Saturday 3 February 2024

Saturday Variety

Sub-Standard Seven-hundred Seats

When fbb took his first ride from the new London Bridge station and through the Thameslink tunnels, we was profoundly disappointed in the ambiance of the train. It had "ironing board" sears with no arm rests, no wifi or chargers and no tables of any kind. The seating would have been OK for a whizz round the non-Circle Line of the Underground but was hopelessly inadequate for a lengthy trip to rural Cambridgeshire or the bucolic greenery of Sussex.
To create a wide aisle for standees, there was no gap between seats, leaving inadequate width for fbb's admittedly ample posterior.

There are very few poles and no straps for hangers!

Fortunately fbb was only going to St Pancras!

There has been much correspondence on-line on this very topic, recently rekindled by a cynical note from super blogger "The Man in Seat 61".

The is a sad lack of enthusiasm for these trains!

And more cynicism!

Bit a timely word of advice.

It does appear to be true. For reasons which nobody seems to know, the rear First Class chunk of the 700 is always (???) declassified; so NOT First Class.

Comfy seats, wider seats, armrests and tables. Luxury beyond belief! Hmmm, maybe not that good!

One comment writer is in reminiscent mood.

Does he mean the Buffet Express of the 1970s ...

... sometimes including a Gresley buffet coach? 
Or does he harken back to the 1930s when trains with similar names were ALL Gresley coaches and hauled by a smart steam engine?

You could enjoy a buffet car plus internally sprung seats and the ability to open the window and breathe fresh air, possibly with an added taste of steam, coal, oil and soot! Aaah, those were the days when train travel was a real pleasure.

A buffet car has been restred to full "art deco" interior by the North Norfolk Railway.
UIt looked magnificant ...
... but did suffer from an appalling vamndal attack.

Thames Travel : Going Green ...
... But Not Green!
When fbb were nobbut a lad, Thames Travel buses were a rich and glorious shade of blue with small green touches.
Then they gained majority green and a weird but not unattractive wiggly white line.
But the bus at the top of this item is almost all green with some odd slashes in grey and black.

The bus makes no pretence of being green despite being painted green. It is a bog-standard GoAhead London Bus cast-off seen here in its "natural" red.
So why all green?

A Puzzle Picture
You may be able to guess what it is; but can you work out where it was because it isn't there any more.

When Trams Ruled The Roads
Because fbb has recently written about trams, buses and trains in Birkenhead, the Deep Throat computers of the interwebnet, in he form of Pinterest, keeps sending fbb yet more pictures of the Wirral.

Before the days of the Mersey Tunnel you would cross on a ferry ...
...  from a grand wood-panelled terminal building.
The terminal still had a touch of excitement even in the 1970s. But way, wa back you would walk up the ramp, through the building and there, lined up outside, would be "trams to all parts"
That's when transport was integrated.

Transfers Or Tampo For TTA Tanks
Over the 50 years or so that a TTA tank wagon model has been available, the decoration on the tank in particular has changed its technology.

Look at the Shell logos on this aged Hornby model.
The rest of the lettering is a single colour but  the transfers are crude and thick.
Later you were lucky to get one colour printing, helped by the yellow shell and the yellow tank!
By the time Bachmann came along, Tampo printing was the technology available. (Tampo is a brand name). A rubber blob picks up the image from an inked metal plate and "stamps" it on the model. Because of the high quality of the "stuff" you get high quality multi coloured print which can be very small.
The print on the solebar is barely legible.
The new Hornby model is even better, so much so that fbb's cheapo mobile phone could not focus small enough in the light conditions available as this blog was prepared. (It's yer depth of field, mate - again!).
The phones didn't like the white on green ...
... but just about coped with the solebar.

And the price?

Well, there's a thing.

The Bachmann model has an RRP as shown here ...
... although many retailers do offer a few pounds discount. From frail and fading memory, fbb paid about £29 for his, a couple of years ago.

New Hornby, a far superior model, is ...
... one quid cheaper!

fbb paid about the above but with free postage.

Therein lies a problem for fbb.

For the problem and for prices of the old Hornby see tomorrow's blog.

 Next Variety blog : Sunday 4th February 

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