Thursday, 31 December 2009

Worst lyp-synch in history?

Perry Como on US television in 1954. He looks to be drunk. I suppose they got away with it because the picture is so fuzzy anyway. Or maybe that's just a function of ancient videotape.

Nice latin orchestra though. I wonder who it is.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Tramway unfairness

Tramways & Urban Transit reports that Nottingham is to have no fewer than nine new tram routes.

In Manchester, Birmingham and other cities, too, new tram schemes seem to be going ahead.

Meanwhile, here in London the number of new tram routes we are getting remains firmly stuck at zero, since B. Johnson brutally cancelled the cross-river tram project, on which so much preparatory work had already been done, and which was strongly supported by all the boroughs affected.

What have we done to deserve this?

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Circle/teacup line problems continue

I noted yesterday that all seemed not to be well with the new configuration of the Circle line, which, we were told, was to bring a five-minutely service on the Hammersmith branch for the first time ever (adding the new Circle service to the existing Hammersmith & City one). Now the Evening Standard has published New improved Circle line is 'rubbish', say delayed passengers. Admittedly this is only week 1, and teething troubles were to be expected. One also takes with a pinch of salt anything the Evening Standard prints about transport, and notes that this article is written by some hack who clearly hasn't taken the trouble to understand the new pattern. She writes:

Circle line trains now start in Hammersmith, run along the Hammersmith & City line to Edgware Road then do a clockwise lap of the Circle line and head back to Hammersmith. They then do the journey anti-clockwise.
which makes it sound as if Hammersmith itself is part of a new, larger circle, which is entirely wrong.

Nevertheless, it was always going to be the case that the Circle itself would only run every 10 minutes under the new regime, giving 6 trains per hour (tph), a slight reduction on the previous (highly theoretical) 7 tph. Transport for London glossed over this in its publicity for the change, so it arguably deserves opprobium now.

Meanwhile, the long-suffering people on the Hammersmith branch still don't appear to be getting their promised train every 5 minutes:

UPDATE: The Londonist has this: Circle Line Not So "New" or "Improved" (A Passenger's Lament)

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Teacup Line problems

Could it be that all is not going well with the new teacup line? You will recall that the new Circle/Hammersmith arrangements were supposed to produce a train every five minutes on the Hammersmith branch. Yesterday's Evening Standard had a letter from somebody complaining that they had to wait 25 minutes at Edgward Road for an eastbound train on Monday. And here is the departure board for westbound trains at that station a couple of minutes ago, as the evening peak gets under way:

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Sloppy language

I wish people would stop saying "in terms of" when they just mean "as regards" or "concerning".

And I wish people would stop using the word "incredibly" as a mere intensifier. David Cameron is now doing it in almost every other sentence.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Train of the day

This is the ICN, the Swiss tilting train. The boyf and I recently took a short break in Locarno, where we once went quite often but this was the first time for about 15 years. A delightful lakeside resort in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. We took an ICN from Basel to Bellinzola and it was 40 minutes quicker than the last time we did the journey.