Saturday 23 March 2024

Saturday TramFest Varety

What's Missing In Sheffield?

Here are a couple of clues.
With some haste, the Stagecoach name has been removed from the SuperTram logo! At the the same time PTE's Travel South Yorkshire web st has changed ...
... gaining a new logo for its newly acquired toys.

There is a "headline" panel on the web site as well ...
... and all the online timetables have lost their "Stagecoach".

Metrolink's Manchester Moves
It was way back (2019BF - before franchising) that Affable Andy Birnham announced that he wanted to take control of the trams and build multiple extensions. The extension to Stockport was set for delivery in 2023. Mancunians may have noticed some slippage in the timescale!

But here is Andy, pictured outside the lifts that take you down from town centre to the new Stockport interchange. The entrance, as you see, is Bee-oo-tiful. GROAN!
This is the latest from Andy.
Meanwhile, HM Government, always on the ball with all matters Public Transport has been extolling the financial virtues of cancelling the essential northern section of HS2.
This, according the HMG, will allow trams to run to Manchester Airport. While you are thinking this through, here is a video - slightly longer than an fbb video "quote" but well worth a look.
Yep, HMG, trams to Manchester Airport started running in 2014! So you are only eleven years out of date.

 Longer LeMans Trams

As a special treat, fbb can offer you a brief note in French describing the system ...

... but below os a version in the vernacular.

The Le Mans tramway is a tramway in the city of Le Mans, Pays de la Loire, France. It opened on the 17 November 2007 and currently consists of two lines with a seven station common section in the center of town. The most recent addition to the tramway occurred on the 30 August 2014 which added a connection to Bellevue and created the second line, before that there had been a single line with a branch.

Currently, the trams are smart five segment units ...
... and the plan, now confirmed, is to extend by a further two chunks to create seven segment trams.
Zut alors!

And Proposed Trams in Kent
A grand scheme linking Grays with Ebbsfleet is currently proposed; but, fbb suspects, it is more aspirational that a practicable costed project. The tunnel under the Thames will cost a pantograph and a bogie times 100!
Maybe it would be best not to start planning your trans-Thames tram trips. Certainly NOT a practical aspiration for fbb!!

But, indubitably, there are definite trams coming to Kent, as we shall see tomorrow.

Proliferating Power Problems At Peterviille
One of the dubious delights of railway modelling is the electrics. In theory the good old-fashioned way is to connect two wires to the track and turn a knob on a controller.

Back in the days of Hornby Dublo three rail, that was pretty much all you had to do. The controller was heavy, chunky and a big red light came on  with a powerful "clunk" if anything upset the electric apple cart.
Modern controllers are tiny by comparison and wiring a two-rail layout involves certain restrictions and complexities that never applied to chunky near indestructible metal three rail stuff.
Modern two-rail electrics are small and fiddly and VERY easy to mess up.

So much so that fbb has had to dismantle Peterville tunnel to sort out his problems, all of them equally small and fiddly.
Scenic "modules" removed, tunnel "top" removed ...
... and debugging was going well. Until ...
... it would appear that fbb's controller is failing/has failed!

Another £45 replacement is looming.

The rich man wanted eternal life and claimed that he always kept the commandments (a likely story!).

He did not murder, he had nor committed adultery, he did not STEAL, he did not CHEAT but it was some of the first two commandments that he probably did not manage. His wealth was more important to him than his relationship with God.

He went away troubled, unwilling to make the commitment that would lead to eternal salvation. He was blind to the whole truth.
Whenever the Bible records the healing of a blind man (there are several incidents) there is always a deeper message than just the healing. Physical blindness was often an analogy of spiritual blindness.

As the first Easter approached this dropout needed the Easter symbol of new life to "make him complete".
 Next Variety blog : Sunday 24th March 


  1. Send it back to Gaugemaster, mine suffered a detached solder joint, repaired and returned quickly, FOC, that's their guarentee.

  2. Absolutely . . . they tell of a lifetime guarantee as long as it hasn't been opened . . . and they mean it !!