Above is a view of Sunderland in steam days, looking from south to north. And there are plenty of sleepers as well as the tower of the Town Hall.
 S underland’s
 S outhern
 S tructure
Whist the histrionic and more traditional station building used to be at the northern end of the platforms, that at the southern end (in the 1930s) matched the line of the overall roof; and …

… there’s a bit of the town hall again. Said roof was damaged during WW” leaving a gap! but in the early 1960s, offices etc. were built on a raft above the platforms and a brand new south entrance was created.

Like so much of 1960s architecture it was utilitarian, almost brutal and lacked any sense of invitation or quality. Even Sunderland councillors called it unwelcoming and gloomy. Because it was!

It has now been rebuilt and enlarged and is, supposedly, bright and better …

… or so an artist’s “impressions”  would imply.

In practice, taking its cue from the old entrance, it is indeed bigger – but appears barn-like and, erm, gloomy.

The present northern entrance could do with a make-over as well, outside …

… and inside!

 S iemens
 S uper
 S leepers
It is not long ago that the headlines were predicting the total demise of sleeper trains in Europe.
Years of decline in Europe’s night train network coincided with the rise of low-cost airlines. Today, a night train from Berlin to Zurich costs around 160 euros and takes over 12 hours. An easyJet (flight between the two cities is much quicker, even including airport security, and costs less than half that.
And it wasn’t just Covid that seemed to toll the bell of death for the sleeper. 
Poirot, eat your heart out.

Yet, Austrian State Railways (OBB) has been positioning itself as a hub for new (or re-started) sleeper services. In particular the operator has just launched a new-style train of sleeping cars. 
The brand is called “NightJet” and fbb will leave his very intelligent readers to translate that from German into English.
The Siemens NightJet train was launched by a gaggle of the great and good a few days ago.

The trains look equally great and good from the outside …

… and the vehicle below is not a locomotive; it is a driving trailer for the seven car sets.

There is a proper engine on the other end! But at the moment that are not authorized for push-pull operation.

fbb doesn’t know why? Bureaucracy?
Inside there are three classes of accommodation. There are four berth counchettes …

… complete with splendid ladder.

These beds are placed at right angles to the track as usual but there is more room than in a UK sleeper because of the bigger loading gauge.

Then there are two bed luxury cabins …

… c/w shower, toilet and hand basin.

fbb wonders whether he would be too f to fit in the shower? 

In this case the beds run parallel to the body sides of the coach – and that is unusual.
Also, there are single person “pods” …

… which are a bit larger than Japanese hotel “pods” and they have a “small window”. fbb thinks the silvery bit is a sliding door with the window alongside. Whether there is provision for sitting and whether you can see out of the window is unclear. But fbb doubts it!

OBB has ordered more of these trains and clearly aims to replace Wagons-Lits as a Europe-wide sleeping car company.
Would Poirot approve?

He might, just about, cope with single occupancy of the luxury cabin, but he would NOT approve of the catering on the NightJet – if any!

C’est incroyable!

HO railway modellers can own loco …

… and coaches by Roco. 

For N gauge modellers, similar are on offer from Fleischmann.

They will be pricey!


 S trong in the
 S piit
There are at least FOUR good reasons to accept the truth of the resurrection.
1. Nobody has offered a better explanation, certainly not one that even comes close to fitting the recorded facts.
Mary thought he was the gardener!

2. Jesus” enemies (the religious bigwigs) accepted it with frustration but couldn’t even produce a body to refute the resurrection.

They bribed the guard to say the body was stolen

3. The disciples who met the risen Jesus kept quiet, hiding behind closed doors.

They were behind locked doors for fear of arrest.

4. Very soon the Christian Church grew like wildfire despite persecution

Other cruelty was available

None of these attitudes looks in the slightest like an invented narrative to support a supposed resurrection lie. 
The incidents simply could not have happened as they did unless the resurrection was real.
But something else must have ovcured to drive the frightened followers out of their self-inflicted isolation and silence.

Yep! That is what happened.

The video is a reasonable attempt to reproduce the Biblical narrative from the Book of Acts. 
Again it has a touch of the.miraculous, another example of a God from outside our universe stepping into.our space and time to make things happen.
However you interpret Luke’s words there is not the slightest doubt that the untrained frightened fishermen, tax collectors, rebels etc. etc. began the spread of the Christian Good News with fearless fervour. The spread was huge and continues worldwide today.
It is the why and how these snippets get writ!
And it begins at CHRISTmas!
 Next T ABC blog : Wednesday 20th December 
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