Friday 24 June 2016

The Referendum Results are in and it's Henry!

So, that was a funny day

The world sat and watched as the UK made a momentous decision that will change the course of its future for generations to come. That doesn't happen very often does it? In this instant world of Facebook and TwitSpace, allowing everyone to 'become Politicians' for the day - it is always a shock when something unexpected happens. Something that no one was expecting if we are honest.

Henry was back

This old wreck was declared a 'failure' after being built. Nobody wanted this ramshackle design of a locomotive and he struggled to find any work in his homeland, the future was looking bleak with his varying pedigrees and ancestry from different countries and failed designs.

It was only through the desperation of a wealthy business owner, who some would say was a rather portly man (Fat), that the unlucky locomotive was required to fill a gap in his employment crisis. The rather portly Controller was urgently requiring cheap labour to rebuild his struggling manufacturing industry and new infrastructure. It was this need that Henry was given a chance to work in a new country. A small island that was known throughout the world for leading the way in Rail transport.

He was different to everyone else and people found him rude, and vain. He struggled in his new country.

He did not adjust to his new living arrangements in his new homeland country. Times were shit. His diet of Sodor Coal did not agree with him and made him a poor worker. But, the wealthy fat portly Controller kept the faith with his loyal worker and decided to speak to a partner nation for help.

Wales was indeed the answer, they helped out their neighbour by supplying their finest grade coal. Henry really was being given a good chance in his new country. He started to feel happy in his work and homelife.

Sodor times went well, then things went a little fishy. After an almighty balls up on the fancy new signalling systems of Sodor, an inept drunk signalman broke every H&S code in the book by signalling Henry and his shit load of Fish into a siding - which was already occupied by a late running freight load of Jam, probably. 

Several were hurt as Cocoa splattered around a Guards Van, the resultant ORR investigation reported that two Guards were taking the piss by having an unauthorised break in the Guards Van while playing Strip Poker. They escaped with minor cocoa burns and the Queen of Diamonds after the accident.

England to the Rescue

First Wales to the rescue, now England stepped in to rebuild Henry into a new design. A Black 5. Now this boy was truly 'one of us'. Working hard and looking sharp. A success story all round.

Independence Day

After working hard, Henry was splashed across all news outlets on a very hot sunny day that a strange wobbly man christened 'Independence Day', he did so over a pint from a neighbouring country. 

Henry found himself thrust into the limelight by his neighbouring country, and not by his own choice. Henry worked hard, he had built a home, yes he had made a few mistakes as people got to know him but he was truly one of the locals. 

But now, the disgrace of a misdemeanour from many years ago, namely moving to work in a small Island country was headline news. (Henry hid in a tunnel on his first day, but this has since been struck off his permanent record)

Henry was no longer welcome by their neighbours. There would be no more coal, there would be no more turning into Fives. The bricks will be put back up into his face. The people of the Island, his friends, neighbours and employers will stand on their barrels in front of him telling him what a bad engine he has been.

What will happen to Henry?

Well, thats another story.

Wednesday 8 June 2016

A Love Letter to GNER

Being British

There are curious things that approach us by simply being British. One of things of being British is stood waiting for a late train, in the rain, in Stockport. Now add in the flavour of being interesting (a rail enthusiast) and our mind wanders to days gone past on our rail network.

Remember the glory days of the West Coast Main Line in the 70s and 80s? A Class 87 on a rake of Mark 2s really stirs up the romantic history making us misty eyes doesn't it? No not really.

There is a new reminiscent age that is creeping into all of our consciousnesses. And it involves privatisation, that horrible word introduced to remove Swallow livery from our fair Isles. Every era needs a benchmark and we've picked one for this reminiscent age. GNER.

Wasn't it nice

Lets be honest here readers, it was a brilliant name. GNER was just right, the livery was nice. The background to the running of the company was magnificently chaotic. It ticked all the boxes.

So it cheered us all up when this famous name may return to the British shores under a new owner, A name that was quickly removed after it sunk in disastrous waters by its owner Sea Containers. But we liked it, bollocks to all the boring 'it was a disaster' business speak. We liked the pretty colours of those HSTs. The End.

Alliance Rail was to return the name to run alongside those Virgin Trains. Eat that Branson, the failure name returns in pretty colours and a great name. But it wasnt to be, and that dear readers was a shame.

Headed by the former Grand Central head, they had good pedigree. Because Grand Central are the best.

Not our words, they are by Stattos, the best

So what other pretty colours did we like that for no business sense at all would want to see back on the rail networks around the country?

Yes, we know LoadHaul. It should be horrible, Orange and Black in weird lines but didn't they look good?

Now we were thinking of ways to return Loadhaul to the UK but couldn't think of one, lets be honest - freight on the Railways of the UK is screwed. Rather that than a Shed be covered in one of the best liveries of all time.

Orange is the new Black

So we lend a hand to those searching for new colours. Southern for example, when the tyrants are removed of their privilege of providing train services to the people of Great Britain perhaps they can take on LoadHaul South? 

We do find ourselves with no TOC to call our own. We have no underdog that we are rooting for. 'GWR' had a go. That failed, move on.

The answer to all Train Operating Companies who want to be loved is simple, colour your trains Orange to some degree. Works today for Grand Central and worked for radical underdog LoadHaul.

But, if you want to be taken seriously and loved. And you want to massively overcook your accounts to keep hold of your HSTs, then become GNER.

Monday 6 June 2016

Steam Locomotive makes up mind and votes LEAVE in EU Referendum


Now we know you get it, the BM is here to hopefully make you smile, wince and moan. Then through a gift known as someone being a wally somewhere - a gem is created.

Now the EU Referendum is all anyone is talking about, whether we like it or not. But we really had to do our homework when we checked that an actual Rail Tour would be heading to London, filled with supporters of the 'Brexit' campaign with the sole aim of letting them 'mingle' all the way to Bristol.

Check our sources,

Re-check, rub our eyes but no - a gem has been created in front of our very eyes.

At the head of said train will not be a maroon Diesel out there to make everyone like it again, because we know exactly what it will be. The Locomotive made for the job.

Actually no, this locomotive is far too busy being 'The Flying Scotsman' and exciting Trespassers to join the party. 

It indeed turns out that if you have the luxury of owning a steam locomotive you can simply whack that on the front and hey Brussels, you are immediately giving the 'mingle' some sting. Now you have a party that gets those voters mingling.

The duty of hauling the minglers falls to 46100 'Royal Scot'. Undoubtedly one of the most famous Steam Locomotives in the world and owned by the organiser of said mingling, Jeremy Hosking.


The most famous steam locomotive from the flock of LMS locomotives, probably, is in fact owned by a charity. The Royal Scot Locomotive and General Trust - the clue is in the title.

A Charity providing their steam locomotive to enable 'leading supporters of the Brexit campaign taking their message around the country as decision day'. Now we get the smack of insecurity when railway 'charities' compete against life saving charities for people's cash, when the aim of said charity is to make a steam locomotive work again it should make us feel a little uneasy that money is indeed not saving someone's life. 

But we are free to spend our money as we wish. 

It is good to see the Royal Scot Locomotive and General Trust is meeting its aims to 'advance the education of the public'. Right? With £7M in donations into the trust over the past year it is good to see it raising public awareness and achieving its aims.

So, the crux of all of these details is this - 

A Steam Locomotive Votes Leave

The charity is working correctly to advance the education of the public.

Indeed a charity can only kick off political campaigning in 'the context of supporting the delivery of its charitable purposes'. Vote Leave = Advance the Education of the Public in Steam Locomotives. They go together like Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc. A match made in awkwardness.

Heading back to that boring guidance again, indeed Trustees of the Royal Scot Locomotive and General Trust 'must not allow their charity to be used as a vehicle for the expression of the political views of any individual trustee'. 46100 'Royal Scot' is most definitely not a vehicle of the Royal Scot Locomotive and General Trust. Phew.

Now this is what really made us chuckle and it is all down to one of our contributors to the BM Facebook Page.

That locomotive, the one we all thought was the Nations but is indeed protected by a charity instead. Will be out and about the UK voting Brexit, mingling with the believers, stopping for lunch and mingling a little more. The appalling shock and horror is that locomotive in front will be looked after by 'them over there'.

The Referendum (BREXIT) Express will be run by Germany

The Crew that makes that Royal locomotive chuff all the minglers and leaders of 'Brexit' along the track will be employees of DB Schenker, owned by Deutsche Bahn, owned by Germany, owned by Angela Merkel. 

If we made it up you'd be saying we used Photoshop.

Friday 3 June 2016

People lose their RTT Shit.

When you step outside into the strange big wide world

There are numerous occasions when those sites, provided free of charge such as Twitter, Facebook and the ever addictive 'Realtime Trains' let us down by going down, down, down. As a society we are not prepared for this phenomenon. You find yourself back in 2005 - when they all didn't exist. Those born in 2005 will be taking this much harder.

Spare a thought for these younglings who know not of a world beyond the buzzing white block in their pockets.

Then RTT is down, we are calling it RTT on the understanding you know what we mean. 

We know you use RTT in Advanced Mode, fear not you're among friends here

The sunshine is mainly shining outside for those who dare step out into the world and see what life is like in the cool calm breeze. The alternative of course is to lose your shit on the site that is still working. We prefer this, it keeps us entertained.

It is a weird world we live in where the hobby formerly known as 'Trainspotting', and now hidden behind a tag of Digital Rail Photography is at our fingertips making it easier than ever to spend as least time as possible in the fresh air. 

Is it less fun than pouring over paper Timetables or simply stood beside the railway in red petticoats hoping to send our love to Father?

We have an interesting experiment, why not go without your mobile and RTT for a whole week and.. well this is the most pointless thing we've ever written. It would never happen.

Now there has of course been a tripping point over RTT in the case that it has been restricted, by the government, for security purposes. This has set a precedent that can be used again. The Nanny State is indeed interfering in a hobby enjoyed by many across the land.

Perhaps, as our jest suggests, RTT has been disposed for the greater good? Perhaps too much information is out there and it is time to rein it back in for the good of us all?

The moral of the story, don't f*cking trespass. Too much Fresh air is scary.

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Flying Scotsman, Churchward's Masterpiece

Where the F is Canada anyway?

Fear not, we have moved on from your comments pointing out that an A4 was sent to Canada not America. Durr. You know we at the BM can take criticism on the chin and not hold grudges Ruddington Ruddington Ruddington banging on about it.

That rather controversial post on our Facebook Page did get people thinking and commenting on how nice it was to see this American beasts on the Rails of our Heritage in the UK. 

The other viewpoint to seeing the products from across the other side of the Pacific is those of the Narrow Gauge Railways of our country. These Narrow Gauge Railways are instinctively bang on the money when it comes to recreating the past. In some cases they have no other choices but to represent themselves and their history. 

The Fairbourne Railway recently added to the treasure chest of Welsh Steam Galas this week by celebrating 100 years of steam on the Railway by welcoming back icons of its past to steam once again on 15" gauge tracks specially laid for the occasion. It was a great success.

Would there have been as much 'special occasion' to enjoy and drink beers in front of if an American 15" Gauge Locomotive from the Big Pear with no connection to the Fairbourne have been such a hit?

Some Railways are of course bang on each day of the week, those magical trips on the Bluebell where the ambience is bang on, the stock is correct, the 'right' Loco is at the front. The magic then follows.

Steam Railways earn their bread and butter by putting on a show, mainly big engines bring big prizes. Dale Winton would have a field day getting out his Lottery Balls at anywhere that attracts an A3 and and an A1. Who cares about whether a huge A1 bimbling down a branch line in Shropshire makes no historical sense, it is the spectacle that counts.

Then comes the plucky Miniature Railways

The Jimmy Krankie to the Giant Haystack, it is quintessentially British for the small underdog to outwit the big boys, and it dam well makes us get another pint in when it happens.

The Mid Norfolk Railway pulled off what could be the substitute of the year by replacing GWR No.4247 by that little Loco called 'The Duchess of Sutherland' for their upcoming Gala. It will line up alongside 'Royal Scot' once again in Norfolk. Does this make historical accuracy? Nah its just bloody good fun and a spectacle that excites us more than the 'Fiver to see Scotsman' up in Bo'ness.

So here's the point. Does it make your cockles warm at the thought of you stood at the end of platform as if you are back in 1899. Does it simply boil your socks stood anywhere on anything watching a mechanical marvel in its stride? Or are you one of those that has their piss boiled by historical inaccuracy?

We think back to the greatest Galas of years gone by - to the greatest railways from your childhood, teenhood and New Top Gear moaninghood that the historical accuracy outwits those wow moments. Those that make the effort earn the rewards.

And then