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Pet hate idioms used by railway enthusiasts


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12 hours ago, ejstubbs said:

 

I would tend to agree.  The 'technical' term in the UK is "footway" - that part of the road reserved for the use of pedestrians*.  As opposed to the "carriageway", which is the bit that 'carriages' (i.e. wheeled vehicles, including bicycles) are supposed to be driven on (but pedestrians can use as well - with most wisely choosing not to for the majority of the time, other than where no footway is provided).

 

Totally non-railway-related but one that's starting to bug me currently is the rise of the tautological coinage "EV vehicle".

 

* And certain specialised wheeled vehicles, the most obvious exception cases being powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

 

Or sidewalk in the US.

 

I was surprised at how seriously they took jaywalking and crossing roads. I got told off by one of those motorcycle cops for trying to cross the road at a reasonably sensible place instead of walking about 100 yards to cross. There was no traffic at all. 

 

It was something like "Sir. Use the designated crosswalks!"  :keeporder:

 

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5 hours ago, corneliuslundie said:

But of course the next stop might be at a signal not at a station. In the days before guard controlled doors it was known for people to leave the train at such points places.

Do I remember Gerard Fiennes commenting on such an event on the viaduct near Bethnal Green?

Jonathan

Either Frank Muir or Denis Norden used to recount a story of someone in the same carriage to them. The train stopped in the middle of nowhere, the passenger went to the door, opened it, and fell into the cess. He scrambled back on board, muttered something about 'you must think I'm a bloody idiot', something that was confirmed when he opened the door on the other side of the carriage, and fell into the 6-foot.

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10 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

True but my understanding is that they cross the River not the Firth.

 

According to the Forth Rivers Trust (who one might reasonably safely assume should know about such things) the Firth starts at the tidal limit of the river.  According to the OS 1:50,000 map, that's at a point to the east of the M9 just north of J10:

 

65462468_Screenshot2021-06-12at13_41_53.png.06a41194252d6facc4b67a10de770807.png

 

(The tidal zone of a river that flows in to the sea is outlined with a black line; the non-tidal zone is outlined with a blue line.)

 

So I count two rail bridges over the tidal river at Stirling, one right next to t'other, the no longer extant one at Alloa, and The Forth Bridge.

 

The "nominal start" of the River Forth (i.e. the point downstream of which it is actually called the River Forth) is at the confluence of the Duchray Water and the outflow from Loch Ard (which doesn't seem to have a name as such), at a village called Milton about a mile west of Aberfoyle.  This means that there used to be another rail bridge over the river, at grid reference NS543980* on the Strathendrick and Aberfoyle Railway - though it was not tidal at this point, so would not have counted as part of the firth.

 

* Or, if you prefer What Three Words: "get tae falkirk".

Edited by ejstubbs
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On 10/06/2021 at 10:51, keefer said:

The inability, of the press especially, to know the difference between 'Flying Scotsman' (the loco) and 'The Flying Scotsman' (the train).

e.g. 'The Flying Scotsman is the most famous steam train in the world' then go on to describe the locomotive.

 

Another similar to this is adding 'The..' to a locomotive name that doesn't have it e.g. 'The Mallard'

 I know people who have made official complaints to the BBC about doing that. It gets noticed and reported back to them. Maybe one day the message will seep in.

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2 hours ago, Steamport Southport said:

 

Or sidewalk in the US.

 

I was surprised at how seriously they took jaywalking and crossing roads. I got told off by one of those motorcycle cops for trying to cross the road at a reasonably sensible place instead of walking about 100 yards to cross. There was no traffic at all. 

 

It was something like "Sir. Use the designated crosswalks!"  :keeporder:

 

 

Be careful in Shenzhen China !!! Watch from 5 min 30 sec.

 

 

Brit15

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A major gripe is the tendency of some enthusiasts to call the town (and railway junction/extreme signal box and associated railway establishments) Salop  - although Shrewsbury is a historic market town and also the County town, Salop is actually to the normal populace a shortened name for the County of Shropshire, which contains a further 17 market towns, far flung places like Whitchurch, Oswestry, Ludlow, Bridgnorth, Market Drayton and (though no longer in the administrative Authority area), Telford, Wellington, Ironbridge. I’m aware ex railway men have a bit of an excuse because both the LMS and GWR referred to Shrewsbury incorrectly as Salop, and as with many things railway, the error has been carried forward by grandfather rights!! 
 

When I hear it, it makes me chuckle, and wondering why in the same vein Eastleigh couldn’t be referred to as Hants or Ashford as Kent, Swindon as Wilts - well of course they wouldn’t!! That would be bonkers haha!! 
 

And another thing - I also find the double yellow, single yellow thing odd - I wonder whether it may originate from the fact distant signals were painted ‘yellow’, not amber, and again this could have carried forward by grandfather rights (another example). One hopes no poor railwaymen have done their driving test (the one for the highway), and in being asked the sequence of traffic signals from red didn’t blurt out yellow…… highway traffic signals (and warning lights) are called amber - by TSRGD legislation - including the one shown

at a level crossing!! The appropriate traffic signal aspect is also referred to as amber in the 1933 Report of the Departmental Committee on Traffic Signs (set up to review and update the definitions for traffic signs covered in section 48 of the Road Traffic Act, 1930, and comprising a forerunner of subsequent SIs, where all the layouts, and legal background are covered. 
 

It’s not entirely clear why the railway is out of step with this use of the word amber??!!! My suggestion above may possibly point to it!! 

Edited by MidlandRed
Useless autocorrect
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24 minutes ago, MidlandRed said:

A major gripe is the tendency of some enthusiasts to call the town (and railway junction/extreme signal box and associated railway establishments) Salop  - although Shrewsbury is a historic market town and also the County town, Salop is actually to the normal populace a shortened name for the County of Shropshire, which contains a further 17 market towns, far flung places like Whitchurch, Oswestry, Ludlow, Bridgnorth, Market Drayton and (though no longer in the administrative Authority area), Telford, Wellington, Ironbridge. I’m aware ex railway men have a bit of an excuse because both the LMS and GWR referred to Shrewsbury incorrectly as Salop, and as with many things railway, the error has been carried forward by grandfather rights!! 
 

 

Salop & Shrewsbury are derived from the same place name.

Shrewsbury used to be Salopisberia

 

BTW the pronunciation should be Shrowsbury as only in relatively recent times has the "o" changed to an "e", at a time when Shrew & Shrow were both pronounced Shrow

Edited by melmerby
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16 minutes ago, MidlandRed said:

…… highway traffic signals (and warning lights) are called amber - by TSRGD legislation - including the one shown at a level crossing!! It’s not entirely clear why the railway is out of step with this??!!! 

Given that the first yellow distant signal (Metropolitan & District) appeared in 1907, the GCR introduced yellow lights in distant signals in 1916 (and yellow arms in 1918) and a 1925 BoT requirement for all distant signals to display yellow lights and yellow arms, but the first traffic lights (with an amber light) didn't appear until 1927, I would argue that it is "highways" that is out of step with the railways!

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10 minutes ago, melmerby said:

Salop & Shrewsbury are derived from the same place name.

Shrewsbury used to be Salopisberia

 

BTW the pronunciation should be Shrowsbury as only in recent times has the "o" changed to an "e"

Absolutely - anyone pronouncing it shrews bury is surely wrong, and gets strange looks from locals. I think the history of the County/region being called Salop extends back a lot further than Shrewsbury as such - in more recent years the County was called Salop, only being changed to Shropshire (with some opposition in 1972) - as the administrative centre and county town is Shrewsbury, you can see why remote burocracies like railway companies might get confused - I don’t think the station’s ever been called Salop but the loco sheds were? Presumably even the railway companies realised calling the station Salop might be confusing (or maybe the locals corrected them!!!) 

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46 minutes ago, iands said:

Given that the first yellow distant signal (Metropolitan & District) appeared in 1907, the GCR introduced yellow lights in distant signals in 1916 (and yellow arms in 1918) and a 1925 BoT requirement for all distant signals to display yellow lights and yellow arms, but the first traffic lights (with an amber light) didn't appear until 1927, I would argue that it is "highways" that is out of step with the railways!

Interesting info - as I say - I suspect based on the paint colour of the arms which really are a shade of yellow - are railway colour light signals ever really yellow - even the most up to date LED ones (I must check on old BS colour shades - is it chrome yellow; hookes green etc etc on plans (blast from the past..)!! Seriously, railway colour lights are surely closer to orange in reality, than yellow (and thus amber) - or maybe I’m part colour blind!!! But I can see why, when running two systems on the railways (semaphore and colour light) it would make sense to perpetuate the ‘yellow’ semaphore terminology whereas highway legislation and equipment was starting from scratch without the need to embrace two systems side by side. 
 

I really don’t have a problem with the railway industry calling the aspect yellow btw, I was just musing on the inconsistency across industries and expanding on the previous posts in this thread on the subject. 

Edited by MidlandRed
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Shrewsbury in 1016 was Scrobbesbyrig meaning fortified place by the Scrub(land).

The county name was derived from it and around the same time was Scrobbesbyrigscir (Shrewsburyshire)

Edited by melmerby
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12 minutes ago, MidlandRed said:

Absolutely - anyone pronouncing it shrews bury is surely wrong, and gets strange looks from locals. I think the history of the County/region being called Salop extends back a lot further than Shrewsbury as such - in more recent years the County was called Salop, only being changed to Shropshire (with some opposition in 1972) - as the administrative centre and county town is Shrewsbury, you can see why remote burocracies like railway companies might get confused - I don’t think the station’s ever been called Salop but the loco sheds were? Presumably even the railway companies realised calling the station Salop might be confusing (or maybe the locals corrected them!!!) 

I think the French translation was the decider for the name!

0ED5FE50-1F09-440E-B182-EA5BE2022961.png

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Road traffic lights may be referred to legally as amber but what colour IS the material amber? Is it in fact a distinct colour or does the colour of amber vary?

Of course "yellow" cover a multitude of sins too.

Jonathan

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12 hours ago, The Johnster said:

I’m sure I read somewhere that, unlike all the other bridges on the network, it does not have a number, simply being known as THE bridge.  

 

I wonder if that has to do with it having been a railway company all in itself. 

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13 minutes ago, Mark Saunders said:

I think the French translation was the decider for the name!

0ED5FE50-1F09-440E-B182-EA5BE2022961.png

Blimey!! I have heard of the word Salope - but the Google translator or whatever seems to have taken a leaf out of the ‘My hovercraft is full of eels’ phrase book comedy sketch. However there’s quite a history of the county being referred to as Shropshire as well (A Shropshire Lad as an example). 
 

Im really not sure why the railways called the sheds Salop. I’m sure the town wasn’t referred to as Salop by the time the railways got there. Curiosity really -  and I’ve seen people call Shrewsbury Salop on this forum as well (maybe they meant the sheds but I think not..)
 

 

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11 hours ago, iands said:

Yep, checked yesterday on the 5 mile diagrams and it doesn't have number. 

 

Did it not originally belong to its own separate joint railway company, funded by several of the mainline companies that profited from the traffic running over it?  So if most of your railway company runs over its one and only bridge, numbering it would be a little redundant. 

 

Q. Guess the number of our one and only bridge?

A. One.

 

Of course once the situation has arisen, the bridge can never have a number, as there MUST be an exception somewhere to the 'rule' that every bridge has a number, and if you are on the railway and have an odd exception for strange historical reasons it might as well be a great big one. Also the local staff have probably been enjoying sending new starters out with a pot of white paint and a brush to touch up the bridge number plate for years.

 

Strangely not having a number perhaps identifies it more than if it did have a number as there will be hundreds of bridges for each of the lower numbers, identified by their number and ELR. But presumably there is only one bridge number blank.

 

I wonder if this quirk has annoyed everyone tasked to write a program to store bridge data, when they had to go back and alter the data input error checking to allow no number to be entered if bridge is painted Forth Bridge Red.

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19 minutes ago, MidlandRed said:

Blimey!! I have heard of the word Salope - but the Google translator or whatever seems to have taken a leaf out of the ‘My hovercraft is full of eels’ phrase book comedy sketch. However there’s quite a history of the county being referred to as Shropshire as well (A Shropshire Lad as an example). 
 

Im really not sure why the railways called the sheds Salop. I’m sure the town wasn’t referred to as Salop by the time the railways got there. Curiosity really -  and I’ve seen people call Shrewsbury Salop on this forum as well (maybe they meant the sheds but I think not..)
 

 

AFAIK the town was never known as Salop, although being from the same lineage as it's county.

The GWR didn't necessarily use accurate terms for its engine sheds as Old Oak Common was PDN (for Paddington)!

Paddington is 3 miles from OOC

 

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1 hour ago, MidlandRed said:

.......Shropshire, which contains a further 17 market towns, far flung places like ....... Telford, ........

Isn't Telford a relatively recent invention  -  somewhat post-dating the concept of Market Towns ??!?

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1 minute ago, Wickham Green too said:

Isn't Telford a relatively recent invention  -  somewhat post-dating the concept of Market Towns ??!?

It was a 1960s new town IIRC encompassing Wellington, Ketley, Oakengates and some other settlements.

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1 hour ago, melmerby said:

Salop & Shrewsbury are derived from the same place name.

Shrewsbury used to be Salopisberia

 

BTW the pronunciation should be Shrowsbury as only in relatively recent times has the "o" changed to an "e", at a time when Shrew & Shrow were both pronounced Shrow

 

The problem is the symbol they are showing as an "o" is an old Anglo Saxon letter pronounced oo

 

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3c/En-uk-shrewsbury.ogg

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1 minute ago, Steamport Southport said:

 

The problem is the symbol they are showing as an "o" is an old Anglo Saxon letter pronounced oo

 

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3c/En-uk-shrewsbury.ogg

I don't think the o is Anglo Saxon oo.

Also see here:

http://www.runetree.co.uk/?articles/2013/06/29/the-anglo-saxon-alphabet-and-pronunciation.html

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20 minutes ago, Wickham Green too said:

Isn't Telford a relatively recent invention  -  somewhat post-dating the concept of Market Towns ??!?


Yes - as stated by @melmerby above - though it’s not quite that straightforward - in the early 60s the new town was referred to as Dawley but became Telford a little later when it got its own ‘development corporation’ which planned the whole thing - Unlike the similar one to the south of Birmingham, Telford got a made up name whereas Redditch remained Redditch (similar development corporation). 
 

The comma in my post before Telford indicated I’d stopped referring to market towns, but I’m pretty sure Wellington was/is a market town (and retains that name) but is part of ‘Telford and Wrekin’, the unitary authority and really is a part of the broader Telford. I guess it’s rather like Milton Keynes and some of the longer established places it encompasses or adjoins. 

Edited by MidlandRed
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2 hours ago, MidlandRed said:

A major gripe is the tendency of some enthusiasts to call the town (and railway junction/extreme signal box and associated railway establishments) Salop  - although Shrewsbury is a historic market town and also the County town

When I worked for Royal Mail, we used the term 'Salop' for Shrewsbury as well, though there is a historical and well entrenched association between the Royal Mail and the railways, with much of the sortation and distribution being based on railway routes and called 'roads'.

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