Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

1,216 Excellent

Recent Profile Visitors

169 profile views
  1. When I was in France someone was complaining about having to use these presumably Imperial metric A series paper sizes, presumably assuming that they were because the lengths were an odd number of mm. It's actually based on A0 having an area of 1 square metre and the area halving but the aspect ratio remaining constant every time it's folded in half. Quite a clever system IMO.
  2. Any of them can be potentially useful. 10ths for decimals, 12ths because of the number of easy fractions of it and 16ths and 32nds for when it's convenient to keep halving sizes.
  3. The people who keep calling for further metrification never seem that bothered by 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, differing numbers of days in a month, 12 months in a year...
  4. The primary advantage of metric IMO isn't so much the "10 of this, 10 of that part" but that derived units are derived pretty much directly, no conversion factors, even if that sometimes results in rather oversized units like farads. You could argue that the prefixes are a conversion factor rather than a notational shorthand, which weakens it slightly. The other advantage is that it doesn't suffer from different groups using different definitions of the same unit - easier to standardise with a complete change. Still see it as mostly change for the sake of it though - would choose it starting from scratch but I'm not going to make any effort to stop thinking in miles and will resist any attempt to make me do so.
  5. I wouldn't want to travel on them for all that much of a distance, or regularly, but in a time where there's a tendency to polish everything too smooth I like the occasional bit of their rough and ready nature.
  6. I've got my range of interests which unfortunately doesn't include non-British layouts so I'm more likely to just pass others by. This is a major shortcoming because I sometimes end up at the non-British ones at exhibitions anyway (often they're quieter at a busy exhibition) and end up spending some time watching what turns out to be an interesting model, with not a clue what'll show up, and an interesting chat with the operator. I think I'll always prefer looking at models of UK prototypes, but that certainly doesn't mean that others should be ignored. And as others have said a good model is a good model - even with the country I'm interested in I've not a lot of time for the current scene but I've happily spent quite a bit of time looking at some very good models of it.
  7. For a while I was living in France but returning to the UK quite often. I found driving on the right a little awkward at first but the thing that always threw me - either way, every time I travelled - was the first time I came to a roundabout, I had to think very carefully about which way round I was supposed to go. Fortunately I didn't get it wrong. There was one time where I briefly found myself on the wrong side of a road though.
  8. The important thing is for people to be convinced that the rule really matters, so that they're not just following it - and being reminded about it - as a box-ticking exercise. I get annoyed by people who take a "don't question, just obey" approach for this reason. It doesn't result in rules being taken seriously when they should be because it's too likely to result in people who, where they do follow them, don't for the right reason. Which means slack practice is more likely to develop. The frequent response to that is increased monitoring, which IMO is both unpleasant and not particularly effective because it's treating a symptom and not a disease.
  9. That's just another "here are the rules, stick to them." Once again, telling people what they should do is necessary but not sufficient.
  10. Get inside peoples' heads, how people behave and react to different things, why there may be a thoroughly ingrained ground-in sense of "never pass a signal at danger" (and probably a feeling of unease even under those circumstances where it is allowed) yet where it can be hard to get people to treat other restrictions as seriously. You can write rules that say they should all be treated with the utmost seriousness but it's rather harder to get peoples' brains to instinctively do so. A conscientious person will still obey them but that's the conscious side doing so, having to think about it. You want the instinctive behaviour to be in the same place. Using the wider context of this thread as an example, why would (hopefully!) no-one reading this be part of any of the stupidity described in this thread? Ultimately it's not because we blindly obey the rules of level crossings but because we've got the right level of thinking about them, to the point where it would be just about impossible to overcome our instincts not to do something stupid at a level crossing. To get there requires more than simply being told "these are the rules, stick to them."
  11. Could be worse, they could've gone for this one: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=382875&Y=579924&A=Y&Z=115
  12. What's the thinking behind that? Or more to the point why wasn't that layout used in the first place? It saves a diamond. The short bit of wrong line running involved?
  13. Why the "but"? I said that earlier because it was a thought that occurred to me, and it would be interesting to hear the take of people with real world railway knowledge on that point. It does matter what form the signs etc. take because they may be contributing to the issue. If they're perceived as not that important for some reason whilst some others are treated as much more important (hopefully drivers aren't doing the same with signals) then there's probably a fault with both training and the sign. I wouldn't expect it on our railways, whether NR or a narrow gauge line or anything else, either. For some reason an attitude of complancency has developed regarding that crossing and it's important to work out every aspect of why. "The sign should be obeyed, end of" simply isn't getting right to the bottom of it, even though it's true. My point is that "these are the rules, you must obey them" is true but is also too simple, especially when you're dealing with people and not robots.
  14. Sure, the sign is clear enough - stop unless the crossing is clear, so there's no reason to pass it without stopping if the crossing isn't clear. And people working the line should understand it. My point all along though is that it's all well and good saying what things should be but you also need to consider typical human behaviour and how (bad) habits form even when people really should know better. Regarding raising that sort of thing as finding excuses doesn't really help getting to the bottom of why poor behaviour happens in the first place, and without that it's much harder to come to a satisfactory solution. "Here are a bunch of rules - obey them" and nothing more than that only gets you so far. You've still got problems if the people supposed to obey them are only doing so because they see them as something arbitrary they've got to do to avoid being in official trouble rather than because they understand the reason for them well enough to want to even if there was no penalty for ignoring them (and I'd trust the latter person in a situation with poorly defined rules more than someone blindly following better defined ones).
  15. It's not a case of picking driver or sign and saying one is OK, one is at fault. Arguing there are issues with the sign is not excusing the poor driving practice. All raising questions about the sign is doing is considering a part of the explanation of what lead to the incident. It seems to my amateur mind that the wording of the sign might've contributed to drivers driving the way they've done. That's an explanation, not a justification. Too often explaining is treated as justifying. AFAICT no-one is saying there is an excuse.
  • Create New...