Lyon Finesses NOT Lionesses …

… apparently a football team having some measure of success internationally – although from the headlines you would think it was world shattering news. 
Meanwhile Lyon is a city in France. with a population very roughly the size of Edinburgh or Sheffield with the usual caveats about borders and definitions!
The Transports en commun lyonnais (“Lyon public transport” in French; usually referred to as TCL) is the Lyon public transport agency. It is the second largest public transport system in France (after Paris), and covers 73 communes, including all 59 communes of the Lyon Metropolis, spread over 288 square miles.).[TCL is managed by two companies: SYTRAL Mobilités sets policies and finances the infrastructure, while Keolis Lyon runs the network on a day-to-day basis.
And fbb doesn’t understand it either. But imagine that Transport for London was a PLC (SYTRAL) and all the buses, trams and underground were actually run by one operating company (Keolis). 
What attracted fbb’s attention to Lyon was this news item on-line.

Lyon needs a bigger better look than is possible at the moment (our two fellowship meetings coming up this weekend) but the news item does deserve more than a passing glance.

And SYTRAL have made a video – en francais!

Hmm? Lets get some context. TCL operates the following:-

(aka Metro). Worry not if you cannot read the map, there will be more detail later.

Looks like they have short trains as here on line B.

And trams.

Possibly the weirdest looking trams ever!

There is a sixth tram line, called “Rhone Express” …

… which parallels tram T3 and then extends to the airport.

And the buses.

This number includes two trolley bus routes.

Additionally there are two funiculars …

… one of which seems to appear out of first floor windows!

SYTRAL has just announced a massive Metro investment plan for the next twelve years. fbb has translated the huge sums given in Euros to equally huge sums in UK pounds, because your aged blogger can’t really cope with this new–fangled currency from furrin parts!

Metro A

To be converted to fully automatic operation with platform doors fitted and a new fleet of four car trains delivered. Full automation by 2035.
£590 million

Metro B

A two station extension at the southern end is due to open this October. All trains will be four car units (2 +  2) with 14 additional trains on order.

The line is already driverless.

£215 million

Metro C

Once a funicular, this short line was converted to rack and pinion. A section of single track is to be doubled and between seven and nine new trains are to be built. A new train control system is being implemented.

£205 million

Metro D

This line (driverless) is regarded as the first automatic “big train” service in the world, It is the busiest of Lyon’s metro lines. Additional units are to be acquired to allow for four car (2+2) units throughout. Some platforms are being lengthened to accommodate the double length trains.

All due for completion in 2030.

£291 million

There is also to be an upgrade to the control centre at Part Dieu

£76 million

Just tot up the total and ask what could be achieved in Edinburgh or Sheffield with a similar investment.

If we are serious about “net zero” it is sums like this that need spending on public transport development in the UK.

But we aren’t serious are we? Just “hoping it might work out” as per the government  minister in the two recent programmes on BBC1 about “green” fuel for vehicles and heat pumps – both projects lining up for utter failure.

How Much For Thomas?

Hornby have given up/lost the franchise to produce the famous range of trains from stories written by Rev W Awdry. But Annie and Clarabel are routinely on offer on EBay for a reasonable price. fbb bought his “Thomas” brand new for just under £30, but it was about nine years ago.

A few days ago, fbb spotted a Thomas on sale at Hattons of Widnes for a reasonable (?) …


A recent price, new, from Hornby was £41.

Just a short screen or two away another Thomas was on offer. Guess how much?


Who is kidding whom?

On line prices range from £29 (inconsistent runner) to £110.


More Terraforming

Fencing and background trees still to be added.

You might spot the cling film?

It is to prevent the new Polyfilla from sticking to the old rockface which is fixed to the baseboard. The scenery on top lifts off. But the new tunnel extension is a self-contained unit and needs to be capable of being removed to give access to the track. So don’t stick it to the other bit!

Here’s hoping it works!

 Next “How Much” blog : Friday 4th August 

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