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  1. TBH if the buses up that way are as empty as they are between Reading and Wallingford I don't think you'll have too much to worry about - last Saturday coming back from Wallingford there were two passengers (including me) on an 80 seat double decker - one upstairs and one downstairs!
  2. Part of the issue here is there are different kinds of pubs. The weekend the pubs reopened, I went for a walk in the countryside. On the way back, I came across a semi-rural pub with two picnic tables outside. One old guy sat on each table with a beer in their hand, chatting to each other at an appropriate distance and watching people go by - as it should be. On the other hand a few days later I passed the 'Spoons in town - one of the few town centre pubs that was open. Consequently pretty much everyone who wanted a Friday night drink went there. I don't know what it was like inside, but there was a very long (socially distanced) queue outside.
  3. I think with regards to 'summer time', some parts of the country got some benefit from the 1968/69 experiment, others got a great disbenefit. Namely - in the south of England, where days are slightly longer in winter than they are in the North, people got slightly more useable daylight. On the other hand, in the North of England (i.e. north of about Wolverhampton), the morning rush hour was plunged into darkness without it staying light for the evening rush hour. My father was working in power station turbine halls with no windows around that time. He would drive to work in the dark, have no view outside all day, and go home in the dark. He only saw daylight at weekends, and that only in good weather! Part of the trouble of course is that that experiment was over fifty years ago so the number of people who remember it is getting fewer.
  4. I've seen a few articles suggesting that 'renationalisation' will lead to fewer delays. I'm not convinced. From my experience, the majority of delays are due to things like: - Points/signal failures (already in the public sector) - Trespass & vandalism - Bridge strikes etc - Inclement weather (infrastructure issue so again already in the public sector) - Passengers themselves (either through 'big' things like being taken ill, or just 'little' things like holding a door open for a late-running friend, which then leads to the train missing its path elsewhere). Whilst it's possible (but far from certain) that some form of 'renationalisation' may lead to better coordinated responses to some of these issues, I think the effect will be minimal.
  5. 2 young kids - one layout each! ;-) Just looking at your latest photo has me wondering - would it be possible to move the desk to under the Typhoon picture and put the 009 where the desk was? That looks as if it should have a number of advantages: 1) You still have both layouts so the kids can operate one each, and you can keep an eye on both of them at the same time. 2) Access to the desk is easier. 3) More natural light on the desk as you will be at 90 degrees to the window so won't be working in your own shadow as much.
  6. Yes, it was - I think it was something like: Spring - 1890s, railway starting out, everything nice and new. Summer - 1910s, railway in its heyday, some increases in facilities and more modern locos, bogie coaches instead of four-wheelers. Autumn - 1930s, economies starting to be made. Steam locos beginning to be replaced with diesels, buildings etc starting to deteriorate. Winter - 1950s?, line on its last legs - track overgrown, buildings, locos (all diesels apart from a couple of derelict hulks of abandoned steam locos), rolling stock and buildings all in an advanced state of decay.
  7. It would be a shame to get rid of the 009 - it's a nice layout. Presumably it's possible to run straight through the 009 fiddle yard, so you can keep something running continuously - it's just changing trains that's difficult. It looks to me that the standard gauge fiddle yard could fit over the 009 one. If it was built in the "pick it up, turn it round and put it back down" style as proposed by Cyril Freezer in one of his plan books (and used by me on my home layout), it could be lifted off easily to enable access to the back of the 009 for track cleaning etc. Additionally, if you had more than one such fiddle yard, you could swap them over and keep the spares on the white shelves above the desk, rather than loose stock. It also occurs to me that it might be possible to bring a branch off the 009 to a new fiddle yard where the washing up bowl, tram engine and paints are, which would be more accessible than the traverser round the back and might encourage more operation.
  8. I asked the Chairman if the Wickham had been the first working to Cholsey this year - he said no, as a firm have been using the line to test on-track plant and I think there may have been a couple of other test runs as well. Sadly we're still quite a way off being able to operate public services as the canopy work is still ongoing and the coaches are undergoing major overhauls.
  9. Had you been up at Cholsey station at the right time today, you would have seen something that hasn't been seen there in a long time - if at all. Our Wickham Trolley made its first full run up the branch after a long period out of use. There may be something else unusual going up the branch next Saturday....
  10. Simple - just wind the date on a few years to the 1940s and say it's the blackout! ;-)
  11. What's the name of your weapon? Don't tell him, Pike!
  12. I'm surprised it isn't more than that. The wagons won't have been cheap for a start....
  13. I think this one's already been posted on the 'Bridge Bash' thread.
  14. Bachmann did the locomotive hoist from Aberystwyth at one time.
  15. Even experienced signalmen can make mistakes - especially when trains start running late/out of sequence. Might not be too much of an issue at a simple passing station, but once junctions with conflicting routes are involved, the consequences of such mistakes become much worse.
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