Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles

Railfan, train buff, railway enthusiast, railway buff, trainspotter, or ferroequinologist?

Watch ‘Railways for Ever’ (1970) by Sir John Betjeman
Visit the National Railway Museum in York
Find ‘Waterloo Station’ (1967) by Terence Tenison Cuneo and ‘First Class: The Meeting’ by Abraham Solomon (1855)
Snap a photo Sir John Betjeman at St Pancreas Station

My favorite railroad collectibles (in NO particular order):

(1) LGB G – 21962 – Diesel locomotive – Reihe 2095 – ÖBB – This was a gift from my dad before Burgoyne was born. LGB has since gone defunct but their garden scale locos are highly sought after.
(2) BRIO World Metro Train Set – A gift from a close friend. The subway map and tube station are brilliant miniatures.
(3) GWR Guards Whistle / First Class A5 Notebook – A memento from a trip to the National Railway Musuem in York.
(4) Playmobil 4382 – Train Platform – The first of several Playmobil entries. It featured quite prominently on
(5) Chicago Railroad Fair 1948, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad – This is the fair Walt Disney visited with Ward Kimball.
(6) Playmobil 4118v1 – Graffiti Car – This was an eBay acquisition and has a 90s vibe / pulse.
(7) Playmobil Freight Car Train 4115 – It’s the bicycle print that makes this one of my favorite freight cars.
(8) TfL’s limited edition Elizabeth Line Oyster card – Part of an unofficial social media scavenger hunt before the Elizabeth Line opened. This card came from x station.
(9) Lionel 156 Station Platform Passenger Lighted Vintage Ads O Gauge w/Extra Signs – A close friend gave me her family’s Lionel Train collection.
(10) LGB # 8036 – HUTSCHENREUTHER CHINA COFFEE SET – Coffee or team? Once upon a time LGB sold decorative China. How grand to travel first class from Paris to Berlin on a steam train in the early 1900s.
(11) Matchbox D1496-RF Shunter Locomotive Yellow Train – NOT my original. Found this one in Hereford. The original was likely from my mum or pop-pop.
(12) Desktop Departures® (UK Departure Board) – Incredible entrepreneurial company in the UK with products for train obsessed enthusiasts.

(1) Do you know where the title of the post came from?

(2) A related quote from Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler:

“Hazel George, perhaps better than anyone else including Lillian, knew that Walt was anxious and aimless, without real animations to engage him. It was she who suggested he go to a railroad fair in Chicago, even though he had returned from Hawaii only a few weeks earlier. She said he still needed to relax. Picking up on the idea, Walt mused that Ward Kimball, a railroad enthusiast himself, always seemed relaxed, so he called Kimball and asked if he wanted to accompany him. They took the Super Chief from Pasadena. At one point the president of the Santa Fe Railroad invited Walt and Kimball to ride in the engine and pull the cord to blow the whistle. Kimball said that Walt pulled long and hard. When they returned to their car, Walt ‘just sat there, staring into space, smiling and smiling,’ Kimball recalled. ‘I have never seen him look so happy.'”

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

It was tough getting flights back to JFK from São Paulo because of visibility related to the Canadian wildfires so some quick re-routing had us in Washington DC and then on an Amtrak to PA/NJ/NY/CT/MA. I’ve never been on the Acela, so this was a chance to compare it to train service in the UK. The train left on time from Union Station, and all stops in-between were on or close to schedule. The train wasn’t dirty, but the equipment is old. The Wi-Fi was great (never worked well in the UK on first-class services like GWR). The cafe car was clean, well-stocked, and the person behind the counter was friendly. The seats were comfortable too. My biggest criticism is with the age of the equipment. These cars must surely be nearing refurbishment. The Amtrak route(s) in the Northeast Corridor are profitable, but their financial house is in such shambles, that this equipment will probably remain in service well-beyond its recommended useful life. It’s probably still cheaper to fly but the advantage of trains remains station proximity to downtown metropolitan areas.

Weekend 554.1

Settling, unpacking, and re-playing KH3. I’m a completionist and there’s one very (very) difficult trophy left. The Limestone Library is about 1/3 restored. I’ve pulled a couple of books from the shelves that I want to revisit. The first is The Art of Makoto Shinkai. This was gift from my Mum. The others are little booklets re-telling the history of Southampton.

(1) Urban Dictionary: Completionist

(2) Why Honda Shifters Are So Good, An Anthropological and Technical Exploration (Road and Track)

(3) 1 for 730+ (Transport for London)

(4) How did Elizabeth I die? (RMG)

(4A) This is from the Limestone Roof Photo Archives

Makoto Shinkai

Weekend 539.0

(1) A Clean, Well-Lighted Place (The Catholic Thing)

(2) UK rail union aims to shut network in 3 days of strikes (Reuters)

“The Rail Delivery Group, which represents companies operating train services, urged the RMT to call off the strikes, saying the industry was suffering with passenger numbers at around only 75% of pre-coronavirus pandemic levels.

(2a) The Proud City: A Plan for London (YouTube)

(3) Hawley and Grassley Receive Evidence from Whistleblower Showing DHS Intent to Weaponize Social Media to Control Information (The Last Refuge)

(4) April 11, 1963 – General Edwin Walker (YouTube)

Weekend 535.0 (Waiting for the gift of sound and vision)

(1) TfL Launches Limited Edition Elizabeth Line Oyster Cards (Londonist)

I tried to find one this AM ten days before the line opening. I tried Green Park on the Piccadilly, Bond Street on the Jubilee, and Paddington on the Bakerloo.

Update: The Oyster Cards were being dispensed from Charing Cross.

(1a) Update 2: Success! I was at Charing Cross this morning (very early).

Elizabeth Line Oyster Card

(2) London Tube Colors: Hex, RGB, CMYK & Pantone (London On My Mind)

(3) RideLondon FreeCycle

(4) A-HA The Movie (YouTube)

Weekend 533.0

I was in Portsmouth on Saturday for Pompey versus Gills. Portsmouth is owned by former Walt Disney chief executive Michael Eisner¹. Gillingham is in a League One relegation battle that also involves the Morcambe Shrimps. It was a quick trip and I will still groggy from Paris in mid-week.

On that subject…

Travelling across the channel via the Eurostar was not easy (ticket gates, security and passport control). The service is fine once you depart BUT Gare du Nord was utter chaos and the departure lounge at St Pancras International is claustrophobic inducing.

Long Lines at Gare du Nord as Eurostar Hit by IT Issues (Yahoo News)
2021/2022 Football Campaign
St John’s Cathedral
Paris Windows (Sasha Ward)

(1) Video Game Lofi: Kingdom Hearts album now streaming, physical pre-orders open (Game Freaks 365)

Listened to it on Spotify this AM and it’s good.

¹No politics this weekend.