Saturday 27 April 2024

Saturday Variety

Crystal Peaks Contact Problems

Crystal Peaks is a small (by today's standards) shopping mall, part of the Mosborough "new town" development on the south eastern edge of Sheffield. It is not unpleasant but its emporia are definitely in the lower leagues of retail quality. 

There have been a couple of contact problems recently and fbb does not mean phone or internet connectivity.

Approaching from the north ...
... there is a left hand turn leading to the extensive car parks.
... while the buses have their exclusive bit of road leading to the bus station. 

The car park access road is crossed by a couple of very solid footbridges taking pedestrians from higher land to the north across to the delights of their retail therapy.
Sadly, they are not designed for double deck buses to pass underneath.
... as one newish First Bus discovered a short while back.
The contact was significant! 

Quite why the driver went that way is unclear; but fortunately the top deck was lightly loaded and only three received non life threatening injuries.
It is worth noting that there are no advance warning of impending disaster,
More recently a potentially much more serious contact occurred at the Crystal Peaks bus station,
The local talk is that a T M Travel driver was taken ill at the wheel as he manoeuvered. The result was goodbye to at least two of the shelters.
The bus suffered as well.
fbb thinks that the vehicle was ex Lothian Buses SN61 BCE or SN61 BCX ...
... seen below in undented glory at Sheffield Interchange.

And Another Bridge
This time at Garforth station, east of Leeds. The station was equipped with a beautiful  historic NER footbridge ...
... well modelled by Hornby.
Alas, today's desire for full accessibility requires lifts to be br available and the existing bridge could not be altered, hence a full rebuild.
Notwork Rail are calling the replacement a "Beacon Bridge" although fbb did not quite grasp the subtlety of the name.

Apparently the design of the top of the lift towers makes them look like a "beacon".

Of course it does.
In a quiet moment of contemplation, your aged blogger does wonder what qualifies a station for a footbridge with a roof?

fbb's Axminster "local" was provided with a lid ...
... but then, so was the previous incarnation.
Perhaps you only get a covered footbridge if the old one was covered?

And another thought? Why are so many of these newly installed footbridges different in design? Are the innards (lifts and motors) the same? If not, won't maintenance and repair costs be unnecessarily high?

Times They Are A'Changing
Here is Haymarket, Sheffield in the 1950s when trams ruled the road and motor buses were an annoying intrusion!
The single track lower right was the end of the Castlegate turning loop for the service to Rotherham where single ended trams were in use.
Roll on to the mid 1960s when fbb was arriving at Sheffield Uni.
The trams are gone but the Atlantean is only just making its mark. A few tram track remnants are still visible after the accelerated closure plans were completed in October 1960. Note the hoardes of people in this popular shopping area of the city.

And today?
Empty! Many of the hoardes have decamped to Meadowhall shopping paradise, Haymarket is effectively one way up the hill for buses only and there are a lot fewer buses to make their way on to the city centre stops.

Changing for the better?

Bill Bodge & Fred Fudge Once More
fbb's model railway mentors have been motivating the old man to make progress with a project not directly linked to actual modelling.
It never really works - using sellotape as masking tape! The dark grey paint is a bodge as well. fbb did not have enough "proper" paint so added some dark grey to a pottle of polyurethane varnish. From a distance is looks a bit like shiny metal.


Anyway, peel off the sellotape and underneath ...
... is a right mess.

So touch up the black ...
... and carefully overpaint the bits that should be white.
And, from a distance of a few hundred yards, it is beginning to look like what fbb intended.

It is a bodge; but these things  change over time and spending huge sums of money on something that may need changing in a few months is poor use of limited financial resources.

But, as a disgraced entertainer was wont to ask, "Have you worked out what it is, yet?"

Indeed it is the VERY tentative beginnings of a control panel for the Peterville Quarry Railway.

There will soon be four electrically operated points remote from a central control position PLUS there are already five separate feeds of power to the track which really need to be switchable, on or off.

Hence the need for a control panel - of sorts.
Or fbb could have spent a small fortune on a "proper job"!

 Next Variety blog : Sunday 28 April 


  1. A significant factor in the declining footfall in Haymarket is the demolition of the Market which is now on The Moor at the opposite end of the city centre. But the whole area is now run down. In 1970 the street also featured Woolworths and BHS - now bargain shops. Still plenty of buses though!

  2. I find the design of new bridges tends to be regional; most of those installed in SWR territory over the past couple of decades are similar to eachother