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 02/06/24 - Summer Timetable starts
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1  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Short railway journeys: now disproportionately expensive? on: April 06, 2024, 11:57:51
The Reading to Reading West fare offers great value when you consider the chances of being mugged if you tackle it on foot!  Cheesy

The trouble is that one has to leave Reading West anyway. The walk between the two stations is relatively civilised, but heading west along the Oxford Road can be unpleasant. And there's always the risk of being accosted by females of flexible morality. (Is that a plus or minus?)
2  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: Major disruption, Basingstoke, 3rd April 2024 on: April 03, 2024, 14:16:50
Why not Micheldever?There are still sidings there, I think, isolated, little need for disruption.
3  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014 on: April 02, 2024, 15:47:21
Points failure at Pangbourne today. A friend was visiting me in Tilehurst and aimed to return on the 1406 to Paddington. She checked for travel updates and found it was running six minutes later. Various other up and down amendments to the local service. I see that the 1433 was cancelled and the 1359 to Didcot Parkway was "not stopping".

Since Lockdown she's nearly always used the car to get to me from South London, but today cycled to Paddington. We debated that, with the former stopping service now being semi-fast, whether it was worth her changing at Reading. "Might save you a handful of minutes," I opined.

BTW (by the way) she's fascinated by the ravens (?) and their nests on the trees between Platform 4 and the Thames. Today they were in fine voice.
4  All across the Great Western territory / Media about railways, and other means of transport / "Public Eye" 1965-75 TV drama series on: March 21, 2024, 15:38:07
I've been watching (again on Talking Pictures this excellent series starring Alfred Burke as private detective Frank Marker, who moves from Brighton to Eton to Chertsey. (The earlier episode have been "lost". Angry)

There've been scenes at various stations, including King's Lynn, Brighton, Windsor & Eton and Maidenhead, and I have the vaguest idea that in the opening shots for one series Marker was walking down a road at the bottom of a retaining wall close to Windsor Station on the  Slough branch.*

In last night's episode, Markey was viewing a closed "Apollo Aerials" premises next to Chertsey Station, which became his office for the last episodes.

Googling "Public Eye Chertsey Station" takes one to several websites and the second image that was offered to me was of a concrete signal box at Waterloo.

* A post on Railforums.co.uk corrects me: "The Road ...is Marsh Farm Road in Twickenham, the railway is about to go over the flyover crossing the Waterloo-Staines line just west of Twickenham. The subway connects Marsh Farm Road and Lion Road which run parallel to the Kingston Loop Line."

5  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Rail passenger numbers could nearly double by 2050 on: February 19, 2024, 09:02:08
Reading Chronicle

I'll leave it to someone else to find the actual report. I'm always very cautious about the Chronicle's interpretations.
6  Journey by Journey / London to Didcot, Oxford and Banbury / Re: Tilehurst station upgrade on: February 16, 2024, 16:59:04
At Tilehurst Station the lockable cycle-storage cabinets on the station forecourt have been removed, presumably to facilitate the installation of the lifts. I wonder if they were used much? A few years ago I peered through the mesh and all were empty. A sign promises that the installation will be completed by the year's end. (Yesterday four guys in hi-vis were conferring close to the stairs on platform 1.)

Being a Friday it didn't surprise me that the car-park was only half full.
7  Journey by Journey / London to Didcot, Oxford and Banbury / Re: Tilehurst - the end of catering on: February 15, 2024, 14:56:29
This morning I collected a friend from Tilehurst Station and noticed that the Wolseley Street Bakery was back with a pop-up gazebo, one side of which was filled by the back of a small van with its rear doors open so coffee etc could be dispensed from it.
8  Journey by Journey / London to Didcot, Oxford and Banbury / Re: Tilehurst - the end of catering on: January 21, 2024, 19:07:22
Sorry. This is the initial post of about ten days ago :

"Heard this morning that the Wolsey[sic] Coffee van at Tilehurst station was broken into, for the 3rd time
9  Journey by Journey / London to Didcot, Oxford and Banbury / Re: Tilehurst - the end of catering on: January 21, 2024, 11:46:21
https://nextdoor.co.uk/p/N3rd_Zh3J_b6?view=detail&init_source=search&query=wolsey
10  Journey by Journey / London to Didcot, Oxford and Banbury / Re: Tilehurst station upgrade on: January 12, 2024, 15:52:46
Dates set to finally add lifts to Tilehurst train station
11  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Annoying / amusing use of completely irrelevant stock photos to illustrate press articles on: January 09, 2024, 17:15:22
Reading buses announces long delays on Jet Black 1 service The article shows a 17 bus.
12  Journey by Journey / London to Didcot, Oxford and Banbury / Re: Tilehurst station upgrade on: January 08, 2024, 17:00:21
According to NextDoor "the Wolsey Coffee van at Tilehurst station was broken into, for the 3rd time".
13  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The West - but NOT trains in the West / Re: "Shortlisted" - UK's most depressing town, 2024 on: January 08, 2024, 14:56:58
I'm always suspicious of such polls, especially since one rated Tidworth as the best place in the country to live. (Not that it's that bad, being on my beloved - well, nearly beloved - Salisbury Plain.) And a pedant might differentiate between "depressing","tedious" and "boring" in the Mail article.

Many of the places listed are quite pleasant (eg Henley), albeit the seaside resorts ar dead in the winter but OK in the summer. I lived in Sidmouth - not on the list - in the 1960s, and before that Torquay, then a fashionable resort - the "Queen of the English Riviera". But I regularly visited in from 1999 to 2005, and it had seriously deteriorated. Poor shops, mansions turned into flats often with dozens of bins outside, shingle beaches and difficult to get out of by road. Shoreditch is now very gentrified and vibrant, with some interesting back streets to explore, though most of its notorious strip pubs have closed.

Of the places in the list that I do know, I would nominate Swindon - but it does have the railway museum - with  a touch of prejudice because it's grown so much at the expense of Wiltshire countryside.

Edit to adjust a markup tag
14  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Why "DMR", not "DEC", on tickets? on: December 12, 2023, 08:16:48
Years ago, I was behind a young man at the Waterloo ticket office who was asking for a ticket to Haslemere. He suddenly realised he wanted to go to Hazlemere in Buckinghamshire, which doesn't have a station ...
15  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Why "DMR", not "DEC", on tickets? on: December 11, 2023, 20:39:56
Someone on my NextDoor neighbourhood forum has just remarked on this,and someone found it "mildly interesting" eight years ago on Reddit. Any suggestions why?
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