A mixture of items from the August 1971 Railway Magazine, starting with a little deja vu. You could write a similar headline in 2016….
Across America with AMTRAK
Uncertain future of United States passenger trains rests with new national corporation.
….. Another curious (to British eyes) custom on American trains is the ritual surrounding descent from the coach at a station. It is no use adopting the “Euston position” to be first off the train when it stops. American station platforms being low, all coaches have vestibule steps, usually covered by a sort of manhole. When the train stops, the conductor first lifts this cover and clips it back, then throws baggage for any passengers leaving the train onto the platform, then puts a small footstool at the bottom of the steps for alighting passengers to step onto, then wipes the hand-rails, and only then, may the passenger leaves the train….
Did they really do all that? And I bet they no longer do so?
And from the ever-reliable letters page.
SIR – According to a “Why and Wherefore” item in your May issue, “Easton Lodge Station on the GER was provided chiefly for the use of the Earl and Countess of Warwick whose home was nearby.” But my information is that this station was built to enable the then Prince of Wales to visit Easton Lodge without having to drive from Dunmow Station, after he had been subjected to ribald abuse by the people of Dunmow. The then Lady Brooke, although a great beauty of her time (her husband did not succeed to the Warwick title until later), was the reverse of popular with the local people who were well aware that the Prince of Wales was her lover (she was his “Darling Daisy”) from 1889 until he ascended to the throne as King Edward VII and became as devoted to Mrs George Keppel.
Now there’s a prototype back-story for your station.
And from the “Notes and News”……
Red Star to the Isle of Wight. Red Star express parcel services have been extended by British Railways, Southern Region, to link Waterloo and 12 other stations with Ryde, Isle of Wight.
Tunnels v. mole at Helsinki. Choice of emblem to be used on the new Helsinki underground, Finland, due to open in 1975, has caused a political storm in the city. Civic authorities have chosen a stylised silhouette of twin-bore tunnels, but the winning entry in a newspaper competition, a cartoon drawing of a mole, has won many supporters, and a newspaper correspondence battle is raging over which emblem should be used to decorate trains. [I think the mole lost.]
What a way to go. Writing up the last day of steam on London Underground on June 6, the ‘City Press’ referred to the farewell run of a steam train “from Margate to Neasden Depot.” We are indebted to Mr AC Pratt, who sent us the cutting. [For Margate, read Moorgate.]