Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The supersonic train with a dodgy track

Continuing the stoppages rail trail. The cute one carriage train I’ve mentioned before has “intermittent stoppages,” depending upon what mood the single track is in on any given day.
 
Whilst I was out and about yesterday taking photos of the local canal stoppage and the “road stoppage,” I heard voices from the little station. The station master and his mate were having a joke about me taking photos. They asked if I was going to take some of them because they wanted to be famous!
 
So I went over for a chat, we put the world to rights, had a “reet good laugh” and I forgot to take their photo! But never mind, I took one of the train itself, just to prove it’s not a figment of my imagination because:
 
a) I haven’t taken any photos of it till now.
b) My imagination has many figments.
 
So here’s the full length of the train sat at the station with no passengers on board, just the driver himself in solitary confinement, ah…
 
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While the train was approaching the station master pressed a button (no cutbacks here). It opens and closes the level crossing that crosses the currently "stoppages" road.
 
Then he passed the “baton” to the driver, in exchange for the “key” from the driver. Seriously though this is important, it’s so that the next station knows there’s only that train can come through.
 
I also discovered that its speed limit is just 15mph around here, that's why we only ever see it crawling along. However it is capable of blasting along at up to 50mph --- but I wouldn't like to be on it at the time.
 
What am I saying? For all its quirks I'd much prefer to travel on this slow train full of character and charm (if not passengers), through stunning scenery any day. No comparison with a high speed rattler with no spare seats through the suburbs! It's a darn shame more people don't use this line, even if it's just for "a day out with a view."
 
Soto the jolly stationmaster at Rufford: Remember that weird woman who stopped by on Monday? Be prepared, with all this new publicity there'll be thousands of people queuing up tomorrow, and you'll be cussing me...!
 
Not to worry, what that translates to in the real world is just one or two extra passengers per year, they'd probably all be members of my family feeling beholden.
 
So anyway, here’s the baton, but I didn’t like to ask if the driver sticks it out the window, waves it around and shouts “COMING THROUGH” or not…
 
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And this is the key that the driver had to hand in here…
 
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One day I might wander past and find out more details about this tradition.
 
Meanwhile across the road I noticed these sheep...
 
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Spot the white sheep of the family, ok then,, it’s over there on the right blending in with the surroundings. Although, rather strangely it’s got a black head which gives it away, how bizarre. Oh and him sat in the middle there has MASSIVE curly horns…

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