Once in a Month of Sunday’s…

…I actually get to come home!

Til the Cows Come Home

Passing almost unnoticed behind locked gates at Willesden Junction, this cobbled road is a relic of the past. The road originally led down to cattle pens where cows and other livestock could arrive or depart by train. It was constructed circa 1880 when, apart from Harlesden, much of the surrounding area was farmland. Today its 140 year old cobbles are used by Network Rail to gain access to the lineside. Who’s to say it won’t still be there unchanged in another 140 years – or until the cows come home?

Handling the Heat

With London and the Southeast bathed in sunshine since last Friday temperatures have soared into the low 30’s (Celsius). The mice have been getting at the machinery. Datacentres have been on high alert for cooling problems and component failures all week. I am aware that some failures did occur.

Rail services were affected between London and East Anglia with Greater Anglia deciding to introduce a system wide reduced speed limit to protect the overhead wires from damage and to mitigate against the rails buckling. Other operators with catenary didn’t feel the need to go quite that far.

Wednesday was a bad one for London Overground which usually has a good record of reliability. The morning saw a signal failure at Gospel Oak which caused major disruption. Then a track fault closed the section between Surrey Quays and New Cross. Finally, services on the Goblin Line were badly disrupted when a train failed at Gospel Oak in the afternoon.

At home it’s been too hot from mid morning onwards with the air giving a mild burning sensation in the nose. This morning the core temperature of the house is still 26.5 degrees and my office gets a lot hotter than that 😦 We all need to relax after the working day and computer gaming is one way of doing that. But my favourites are simulation games and most of these really make the graphics card and CPU work very hard. To avoid over heating my home pc I adopted a policy of doing some simple Excel spread sheet things I needed to do and playing SimSig – neither of which require intensive CPU / GPU use. The cooling fans have been reassuringly quiet and it’s been pleasantly relaxing controlling the flow of trains through Westbury 🙂

Westbury signalbox panel at 05:30. 2A02 is the 05:55 service for Yeovil Pen Mill (which will be late leaving as a broken window is being replaced). 5C08 is an empty stock working to Frome where it will become 2C08, the 06:18 service to Bristol. 6O68 waking the neighbours in the Warminster area (including my Cousin if she’s not working night shift) is a freight from Westbury to Eastleigh. The simulation is running a 1985 timetable which brings back some happy memories of visits to Westbury.
33205 arrives at Westbury with a Cardiff/Bristol to Portsmouth Harbour service in July 1986. 33205 is a ‘Slim Jim’ – one of a small batch of locomotives built to a narrow profile for the restricted clearances on the Tunbridge Wells to Hastings route.