I do hope the Rail Regulator was watching yesterday. The number of cancellations on Abellio Greater Anglia’s rural network was nothing short of disgraceful. There were multiple cancellations on the lines serving Ipswich – Felixstowe/Lowestoft, and Norwich – Cambridge/Great Yarmouth/Lowestoft due to what AGA cited as “more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time”. Ironically the Short Set was out all day working overtime so those 50yo locos were coping fine. Can someone tell me why in 2015 there aren’t enough trains to cope with Autumn, which last time I checked happens every year, and every year the rail network can’t cope. There are locos mothballed the rest of the year that operate the RHTT (Rail Head Treatment Trains) every Autumn so why can’t some units be stored the same way? Even heritage units could be used. As usual though the paying customer suffers and the only people who don’t acknowledge there’s a problem have government chauffeurs. It is not good enough and only fuels the flames of the argument for re-nationalsation.
Now some good news. Earlier on in the year I, together with East Norfolk Bus Blog put out an appeal for anyone with deep pockets to save the last Volvo Olympian ever built, First Yarmouth’s 34110, from the scrap man. I had one interested party who after some consideration decided the costs were prohibitive, but Roy had more luck, and on Tuesday 34110 left Yarmouth for her new home at the Yeldham Transport Collection in Essex, where she will eventually (these things take time) be restored to her former glory. The full story can be read on East Norfolk Bus Blog, but Jamie Skinner, who at one point looked favourite to take on the task of saving 34110, has retained his interest and sent me some pictures of her leaving Yarmouth behind a stunning tow truck. Many thanks Jamie, and well done to you and Roy for achieving this. Appreciation to should go to Chris Speed and Danny Beales for organsing things from First’s side, and for recognising the historical importance of the bus. A happy ending.
I am off on my travels this week. On Thursday I’m setting off for Edinburgh where there is a huge amount I’m planning to do including travelling on the new Borders Railway, riding some new First E200 and E400 MMC’s in Stirling and Glasgow, new Lothian Streetdecks to Edinburgh Airport, and finally popping up to Aberdeen (as you do) to ride the giant tri-axle hydrogen buses up there. Should be a good trip and provide material for a few posts. Incidentally my coach travel from Norwich – London – Edinburgh and back came to a grand total of 4.50 which is cheaper than a return from Wickham Market to Woodbridge. Not bad I guess!
Finally I have been somewhat glued to a new railcam I have discovered – in Holland. It is sited in the small town of Mierlo-Hout which is a few miles West of Eindhoven. Thee are three cameras sited by a busy level crossing and there is qute a variety of trains including double decker trains and plenty of freight heading to and from Antwerp and Rotterdam. It is also interesting to watch level crossing protocol with so many bikes around – very disciplined. You will need Silverlight to view the cam, and although I can view it using Firefox or IE I can’t using Chrome so if one browser doesn’t work try another. The site can be accessed by clicking here.