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1  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - 2019 to 2045 / Re: First Group 2019 full year results and strategy update. on: May 30, 2019, 01:17:01 pm
Yep - https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/first-bus-sale-bristol-traffic-2922296
2  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - 2019 to 2045 / Re: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers on: May 25, 2019, 12:04:46 pm
But then doesnt population in general far exceed the numbers of hundred years ago, and arent there more choices and options available for a wider range of that overall population than there were back then?
3  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Preserved railway lines, Railtours and other rail based attractions / Re: Swanage Railway - return of passenger services and reopening to Wareham on: May 25, 2019, 11:10:07 am
Excellent - Good to know SWR watch the forum too  Grin
4  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Preserved railway lines, Railtours and other rail based attractions / Re: Swanage Railway - return of passenger services and reopening to Wareham on: May 25, 2019, 10:24:22 am
First day of the season for this service - No SWR trains to Corfe. Probably not the best outcome PR-wise.
5  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: British Steel Compulsory Liquidation - 22 May 2019 on: May 22, 2019, 07:12:16 pm
The now uncertain fate of Ascoval, the steel mill that was itself in receivership until British Steel bought it recently, is big news over here in France today.
6  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: RMT Calls For Entire Bus Network To Be Taken Into Public Ownership on: May 22, 2019, 02:52:45 pm
RMT demanding things should be nationalised?

Good God. I think I'm going into shock and hallucinating......I'm seeing a bear heading for the woods with a toilet roll.....

 Grin  Grin

Yes, it aint exactly a surprise. I was more thinking it might make for a good debate, particularly as the opposition and potential government-in-waiting have renationalising the rail network as a key policy.

.......is that before or after they've renationalised all the Utilities? They're going to be busy aren't they? Still, I'm sure it's all fully costed & budgeted for..........blimey a flying pig just joined the bear! 😂

Does that mean you'll be "doing a Phil Collins" if they get in then, TG?  Grin

Or do you think the current lot might hang on against all odds...

I've not seen a sidestep like that since I hung up my rugby boots......are you in the Shadow Cabinet?

Let's just say my political experience has often required me to see both sides of the story, and not take things at face value.

I'll get my coat - No jacket required.

Has WP given you your hard hat back yet?  You can't go without it as you won't have a full set of PPE Tongue

I was going to let him have it back permanently, but something happened on the way to Bedwyn, so I decided to wear my hat one more night.
7  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: RMT Calls For Entire Bus Network To Be Taken Into Public Ownership on: May 22, 2019, 12:28:21 pm
RMT demanding things should be nationalised?

Good God. I think I'm going into shock and hallucinating......I'm seeing a bear heading for the woods with a toilet roll.....

 Grin  Grin

Yes, it aint exactly a surprise. I was more thinking it might make for a good debate, particularly as the opposition and potential government-in-waiting have renationalising the rail network as a key policy.

.......is that before or after they've renationalised all the Utilities? They're going to be busy aren't they? Still, I'm sure it's all fully costed & budgeted for..........blimey a flying pig just joined the bear! 😂

Does that mean you'll be "doing a Phil Collins" if they get in then, TG?  Grin

Or do you think the current lot might hang on against all odds...

I've not seen a sidestep like that since I hung up my rugby boots......are you in the Shadow Cabinet?

Let's just say my political experience has often required me to see both sides of the story, and not take things at face value.

I'll get my coat - No jacket required.
8  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: RMT Calls For Entire Bus Network To Be Taken Into Public Ownership on: May 22, 2019, 11:54:30 am
RMT demanding things should be nationalised?

Good God. I think I'm going into shock and hallucinating......I'm seeing a bear heading for the woods with a toilet roll.....

 Grin  Grin

Yes, it aint exactly a surprise. I was more thinking it might make for a good debate, particularly as the opposition and potential government-in-waiting have renationalising the rail network as a key policy.

.......is that before or after they've renationalised all the Utilities? They're going to be busy aren't they? Still, I'm sure it's all fully costed & budgeted for..........blimey a flying pig just joined the bear! 😂

Does that mean you'll be "doing a Phil Collins" if they get in then, TG?  Grin

Or do you think the current lot might hang on against all odds...
9  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: RMT Calls For Entire Bus Network To Be Taken Into Public Ownership on: May 22, 2019, 11:00:43 am
RMT demanding things should be nationalised?

Good God. I think I'm going into shock and hallucinating......I'm seeing a bear heading for the woods with a toilet roll.....

 Grin  Grin

Yes, it aint exactly a surprise. I was more thinking it might make for a good debate, particularly as the opposition and potential government-in-waiting have renationalising the rail network as a key policy.
10  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / RMT Calls For Entire Bus Network To Be Taken Into Public Ownership on: May 22, 2019, 09:34:27 am
https://www.rmt.org.uk/news/buses-must-be-taken-into-public-ownership/

Quote from: RMT
RMT responds to Transport Select Committee Report highlighting decline in the Bus Industry

The entire bus network must be taken into public ownership, transport union RMT has said in response to the Transport Select Committees report highlighting the continuing decline in the bus industry.

In a survey of RMT bus members 85% believed that bus services should be publicly owned.

The union also said the MPs concerns about dangerously long driving hours in the bus industry supported the RMT campaign to drive down bus drivers’ hours with no loss of pay.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;

“Neglected, underfunded and privatised bus services have been disastrous for passengers and this report should be a wakeup call for the Government.

“MPs are right to call for a national bus strategy and municipal bus services. They are also right to warn that the scourge of long hours and low pay in the bus industry threatens passenger service and safety.

“Only by returning our entire bus network to public ownership can we have the affordable services that our communities need.”
11  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Serco win Caledonian Sleeper franchise on: May 22, 2019, 09:29:01 am
Highlander passengers will have to wait a bit longer for new stock - https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/politics/holyrood/1754298/anger-over-delay-to-caledonian-sleepers-new-luxury-train-fleet/
12  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Taunton Station Improvements Take Step Forward on: May 22, 2019, 09:03:36 am
https://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/17654564.improvement-project-starts-at-taunton-railway-station/

Quote from: Somerset County Gazette
Initial construction began at the site on Monday, May 20, which has seen the closure of the main car park.

With the site compound starting to take shape, actual construction work is due to begin later this Summer and is set to be completed in spring 2020.

A temporary replacement car park is being provided on the opposite side of the station, as part of the phased construction process.
13  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Station improvements as spinoffs to major golf tournaments on: May 21, 2019, 11:05:10 am
Copnor, a suburb in Portsmouth between Hilsea and Fratton, was originally meant to have a station. It had a signalled level crossing (later replaced by a bridge), and a Station Road laid out, but construction never began.

Great Salterns Golf Course is just a little way down the road.
14  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Preserved railway lines, Railtours and other rail based attractions / Re: "Greening heritage lines" on: May 20, 2019, 08:06:21 pm
My vote for the first line would be The Bluebell , checks to see whether Lee Has returned with my Tin Hat, don't think it will happen any time soon though.

Still need the tin hat - I've been chased by angry Bedwyn line IET commuters all the way from Newbury, and I'm just heading towards Hungerford now. I didnt stop at Kintbury, but that only seemed to make things worse...

On a serious note, I was also thinking Bluebell, but not the current line - Rather, as with MVR S&T's post, the planned future extension from Horsted Keynes to Ardingly (trackbed already owned or leased by the Bluebell Railway) and beyond from Ardingly to Haywards Heath (currently in use for freight).

Before passenger service withdrawal in 1963, the Haywards Heath-Horsted Keynes line had been electrified in the 1930s, and reopening as an electrified heritage line has not been ruled out. More info in the links below:

https://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/extend.html

http://www.rail.co.uk/rail-news/2015/bluebell-railway-planning-to-head-west/
15  Sideshoots - associated subjects / News, Help and Assistance / Re: Topics to concentrate on in the future - the rail future on: May 20, 2019, 04:09:16 pm
Personally, I think that Railfuture has 3 major problems to overcome in this part of the world, let alone more generally. These are to become visibly relevant, credibly relevant, and demographically relevant:

1) The disastrous Draft December 2006 FGW Timetable spawned a whole host of local, grass roots anti-timetable cuts campaigns, a number of which transformed into respected user groups of today. These groups made crucial media contacts during that process, and have become the go-to people for comment, views and analysis when the press have a local rail story. How often do you see a Railfuture spokesperson quoted by comparison? I think they have been crowded out of the media spotlight in recent years, and have some serious ground to make up to become visibly relevant again.

2) If you are a member of the public who happens to be interested in rail groups in the area, and you search online to find out more, then you will tend to find a relatively coherent mix of websites and news stories regarding local rail user groups and community rail organisations that together explain who they are, and what their largely realistic, achievable or at least possible aims are. When it comes to Railfuture though, you will often get links to the newsletters, and these don't seem to be able to pass without some form of comment along the lines of "I propose ripping up the road to South Molton/Tiverton/Insert Name Here and putting the rails back" or similar.

Now, many of us would love nothing more than to live in a time and place where that kind of thing is readily possible, but I'm afraid it certainly isn't in the time and place most of us inhabit. As a result, such people tend to be regarded as crayonistas at best, and out and out fantasists at worst. Railfuture really does need to tackle the knock-on effect this creates in terms of how it is perceived by outsiders if they are to become credibly relevant again.

3) As grahame has alluded on more than one occasion, try as they might, Railfuture seem to unable to break the demographic headlock on membership in general and meeting attendance in particular that white males of retirement age appear to exert on the organisation. By comparison, user groups and community rail organisations already are far more diverse, and are becoming even more so with each day that passes. Railfuture has to find a way of developing in the same manner if it is to become demographically relevant again.

This is why I am extremely heartened that grahame has been elected. He is a sixtysomething white male, so he should be able to gain the trust of his peers, but he also has a track record of setting up a diverse and hugely successful campaign that both turned into an organisation that launched community rail across the TransWilts area, and also revitalised existing rail user groups and helped create new ones on his patch, doing so with a focus on achieving realistic, credible aims but with nonetheless impressive results. Not to mention playing a huge role in creating, developing and constantly evolving this very online forum that we've all come to enjoy so much.

Railfuture could have chosen no-one better in my opinion, and I just hope they have the vision to allow him to help guide them along the road to survival and future prosperity that they must now travel down.
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