Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Exciting New Eye Feature - Railway Bothys!

This from the Mad Hatter...

Whilst Eye is renowned for its Railway Garden Competition, how about a similar challenge for railway garden sheds!

Here is the bijou, sumptuous air-conditioned up-side waiting shelter at Manea, Cambs, complete with a solitary bearded passenger, sheltering from the elements.

Although the photo was taken at 10:08, the 'customer' had a seven and a half hour wait for the next stopping service to Ely.

Here’s the challenge - can Eye readers supply a better picture of a rail Bothy?

Do you know a better rail Bothy? Perhaps there are industry celebrities pictured inside? If so contact Eye at the usual address.

UPDATE: This from a Mr Frank Cheevers...

Fully expect that this entry will be disqualified on account of its age (not on this occasion, Ed), but I was particularly proud of the waiting shelter which Les Crabbe (seen here) built for Kempston Hardwick.

This followed a request from the Bedford-Bletchley Rail Users Assocation for some kind of waiting room.

It was built almost entirely from reclaimed materials garnered from locations on the branch.

The only cost, apart from Mr Crabbe's wages, was for the roofing felt and nails, which cost BR just £31.

Happy days under Chris Green!

PS In latter days I became friendly with railway architects - they didn't find the hut aesthetically appealing

Pointless signs - Berney Arms

This from 31154...

From a timetable "commencing 22nd May 2011".

UPDATE: This from The Sleeper...

That's all due to the fact that Berney Arms is the only open station on the National Rail Network with no lights, since it's one oil light was put out in 1970.

So in BST the evening train runs but in GMT it is too dark.

Eye notes with comfort that this part of Norfolk still appears to be on the Julian calender.

UPDATE: This from Connor...

Berney Arms isn't quite the only station on the National Rail network without platform lighting.

Coombe Junction in deepest, darkest Cornwall also has that honour. It doesn't get anything as fancy as a different timed train each day though.

The evening service was simply moved to one hour after the morning one a couple of years ago, after being cancelled everyday for 6 months of the year for many years before that.

ScotRail redacts BR - Shocker

Wolmar on the nail!

This from the World's Greatest Living Transport Correspondent, writing in today's Grauniad...

It is difficult not to be pessimistic and see this as the end of an era stretching back nearly two centuries. However, the failure to give the contract to a home-based company is playing badly in the Tory party. It gives the lie to Cameron’s promise to support British manufacturing jobs.

Train travel is booming and there is an obvious lack of rolling stock. With a bit of will, extra carriages could be ordered to lengthen existing trains and possibly give hope to Bombardier that it should hold on with the prospect of getting the large Crossrail order in the middle of the decade.

It is not a lost cause, but it will take a fierce and vocal lobby to effect another Cameron U-turn. Steam will never return to Litchurch Lane, but perhaps, just perhaps, train manufacturing may remain there if enough pressure can be built up.


UPDATE: This from Steve Strong...

The Financial Times made the same point today:

There is, nevertheless, consensus that the government could take one measure to protect the Derby factory’s health. Bombardier won the UK’s last big train order, for the Stansted Express. But the order was placed in February 2009.

The Derby and Derbyshire Rail Forum, an industry group, insists such long gaps between orders contributed to Tuesday’s announcement. “The proposal to reduce Bombardier’s Derby workforce . . .  points . . . to the failure by successive governments . . . to address the peaks and troughs of rolling stock demand,” it said.

It appears that those who stuff the envelopes and those that open them have all been guilty of willful neglect.

UPDATE: This from Kelvin Chain...

Several industry observers have commented on Bombardier's dogged refusal to lobby "enthusiastically" for its Derby plant.

Compare this with Hitachi where Hammond quipped that the Japanese Ambassador had his own chair in the Secretary of State's office!

Hammond's envelope opening may have cost Bombardier both the IEP and Thameslink fleets but other opportunities remain.

There are 105 Class 220/221/222 sets all ready for the addition of a power car to enable them to use the wires and create much needed additional capacity.

There is also the need to replace the deeply loathed Pacers and make a start on a structured programme to replace the 15x fleets before they fall foul of the DDA regulations in 2020.

With Hammond, Cable and Cameron facing a growing backbench backlash over their assassination of the UK's last train manufacturer now is the time for Derby to start lobbying!

UPDATE: This from a Mr Tony Miles...

Didn't I see Transport Minister Theresa Villiers enthusiastically applauding Roger Ford's call for the electric vehicles for the 220/221/222 sets when she was stood on stage at the Modern Railways Innovation Awards last month?

Clearly a supporter and Bombardier must recruit her to their campaign team at once!

UPDATE: This from The Major...

I’m having a ‘senior moment’.

Can somebody remind me where Bombardier built the Voyagers?

I’m sure it was abroad...

UPDATE: This from Corporal Pike...

Indeed, the train building community in Bruges await the order for additional vehicles for 220/221/222 sets with baited breath.

As I'm sure do Eurotunnel!

UPDATE: This from a most insistent Mr Miles...

The class 221 units were built by Bombardier at their Bruges (Belgium) AND Horbury (Wakefield) plants with Alstom Onix propulsion kit made in Preston.

So, OK, that's another closed Bombardier facility but if Alstom can switch from making Pendolinos in Birmingham to Italy then Bombardier can make additional vehicles for the 22X trains wherever it likes, especially Derby.

And maybe create some more work for the excellent folk at Preston at the same time.

Eye applauds any solution that meets the Prime Minister's previously stated desire for a UK 'Manufacturing Revival'.