Welcome to the Rudloe and environs website.

 

Here you will find news, articles and photos of an area that straddles the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in north-west Wiltshire.

 

Contributions in the form of articles or photos are welcome. Even those with completely contrary views to mine!

 

Thanks to the website builder 1&1 and Rob Brown for the original idea.

 

Rudloescene now, in January 2014, has a sister, academic rather than anarchic, website about Box history here: http://www.boxpeopleandplaces.co.uk/

It contains thoroughly professional, well-researched articles about Box and its people.

 

Contact rudloescene through the 'Contact' page.

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rudloescene

Whilst waiting for a train, I spotted these steam traffic lights at Wellsway, Bath

On Tuesday 7th March 2017, ex LMS 4-6-0 46100 Royal Scot was scheduled to pull the Cathedrals Express from Ely (well the train started at Ely but steam was scheduled from Hanwell) to Bath and Bristol. However, it was unavailable and was replaced by Bulleid West Country 4-6-2 Pacific 34046 Braunton masquerading as Battle of Britain 34052 Lord Dowding. Are you following so far ...?

Any road up, I missed Lord Dowding at Bath so took a train to Bristol to catch it there. Temple Meads is shown above with not a train in sight. No trains but a plethora of station announcements ... "If you see something that doesn't look right, speak to a member of staff or call the British Transport Police ... See it, Say it, Sort it". I was tempted to approach a member of staff (or are they 'colleagues' these days?) and ask about the absence of trains or about the 'northern' head on my pint in the station buffet or about the French maintenance train sitting at the eastern end of the station - surely after the Brexit vote we can't have Johnny Foreigner running our railways? But really, what the hell is this all about? What are we supposed to be looking out for?

In the three images above we get a glimpse of the utter folly of rail privatisation. The first image is of a track maintenance train operated by French company Colas Rail. In the second image, we see a specialist track maintenance/laying 'engine' manufactured by Austrian company Plasser & Theurer with Totterdown in the distance. The third photo shows a Freightliner goods train running through the station. Freightliner, our principal freight company, is owned by the American company Genesee & Wyoming. This goods train is passing a Cross Country service destined for Manchester. The Cross Country company is owned by Deutsche Bahn. You may have seen much upgrade activity going on on the London to Bristol line over the past years (until the money ran out) with the main contractor being Hochtief; German naturally. Want your country back? Want sovereignty back? Get a life.

At last, a 'steam' train in the station - the Cathedrals Express with 34046 Braunton masquerading as 34052 Lord Dowding and a blood and custard carriage behind the engine.And another announcement ... "Passengers are reminded to take care on or about the station due to slippery conditions". What slippery conditions? It's not raining and the platforms are as dry as a bone. But really, what the hell is this all about?

Braunton/Lord Dowding with the backdrop of the Price Waterhouse Cooper's monstrosity and another announcement ... "Passengers are reminded not to leave luggage unattended. Luggage left unattended may be destroyed or damaged by the security services". What security services? And yet another announcement ... "In order to move about the station, passengers are reminded they should put one foot in front of the other".

Braunton/Lord Dowding waiting to depart for the return trip to Ely (both images above) but actually steam will be replaced by diesel at Hanwell and what now ... "Passengers are reminded that for their own safety, they must stand well back behind the yellow line" and "Passengers are reminded that train doors will be locked up to 40 seconds before departure" and "There's been a tranquil silence for far too long so here is an inane announcement" and finally we're on the train away from all this crap but wait a minute ... "Passengers are requested to familiarize themselves with safety procedures ...", "Passengers should look out for any suspicious activity ...". Does 'suspicious activity' only occur on railway stations and in trains?. Doesn't this company also run buses - surely we should be reminded there too? We have been asked to do this for over ten years now and in that time I wonder what 'suspicious activity' has been discovered and reported anywhere in Britain? What a worthless, futile, pointless exercise! And safety procedures are posted on notices adjacent to train doors - do we all have to form a queue in order to familiarize ourselves with procedures. If not, then why make the announcement? The answer? It is to fill unwanted silences with noise, the noise of Big Brother and the nanny state disturbing and unsettling passengers..

This is the Saturday (11th March 2017) Cathedrals Express returning to Sarfend-on-Sea running through the cutting between Box Tunnel and Corsham. Braunton/Lord Dowding will be swapped for diesel at Southall. You can see the reflection of the fire on the front of the tender as the train charges towards Potley Bridge.

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© Paul Turner