It will just be a 9 minute bus ride on the L1 from Leighton Buzzard station (at Linslade) to the eponymous railway. Thanks to the loopy route it is 19 minutes back to the station. 

There is a very swish terminal building doubling as a community facility at Pages Park.

The line is based on the industrial railway heritage of the area, but if you expect to trundle amongst old sandpit workings and decaying industrial buildings, you would be surprised. It is a line of multiple level crossings …

… and the multiple is unusually large …

… but running through modern housing estates. Somehow it feels as if it doesn’t belong!! But once it did belong. It took loaded wagons from numerous small pits …

… to an interchange with the standard gauge Leighton Buzzard to Dunstable line just opposite the present Pages Park terminus.

Nothing significant remains of this Interchange but the new terminus building is the white rectangle top right …

… and the former BR branch runs diagonally across the lower left of the Google Earth view above.

Trains looked like this …

… but, away fom the quarries, the route was through open country. Leighton Buzzard simply expanded around it!

There will be a bit more from this intriguing little line in tomorrow’s blog.

Meanwhile, from the ridiculous to the sublime?

European Sleeper

We are all familiar with Poirot (in various shapes and sizes with various shapes and sizes of moustache) as he toured Europe c/o Wagons Lits. But over the past few years Sleeping Car trains have almost disappeared from lands across the Channel.

But there is pressure from the ‘save the planet” lobby to bring them back …

… and European Sleepers (dig the squiggly logo) has just made a start by running three nights a week from Berlin to Bruxelles.

Timings are as below …

… with returns on alternate days.

In fact the train is currently using a different terminus in Berlin …

Nobody seems to want to tell you why. Whilst Germany was divided, Lichtenberg was the main station for East Berlin.

ES operates a motley collection of old hired-in stock …

… hauled by a hired-in freight loco!

Already some trips have been running full. Accomodation is offered in normal seated coaches …

… in three tier couchettes …

… and traditional two berth cabins.

Although the pictures above appear on their web site, the company’s blurb warns that the facilities may not be exactly as shown.

If further stock can be sourced a six day a week service will be introduced. The medium term aim will be to obtain withdrawn passenger coaches stripped and refitted as high quality sleepers.
For the time being you still have to trudge along the corridor for “les cabinets”!
The first of many sleepers?
London Bus In Seaton
Yesterday fbb was supping his double shot americano (a k a  his cup of coffee) in a sea front caff at Seaton when an obviously “London” bus whizzed past. It had to be; it was red!

It was working an Axe Valley route but in a very different red livery – London Buses red. Axe Valley’s red is deeper, more maroon.

But there he/she/it is zoomin off to Beet.

And here is the same vehicle with Metroline in London!

A Big Disappointment
Some time ago, fbb was in receipt of a Haynes Maintenance manul – but not, fortunately for any of his motor vehicles. Apart from putting in fuel and occasionally water of various kinds, fbb is totally ignorant of the finer points of motor maintenance. No, further, he is almost totally ignorant of all the coarser points as well.
The gift was a manual for Captain Kirk’s “Enterprise” NCC 1701.

Although not yet quite up to the skills of Montgomery Scott, fbb could now identify a Jeffries Tube and recognise the consequences of a failure of the dilithium crystals!

So when he saw this at a cheap price on EBay, he sent of his £7 pronto.

What a disappointment! It was a very simplified history of London’s Underground with no technical stuff whatsoever.

There were a few exploded diagrams famously part of a real Haynes manual’s content …

… but there was no “naming of parts”. **

Not worth £7, let alone the cover price of £21.99!
A Treat For Fathers’ Day

Cheap as chips! It is the same design as last year, so Rails probably had too many made in China. The sweets are, however, made in Sheffield and are yummy.

More Model Railway Happenings

The low relief townscape that sat against he garden fence when the railway languished outside has begun to move inside. Which has been a tricky job because there was no fence for it to sit against.

More tomorrow. Bet you are all excited. And that L1/D1 steam loco puzzle will be resolved as well.
** Fascinating (?) Literary Note
“Naming of Parts” is a 1942 War Poem by Henry Reed in which a lecture about the Enfield Rifle is juxtaposed with observations of the beauty of the natural world. fbb remembers the title and the sentiment from A Level English about 100 years ago!
 Next Variety blog : Monday 5th June 

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