Monday 29 February 2016

Heritage Railway Enthusiasts turfed out of Heritage Railway

The Scotsman Circus certainly knows how to keep rolling. After scenes of anarchy on the Down Fast of the East Coast Main Line last week, it seems the waves of sweat are starting to build on the foreheads of those who are hosting the Flying Scotsman Circus next.

First to blink was The Severn Valley Railway today, in an announcement that was subtly drifted out this Lunchtime by way of a change of title for their star 'Autumn Steam Gala' event.

The Gala is no more. It has been dropped. In it's place is 'Pacific Power' starring 'Tornado'.

And the other guest, well you guessed it, 'Flying Scotsman'.

Thats it. There is the guest list. Scotsman has now officially reached the point of holding its very own Gala in the primetime position of Autumn Steam Gala weekend on the Severn Valley Railway. Its back at the top of the ratings.

But wait.

What about those who had already seen the advertisements for the Autumn Steam Fest? Those that had booked Bed & Breakfast, Flights, Hotels, Thermos Covers, Step Ladders etc. The enthusiasts.

Now for argument sake we are going to put Enthusiasts into a Group. We will then douse the Group in Lynx and show them just how bloody expensive this 'hobby' is. To enter this group you need to visit a Steam Railway once a year and grumble over the editorial direction of 'Steam Railway'. If you tick these boxes you are a Steam Enthusiast. Sorry to break it to you, but it is true.

Is 'Pacific Power' an event for the Steam Enthusiast? No. We could list lots of reasons but those enthusiasts know that this event will be on the scale of a pink pig called Peppa visiting the Railway. Queuing systems, mass transport on a scale that would make Hull Trains wet themselves and run towards Withernsea. It will be awash with people, awash with iPads held by those stood over the yellow line. You know it, we know it. 

When you break it down, Kidderminster HQ has indeed decided to go fully commercial here. They have decided a pure people power event is more important than an Enthusiast gathering with all the added interests that come with a Severn Valley Autumn Steam Gala - Goods Trains, Night time Steam and any sense of authenticity.

For balance, some enthusiasts are filling the internet with reasoning behind this decision. Seeing an A1 and A3 together is much more important than just annoying an employee of Staples. It is a big deal, unprecedented. 

Well it happened last week in London, but we agree that you didn't have a view behind a family from Wolverhampton explaining it is 'Gordon' and 'Henry'.

But wait.

Is this big deal a big enough deal to remove an Enthusiast Driven Gala from the schedule? Well the Severn Valley have six months to mull this over. Will those threatening to change plans and visit other places stand by their threat. Will the Severn Valley even care once they receive the bumper tickets from Pacific Power?

We shouldn't underestimate this decision. A Heritage Railway has decided to cancel an Enthusiast Gala for a purely profit mass public appeal event. 

We can argue around whether those that visit 60103 will indeed return for another weekend behind a GWR 2-8-0 in 2017. We can almost guarantee that enthusiasts would return for a trip behind a 2-8-0. They have done for 50 years.

Brave decision Kidderminster. Now wipe your foreheads and wait until September ends.

Sunday 28 February 2016

Northern Rail - A Success Story

Ah, those sunny days back in June 2004. Britney Spears was top of the pops (we must point out no association is made with the television program of the same name) and the good people at Serco-Abellio had been handed the crumbs plum new Northern Franchise.

So began 'Northern Rail' and times were good. Results were excellent, but there was one overriding problem that poor old Northern couldn't get past.


They got the Pacers. In fact they only got a few Pacers out of a whole rancid collection of them.

Like all shaky turd wagons, someone had to shine the light for this traction. That fell to Northern Rail. 'Brunel's Finest' First Great Western had bigger problems on its hands, such as being overall bloody awful.

Now there will always be an ironic hero who campaigns to sing the praises of the Pacer. They are the anti-hero stood on street corners shouting at passers-by that you have 'great banter'. That wears thin, normally after you board a crammed Pacer heading to the depths of Huddersfield.

Pacers are shite. No irony needed. They are shite.

So now the powers that be at Northern are forced to unceremoniously remove their name from this classic traction, tear off the logos from the decrepit mobile shaky toilets and bounce off into the sunset. Can we celebrate them as having made a job well done?

It is fair to say they've had a rough ride (Pacer Puns are too easy) but after a good start it is fair to say things turned sour. Their own government, who awarded Serco-Abellio the contract, turned on the Motive Power they gave to Serco-Abellio. 'Remove Pacers Now' was the cry, remove this symbol of decrepit and lacklustre investment in our own railways. Pot, Kettle, Black from the Government.

Serco-Abellio have now split up. Serco made a huffed approach for the Northern Franchise against its old mate Abellio. Neither won. They now both have to face each other at the pub and make small talk, they will no doubt share a bag of Scampi Fries and talk about old times.

For all the good that Serco-Abellio put into Northern, it will always be overshadowed by the Pacers that are dragging down the 'Northern Powerhouse'.

Will Arriva face the same plunge of popularity taking on the Pacers? Time will tell, New Motive Power will tell.

But, as Northern head off into the Barrow Sunset, they can think themselves lucky. At least they're not bloody Hull Trains.

Saturday 27 February 2016

Outrage as Health & Safety stops people shitting in Station Photo Booths.

Ah, the good old Railway Station. We're positive many readers of The Bash Mash actually find being in a Station as a day out, soaking in the experience and history as Trains from around the country descend upon it.

There is however new warnings of what should be 'soaking in' at Railway Stations. As captured elegantly by a weird peeping tom passer-by recently at a Station has left us questioning whether people have literally lost their shit.

Yep, thats a Lady shitting in a Station Photo Booth
Now we are all up for a bit of banter at BM but we do draw the line of slipping on some dozy mares excrement because she thought Happy Snaps was Happy Craps. 

It does question what has happened to people's toilet habits when it comes to travelling on Trains. Is the bouncing of a Nodding Donkey leaving us finding a toilet as respite from being squashed into a Bus Seat between Leeds and Huddersfield?

Now this Lad is interesting. Here he is posting to the world that he's in a Toilet Crapper taking a picture of himself. 

He is literally stood in strangers excrement and piss while taking a second rate Selfie of himself. 


Well we again blame the Pacers. If that photo is in a Pacer Toilet we bow down to him. The camera has driven out the incessant shaking and the walls are almost excrement and bog paper free. Kudos to this lad and Northern Rail (can we call them that?).

So what we have learnt is that places to shit are limited and varied. 

Now if you're really having a bad day on a Train..

If you've had to be sick in a bag on a Train because you didn't make it to the disgusting shit stained, bog roll filled Pacer Toilet, then we think the consensus should be that at that station, you find the nearest stool and drop your load as quick as you can, let it run free.

So the moral of the story? 

If you see someone shitting in a Photo Booth, before you judge them, just think that they may have been on a Pacer with a full Lidl bag of regurgitated carrots and Prosecco.They've had a bad enough day. Let them shit.

Fun officially spoilt by taking Train Set away

With a general opinion a huge Train Set was being played with from a HQ of Carnforth and Southall, will we ever see those West Coast boys again?

It seems those spoilsports at the ORR think otherwise.

Trial by Social Media?

The Flying Scotsman Trespassers

Trial by Social Media?

With £4.2M spent by the National Railway Museum on bringing back the A3, with a Marketing Campaign the likes of which we haven't seen since the involvement of a Duck and two Wedges from America. Flying Scotsman is back.

What could possibly marr the reappearance? 

- Broken Spring
- Class 31 stuck up its Arse at Bury
- £450 Tickets
- .............

Well apart from all that.

Any sympathy for Trespassers? Despite the smiles and the well rounded beer bellies. These are cretins.
A plague that many don't see until its splashed across Sky News from a Helicopter, the Trespassers. They are a funny breed that see a fence then decide to jump it to take their photographs. They are the same breed that moans the fence at their usual spot has got bigger.

There's no sympathy for them from this author but let's give them arseholes  a chance eh?


Anyone have any suggestions?

As with all Facebook splash of someone doing something illegal, there are the cries of 'Trial by Social Media'. Yeh, and?

Well should those stood on Network Rails land not have their photographs splashed on Social Media for all to see? Maybe not to be fair. Maybe Network Rail should be the ones doing the flogging. 


There is one thing we are all quite entitled to do. That is take the utter piss out of these people breaking the law and smirking and smiling past there duffel coats and step ladders.

The very least you can expect from breaking the law is an utter relentless pisstake out of you.

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