From No 1 Son …

Readers may remember that, when No 3 son was working in Basel, he often sent his old man tram and trolleybus pictures wherewith his papa had to identify the exact location. Some really hurt the fbb grey matter, but he usually succeeded; largely thanks to excellent public transport information in the Swiss city.
So when this arrived …

… the challenge was accepted. The task was even more esoteric becauseNo 1 son (aged 48) wrote that he was on the fourth floor of the University of Arts building but he did not know which way he was looking,

Clearly we have a London Overground train and a Docklands Light Railway train racing purposefully – but whither?
A further detail is that young sir (who is a Deamkn of Something Very Clever) was visiting the relatively newly housed Faculty of …

… Fashion.

As we all know, fbb has always been a dedicated follower of fashion.

Gravy booby!

fbb ascertained the department’s address, so it should be dead easy to locate the railway infrastructure.
125 Carpenters Road
E15 2JP
And here is it c/o the sainted Google Maps.

And here it is c/o the not so sanctified Streetview …

… a very empty and fairly small bit of grass verge, lacking a fourth floor – indeed lacking a building of any kind or, more to the point, lacking any room for anything other than a large hut. Well you never know with fashion, the grim progenitor of the original “sweat shop”.

The lump top left is the former Olympic Aquatic Centre. But maps generally show a proposed (dotted road) running past the swimming pool blob and under the memorable walkway …
… from Westfield mega shopping hell paradis and Stratford station.

But beyond that overbridge and beside Carpenters Road is a railway junction. Could that be the site of the challenger pictures? There is what looks like a footbridge across the tracks, not shown on the maps.

Streetview also has no footbridge (!) as everything is being “developed” to fill the former Olympic Park with trendy offices and yuppie flats.

Might that gap on the concrete retaining wall be where the footbridge is now? Back to an aerial view.


And, lo and behold, there, labelled “Mace West Bank”, (No, fbb has no idea!) is where the Dean looked out of the fourth floor window of an incomplete block while the satellite is set alight by the keen oservation of buildings in progress.

And the trains.
Stratford’s rail network is fiendishly complex, but here b we are only looking at a teensy weensy bit of the ferroequinological knitting.

The Overground train is on what we used to call the North London Line (ORANGE).

The Docklands Light Railway (BLUEish) train has exited Stratford International Docklands station (if you can find it) alongside Stratford Never-Been-International big train halt! It will wend its way via Stratford low level platforms, taking what used to be the last bit of the North London line.

The Overground train was passing over the Channelsea Junctions.

So the Dean of the Faculty of Something Clever, with Strategy In Its Name, was actually looking north east!
There; yet again daddy has helped you out, son!
Oh, yes. This what it looked like in 1909!

Stratford was one huge railway town and it’s those sidings that begat the Olympic Park.

Stop That Pesky Pigeon Payment

A week ago yesterday, following on from his “jovis horribilis”, fbb was arranging to intercept a possible scam wrought on his bank card. The maestro on the phone was very helpful, stopped the card and sent a replacement which arrived on Friday last.

All should be well – apart from pre-orders of model railway stuff which would fail! That should be easy to deal with; but less straightforward was coping with fbb’s dozy brain.
One missing model would be the completely new TTA tank wagon from Hornby. The best price was on EBay so fbb purchased same but forgot his brain and clicked on the “pay now” button –  sadly forgetting that his pre-set payment facility was now defunct.
He contacted the supplier direct to explain hus incompetence. “No worry,” said the very nice man from Cheltenham, “we have received no order, so you can re-order using another card.”
So fbb did, or at least tried to, but the model he craved was sold out.
Then this email arrived.

His model, bought apparently with a stopped bank card, appeared to be happening.

Royal Mail confirmed it …

… and even told fbb it was due yesterday!

EBay told fbb likewise …


Quivering with eager anticipation but actually wondering if it would be an empty box due to failed payment, fbb prised open his purchase package.

As ordered!
And via a stopped payment card.
Or was it stopped?

fbb will be examining his latest acquisition in later blogs; so prepare yourselves for untold excitement (boredom???).

Pizzle Picture

Euston Station has had a variety of departure boards in its rebuily history but below is the most recent emanation of passenger information.

Then everything went blank!

New screens appeared, brighter but showing fewer trains and barely visible from any seated waiting area.  Certainly, the new screens are less convenient.

But, fear not curious passengers, a bigger blank screens appeared over the platform entrances. Surely this would show information in a bigger and brighter style. Regular passengers waited in eager anticipation of the new departure board, set where it could be seen and where it always had been.
It’s an advertising hoarding, innit!

Everyone who has seen this “thing” in operation reports that it is garish, intrusive and off-putting.

It is a disgraceful abuse of customer care. 
On Track It’s Back To Black
When fbb was just a chubby little lad, most steam locomotives were black., a sensible colour for what was, essentially, a dirty big machine.

Today’s heritage railways seem to like painting their locos in “traditional” green or maroon – colours their steeds never wore in practice. But a shiny black with lining …

… offers a real treat to visiting passengers. Even better, let the loco haul shiny blood and custard Mark 1 coaches …

… and you have a PR winner.
It was a Hornby advert that intrigued your  ever attentive author.

This new the livery is adopted for the “Y Gerallt Cymru” Premier Express (well not very) between North and South Wales; Holyhead and Cardiff.

Recently the train looked like this …

… after various manifestations of Arriva livery. But now …

… black is very definitely back. fbb has only seen glimpses of the carriages! If they keep it all clean, the black will look good – but, if spit and polish are lacking …

… hmmm!

If you are at Holyhead at 0530, you can get to Cardiff by 0958 on the first of the three “Premier” trains each way daily.

Not really express at all; but faster han the other services. There are three such journeys, Monday to Friday but they are hardly obvious from the timetable page!

 Next German Re-opening blog : Mon Jan 28th 
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