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 on: Today at 02:56:33 am 
Started by grahame - Last post by grahame
It has been lovely spending the last ten days sampling the north east coastline of the USA - Boston and Newport (Rhode Island), New York, Portland (Maine) and Bar Harbour, but it's lovely to get out of the heat, hussle and bustle, ratrace and queuing and feel the cool air flowing into our cabin on board "Aurora" as we set sail, via a couple more Canadian ports, for home. Lisa and I have never taken a holiday of over a fortnight before (and that was exceptional) and at home we have plenty of space to be within each other's orbits, whilst not being in each other's pockets. So some concern on how this would go. We needn't have worried, though!   Here's come pictures from the USA, and here's hoping you'll have me back.

Can you place which picture is which of the visits listed above?






 on: Today at 02:26:38 am 
Started by grahame - Last post by broadgage
Sad for those affected, but considering the wider picture and the climate emergency, not sorry to see them go.

If more people are using trains instead of aircraft, that is less damaging carbon emissions. If some people are holidaying within the UK instead of flying overseas, that is better still. Less fuel used AND more money staying in the UK, and more employment in the domestic tourist trade.

 on: Today at 02:18:56 am 
Started by grahame - Last post by grahame
Thomas Cook - who started some 170 years ago running a railway excursion from Leicester to Loughborough - had ceased trading. 

From Wikipedia:

Thomas Cook & Son, originally simply Thomas Cook, was a company founded by Thomas Cook, a cabinet-maker, in 1841 to carry temperance supporters by railway between the cities of Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Birmingham. In 1851, Cook arranged transport to the Great Exhibition of 1851. He organised his first tours to Europe in 1855 and to the United States in 1866.

Not sure how relevant to the forum, as I think they've been purely in airline / international holidays in recent years.

 on: Today at 01:37:36 am 
Started by Robin Summerhill - Last post by grahame
Robin,  something makes me wonder if it's pragmatism rather that conspiracy.   It's probably already cost them a darned site more than £45.60 to investigate and reply, and would cost so much more once they were also answering the Rail Ombudsman - so much more practical to repay the fare (and apologise for the delay beyond specification as a reason for so doing) than to take it further.  Of course, you're (supposed to be) really happy to have had a free ride, and there's no need to make changes to the system at a time - err - when the who fare thing is (supposed to be) up in the air through RDG and Williams.

 on: Yesterday at 09:16:54 pm 
Started by RailCornwall - Last post by ellendune
There is also something of a suspicion of campaigns that require expensive extra costs on a scheme to mitigate what they claim are unacceptable impacts then try an kill the scheme off because of the extra cost of such works. 

 on: Yesterday at 09:11:52 pm 
Started by RailCornwall - Last post by IndustryInsider
Most of the article is hidden behind a paywall.  Does it go on to say which group or individual submitted the paper to the enquiry?

 on: Yesterday at 09:11:51 pm 
Started by bobm - Last post by Red Squirrel
Spent a very enjoyable day at Didcot Railway Centre today. I thought I'd pop in and have a look at the Swindon Panel Box exhibit, and it was fascinating - there were very friendly folk on hand explaining how it all works, and letting you set routes and generally play.

Even more fascinating to me, though, was this, which I had no idea had survived into preservation. I could have spent hours staring at it:

If, like me, you haven't been to Didcot for a while (or - heaven forfend - you've never been!) do go again soon - there is so much to see. Highlights included rides in clerestory and toplight carriages behind 2999
Lady of Legend, and a look at the double twist lever frame under Radstock North Signal Box (OK, I didn't understand how it works - but you had to enjoy the enthusiasm of the poor chap who tried to explain it to me...)

 on: Yesterday at 09:05:03 pm 
Started by RailCornwall - Last post by ellendune

For a newspaper to make such a claim these days seems only to require so anti campaigner who claims to be an 'expert' to make a claim.  I know that HS2 have been concealing some estimated overspend, but forgive me if I am naturally skeptical of such leaked claims via such a newspaper. 

 on: Yesterday at 08:24:07 pm 
Started by broadgage - Last post by bobm
The Sainsbury's just off J12 of the M4 used to have very cheap petrol back in the 90s, perhaps for similar reasons.

In those days it was Savacentre - a joint enterprise between Sainsbury’s and British Home Stores. 

Look what happened to BHS! 

 on: Yesterday at 08:15:59 pm 
Started by Robin Summerhill - Last post by Robin Summerhill
Something has happened to make an update on this saga worthwhile. For those who haven't read the thread from the beginning, back in July my OH was refused access to the HEX platform at Heathrow T5 at 0845 after an overnight flight from Johannesburg, because she held an off peak ticket. I already knew, and carried out some research to prove, that multi-TOC tickets for the HEX element of a longer journey is already charged at HEX peak rate, so the company is acting incorrectly by refusing to allow such tickets to be used before 0930 on weekdays.

On 16th July I told HEX in writing that I wasn't happy with the outcome of my complaint (which they rejected), and wanted it escalated to stage 2 of their internal complaints procedure. I did not hear back from them at all (a cynic might say that stage 2 of their procedure involves ignoring the complainant for so long that they go away, but if it is they picked the wrong passenger in this case). At the end of July I contacted my MP about the matter and she wrote to the CEO of HEX on 14th August. I have yet to hear back from either of them.

Initially GWR tried to wash it's hands of the matter arguing that it was nothing to do with them because it was HEX policy that I was arguing about. I argued back saying that it was to do with them because they sold my OH the ticket so she has a contract with GWR not HEX, and also that the fare she paid was set by GWR. Again I didn't hear back from them so I was waiting the required 56 days before I raised the issue with the Rail Ombudsman.

Then on Thursday 12th September I got an email from GWR apologising for them taking so long to reply. They said that because the reply was so long in coming they were going to give a full refund of the fare paid (£45.60) and the cheque arrived a week later.

I am not one to look gift horses in their mouths but I really don't understand why they did this. We didn't ask for any refund or compensation - all we asked for was that senior GWR management contact senior HEX senior management pointing out the error in their current procedures (GWR and HEX had already been provided with copies of my research proving that I was right and they were wrong), and to persuade them to issue new instructions to staff.

What am I missing?

Putting my conspiracy theorist tin foil hat on, I might be tempted to conclude that some senior people within HEX and GWR have been having a dialogue, know that there's a problem, don't want to own up to it publicly because there could easily be a few thousand other passengers that this has happened to who will want a refund if it all comes out in the open, so are trying to buy me off. The rationale to back that up is that by sending a full refund, GWR have effectively cancelled the original contract as the original fare has now not been paid (ie refunded). But I'm not a conspiracy theorist, so I'm flummoxed...

Oddited for teepees

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