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[84] Where's my train/carriage ? Wonder no longer..check scrolling ...
[56] More dangerous overcrowding to the Westcountry
[32] GWR bans surfboards from IET services
[30] IETs to Bedwyn initially delayed - now running from May 2019
[11] Where was eightonedee on 19 May?
[10] My final ride on a full length HST?
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1  Journey by Journey / London to Reading / Re: Crossrail - The Elizabeth Line - ongoing discussion, merged topics on: May 25, 2019, 09:40:50 pm
Wish our current PM would get on with her current project...

Just finishing up...
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 23, 2019, 08:09:07 pm

Air Passenger Duty does the same thing but in a different way. It also means that airlines aren't tempted (where it would be possible) to refuel for both journeys overseas where the fuel tax would be lower.

That doesn't happen, except for the very limited cases where fuel isn't available at the destination.

A pilot calculates the fuel he will need by first working out how much he needs to taxy to the runway and queue for takeoff. At somewhere like Heathrow, this is not negligible. Pilots sometimes taxy on one engine only in the smaller aircraft (which leads to the noise like an angry dog hitting something - side issue) even at Bristol. Next the pilot works out how much is needed to get to the destination airport. This gets more complex with length of flight, as the predicted wind directions and speeds likely to be encountered become more unpredictable. The heaviest fuel consumption happens at takeoff and climb to altitude, mitigated by the pilot making another complex calculation involving weight, weather, wind, temperature, altitude of airfield and more, to use as much of the runway as is safe to use for the takeoff run. Some aircraft start that run weighing more than the maximum they can get off the ground with, the pilot knowing that enough fuel will be burned off before the aircraft reaches rotation speed to bring it under the line. At the other end, the aircraft must have enough fuel to divert to an alternate airfield, plus an additional 30 minutes to hold there if need be. So a flight from (for example) Rome to Bristol, about 2 hours most days, will depart with fuel for about 3 hours, to give enough to get to Cardiff, or more likely Exeter or Birmingham, in case of bad weather or airport closure. Most pilots will use their experience of the route to decide whether or not to add a bit for good luck.

Airlines do not encourage pilots to carry more than they need, because to carry fuel means using fuel, especially in that portion of the journey from tarmac to 39,000 feet (actually flight level 390, which is almost never 39,000 feet, but I digress again). It also means on extremely long flights that an extra bit of cargo, a lucrative sideline on passenger flights, especially mail, cannot be taken.

An alternative to flying there and back on one tank is to refuel en route, but then you have to bring that big bird down to ground and back up again. In my many flights, I have only had one refuelling stop. That was at Brussels on a Turkish airline (Onur) flight from Bristol to Dalaman. We also took on all the catering, so I guess there was an arrangement. My son in law often gets refuelling stops, but then he is heading to and from the Falklands. Doing it to avoid tax may be cutting off your nose to spite your face, but it could tempt airlines to land in UK with more on board than they would otherwise to enable them to buy less at our price, leading to less revenue than the taxman expected, and probably higher emissions over UK.

General aviation is different. Unless you are carrying an exceptionally heavy load (like three Coffee Shop members), you fill up to the recommended level, then take off at full power every time. The maxims are that you only have too much fuel if you are on fire, and you can use any fuel except what you left behind in the bowser. Plus you need 45 minutes' fuel in reserve as well as the diversion.

Tap water is greener and cheaper.

I have been somewhere where the tap water was a lot greener, and where I even cleaned my teeth in bottled water.

………..did the new planes not have a satisfactory buffet?  Wink
Only a trolley  Grin

Etihad have a very satisfactory service on the A380s, with one of the few airline meals that I would have enjoyed on the ground. Plus free drinks throughout, even if the flight is preceded by a travel prayer from the Holy Qur'an, played discreetly on the seat-back screens. It was in Arabic, so I can't tell you the actual form of words, except that it began Bismillah (In the name of God) which I recognised from another context.

Getting back to the very interesting question, my answer is probably not, at least not yet. I do try alternatives - taking a 9-hour train journey from New York to Canada, for example, then using Canadian railways rather than internal flights, but I had to get to New York first, and the other members of my party were too time-constrained to sail. Plus marine diesel is probably the filthiest fuel used anywhere in the world.I'm not sure which does more total harm. I have flown within Britain, though (ignoring my hobby flying for a moment) going from Bristol to Edinburgh and back most recently, for about £15 each way, which compared very favourably with rail.
3  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: May 23, 2019, 07:18:08 pm

Someone's gone to the trouble of putting in those big luggage racks.    Someone has allocated them routinely to the Southampton run on which people tend to have a lot of luggage.    Looks like the big decisions have been made and they just need a final bit of joining up?

I can't imagine people travelling to or from their hollibobs on a ship from Southampton are going to be too concerned tone in a quiet carriage - in fact they're likely to be excitedly chattering, phoning ahead to daughtertaxi for when they get off the train to ensure the lift really is there.  Of course, we're all different but cruise traffic does not strike me as people who'll want it quiet on that particular journey.

We are recently home from a month-long cruise. We didn't make undue noise on the way to the airport on the way out. In truth, we stayed in a hotel at Heathrow to give us a gentle start on departure day itself. On the way home, we were getting over a total day of about 36 hours, running back over the 8 time zones we had travelled across, but all in one lump, so weren't in complete party mood then, either.
4  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: May 22, 2019, 08:46:03 pm
I find these no view IET seats handy for short journeys as they are rarely occupied and I am right by the door for a quick exit Smiley

I have noticed sitting there that bags that would fit easily in the overhead rack above seats are often filling up the rather small luggage rack, maybe from a habit from trains where a briefcase is about the largest item that can be put overhead.

My recent trip to Lincolnshire proves your point. On the IET ex-Tiverton, I tried my case, of the type that just about fits EasyJet's size for hand luggage, in the overhead rack. Perfect fit! On the Hull Trains HST ex-Paddington, no chance.
5  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: The last HSTs to leave Paddington in passenger service - 18 May 19 on: May 22, 2019, 07:48:28 pm
A very well written and practiced speech by Mark Hopwood there. And an impressive bit of reversing in the first clip.
6  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: May 20, 2019, 08:15:49 pm
Or I could tell you - as a moderator - how to update the list  Grin Grin . Logic is to plan ahead from the AGM though, so I'll add it this time.   Much else needs updating on that list - a review of current entries, some of which reflect things as they were some time ago.

For the moment, I have added the entries in question.

You've altered the sign-in page. I can cope with anything but change!  Grin
7  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: BA in the Grauniad on: May 20, 2019, 07:58:39 pm

Except that's not a 747 in the photo. 747s and A380s are probably the only aircraft types I can identify these days. Everything else just looks the same to me.

The one with the tail showing is an Airbus A321-231. The other is an A320-232. Neither looks remotely like a BAe-146.
8  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: R.I.P the GWR Mouse on: May 19, 2019, 11:21:25 pm
I look forward to the biography!
9  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: The last HSTs to leave Paddington in passenger service - 18 May 19 on: May 19, 2019, 11:18:16 pm
I would add my thanks to everyone who joined us yesterday (Saturday) for the farewell to HSTs and joined in. But I want to also pay tribute to everyone in GWR, Network Rail and beyond who worked hard to prepare and deliver yesterday’s events.

I confess I dreamt up the idea of lining four HSTs at Paddington but after that my amazing team and NR colleagues did the hard work to make it happen.

Our focus is now on working towards our new December 2019 timetable!

I followed the events from time to time via BNM's and others' posts on here, and the GWR Facebook feed. Whilst I am sure there will have been many at Paddington wondering what on earth the fuss was about, it was a very good thing to have a proper farewell, and it all seemed to go very well. Having Sir Kenneth there was a masterstroke, even if he never thought he would have to wait so long for the retirement - at least partial - of the HSTs. He looked in better shape than I do, despite me having a considerable age advantage!

It may be a good idea to make a note in the office diary for the retirement of the IETs, if you have one that goes up to 2061.  Cheesy
10  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: May 19, 2019, 10:53:37 pm

Nearly right. Air Suspension Isolating Cock

It differentiates it from ASIC - Air Supply Isolating Cock

Thanks! We'll ask grahame to update the Acronyms list.
11  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: May 19, 2019, 03:13:34 pm
I think it might stand for ASP-SaaS-IoT Cloud... which appears to be an 'Internet of Things' standard in which, as far as I can see (which isn't very far) Hitachi are involved with...

See here for starters:

We supports Cloud

Mind you, it's better English than my Japanese. I'm not sure it can be that. There seems to have been no activity on the company website for 5 years, which takes us back to before IET.
12  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Bristol Transport Strategy Consultation / Launch Event 26/09/2018. on: May 19, 2019, 02:58:48 pm
Every day's a schoolday - I was thinking Mark rather than any other Bradshaw.

From the Bradley Stoke Journal.
13  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Bristol Transport Strategy Consultation / Launch Event 26/09/2018. on: May 18, 2019, 10:25:38 pm
Ah, very clever... shades of Mornington Crescent; we're back on-topic after a deft reverse shunt at Lyde Green. MetroBus: The 'Change UK'  of public transport.

Very well spotted! I played Bradshaw's Monolith there. Just saying.
14  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Bristol Transport Strategy Consultation / Launch Event 26/09/2018. on: May 18, 2019, 07:21:30 pm
Anyone got a clear view on where we should split this topic? I mean it's an interesting discussion and all that, but it has rather moved on from the BTS Consultation...

I suppose there could be a reason to split, but there's too much of that in politics these days. In any case, I'm not really expecting much more out of this than we got from the 1980 plan for trams. 39 years and £250 million later, three new subsidised bus routes.
15  Journey by Journey / Wales local journeys / Re: Treherbert, Aberdare, or Merthyr Tydfil? on: May 18, 2019, 03:48:52 pm
Many years ago I went on a railtour - possibly named the Welsh Washeries Wanderer - which among other places went up past Aberdare to Hirwaun. What really stuck in my mind on that line was Abercwmboi Phurnacite Works; a true vision of Hell on Earth belching dark red flame into the filthy thickened air, as black clouds lurked a few feet above your head. Even the leaves on the trees were black.

As erudite as ever, RS, painting a mental picture of truly Dantean proportions. In another place, I described a similar scene as "In what was left of a tree, a lone seagull coughed". You win!

Saturday, after the RailFuture AGM, I'm giving myself the option of a trip up one of the valleys from Cathy's ... which valley would you recommend?

I am leaving things open after the AGM and following meeting ... priority is to meet / network, but depending on the election results I may be at a loose end.   Which valley would recommend me to try, and why?   (Sounds like a blind date question ...)

Friends of ours once lived in what must have been a station house at Treherbert. The only visit we made was by car, but it seemed a nice enough place. No need to sit on the platform - as it was the terminus, one could easily finish one's cuppa in the warm and dry while the driver changed ends. The house cost him about what we paid in stamp duty last time we moved. The drive up the valley was interesting. All the villages were long and thin, with only the name signs to tell you that you had passed a border. But there were some lovely walks to be had.

... I may be at a loose end.   

That's lose, surely?  Grin
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