Monday, 6 July 2009

Modally antagonistic

This from New Civil Engineer...

Transport minister Chris Mole officially started work to widen the busy A46 in Nottinghamshire after the project was accelerated as part of the Department for Transport’s £700M fiscal stimulus package.

Still no news on the 200 DMU vehicles "accelerated" in the Pre-Budget Report 2008...

Face ache

This from the Daily Telegraph...

Japanese railway workers face enforced "smile scans" every morning in a bid to boost their customer services, it has been claimed.

Apparently Lord Adonis is very interested in this new technology and is keen to to see its use mandated in future franchise agreements.

Eye understands that a top secret trial of the machine took place at King's Cross as recently as last Wednesday.

The manufacturers have assured the noble Lord that it can be repaired.

Three degrees of separation

This just in from NR's Internet Rapid Rebuttal Unit...

This is fantastic, a shot-for-shot re-creation of Top Gear level crossing crash in Lego!

It's not that bleedin' good!

The original featured a Type 2 rather than a Type 5.

2009 Railway Garden Competition #3

This verdant vista can be seen at Clapham Junction, Britain's busiest railway junction.

Although frankly it could just as well be a branch heading into the jungles of Belize.

Wheels of fire

Good to see that the 'sparks effect' has reached South Devon.

Those who say that driving is now a "semi-skilled" operation may just have a point.

UPDATE: This from the 'The International Rantiquarian'...

I see the Fact Compiler is taking an interest in wheel rail interface deficiencies.

He has always been blessed with a fine technical mind (shome mishtake, shurely. Ed).

Here are a couple more from the Golden Age of Steam (i.e after it evolved into theatrical traction/nostalgic toy)

1. Blue Peter becomes, er, broken.

IC Special Trains Unit coughed up £37,000 compensation to the engine's owners (in the STU's last year of trading before becoming Waterman Railways and then just a memory), after the Knight of The Iron Road broke his mighty steed and all the outside motion flew off.

2. And proof that privatisation hasn't helped much in the footplate professionalism stakes.

Ian Riley's 76xxx pocket rocket is helped by Light Pacific Tangmere to look utterly foolish in Devon. The drivers were from Merlin and EWS respectively and dismally failed to reach any sort of understanding, clear or otherwise, when they left St Davids for their trip almost to Central.

Spookily, given the legend that Ye Olde Steam Men used to drive by the seat of their pants, BOTH incidents saw the drivers attempting to restart their ruined machines as if nothing had happened.

Perhaps their bottoms were numb with excitement?