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  1. DerekC

    £10bn rail enhancement pipeline to be ‘reassessed’ for post-Covid world

    The following article in "New Civil Engineer" a couple of days ago is worrying:
  2. DerekC

    International Statistics - UK's record on testing

    The following table shows the now well-known fact that the UK is second only to Belgium in its Covid death rate per head of population. It also shows some interesting facts associated with that, and I am racking my brains to work out what's going on. The UK also has the highest number of...
  3. DerekC

    Track Circuits and Mansell Wheels

    Britain was a very slow adopter of the track circuit. The first fail-safe track circuits were developed in the USA in the 1870s, but it wasn't until after WWI that railways in Britain started to use them widely. One reason I have seen given for this is the use of the Mansell wheel, which had a...
  4. DerekC

    The viability of social distancing, and confusion over whether it should be 1m or 2m

    I heard Boris Johnson announce, with lots of trumpeting, the change of social distance from two metres to "one metre plus" from 4th July. But that isn't what the government guidelines say, if I am reading them right. I am responsible for doing the risk assessment for the reopening of our local...
  5. DerekC

    Sir Philip Rutnam's Resignation

    It's worth listening to Sir Philip Rutnam's resignation statement verbatim : Here's his statement verbatim He accuses Priti Patel pretty directly of bullying and aggression to his staff, then when confronted by him, running a campaign of...
  6. DerekC

    Cromford & High Peak Railway - Passenger Carrying

    I had read in a number of places that the C&HPR never offered an "official" passenger service, just allowed locals to ride in the guards van, but I recently purchased the book "The Cromford & High Peak Railway" by A Rimmer (©The Oakwood Press, 1985). What it has to say suggests that it was a...
  7. DerekC

    Who is in control of Boris's Bus?

    The resignation of Sayeed Javid and the sacking of Julian Smith both suggest a wish to centralise power in 10 Downing Street and not to tolerate any opposition within Government. This ruthlessness doesn't seem in character with the cuddy, laid back persona that Boris likes to show to the world...
  8. DerekC

    Media, BBC and Government

    A number of things seem to be happening in the UK media and government world just now. The government is launching its review, aiming at decriminalising failure to pay the BBC licence fee (which, whether you think it's right or not, will reduce the BBC's net income by £millions). At the same...
  9. DerekC

    Niggle - Ticket Receipts (SWR and maybe others?)

    Despite my (fairly) ancient status I still sometimes travel at somebody else's expense and am expected to produce a receipt or the cancelled ticket showing where I have been and what I paid, so that I can get the money back. Until a few weeks ago buying a ticket at my local SWR station and...
  10. DerekC

    Too much money on new trains, not enough on infrastructure?

    A lot of the problems being encountered by the industry currently seem to be associated with the delivery of new trains, whilst service reliability remains poor. Of course Ministers love them because they are worth several photo-ops per fleet, but is too much being invested in buying new...
  11. DerekC

    Rail Bus Service Peterborough - Dereham

    It may be obvious to others, but not to me. Why is Network Rail currently running a half-hourly bus service from Peterborough to Dereham, calling at Wisbech, King's Lynn and Swaffham?
  12. DerekC

    Cavaliers, Roundheads and Democracy

    I have noticed in talking to some of my grandchildren (ages 7 to 13) that they have absorbed a simplistic and very one-sided view of the English Civil War. Cavaliers are seen as exciting, brave and fighting for freedom. Roundheads are seen as baddies, trying to stop people doing what they...
  13. DerekC

    SWML - Landslip between Farnborough and Basingstoke (05/11)

    Our local news has been putting out closure of Hook station in the down direction because of a landslip - and indeed Hook has mysteriously disappeared from RealtimeTrains for Waterloo to Basingstoke stoppers! I guess that means that the Down Slow is closed between Winchfield and Basingstoke...
  14. DerekC

    Birmingham New Street Yesterday (29/10)

    Arrived at New Street at about 15:45 yesterday to find the place in a fair amount of chaos. Many local services cancelled, most others delayed, heaving crowds on the concourse. Went to get on the 16:04 Bournemouth (advertised as delayed to 16:15) at Platform 1B to find the platform jammed...
  15. DerekC

    4ft 8.5in - is it derived from a Roman chariot?

    I have searched to find a thread on this subject but can't find one - if there is please direct me to it! My six year old grandson is at the stage of being interested in absolutely everything and has come across the story that the Stephenson gauge of 4ft 8.5in is derived from the Roman chariot...
  16. DerekC

    Post-brexit - time for a republic?

    I mean no insult to HMQ personally, but the current Borising of our unwritten constitution makes you wonder if there is any point at all in her having a formal role in government. If all she can do is go along with the Prime Minister's advice and all the Privy Council can do is advise her to...
  17. DerekC

    Stratford & Moreton Tramway

    On the Railway General Knowledge quiz thread a question came up as to what track gauge the Stratford and Moreton Tramway was laid to. I have done some digging and still haven't come up with a definite answer. Most online sources say that it "adopted the standard gauge" although Wikipedia sits...
  18. DerekC

    3-foot gauge in Britain

    Am I right in saying that the only operational 3-foot gauge railway on the British mainland is on Southend Pier? Were there once others and if so, where? The only ones I know without consulting Mr W Pedia are the Southwold and (I think) the Rye and Camber.
  19. DerekC

    The BBC - is it worth fighting for?

    I see the Daily Mail's latest anti-BBC headline today is "Biased, Brazen and Contemptible". That strikes me as a good description of the Daily Mail, but that's not the point. Once Brexit is out of the way the Mail and the right wing gang of MPs it encourages will see the destruction of the...
  20. DerekC

    Bridge Bash Detectors

    There was some talk a few years ago about installing "Bridge Bash" detectors on some vulnerable structures. Does anyone know if that came to anything and if so, what kind of kit is fitted and who gets the warning of a bash?