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January 18, 2018, 03:30:52 PM *
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1  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Hydrogen Trains on: Yesterday at 01:16:06 PM
It also suggests that surplus electricity from wind farms at night could be used to produce the hydrogen.

This is a reasonable point. It could. In some niche applications H2 makes sense.

As an example, Orkney produces surplus wind-generated electricity which can' t readily be transmitted to the mainland. Storing this energy in the form of hydrogen may work here because Orkney relies on ferries to get people around and these lend themselves to accommodating the kind of plant required to release the energy using fuel cells.

But on branch lines, where charging infrastructure is likely to be close at hand? Batteries win hands down.
2  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Hydrogen Trains on: January 16, 2018, 09:59:20 PM
Quote
H2 could be used as an alternative power supply on smaller branch lines that will never be electrified...

...or, equally likely, trains could be towed by teams of trained squirrels.
3  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Virgin Trains to stop selling Daily Mail on: January 16, 2018, 12:04:20 PM
Quote
The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.

Schenck v. United States

4  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Preserved railway lines, Railtours and other rail based attractions / Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - possible link to main line on: January 12, 2018, 05:26:21 PM
...which in turn will prevent the railway signals from clearing

Depends... if this is an AHB, then as I understand it there is no connection between the barriers and the signalling system.
5  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Preserved railway lines, Railtours and other rail based attractions / Re: Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) - heritage line on: January 12, 2018, 01:59:38 PM
If they apply the GRIP process, we can expect to see it running some time in the early 2090s...
6  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Virgin Trains to stop selling Daily Mail on: January 12, 2018, 09:46:43 AM

.........and some are just plain hypocritical (........are they still stocking the Guardian, for now?)  Wink


I think this is a reasonably good example of the false equivalence fallacy.

I'm not suggesting equivalence between the Graun and the Mail, I was merely speculating as to whether Virgin would now stock the Guardian as it (along with many others) printed a story about Beardie investing in the tourist economy of one of the most brutal and repressive regimes on the planet. Widely published elsewhere - it's the hypocrisy that's the issue - some may consider that the antics of the Saudi regime are mildly more distasteful than the front page of the Daily Mail, especially in its treatment of LGBT folks in this context, but naturally views will widely differ.

I wasn't suggesting you were. I was referring to the false equivalence between Virgin's approach to the Mail, and the Guardian's Branson story.

...a cartoon in one of his newspapers that likened a chimpanzee to President Obama?

...........why, not even the Mail would stoop that low!  Wink

Really? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_McMurtry
7  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Virgin Trains to stop selling Daily Mail on: January 12, 2018, 09:28:59 AM

.........and some are just plain hypocritical (........are they still stocking the Guardian, for now?)  Wink


I think this is a reasonably good example of the false equivalence fallacy.
8  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Virgin Trains to stop selling Daily Mail on: January 11, 2018, 06:34:14 PM

If a major chain of news agents refuse to sell a popular newspaper, then that IMO is getting a bit too like censorship.


Absolutely.

It gets a bit less clear-cut when a business makes a very limited number of papers available, though. A private hospital might make the Mail and Telegraph available in reception, whilst a cafe on the Gloucester Road would be more likely to offer the i or the Guardian. That's not censorship, it's just the proprietors projecting their own viewpoint or attempting to reflect their customers'.

The relationship between supermarkets and newspapers is more interesting - I would expect them to sell all the most popular titles regardless of their editorial stance, but I certainly would not expect them to advertise in or promote papers which oppose their brand or values. But they do! This comes into sharp focus at Xmas when leading supermarkets air commercials advocating goodwill to all men, whilst advertising in papers that promote othering and general nastiness.

9  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Pilot Men on: January 11, 2018, 09:19:31 AM
Reading the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Steam Loco Dept Blog I was reminded of a bit of a side-debate we had about the use of 'pilots' or 'pilot men' in a signalling context (see http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=6405.msg219974#msg219974):

Quote
... the next plan was to get a photo of Dinmore Manor's fireman collecting the token, then follow it up the line.  As you'll have spotted by now, my cunning plans usually come unstuck somewhere, and this was where it happened on Friday.  The token for Dinmore Manor to take couldn't be coaxed out of the Tyer's machine.  Calls were made to Winchcombe box, plungers were plunged, points and signals unset and reset again, all to no avail. 

Phone calls were made to the Duty Operations Officer and it was decided that the quickest way to get the trains moving again, was to invoke pilotman working... now if only there was a some mug suitably qualified volunteer nearby who could do that.  You know what's coming next already don't you... my photography plans were put on ice (rather than snow) and with a red "pilotman" arm band on my left arm, phone calls to Winchcombe box made and forms filled in, I joined the crew of Dinmore Manor as far as Winchcombe.

I'd envisaged spending the rest of the day running up and down as pilotman between Gotherington and Winchcombe, but it turned out that when I got back to Gotherington, the problem had been discovered (lever 19 needed slamming home) and my services as a human token were no longer required.

The rule book doesn't actually demand it, however the fireman training material recommends that for the avoidance of confusion that the ex-pilotman should not remain on the railway, it even helpfully suggests going to the pub as an acceptable alternative.  By now, all the steam locos were either running tender first or behind something else, so I set off to do a spot of shopping in Cheltenham and grab some lunch.

I have to say that 'going to the pub' has always struck me as an acceptable alternative to being at work... you'd have to ask my co-workers whether things become less confusing while I'm away though.
 
10  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Virgin Trains to stop selling Daily Mail on: January 10, 2018, 04:03:32 PM
Newspapers often supply free or heavily subsidised copies to large organisations who wish to give them to customers. The theory is of course that some of those customers will like the free newspaper and purchase copies in future.

It also appears on the official circulation figures for the paper that justifies the advertising rates.  So the deal was they probably had to deliver it.

Up to a point. The ABC is very precise about how it counts freely circulated copies, and advertisers are presumably not easily fooled.

ABD list lot of different kinds of free copy, but as far as I can see none of them applies to national newspapers, for which this is the reporting standard.

However, that doesn't appear to exclude all free copies by defining them, only by not including them where ABC has a definition elsewhere that does. So, for example, Waitrose don't give you free papers, but a discount off your bill equal to the paper's cost. I've always assumed that was a way of getting those copies into ABC figures, but does that trick really work?

You're quoting a standard, and I'm quoting a defined term. Let's call the whole thing off Wink

When ABC figures are published (whether for national or, to the extent that such things still exist, local newspapers) the figures are usually simplified into 'paid for' and 'free' circulations. I'm sure if you paid the ABC's fees and read their full report (which you would, if you were an advertiser), you'd get all the details of the various nuanced forms of free circulation; even Waitrose's apparant leger de main.

Anyway, fascinating though all this is it will be as relevant as the telephone box in a few years.
11  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Virgin Trains to stop selling Daily Mail on: January 10, 2018, 02:54:54 PM
Newspapers often supply free or heavily subsidised copies to large organisations who wish to give them to customers. The theory is of course that some of those customers will like the free newspaper and purchase copies in future.

It also appears on the official circulation figures for the paper that justifies the advertising rates.  So the deal was they probably had to deliver it.



Up to a point. The ABC is very precise about how it counts freely circulated copies, and advertisers are presumably not easily fooled.
12  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Virgin Trains to stop selling Daily Mail on: January 10, 2018, 01:40:32 PM
Years ago I had reason to stay for a period of time in a hotel near Derby. Every Monday when I checked in, they'd ask if I wanted a daily paper, I'd say 'yes, please', and for the rest of the week each morning I would find a copy of my preferred paper outside my door together with a similar-looking organ called, if memory serves me correctly, the Toryguff.

During the months I was there, I tried all manner of ways to get them to stop inflicting this upon me - polite requests, slightly ruder requests, signs on my door, just leaving it outside (it would be neatly moved to my desk by the cleaners), but nothing worked. I could never understand what purpose was served by this - presumably in a 200-room hotel there would be a handful of people who would be pleased to get their Toryguff for free, but by far the majority of guests would have simply thrown them away.
13  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Virgin Trains to stop selling Daily Mail on: January 10, 2018, 11:25:31 AM
Doesn't that comment also apply to the Daily Mail then?
Good point Chris. Also applies to The Guardian too which is losing money hand over fist.

Q: What's the best way to make a small fortune in the newspaper business?
A: Start with a large one.
14  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Virgin Trains to stop selling Daily Mail on: January 10, 2018, 11:06:06 AM

For the record, I don't read the Mail, or the Sun, Morning Star, Railway Magazine, The Beano etc etc but I'd defend to the death the right of anyone who wished to, wherever they choose to, whether or not I agree with the content or the readers.


Ah, the Voltaire* of Burnham Beeches...

* or was it Evelyn Beatrice Hall?
15  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Virgin Trains to stop selling Daily Mail on: January 09, 2018, 06:25:46 PM
Quote
Virgin Trains drops Daily Mail as it deems paper 'not compatible with our beliefs'

Virgin Trains has stopped stocking the Daily Mail in its on-board shops or providing it in first-class carriages, saying it has decided the paper is "not compatible" with its brand and beliefs.

[...]

"Thousands of people choose to read the Daily Mail every day. But they will no longer be reading it courtesy of VT [Virgin Trains]. Thereís been considerable concern raised by colleagues about the Mailís editorial position on issues such as immigration, LGBT rights, and unemployment. Weíve decided that this paper is not compatible with the VT brand and our beliefs. We wonít be stocking the Daily Mail for sale or as a giveaway."

Source: PR Week
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