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Pet hate idioms used by railway enthusiasts


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"The pedestrian lights can also give some forewarning."

And in some countries the pedestrian lights give a countdown before going red, so that often motorists can get accurate information about how many seconds before they can plough into the pedestrians.

And on another these in this thread, what HOPE is there is you are trying to get your post delivered? There are two close together not far from here, and plenty of others. Hope Valley of course is a bit repetitive; definition: “valley” or “enclosed plot of land.”

And I have to be specific with my layout name, "Sarn". It is the Sarn near Kerry, not the one not too far from Carno (about 15 miles away), and definitely not the island.

Jonathan

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But if you are not familiar with Edinburgh and you use the National Rail website you want to get to Edinburgh, not to a preserved paddle steamer. So that makes sense. What makes less sense is changing station names for the sake of it, the local example being Cardiff General which was changed to Cardiff Central (it hasn't moved).

Jonathan

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In the past, I’ve heard railway employees referring to the main station in Edinburgh as The Waverley, which could increase the chance of confusion with the paddle steamer. The main south side station in Glasgow was also sometimes called The Central. I don’t know if those are still used.

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3 hours ago, corneliuslundie said:

And in some countries the pedestrian lights give a countdown before going red

 

Also occasionally found in the UK, e.g. here in the City of London.  (You can see the countdown display in action in this Streetview shot.)  They do seem to be angled away from vehicles at the stop line, but it's quite a wide crossing so I suspect that canny drivers could see the timer by looking across to the other side (though of course they should really be concentrating on what's happening in front of them).

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17 hours ago, Pannier Tank said:

 

On the LMR when Bletchley Power Box Opened in1965 the 4 Aspect Signals were, reading from the bottom, Red, Yellow,  green, Yellow.

It changed around the late 1940s/rearly '50s with what appears to have been some overlap of the time taken for the change.  Thus in some places signal heads were being installed with red at the bottom while there were still a few appearing with green at the bottom - probably all depended on when the orders were placed. 

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15 hours ago, Wickham Green too said:

Renaming was obviously some time between 6/4/86 ...

 

..... and 1/3/87 ...

Well, yes and no. What you have identified was the NSE Re-branding that occurred overnight for 10.6.86, when Waterloo was the station that launched the whole concept. I think the 'London' prefix idea predated that by some years, but money was not wasted on new signs except as part of a major refurbishment. ISTR that signing was the responsibility of the Regional Architect, and the individual chappie involved was also an East Sussex County Councillor. I found him tough to pin down on dates etc. 

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3 hours ago, corneliuslundie said:

What makes less sense is changing station names for the sake of it, the local example being Cardiff General which was changed to Cardiff Central (it hasn't moved).

And it will always be 'The General' in my mind, to differentiate it from Queen Street.  It was changed to Central as were all the ex-GW 'Generals' in order to conform with BR's naming policy.  The GW, always individual, used 'General' in a station name to indicate that this was a station at which connection to other railways' services could be made, such as the Barry and Taff Vale at Cardiff or the LSWR at Bodmin, in other words a station that served that town for all railways in general, but was owned by the GW.  One might say that the description was superfluous after the grouping in the case of Cardiff, but as there was another major station in the city centre, Queen Street (enlarged by the GW to handle Rhymney Valley traffic as well as the Taff Vale, the Rhymney's 'Cardiff (Crockherbtown)' station being closed), it was handy to keep the well known established name.

 

'Central', even after more than 50 years, jars on my senses, and is not a particularly accurate description in that the station is at the southern edge of the city centre and can in no way be described as centrally placed.

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59 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

........ 'Central', even after more than 50 years, jars on my senses, and is not a particularly accurate description in that the station is at the southern edge of the city centre and can in no way be described as centrally placed.

A bit like Belfast Central being rather peripheral ..... they've now renamed it Lanyon Place - after some place nobody's ever heard of.

 

( Must admit 'The General' brings to mind Buster Keaton  ! )

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1 hour ago, The Johnster said:

.  It was changed to Central as were all the ex-GW 'Generals' in order to conform with BR's naming policy

Except Wrexham. But there's already a different "Central" there.

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5 hours ago, corneliuslundie said:

And I have to be specific with my layout name, "Sarn". It is the Sarn near Kerry, not the one not too far from Carno (about 15 miles away), and definitely not the island.

There's a Sarn just outside Bridgend if I remember the list of stations reeled off for the train I'd catch from Cardiff to Llanharan correctly.

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I really can't stand the casual affectation of substituting the word 'bungle' for a set of numbers that the speaker considers irrelevant or unworthy of mention.

 

Examples:

 

'Oh I was just clearing Western Gladiator for ten thousand miles when 47-bungle-bungle rolled in from Hawick'

 

'I arrived at Evercreech junction behind The Fell on the 07.bungle from Dover Priory'

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16 hours ago, melmerby said:

In the UK it is:

Red - Stop

Red & Amber - Go

Green - Why haven't you moved yet?

Amber - Keep going

Red - Stop (but only if they've started crossing the other way)

:D

Agreed, certainly the case with Black Damm roundabout in Basingstoke in the morning peak, red meant 'Stop - unless you think you're hard enough' for some drivers.

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2 hours ago, The Johnster said:

Central', even after more than 50 years, jars on my senses, and is not a particularly accurate description in that the station is at the southern edge of the city centre and can in no way be described as centrally placed.

Also true of Newcastle Central — but that's officially just "Newcastle" now (but it's "Central Station" as far as buses, taxis etc locally are concerned, and on the Metro).

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6 hours ago, pH said:

In the past, I’ve heard railway employees referring to the main station in Edinburgh as The Waverley, which could increase the chance of confusion with the paddle steamer. The main south side station in Glasgow was also sometimes called The Central. I don’t know if those are still used.

In my experience a high proportion of those who live in Edinburgh used to describe the station as 'The Waverley'

 

6 hours ago, ejstubbs said:

Waverley is commonly referred to as "Edinburgh Waverley", despite the fact that Princes Street station disappeared decades ago.  There was a fair amount of discontent amongst locals when it was realised that it was referred to officially as just "Edinburgh" (e.g. on the National Rail Enquiries web site) but AFAIK that's still the case.

I think the use of 'Edinburgh Waverley' was probably to distinguish it from (Edinburgh) Haymarket

Edited by JeremyC
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Gricer - where did that term come from? I was not very happy to be referred to as a gricer by a colleague once, enthusiast yes, railwayac possibly but definitely not a spotter (no point in taking numbers when the same 1 or 2 emus shuttled up and down to Strood all day).

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I think it has a connection to the final days of steam on the Settle-Carlisle, the enthusiasts descending on the bleak and remote moorlands with notebooks and cameras looking from a distance like so many grouse waiting for the glorious 12th, and the plural of grouse is, in any sensible universe, of course ‘grice’.  
 

Which makes for a singular grain of rouse…

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12 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

I think it has a connection to the final days of steam on the Settle-Carlisle, the enthusiasts descending on the bleak and remote moorlands with notebooks and cameras looking from a distance like so many grouse waiting for the glorious 12th, and the plural of grouse is, in any sensible universe, of course ‘grice’.  
 

Which makes for a singular grain of rouse…

 

Those aren't grouse moors though. Sheep. 

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6 hours ago, pH said:

The main south side station in Glasgow was also sometimes called The Central. I don’t know if those are still used.

 

Pedantically speaking, would the South side station not have been Bridge Street? Wasn't there a euphemism ......... 

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24 minutes ago, Artless Bodger said:

Gricer - where did that term come from? I was not very happy to be referred to as a gricer by a colleague once, enthusiast yes, railwayac possibly but definitely not a spotter (no point in taking numbers when the same 1 or 2 emus shuttled up and down to Strood all day).

There are various stories told about the origin of gricer but the one I like the best - be it true or not - is this one.  

 

The story goes that a small group on enthusiasts/number collectors living somewhere in the West Midlands realised they could get more cops at weekends by visiting more sheds but they also realised that to do that they would need road transport.  One of them knew somebody who was prepared to lend them his delivery van provided they paid for petrol they used.   And that was how the van bearing the legend 'Grice The Grocer' came to be seen every Sunday parked in the vicinity of a loco depot 'somewhere in England or Wales' as their excursions gradually became more adventurous.  And obviously other regulars on weekend shed bashes came across the van and coined the name 'gricers' for the small group who toured around in it.  Another version has it - perhaps more accurately  - that one of a group had bought the van from a grocer and didn't bother to paint out the trade name before using it for shed bashes.

 

I did a number of RCTS shed bashing marathons in the early 1960s - just imagine Leamington, Monument Lane, and so tourbridge (among others) all in the one day as the coach took us round  but i never saw the Grice the Grocer van although according to a chap i knew it had gone the way of all vans of those years before the 1960s arrived.  I don'y t nknow if there is any truth in that or if it is just urban legend but the term 'gricer' was apparently in use well before 1960 and definitely well before the day steam officially finished in everyday working over the S&C.

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I’m sure I read somewhere that it (gricer) was terminology imported from the USA (one of the railway mags) - I certainly don’t remember it being used in the 60s - though I do recall all us youngsters in the W Midlands referred to the then ubiquitous locally, EE Type 4s (later 40s) as Tats….. and anything from AL1-6 as eleckies!! Neither seems to have reached the national acceptance of, for instance Rats (which I only came across as a name in the late 70s) - I blame Rail Enthusiast magazine which seemed to embrace wholeheartedly nicknames I’d never heard of before - including gricer (and chopper etc etc)!! 
 

I also remember doing shed bashes by coach in the late 60s - this was with the Worcester Locomotive Society (eventually I think I contributed to the funds for two or so locos they bought (the eventual 5764 being one, from LT). They did a magazine quarterly and listed all the locos seen by shed on the previous quarter’s visits - I remember clearly the disappointment of the group being denied access to Healey Mills on the South Yorks trip (I presume a permit was in place…)

Edited by MidlandRed
Greengrocer’s apostrophe incorrectly added by Apple without me noticing!!
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2 minutes ago, MidlandRed said:

I’m sure I read somewhere that it was terminology imported from the USA (one of the railway mags) - I certainly don’t remember it being used in the 60s - though I do recall all us youngsters in the W Midlands referred to the then ubiquitous locally, EE Type 4s (later 40s) as Tats….. and anything from AL1-6 as eleckies!! Neither seems to have reached the national acceptance of, for instance Rats (which I only came across as a name in the late 70s) - I blame Rail Enthusiast magazine which seemed to embrace wholeheartedly nicknames I’d never heard of before - including gricer (and chopper etc etc)!! 

My feeling was it came from the US, but had no evidence to support it. 

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54 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

I think it has a connection to the final days of steam on the Settle-Carlisle, the enthusiasts descending on the bleak and remote moorlands with notebooks and cameras looking from a distance like so many grouse waiting for the glorious 12th, and the plural of grouse is, in any sensible universe, of course ‘grice’.  

This rings a bell about an article in 1968 or 69, probably in Railway World, entitled 'The Demise of the Gricer', which certainly quoted startled grouse in number rising. 

 

A girl of the surname Grice was in my class at skool. Her father was in the helicopter that placed the angel on top of Guildford Cathedral. 

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Ah Gricers !!!

 

The word Foamer is used over in the USA and is considered a bit insulting

 

This from the youtube virtual railfan train cam site rules

 

• Don't use the terms "foamer" or "foaming" in your comments or your username. Many railfans find them derogatory and offensive.

 

 

I think the term Railfans is far nicer, simple, and self explanatory on both sides of the Atlantic.

 

Brit15

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2 hours ago, 'CHARD said:

I really can't stand the casual affectation of substituting the word 'bungle' for a set of numbers that the speaker considers irrelevant or unworthy of mention.

 

Examples:

 

'Oh I was just clearing Western Gladiator for ten thousand miles when 47-bungle-bungle rolled in from Hawick'

 

'I arrived at Evercreech junction behind The Fell on the 07.bungle from Dover Priory'

Frankly the word bungle made as much sense to me as the rest of the words in those two  sentences. As an occasional traveller changing at Evercreech Junction in the 1960s, I would have been startled to see the Fell as it arrived on a very circuitous journey from Dover Priory. I thought my own route back home to Highbridge from school at Leatherhead, via Effingham Junction, Guilford, Woking, Templecombe and the aforesaid Evercreech Junction, was fairly circuitous. It was all to avoid me having to cross the temptation-laden streets between Waterloo and Paddington.

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17 minutes ago, APOLLO said:

Ah Gricers !!!

 

The word Foamer is used over in the USA and is considered a bit insulting

 

This from the youtube virtual railfan train cam site rules

 

• Don't use the terms "foamer" or "foaming" in your comments or your username. Many railfans find them derogatory and offensive.

 

 

I think the term Railfans is far nicer, simple, and self explanatory on both sides of the Atlantic.

 

Brit15

 

Nah. I would prefer anything to "fan".

 

Can't stand the word. It comes from fanatic.

 

a person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause.

 

 

I quite like trains. But I'm not exactly fundamentalist about them. 

 

 

 

Jason

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