November 27, 2006
The European Commission is proposing to standardise the method used to identify rolling stock and locomotives. Okay, one might think this is useful, in as much as there would no confusion regarding the country of origin of numbers for us spotters, but, where Europe has gone barking mad is the proposal to use GUIDs as the means of creating the unique numbers. A quick look at Wikipedia reveals the problem. I’ve doctored a photo of mine to show just how a train will look with the new numbering system.
My concerns are twofold. Firstly, photograph captions, such as “150240 rolls on to St. Erth.” would have to be replaced with “3F2504E0-4F89-11D3-9A0C-0305E82C3301 rolls on to St. Erth.” This is probably a point of vanity, but I don’t think it has the same ring about it.
More importantly, at a much more practical level, is the fact that spotting is made so much harder with the new GUID. Spotters with digital cameras may be able to record the numbers at a later date, but the more traditional spotter, using paper and pen or pencil, will have no chance. Only the very fastest of writers will be able to cope. It could be an end to the spotting that we all enjoy.
Please, get on to Douglas Alexander, the Minister for Transport. This has to be stopped!
November 26, 2006
Not all rail related matters have to be as serious as dining issues. Whilst all spotters would agree that the railways themselves are too serious to be taken lightly we do like a laugh at our own expense. Who can forget the first time they were distracted by a pretty girl and missed that all important rolling stock Identification Number? In an occasional series I’ll be publishing a photograph and adding my own humorous comment. Enjoy!
Trains delayed by Magpie!
November 25, 2006
Photographed in 2006, this train is travelling between St. Ives and St. Erth on what I would consider to be the prettiest branch line in the country. (Greenford to West Ealing comes a distant second)
After walking from St. Ives to Lelant we stopped for a well deserved luncheon at a pub called the Badger Inn although we didn’t eat anything. “Why?” you might ask. Well, we’d planned to catch a train on the branch line back to St. Ives, so beautiful are the views (as you can see in my first post), and we were expecting a full range of refreshments would be found aboard. We were very disappointed indeed that the train offered no such facilities. So popular is this line with locals and holidaymakers alike that the provision of a well stocked and efficient buffet car would be most welcome. It certainly would have been for us. Instead, we had to make do with the meagre fayre offered in St. Ives.
November 23, 2006
Autumn’s a dreadful time for trains and trainspotters alike! The threat that fallen leaves present to the trains is not to be taken lightly, and the disruption caused to timetables can lead to that all important locomotive being so hopelessly held up that it is missed by the spotter. So, to start this blog, I thought of sunnier times and I’ve linked to a movie taken from a train in summer arriving at St. Ives, which is at the end of, in my opinion, the prettiest branch line in the United Kingdom. A fitting start to RailUK!