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Gwiwer

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Gwiwer last won the day on February 19

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  • Location
    Upon a Hill of Strawberries
  • Interests
    Photography, Hill and coastal walking, Cornish history and legend, Music of most genres, Real Ales, Railway modelling, Lisa Simpson.

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  1. York - Shrewsbury would have been the same turn as the Aberystwyth. Did it finish at Shrewsbury in its last couple of years? My travels were before the Deltic was on and definitely had a 40 on the first half. There was one night when we stopped at Huddersfield with so much steam escaping it wasn’t possible to see the station from inside the train. But it was nice and warm! IIRC the Aber leg was replaced by a DMU as sprinters were planned but delayed.
  2. The change being intended to avoid offence to non-Christians. "Political" correctness gets everywhere. They have a point. If one is, for example, Muslim or Jewish then strictly speaking this is not the year 2019AD. And the most learned of Biblical scholars would probably agree that with changes over the years that The Year of Our Lord is not an absolute and that he may have in fact been born in AD6 or even 13BC
  3. More great pics Peter and it's always good to catch up with Llanbourne and its trains. I hope you and yours are well. 37026 in BR blue with Scottie dog and "Loch Awe" nameplates has just arrived here and will be paired with the ScotRail Mk1 coaches. Both are limited editions and might eventually appear on a hoped-for Scottish Highlands-themed plank along with the McRats and future 21/29s I'm not an expert on North Wales but there might have been a Pass + News working from Manchester Vic - Bangor. I remember the York - Aberystwyth one as I made a few overnight journeys on that. A 40 from York, swapped to a 24 at Crewe, and formed of ex-Insulfish 4-wheelers painted blue and used for parcels plus the CK+BSK Mk1 combination and sundry bogie vans which were added and subtracted at various stops through the night.
  4. 387s could indeed serve Appleford, Culham and Radley but given the platform lengths and patronage a 2-car might be the better option. Keep the 387s where they are most. needed
  5. Not necessarily. A 2-car fleet could be used to manage capacity on other routes where peak strengthening might be felt necessary and indeed on the Greenford shuttle also under discussion here. Two 2-car units could run the Windsor Central branch without platform or signalling changes AFAIK and offer the much-needed capacity boost over the solitary diesel two-car unit currently in use. So a fleet of perhaps 20 2-car units could be deployed on the Henley (2 units coupled), Marlow (2 single units at peak times, one off peak), Windsor (2 coupled), Greenford (one), Didcot - Oxford stoppers (2 single units) and Bedwyn - Paddington (3 trains of 4 cars) which would release a couple of 8xx for their intended main line duties, with at least three for peak use and two spare.
  6. I once had a real pacer misfortune. Using a staff "box" for some free travel over otherwise seldom-travelled lines in the north-east and north-west I had one of the wretched things turn up on the Middlesbrough - Sunderland working. I wasn't surprised when that turned into the Newcastle working because it appeared to be a through service on some but not all of the relevant timetable pages. What I had failed to spot was that the very same service was advertised on another table as a through working from Sunderland to Metro Centre and such it duly became. But the real pain (in many senses) was the fact that the Metro Centre journey was a through train to Carlisle meaning I was aboard the confounded thing from Middlesbrough to Carlisle. My onward travels then took me via the Cumbrian coast to Workington and thence on to Lancaster. Guess what formed the Lancaster-via-the-coast train for another four hours ......... Back in the days when all those services were BR Provincial Sector, the 142 had its original bus seating but despite near-freezing temperatures no heating because oop north they are supposedly a tougher breed of folk. At least the toilet worked. I see 8xx are now in traffic with TPX. Any first-hand accounts? If nothing else they should ease the desperate (dangerous) levels of overcrowding found with the three-car 185s normally used.
  7. Pacers don’t travel at 125mph. And while they do get used on some inappropriately long journeys they are mostly of a nature where passengers make shorter journeys. London to Penzance or Aberdeen far exceed any Pacer working.
  8. Bus changes are being brought in well in advance of the Elizabeth Line opening. This has already been the case where new route 301 links various areas to Abbey Wood and has been used to justify modest frequency reductions on other routes. It must be remembered that TfL is staring down the black hole of budget deficit for various reasons. Buses are being chopped and changed in many areas to save money. This is pushed as more closely meeting demand. TfL has not got the message that, whilst it may not cost the user any more to use a second or subsequent bus within 60 minutes of first touch-on, passengers resent waiting in general and will resist having to wait twice if their route is shortened. It usually lengthens overall journey time and increases user uncertainty. One bus not turning up is inconvenient; two not turning up and the car might be used instead. The Greenford branch has always been lightly used. It serves only a few stations which are better connected by bus to Ealing and other centres. Perhaps a long-term solution would be to extend the Central Line in a new tunnel from Ealing Broadway to West Ealing then taking over the existing route. While that could pose problems for the freight and light engine moves which currently run that way some could potentially be accommodated overnight outside Central Line traffic hours. Such a service might then turn back at Greenford or continue to the depot location at West Ruislip.
  9. Oyster and Travelcards will not be valid beyond West Drayton. Contactless payg will be available from January (the annual fare change) on a point-to-point basis exactly as is the case between Merstham and Gatwick Airport Oyster is available between those stations and points within the zoned area but the drift to payg means there is felt to be no need to extend Oyster to Reading. Freedom Passes will also be valid for travel on TfL (Crossrail) trains only out to Reading on the same basis as exists currently to Watford Junction and Cheshunt.
  10. The riding of "Nelson" stock has been mentioned above. It is 50 years now since those last ran at full speed on a main line. Memory blurs reality into the background somewhat. I recall the gentle swaying and occasionally rough riding over points as being bearable and in a sense comforting. Not only was the suspension good for its day (after some tweaks to the original) but the seating was generously comfortable and one sank into the cushions and relaxed. If the train ran through Woking and did a hard left onto the Pompey Direct at slightly over the limit (which was not infrequent in the days before in-cab monitoring and TPWS intervention) then the entire coach-load of heads swayed in unison. On the Brighton line the regular commuters were wise-up to the points at Three Bridges and lifted drinks from tables. A drink held in the hand is far less likely to spill than one left on the table. Trust me - it works. On board the Brighton Belle stewards would not serve for those few minutes between Gatwick and Balcombe Tunnel Junction to avoid accidental spillage over those points. Trains have had weight engineered out over the years but carry more electronic and passenger-comfort kit than in the 1930s. Are we at the point of having them too light for passenger comfort?
  11. I have now made a few trips up and down the Thames Valley on various 8xx formations and on 387s which sometimes use the fast lines. This offers a direct comparison in ride quality. The 8xx are typically firmer, one can feel the suspension working and micro-vibrations are transmitted through from track to seat to passenger. That can be very uncomfortable and apparently makes a few people feel ill. There are regular alarming thumps and lurches on 8xx where it seems the tracking of the bogie is suddenly corrected but is abrupt enough - and usually at high speed - that it feels alarming and certainly sends items on tables flying. Including drinks. This occurs on plain track and does not feel the same as passing over a mud-hole at speed which typically gives a lurch and bump in the vertical plane. The lurches on the 8xx are horizontal. Riding 387s over the same track at their maximum permitted speed (100mph I believe though the stock is passed for 110mph) slightly below that of the IET sets there is no lurching. There is a little micro-vibration and there is some roughness through pointwork at Ealing and Slough though not elsewhere. This suggests it relates to age and possibly the geometry of the pointwork as those are low-speed turnouts whereas Airport Junction, Dolphin and others are higher-speed. The HSTs were not perfect in the Thames Valley either. They equated to the 387s but without the micro-vibrations. Probably because the suspension absorbed more than on modern stock and the better-padded seating absorbed what the suspension didn't. There were occasional alarming lurches and bumps which suggests a track rather than a train issue. But on the whole the HSTs were better, the 387s are OK and the 8xx IETs are alarmingly uncomfortable. Through a combination of track and train factors.
  12. Information received in my administrative role from the EKLR General Manager states that no rolling stock is involved. They have lost a workshop and tools.
  13. Additional berthing for SWR and its successors and possibly to replace the nearby and awkwardly-sited Strawberry Hill depot which nowadays sees only a few trains berthed and is only accessible via a level crossing over the Shepperton branch or, for pedestrian staff, by walkway alongside and then crossing the line at Strawberry Hill station. It has been suggested that facilities at Strawberry Hill will not be suitable for the new class 701 units.
  14. Haven't seen it and not being a big fan of Portillo's presentation I probably won't bother finding it. The Ghan consist varies. It's a good deal bigger than the old Ghan which was steam-hauled up to Marree and ultimately diesel-hauled through to the Alice on the narrow-gauge route. It is usually an NR-class loco out of Adelaide leading 20-24 passenger cars and a motorail wagon or two. An AN class is attached at Alice Springs for the extremely remote and demanding run to Darwin. The train runs twice a week in the dry season, once in the wet. On rare occasions the train has been much bigger. The first Adelaide - Darwin train was 44 cars with (iirc) a trio of NR class locos up front. The train makes a striking sight when travelling the remote route to Darwin and its arrival for the scheduled stop of several hours in Alice Springs usually brings out a few photographers. Unlike the Old Ghan the present day version is purely a land-cruise train. Basic seating was done away with some years ago meaning now one is obliged to part with several thousand Dollars to enjoy the trip. Backalong it was pioneers, explorers, mining prospectors and itinerant shearers who often endured the slow trip and the uncertainty of crossing the desert and ephemeral waterways.
  15. Oxford and Oxford Parkway do not count as "Oxford Stations" so far as I can determine. I cannot find any fares for "Oxford Stations". A return ticket between Oxford and London Terminals is valid via "Any Permitted Route" (AP) if sold at the Anytime or Off-Peak rates but is specific to a point-to-point journey by the named operator if sold at a greater discount. Off-peak and Anytime tickets are valid for break of journey therefore they should, again so far as I can determine, be accepted when alighting at Oxford Parkway travelling via High Wycombe but not when travelling via Reading. The logic being that when travelling from Paddington via Reading one has reached the ticketed destination at Oxford and to travel further (as in to Parkway) is deemed a new journey. When travelling from Parkway the direct route is via High Wycombe and a different fare applies via Reading. Paddington - Oxford via Reading is 63 1/2 miles; via High Wycombe it is 66 1/2. Parkway is 67 miles via Reading but only 63 via High Wycombe. The difference is slight but will affect pricing. "AP" tickets often permit a passenger to travel via a longer and (usually) slower route than the direct one should they wish to. Another example to hand is Victoria or London Bridge to Brighton for which the normal route is via Haywards Heath but AP offers via Crawley and Littlehampton or Ford but not Barnham because of the double-back distance meaning one must travel on the slow portion of Arun Valley trains. It also permits Victoria - Sutton - Horsham - Littlehampton or Ford - Brighton. But Southern Only, Thameslink Only or any of the range of heavily discounted tickets available will only be valid via Haywards Heath unless the train booked that way is diverted. As always ticketing is a minefield and one should take the average of three opinions when it comes to ticketing less usual or more complex journeys.
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