Saturday 1 April 2023

Saturday Variety For April 1st

Budapest P S.

One of the delights of the city is its Children's Railway. A child of the Soviet era, this line is run entirely by youngsters (with some adult supervision).
The line runs all year ...
... and this short video was filmed to celebrate the "passing out" of the first girl driver, Biborka, aged just 13.
Well done Biborka.

Railways Are SO MUCH Better in Europe!
For years we have been told that trains in Switzerland, German and elsewhere are run more efficiently than in the UK. 

It sounds grim in Germany.
Late running, missing services and train failures seem to be normality. At least one of fbb's correspondents has so reported, reveled in this blog some weeks ago.

The financial losses are eye-watering.
One of DB's "activities outside the domestic railway business" is ownership of the ailing Arriva business.

Discussions are now underway with McGill's of Paisley ...
... with boss Ralph Roberts spending a lot of time in Berlin.
Interesting times for DB, but possibly very painful.

Andy Burnham Wants A Trainset
As well as "launching" his wrong shade of yellow bus designed to prevent passengers seeing out of the front windows, Andy Burnham is now in discussions with HMG to take over Manchester's local railways.
This "take over" will allow full timetablr and fares integration, says Mayor Andy. In your dreams, mate.
Of course, well within living memory, the PTE did run the trains ...
... sharing branding with the ubiquitous double arrow.
What goes around, comes around!

Less well reported is the proposed takeover of the popular ferry from Wigan Centre to Wigan Pier.
This, too will Bee appropriately branded!

Largs Little 'Lectric Bus
Shuttle Buses of Kilwinning has announced that its vehicle on the SPT tendered Largs town service will be electric.
The service is to be branded "The Viking Venturer" in recognition of the town's heritage and the statue on the sea front.
Strathclyde Passenger Transport has grudgingly accepted the addition to its in- house orange livery.

London Buses In 70 Year Catch Up
For ages, nuys timetables in London have been a closely guarded secret. More recent displays have been even more enigmatic. What use is "every 10 to 14 minutes"?
Then there is the vexed problem of the 24 hour clock. This has been standard (well nearly) for public transport for up to 70 years and longer than that in Europe.

For London Buses, however, the policy has been to tread warily along the path of temporal novelty. So bus stop displays have shown the 24 hour clock for the actual bus times ('cos that is what is in the database) but the headings have used am and pm.
In a shock move, Roger French reports the arrival of 24 hour clock for the headings.

Scandalous. How will people cope? It might even mean that folk will be able to understand the departure lists more easily. Certainly our chums from overseas will no longer have to wonder what am and pm mean.
A high level committee, chaired by Sadiq Khan himself, will be monitoring this change to see how it impacts on bus usage. Sadly the committee's remit does not include publishing timetables or maps.  "Every 10 to 14 minutes is perfectly good enough", the mayor told the assembled bigwigs at its first meeting.

Sadly, timetables will remain a secret in London.

How could you posible display timetables at bus stops? What a ludicrously impracticable idea.

Poissons d'Avril
Les avez-vous repérés? Tout sera révélé demain.

Easter - A Crazy Name**
Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, the official start of Easter Week in the usual Western Christian calendar. 

There have been crazy punch-ups over the date of Easter for centuries. 

A more serious question is to ask when Easter actually began?

In the Garden of Eden when mankind's disobedience made Easter necessary?

At the first Passover, circa 1200BC, when a pure lamb was sacrificed and its blood ensured the peoples' salvation?

With the birth of the Saviour of the World at the first Christ Mas?

How about this for a starter?
Six days later Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain, where they were alone. As they looked on, a change came over Jesus, and his clothes became shining white - whiter than anyone in the world could wash them. Then the three disciples saw Elijah and Moses talking with Jesus. Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, “Teacher, how good it is that we are here! We will make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He and the others were so frightened that he did not know what to say.

Then a cloud appeared and covered them with its shadow, and a voice came from the cloud, “This is my own dear Son - listen to him!” 

This strange, but well recorded event shows Yeshua Ben Yusuf (Jesus) to be something or somebody very different indeed.

Sounds crazy - but, if it is true ...

** The Craziness of the name "Easter" will be explained.

 Next Variety blog : Sunday 2nd April 


  1. Andrew Kleissner1 April 2023 at 11:13

    Children do most of the tasks on the (hugely overstaffed!) railway but they don't drive the trains. Incidentally the line is still part of MAV, the national railway company, and fares aren't expensive - about £4.50 return.

  2. SPT haven't insisted on vehicles being in orange for quite some time. I don't think anyhting has appeared in orange since 2019 and certain contracts since at least 2017 used vehicles in the operators liveries.