Wednesday 28 September 2016

'Flying Moneypit' V. Us

Yes, we know. We're going to mention that A3 again.

Needs must as we address the elephant in the room. Now we at The Bash Mash are socially responsible to your social media, hence the reasoning for A3TOX. 

A few days break from the 'world's most famous steam locomotive'.

We enjoyed ourselves and think you all did too. You can only get so much of a good thing, right?

Well it seems no. Judging by the crowds swarming in Shropshire around 60103, the limelight of this Brunswick Green light is still shining bright. But we're not there, we are in the comfort of our armchairs moaning at those that are there. We can speak for those people that we are a little fed up of seeing the same photos from the same location with the same warning of not to trespass.

'I'm in a position that you can't get to, I'm not working so I'm safe, but here's a picture of what you're missing. By the way - dont trespass on the railway'. 

15,000 passengers travelled in style in the Teak coaches and 30,000 spectators gathered behind those galvanised steel fences to enjoy the spectacle of A1 and A3 together. It was a hit, we all never doubted that the big guns bring in the crowds.

There is no doubt that the decision to cancel the Autumn Steam Gala for the 'Flying Moneypit', will have indeed needed Cahonas the size of Pints of Coronas to make that call. They made it and they were damn well going to make it work despite any hiccups.

The masterstroke was indeed placing the rake of LNER Teak Coaches behind those Pacifics. We often forget that carriages, that fit our fat arses in them, that are right for the era and style are the unsung heroes of Heritage Railways. These lovingly restored masterpieces deserve some limelight, they deserve a premium fare to ride in them. 

Now we look over the morsels left for us, the enthusiasts, to digest.

Crabs as always, is the answer. The Season Finale Gala was the brokered peace deal to us in anoraks lined up at Highley with our sleeping bags and beers ready for an all night steaming up and down while steaming.  

So here is the first lesson. If you are right royally pissed off that you were dismissed to the East Lancs Diesel Gala. If you stayed at the Kidderminster Premier Inn you booked 34 years ago refusing to look at anything Brunswick Green in disgust, then the answer is quite clear.

Turn up, in droves, with everyone you know, to the Season Finale Gala.

This is the simple clear answer to any argument over 'Scotsman'. Vote with your enthusiast feet in droves at an Enthusiast Based Gala. Buy that cup of coffee at Bridgnorth to cure the hangover from the beers the night before in Bridgnorth. Buy a pencil from Bridgnorth shop and use that Bridgnorth bag to be sick in from all that Bridgnorth beer.

But what if you do the unthinkable and don't follow the advice from BM? Why would you do such a thing?

If the Season Finale Gala, put on for enthusiasts, flops. You can see the issue that lays before us. Galas are notoriously not there to make money but to give everyone something to talk about, love and cherish for years to come. They don't make the accountants richer.

We should worry about Heritage Railways that ditch Enthusiast Galas. We should worry more about the Railways that put Galas on for us - then no one turns up.

Saturday 17 September 2016

The Futures Bright, The Futures Apple Green.

Phew. The Scotsman Fever really does keep going doesn't it?

Well, first things first, we are in the digital age where one scroll of the finger downwards and you're yesterdays news. The magic of 'The A3' is that it is all encompassing and bringing new generations in around the country to the magic of steam.

BBC Midlands will fly out to see the A3 arrive into Tyseley with the excitement of a Trainspotting Live reunion. The people of Birmingham will be thrilled, and then the Big Green engine will be on its way. Job done for that area.

So what happens when you've reached all you are going to reach in the 64 Million people of the UK?

You send it over to the US of A of course. What could go wrong?

Turns out that idea turns to shit pretty quickly. Just imagine the rush of donations and goodwill to bring a bankrupt A3 back home from abroad, again.

The A3 takes what is billed as its final 'starring' appearance of the year on the Severn Valley in a few days time. There it will meet Tornado again for the first time for willing punters. It will be a great experience for those who catch the iconic A1 and A3 facing forward, or get through the militarised exclusion zone in place around Shropshire and Worcestershire. 

So whats next?

You have to think what else is there to keep this locomotive in the limelight through 2017. The answer is simple, and it lies on the shelves of B&Q.

Now, admit it, kettle haters included. You would want to see the A3 back where it belongs - 4472 in Apple Green. Then the great roadshow of Heritage Railways and £200 a ticket mainline excursions commences again.

The Facebook Groups will of course be filled of people demanding Loco crews are blinded by smoke for the sake of removing those smoke deflectors. But there lies a rant to save up.

The alternative of course is that 60103 continues to be for another 9 years of appearances in current form. The swipes upwards continue with more and more swiping. What could possibly come next to take on the mantle of a British Worldwide-known Superstar locomotive?

Well, no - this return is for us. The ones who know about Trains and all it encompasses. Those who stick our hands in the pockets most and are pissed off the most when Steam Galas are cancelled for exclusive events for non-believers. We know the V2 is the superstar that needs to return.

But, think of your Granny, think of idiots posting Spouse challenges on their Facebook walls, knobheads still swiping at Pokemon on the street. 

The V2 is not for them, this is not 'The Flying Scotsman isn't it?'.

What is the superstar that would make them pay £50 a ticket to cross CheckPoint Charlie (Kidderminster Edition)?

Can you think of a bigger Superstar than that A3 than this A4?