Monday 18 December 2023

NOT Weekend Variety ...

... BUT ...


 R andom

A selection of oddments that didn't seem to yo be fitting in any obvious category. We begin with a look at a rebirth - and not Jesus!!

We do not have such things in the UK, but there are several across the Channel. The idea is that a tourist--type railway is run by children with qualified adults doing the diving and overseeing the youthful workers. Here is a short video of a ride on the 4xample at Budapest.
fbb is not at all sure what the song at the end is for!

Looking on-line it appears there are oodles of Childrens' Railways notably in Russia and former members of the Soviet Bloc. What interested fbb and may lead to a future "proper" blog is the new locos are being built for these lunes.
Here is a note for a narrow gauge enthusiast.
The Russians are keen on using these lines to recruit staff for full sized lines.

There is one railway operated entirely by children in the UK; but it is not normally open to the public. It is in the grounds of The Downs School, Malvern.
Here the pupils actually drive the trains.
It does have occasional open days and there is plenty of adult supervision.
School wasn't like that when fbb were a lad!
This was pretty much as exciting as it ever got!

Articles often appear about the lowest or deepest Underground lines. It used to be simple in the UK - it was the Northern Line at Hampstead Heath. But fbb is unsure how that compares with the well buried Elizabeth Line line!

Highest? Because we are in Quito which, if fbb's 1st Form Geog from Mr Lance is correctly remembered, is the capital of Ecuador (South America).
Its opening has not been auspicious - as seems almost normal for a 21st Century rail project.

Highest? The line is at an altitude of 2850 metres and is 22.6 metres long. Frequency is every 5 mins at peak and every 8 mins elsewhere.

It looks impressive ...
... and the city look intriguing as well.
Maybe worth a more detailed look in a future blog. It looks as if it carried plenty of people on the opening days!

Now, before reading the article, fbb was struggling to think of anywhere in Cornwall that might be big enough to support a Metro. Truro? Penzance? Treyarnon Bay?
Currently the line from Truro to Falmouth ...
... runs every 30 minutes.
Trains run every TWO hours ...
... between Par (east of St Austell) and Newuay.
So the Metro (don't laugh) proposals are to increase the frequency on the Newquay branch to hourly. This will involve building a passing loop as the line is slo-o-o-o-ow, VERY wiggly, and single track.
Then these hourly trains will run through to Falmouth.

This plan has been on the table for many many years but it does look as if it might actually happen some time soon. 

The title "Metro" does seem a bit optimistic!

Yes We Have No Bananas

Did you know that Hornby Dublo produced a Banana Van in its SD6 series.
It was later re-issued by Wrenn. But nothing similar is available in today's Hornby range. 

fbb thinks that the wagons were stnneam heated ...
... to help the fruit ripen.

 They wore a large yellow spot!
But you can get a Banana Van today, manufactured by Dapol for a very reasonable price (by today's standards).
But maybe you perceive that the Dapol version is not exactly accurate. fbb does not accumulate freight vehicles (except fuel tankers!), so can offer not definitive guide 

But next up is Accurascale.
OUCH! But is doesn't end there. Rapido Trains version is more expensive.
Rapido's is close to THREE times the price of Dapol's. Is it THREE times better? fbb doubts it!

As a final challenge to the intellect, Rails of Sheffield were offering an "O" gauge banana wan (nearly four times the size of OO in volume) for ...
Thus was, howevet, a one day only "Advent Calendar" offer.

Without actually handling the models, it is hard to offer any comparison, but what fbb does offer is ...

... Caveat Emptor!

 R ejected

Thr core of the Christan story is not CHRISTmas, but Easter. There was approximately 30 years between the birth of the baby and the start of his earthly "ministry". During that 30 years we know almost nothing of Yeshua ben Yusuf (Jesus son of Joseph) but it is reasonable to assume that he grew up to work as a jobbing carpenter in Nazareth near the shores of Lake Galilee.

Towards the end of that three years of teaching and healing he decided to set off for Jerusalem ....
Some more literal translations of Luke's Green say:-

He set his face to go to Jerusalem.

It was his destiny, his job, his obedience to God that meant he was utterly determined to go to die!
Still today, there is much debate about the mechanics of a Roman crucifixion - but made no mistake - it was excruciatingly painfu; it was brutal, it was designed to kill slowly but publicly.

It was, for Jesus, a total act of sacrifice.

From the very first chapters of the Bible, we see mankind making sacrifices to God (N.B. the story of Cain and Abel). Sacrifices were to thank God e.g. for a good harvest, and to seek forgiveness for sins. By offering something of yourself (lamb, grain, dove) you showed your true repentance.

But Christians do not offer animal sacrifices now; and it is NOT because it is horrid to the lamb/dove. (Most of us will enjoy a CHRISTmas dinner having sacrificed e.g. a turkey!)

We do not need to sacrifice on an altar because Jesus did it for us on the cross.
But he did not stay dead for long.

On the third day the tomb was empty.

And however much we want to deny the resurrection of Jesus, in nearly 2000 years of research nobody has come yuo with an alternative explanation which fits the recorded facts.

Of course it is impossible, But God, by definition, can do the impossible; that's what it says on the tin

And the fact that he rose from the dead has huge implications for you and me.

Sadly many people hide from these implications by saying "I don't believe it." But, remember; what we choose to believe doesn't change the fact!
"Doubting" Thomas found that out big time!

And that is what CHRISTmas is really about.
 Next S ABC blog : Tuesday 19th December 


  1. While Quito may well be the world's highest Underground Metro, may I suggest that the highest underground statin is Jungfraujoch in Switzerland, which is inside the mountain?