Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rail Mysteries - Ancient technology–And the long walk from Hi Speed

First mystery - Spotted this lunch time, something not often seen on main lines these days, a steam train (60163) on the North London line, 19th century technology in the 21st century. What's that all about I'm fifty four and have never travelled by steam, so where do these enthusiast get the urge.

where's margate

Second mystery - Having travelled on the Hi Speed train down from London recently I just wonder why it is necessary for the train to stop so flipping far up the platform, saving all of about 15 minutes or thereabouts on the journey time from London only to have a five minute walk back into Margate station.  If the train parked up any further it would be in Westgate.


  1. I am only a few years older than you- did travel by steam and always loved the smell. ( ok weird but there you are)
    I seem to remember looking at a 1912 timetable for London to Margate trains and they were certainly quicker than the last train that I caught on that route ( pre hi speed)

  2. Well Tony at Remembrance time an appropriate tale, I hope, on the theme of keeping old technology in mind.

    "Bill" started his wartime career with the Suffolks. He ended his military career after WW2 as a lecturer at the RMCS Shrivenham.

    Bruneval Raid

    By 1942 Bill was already taken out of infantry and placed where his engineering would do most good. And he was amongst the boffins who worked out the German radar technology from the equipment taken by RAF radar mechanic with the paras on the raid.

    After his military career Bill worked for MOD designing nuclear bombs and the like. Strangely he was seconded and was involved with the design of air filtration for the burns unit (I think at East Grinstead ?)

    Bill was a familiar figure at weekends when he visited his infirm mother in a nearby hospital. He would take a drink at the local and was never without a camera around his neck. Never willing to miss an opportunity to record something of note.

    One weekend an unusual occurence. Bill smiling. The jokes in the pub were about hearing a loud cracking noise. What had amused Bill ?

    He had been designing a navigation equipment and the matter of patents had arisen with an MOD high flying civil servant.

    Bill had said "You won't get a petent mate. My design is based on an existing sketch of a gimble mounting. Leonardo Da Vinci"