Puzzle Picture

Readers may remember that fbb was disappointed by the above book which he bought cheaply on-line second hand. As fbb was browsing idly, he came across this little teaser. Here are two pictures of a London Underground station …

… published in a chapter showing the quality of station architecture. The picture’s title is here enlarged.

The question is, on which Underground line would you find Oakfield station? Answer later in this blog.

Poor State In The States
Whilst Atlantic City itself only has a population of just over 38,00o, it is part of a string of resorts which provide most of the 218,000 population of Atlantic County. fbb guesses that the residential totals are greatly enhanced by holidaymakers!
We met the Atlantic City Line yesterday whilst exploring the PATCO suburban line running east over the Delaware River from Philadelphia. fbb said the line was “quaint”.

Trains leave from 30th Street station well to the west of Centre City Philadelphia.

They curve round to the north of the central area crossing the river on the spectacularly spindly Delair bridge …

,,, before calling at Pannsauken well to the north of Camden.

Here there is connection with the River Line (of which more tomorrow). We spotted interchange with PATCO red line at Lindenwold yesterday after which the Atlantic City Line strides cross country to its eponymous terminus.

So, how frequent is this line, joining two major conurbations on the populous east cost of the USA?

The above is an extract – there are just 14 trains a day Monday to Saturday! Connections are shown in italics from Trenton via the River Line and from Philadelphia centre city via PATCO.

Atlantic City station is grand, but, these days,  mostly empty!

And we complain about some of our train services in the UK!
Pretty People?
This picture popped up on someone’s Twittering site.

It shows four Stagecoach South managers dressed ridiculously! They are launching/re-launching route 60. In the past the route ran from Guildford to Bognor Regis …

… but has been cut at both ends and now only offers a link between Chichester and Midhurst.b

A bit of a come-down?

No longer the route that it was!

Perhaps the PR didn’t work!!

The Point Of Pagoda Publicity Near The Point?

The “Point” is a multi-screen entertainment venue in the City Centre at Milton Keynes.

Some years ago, the operator of most of the City’s bus services, Arriva – (have you heard of them?), set up a splendid enquiry office bang in the central shopping area and near the the collection of bus stops.

It was called “The Cube” …

… because it was a cube, but with a distinctive pagoda shaped roof.

Northampton correspondent Alan reports that, as part of a policy to encourage use of public transport in the city, a policy which seeks to rebuild public confidence after the pandemic, the cube is now …

… a Londis grocery shop!

Powerful Product Promotion – Perhaps?

Sam Turner IS Sam’s Trains! He publishes video reviews of model railway products. He tends to be exuberantly enthusiastic and only rarely very critical.  His reviews follow a standard pattern and fbb does watch them, just to see what Sam has to day about models that fbb will never be able to afford. Maybe, more correctly, that should read “never be willing to afford”!

Such is the Accurascale “Siphon G”.

Theseg were built, mainly by BR to a GWR design, and used for carrying milk. There were multiple doors for ease of loading and a whole line of ventilators to ensure a dark cool ride for the cow juice. Later some of the wagons were modified for general use.

During WW2 some GWR builds were turned into “Hospital Cars” and sent to Europe. 

Sam’s review version was this model …

… which provoked Sam into a delirium of excitement about the model’s detail and quality despite the £55 price.


… one of the bogies was stiff and wouldn’t go round the corners. Sam had to open out the fixing hole with a rat tale file.

Success; the wagon went round the bends and all was well. 

Then, towards the end of his effusive video he ran the wagon over some points. It kept derailing whichever way it went …

… and however gently Sam’s arm tried to coax it!

The model, despite it’s detail and quality, was therefore useless except as a static display item.
fbb would have abandoned the review, returned the model for a replacement and reviewed again with an explanatory note about the first failure. These models are very complex and made to very fine tolerances (too fine perhaps?) and occasional failures will happen.
Not many folk will now spend £55 on an Accirascale Siphon G if they watch Sam’s video – which is perhaps a little unfair on a generally good manufacturer.
Anyway, fbb has his own caustic comment review to follow tomorrow.
Puzzle Picture – Un-Puzzled!


here is NO station called Oakfield on London’s Underground.

The station in question is Oakwood

… and it is at the northern end of the Piccadilly line.

Now fbb is as good as the next man at getting things wrong; but he is (a) aged 78, (b) suffering from close-up eyesight challenges, (c) is writing a transitory blog and not a twenty quid book and (d) isn’t getting paid for his endeavours.

Disappointing in what should be a quality publication.
Please note : as you read this blog, the fbb’s will be preparing to go; will be going; will be recovering from going – on their first train trip since the Covid lockdown.

A full report will appear next week.
 Next Variety blog : Sunday 18th June 
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