering powders" ...
... to enable you to add realistic "mud, sand and dust to your precious models. The above "starter pack" will cost you bout  £12. But that's only the beginning. You can make your underframes resplendent with "dirty grease". you can cover you coach windows with "weather grime" ad spread "slime and mould" on all your damp places.

fbb has a better - and cheaper - idea.

Leave you models out in the real weather. (NOTE : not advised for cardboard buildings!)

Here is the glazing from fbb's scratch-built platform canopy.
The panes of plastic "glass" have been well and truly weathered by the weather. They are being replaced by new clear plastic for the indoor re-siting, so, if fbb ever manages to refit the lighting, his visitors will be able to admire it through clear "glass"!

 Next Variety blog : Sunday 18th February 


  1. The mystery station makes me think of Avocets.

  2. GRP 260D is surely a Bristol MW. Bristol SU coaches were only built for Southern/Western National

  3. Ah, P480. I suspected it would be that in the photo, and it was. Gunnislake through and through, that one was!

  4. Half-term is just STARTING west of Offa's Dyke! And Cardiff Bus at least are promoting things to do:

  5. Anonymous (09:22) - don't forget the pair of SU coaches that United Welsh had!

  6. Emergency funding in Wales also extended by three months.