Ticket inspection

Well, for a little while now we have had ticket inspections (at least at peak hours) at Birmingham Moor Street and University, as well as New Street. This means at least 3 inspections during each journey to and from work. Sometimes they collect the tickets, sometimes not – and sometimes they try to collect even if I haven’t reached the end of the journey and need to gently remind them that I need to keep it for the rest of the journey.

These companies would do well to read Railway Management at Stations by E.B. Ivatts of the Midland Great Western Railway (5th Ed, 1910, published by McCorquodale & Co. Ltd.). He starts well and then it gets a little odd:

The examination and collection of tickets, either at a ticket platform or an exit gate, is a process which should be done with the greatest possible speed, consistent with accuracy. A fumbling ticket collector unnecessarily detaining a train full of passengers is a deplorable sight. Either old men or youths are generally unfit for the duty, unless where an old man has been always a ticket collector. Active, intelligent young men, of over twenty years of age, are most suitable. A man with a prominence of the forehead just over the eyes will make a quick ticket collector. By passing the finger up the front of the nose to where the nose joins the forehead, in some men, the skull at this point, which may be termed the root of the nose, will be found to protrude, and, in some instances, form quite a lump. Men of this type are quick, ready and observant, and most good detectives have this development. If the hair of the head and whiskers also is fine in texture and quality, so will the owner be the more incisive and perfecting in character. A ploughman cannot be expected to make a watch, nor will a clumsy, lolling man make a ticket collector.

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What we have been up to

Wrightscale Wren between dutiesThings have been a bit quiet here of late. Well, among other things… on Saturday No. 1 son and I paid a visit to Dave Watkins for his garden railway open day. Many, many thanks to Dave & family for their warm welcome.

We brought along pretty much every item of 16mm rolling stock we have, including a couple of FR quarrymen’s carriages that have just been finished. The sides and ends of these, desperately thin scribed plywood, came from a chap in Aberaeron from whom we bought some track back in the mid 90s. Having found them in the loft we built a box of 1/16″ ply for reinforcement with a 1/32″ ply roof and added wheels, axleboxes and buffer/couplings from IP Engineering.

We have also built a useful drop-side wagon (vaguely L&B-looking) with centre buffer at one end and TR-style side buffers and coupling hook at the other. This is rather useful if you run stock with both types of couplings.

The Wren managed around 2 scale miles. I’m gradually getting the hang of setting the gas to generate the right amount of steam – runs beautifully, except if there’s too much steam when it becomes a bit of a monster to handle. Part of the solution is to provide plenty of rolling stock for it to drag round the line and hold it back somewhat. Like the look of Andy Bell’s GVT open carriages

Surprisingly, the Saltford diesels also made it right round the track several times, with 3-4 lightweight wagons and (sometimes) the Corris van.

Photos from the day…