Tuesday, May 29, 2007

How is the Central Line?

I have to ask how the Central Line is doing, because I don't have a clue!

I haven't ventured near the Central Line since last Wednesday. I must admit it has been mostly behaving itself recently- there was a morning a couple of weeks ago when passengers appeared to be queuing up to be taken ill, but apart from that, nothing to note.

The new heated unused waiting room at Northolt appears to have been mothballed, as the seats now have plastic covers over them. Still, it stops the squirrels, pigeons and mice scratching them as, quite clearly, it is not planned to let people anywhere near them.

Last Thursday I went to The Crown in Northolt. It used to be a Beefeater pub restaurant but is now something different. See the link for details. The food was fine, but I preferred it as a Beefeater. Nothing I can do of course, but I won't be rushing back. The food was fine, it was just the lack of atmosphere (it used to be really busy) that has put me off.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Poor Man's Sat Nav

Very occasionally I go to Chesham. About once a year.

Chesham is stuck way out at the end of the Metropolitan Line on a spur that has a shuttle train. I have always gone there by train.

Now, I do not have Sat Nav. At present I do not even own a road atlas (this will have to change). For now I tend to research my new found driving freedom using either Google Maps or Multimap. Com. Both are pretty good and I like them.

Recently I had to go to Chesham and this extract of the directions from Google Maps is centred on a left hand turn from 5 Acres into Trapp's Lane. The trouble was, following the route to the letter, I couldn't find where to turn left into Trapp's Lane. The reason- Trapp's Lane is a small footpath (a lane) totally unsuitable for driving a car down.

Three weeks into having a car and I go wrong due to over reliance on technology. Do you think I'll be allowed a Sat Nav when I grow up? Google has obviously provided me with the poor man's version.

By the way, however hard I try, I cannot get Multimap to suggest I make the same mistake.

Time to Come Clean

I have a confession to make.

Due to something else that is happening in my life, I now have a car.

It is nearly new, it is not too flash and for those of you who ask such things, it is black.

I have not owned a car for over seven years. I drove my previous vehicle to the scrapyard and have only occasionally wished I still had one. I live in suburbia, I work in central London, I have an annual travelcard and tended to use public transport all the time. My nearest Central Line station is two minutes from where I live.

Now I still use public transport most of the time, use the car sometimes and think of the changes to my life that are on the way. I will still never drive into central London.

This is why blogging about public transport has dipped recently. Sorry.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Steam Trains (Again)

Last April I may have unwittingly managed to pass myself off as a train enthusiast, when I blogged about steam trains running on Chiltern Railways out of London Marylebone.

Well, yesterday they were at it again, this time with a train running all the way from Birmingham to London in the morning and then back again in the evening.

The locomotive was the Rood Ashton Hall and this picture shows it speeding through Northolt Park Station at 12.05pm yesterday afternoon. Quite a few people had gathered to see the unusual sight. The train was traveling relatively slowly as it was following straight on behind two Chiltern Railways normal service trains.

I do not know much about steam trains, but further information about this particular locomotive may be found here.

Unfortunately I turned into a fairly incompetent photographer in the afternoon, so this second picture (taken at 17.30 at Denham station) is the best I can do showing the train on its evening return trip to Birmingham.

Chiltern Railways have quickly updated their website with further information.

Personally I am more interested in the infrastructure of the railways than the trains themselves. It is however hard for me not to be enthusiastic and nostalgic about the steam era.

If anybody knows how or where the engine was turned around while in London, please share the information, thanks! I am thinking either Croxley or Greenford, but both are a bit of a trek out of Marylebone.