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Fenman last won the day on January 7 2011

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  1. The Mk2b was the mainstay in the last years of LHCS on the pre-electrified West Anglia line, Liverpool Street—Cambridge—King’s Lynn, first in B/G InterCity, then in NSE, and as often as not hauled by Cl.37s. Damnit. I sold most of my 00 stock a couple of years ago and went large instead, but now I’m thinking maybe there’s some room for a little 00… Paul
  2. “These days”? It’s been going on for decades — and if you’ve only just realised then you haven’t been paying attention. “Yes Minister” is more than 40 years old and that was just reflecting what was then already long-established practice. Paul
  3. The electric division of the Milwaukee Road (it was a toss-up between that and the Anaconda: I love those primitive heavyweight electrics). If you had allowed interurbans I might have chosen the Bamberger in the early 1950s. Paul
  4. There are alternatives. I dunno: make it compulsory for cars to have a loudspeaker fitted which has a proximity alert, telling them to pull over right now? ALl the sound from that would be confined to the car, making it possible to have a less piercing warning for pedestrians, etc. That's probably a garbage idea, but what is interesting in your reply is your presumption that catering to the needs of a motorist who has deliberately chosen to coccoon themselves in silence is much more important than the environmental impact on humans going about their business in the open air. Priority for motorists yet again. And then petrolheads wonder why people start insisting on low-speed roads, blocking of rat-runs, and even legislation to discourage them from driving cars which pollute the lungs and brains of toddlers in built up areas. Back vaguely O/T, as a passenger I think these Flirts are rather good: much better than the tired old rattlers they have replaced. Paul
  5. Cars are increasingly isolated from the outside world, posh ones now even having double glazing. The consequence is that any warning noise has to be increased in order to penetrate to the driver. It’s why the sirens on emergency vehicles are getting louder and louder. The fact this all makes it very unpleasant to exposed pedestrians is apparently of no consequence. Paul
  6. Twenty-thirty years ago I had occasional evening meetings with a work dinner in Edinburgh, and the Sleeper let me then get back to my London office for a normal start to the working day. It was theoretically ideal, had a whiff of romance, and in reality never worked. I called them "dozers" rather than sleepers -- random points jarring suddenly shaking you awake; your bed running side-to-side instead of front-to-back making every change of speed worse; and occasional stops in the middle of the night where some platform worker would stand randomly outside a carriage window and shout "Crewe" (or whatever) in their loudest voice... And without going into TMI, my bladder has not improved with age: a schlep along the corridor was never any fun (though I understand some of the new trains have ensuites). So I think it's a non-runner? Not necessarily, actually. It's hard to predict the future, but the trends seem to be: discouraging air travel (look at how some European governments made airline bail-outs contingent on them stopping routes which competed with high-speed rail); a shift to EVs (and it's difficult to see how aviation could do that -- though, as I wrote, it's hard to predict the future); a world in which we have to live with Covid, which makes individual sleeper compartments much more attractive than being crammed into an over-crowded short-haul plane; less mobility for much higher prices... That world might be a little more amenable to overnight sleeper services. Though I'm still not betting my pension on it. Paul
  7. On a point of pedantry, many people living in the Medieval period were more widely-travelled than you appear to be assuming: by some estimates, at the maximum extent of its popularity at any one time some 20% of the population of western Europe was engaged in either travelling on a pilgrimage or providing economic services (inns, food, stabling, souvenirs, etc) to pilgrims. The Canterbury Tales wasn't describing an incredibly rare activity. Paul
  8. The last list I saw, while making it clear the service pattern wasn’t finalised, showed both Cambridge flyers and Thameslink services calling at the new station. Has that changed? Paul
  9. No, that’s just making excuses. The mantra for communication professionals is (or should be) “if they haven’t heard it, you haven’t said it” (there’s even a text book with that title). Paul
  10. It would help if they employed people who could write English: ”In those areas such as Paddington / Reading / Didcot Parkway / Oxford / Bristol & Exeter local areas / Cardiff - Portsmouth and around 75% of Plymouth - Penzance services will continue to operate.” Setting that aside, this situation is horrible. And a good example of why a bit of diversity in fleets would give a bit more resilience. Paul
  11. The Judith Edge ES1 is a really delightful model, so it surprises me no-one has done an RTR version. The NRM Collection in Miniature would be an obvious place for it. Obviously this is not an ES1, even if they say it is... Paul
  12. What's today's date, again? Though having written that, one of the big Middle Eastern airlines has installed giant screens in a first class suite that otherwise would be windowless, on which is displayed a view outside the plane (or anything else you fancy from the IFE). Paul PS: Exactly 6,000 posts, Ron Ron Ron? You are a very prolific man!
  13. The 442s were designed for one specific route -- the ex-LSW greyhound-racing track Weymouth-Southampton-Waterloo -- and BR made fantastically efficient use of cascaded electrical equipment from the EMUs they replaced, making them very cheap. They were a step-change up in comfort from the REP/TCs they replaced, the shocking silence inside the coaches being just one of the obvious improvements. ISTR they held the world speed record for 3rd rail stock for many, many years. But being designed for one specific route they later struggled when put onto others, each also requiring expensive refurbishment work. Each time they were moved it felt like an emotionally-driven attempt to hang onto them even though they weren't really suitable. I loved them, but even I was mystified by the most recent decision to refurb and reallocate. For me, it's a sad day that they are now going to the scrappies. But they've had more than one unexpected reprieve in the past so they've done bloody well. And let's not forget they are now well into their 4th decade, so it's not as if they've had stupidly short lives. Wessex Electrics: RIP. Paul
  14. One of the five coaches was 1st class, with a mixture of compartments and a small open saloon at the driving cab end. AIUI originally the small saloon was supposed to be 2nd class but before launching the trains they decided the compartments on their own didn’t give enough 1st class seating. The Wessex Electrics were great trains, though after multiple refurbishments today they’re a pale reflection. Paul
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