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    Near Uncle Joe's Mintball factory !!

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  1. Overtime was not taken into account when I retired on my final salary pension, but our yearly bonus was. The best of the last three years earnings so I remember. Every scheme has differing rules though. Sunday working seems to be a bee in the bonnet for some railway drivers. We will soon (don't laugh) need a virtual 24/7 railway, certainly in our large conurbations as climate change etc forces on us all reduced car use etc. This is a problem that needs sorting soon. The railway unions need to look at this from both the viewpoint of the membership and the fare paying customer (which I doubt they will do). We cannot return to being held to ransom by the unions (and yes I was, and still am a lifelong union member). Yes driving trains is a responsible job and deserves decent pay. Also the technology push could see the elimination of drivers as well as guards in the future, a move I am against actually, though over in the USA with their mile plus long freight trains it is seriously being looked at. No stopping technology (AKA cost cutting) these days. I'll go back to service, I still remember the gross inconvenience caused by the Northern Rail guards dispute last year, a horrendous time for the fare payer. This year new trains coming on line and no-one to dive them due to no forward planning. Nobody gives a toss anymore - NO ONE - Broken Britain 2019. One good point - I earlier dropped my daughter off at a re-branded Wigan North Western. Her train to Lancaster 1S90 London to Glasgow arrived 2 minutes late, just arrived in Lancaster on time - I'll not complain about that, and wish Avanti well - time will tell. Brit15
  2. Talking of railway photography showing the bigger picture, I came across this album on Flickr last night. All in the North West, some superb photos here. DP2 fans will weep, but be enlivened with the new stuff departing "The Vulcan". Only 43 photos in this album - but every one is an absolute cracker. This is the railway as I remember it. The overall atmosphere of these shots, mucky industry & all is what I try to model on my OO loft layout, with to my mind some success (then again only me sees it !!!!!) https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157663795444141 What a great photographer Eddie was - R.I.P. Brit15
  3. Your not wrong Royal Oak, I fully agree with you. It will cost to get this mess sorted, but passengers will benefit if the trains run, albeit at a bit of extra cost. On "The Gas" all our Sunday working, rostered or not was double time - mostly emergency and planned renewal works that had to be done on a Sunday. Saturday & other overtime was paid time and a half, no shift work back in my day. We were well paid but we worked hard and actually served our customers (or is that a no no these days - seems to be - everywhere). We had very few if any serious gripes with higher management and certainly there was very little industrial action over the years (and NONE from staff). Safety was NEVER compromised at any time. Even for many years after we were privatised in 1986 by Maggie - we still had an engineer at our helm, Sir Dennis Rooke - a top guy with gas in his veins. I'll say it again, Northern management (and above way up to the PM) is sh*te - absolute sh*te. They should have prepared a long time ago staffing levels for these new trains and their required training, not rocket science it's called forward planning. The Railways need a Railway man at the top, not a bean counter. Too late now - we all are in a mess & no easy way out now. Look at this for an excuse on the Northern rail disruption site, yes I can accept bustitution for engineering works https://www.northernrailway.co.uk/news/travel-alerts/2386-timetables-change-sunday-dec8 Each week, we are having to adjust our Sunday timetable and as a result, our on-board crew rosters, on a small number of routes in the north west. There are several factors impacting on our ability to run these services, including engineering work and being able to match employees’ availability within their working agreements Brit15
  4. Yes, Sunday working was part of my contract, and of most others also at the customer facing front end in the gas industry. As it should be. If Sunday working not in yours as a driver then our whole railway system (on a sunday) is an absolute joke. (as far as the fare payer goes). Services advertised, tickets sold, trains run at the whim of the staff wether to turn up or not, what a way to run a railroad !!. Not your fault Royal Oak, it's managements - all the way to the top. (just WHO is at the top these days ?). Brit15
  5. Sorry Royal Oak - not good enough. YES it is managements fault. 100%. Paying passengers demand and deserve trains to run, management should ensure sufficient assets and trained personnel are available to provide said service. I worked, as a gas engineer on standby duties many perhaps hundreds of Sundays (and all other days and nights) on both rostered and emergency work, all hours, all weathers. I was management, we, at ALL levels knew what we were doing back then, labourer up to MD, and care for the customer was our motto. We provided (and still do) a 24/7 service to every customer, and we didn't down tools and off at midnight like our railways seem to do today. Brit15
  6. I'd like to see a Class 800 go over that crossing and see how it fares in an argument with a Kenworth hauling hogs !!!!!! Brit15
  7. Daughter travels daily Wigan to Liverpool - the line was electrified a few years ago, service was OK till recently. She moans service cancellations now daily - shortage of drivers etc . It's pathetic. They have even cancelled trains tomorrow (sunday) citing on their web site lack of drivers. They have new units, was on one today a 3 car 3something or other (a CAF unit) - I don't look at the numbers anymore.. Bloody hard seats and it runs like a washing machine. The old 319 coming home from Liverpool was swift, silent and comfortable. Old and reliable. Just not good for the fare paying punter. Cancelled trains due to lack of drivers = shyte management full stop. Last virgin op train on her way as I type, a special, Headcode 1Z47 https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/S28567/2019-12-07/detailed Sail on silver girl !!! Brit15
  8. Here's a bit of level crossing "stupidity" with a difference. Here the train driver has to obey road junction traffic lights and drive carefully, not easy at all !! Brit15
  9. Quite a few times actually - mainly the Lancaster - Wigan - Warrington corridor, so always a choice of trains if the odd one was late / cancelled. A few times also to London / Edinburgh. The WORST outfit is Northern, simply pathetic at the moment, and getting worse. They need "putting down", (the management that is). Brit15
  10. Non tilting 125mph north of Preston - Ha Ha. Buckets and sponges will be handed out at Lancaster on northbound non tilting trains to all passengers to spew in & clean up afterwards. Avanti !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The last Virgin operated train is due to depart Euston for Wolverhampton in a couple of minutes. Thank you Virgin, you have never let me down. Brit15
  11. As to vasectomies they are performed in Wigan at the aptly named Longshoot medical centre !!! (not on me though !!). "Look at the ceiling" says the Doc as he picks up two house bricks !!!!!! Wigan recycling - very good instructions on what goes where - but as ever some omissions are noticeable small plastic food trays (brown bin ?) etc https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Bins-Recycling/Which-bin-do-I-use.aspx Yes supermarket / food packaging needs a serious re think. Most of my garbage these days is food & drink packaging. Brit15
  12. Due to many comments on various threads I would not touch this firm with a barge pole. I ordered a bargain loco from Rails of Sheffield's web site (first time user) on Tuesday morning, Wed evening at teatime there it was delivered. I will use them again. Brit15
  13. The Pendolino is a modern(ish) aluminium train - did well when derailed at 95mph, brought the overhead down (with some masts) and went down an embankment. True it didn't run into anything other than some OHLE masts. And NO I do not wish to see an 800 in a similar situation, but more structural tests would certainly put those in doubt at a little more ease. A LOT of money is being invested in these, and they, like it or lump it will soon be THE main high speed train for most in the future for many years. Brit15
  14. Just think in the year 2525 the kids (???) will be watching cartoons of The teenage mutant ninja Co-Bo Otters !!! With plastic recycling, here in Wigan we have FOUR wheelie bins, Black for general landfill, Green food & garden waste goes to compost, Blue paper, cardboard and card type drink containers and Brown for tins, glass and most plastics. What defines most plastics is a mystery - how do they sort out the different types ? - or do they not ? I'm sick of throw away plastic packaging - mostly made from expensive oil, such a waste. The environmentalists are correct on this point. Brit15
  15. Newtons laws of physics in action. I wonder how the Mk 3's in the HST fared ? Brit15
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