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The Fat Controller was the man in charge of the Standard Gauge railway, Sir Topham Hatt was the Controller of the Narrow Gauge railway.
Ergo I was The Fat Controller.
 

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Just over 80% of the Trans Siberian Railway is CWR, where there can be a 95degree centrigade temperature amplitude over a twelve month period. CWR speeds are restricted to max 100kph for passenger trains and 80kph for freight trains. When you see some of the older clickety-clack track on wooden sleepers, you wonder how the trains don't just wobble off in places.
 

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Northern Rail has been in the news, but the Esk Valley Line between Whitby and Middlesbrough is operated by them, although the line is under the auspices of the Esk Valley Railway Development Company. The latter is developing additional attractions to encourage more passengers, including an extra late-night service and in previous years, ale and folk music trains. A recent development is to run a 'Forget me Not' train on the first Wednesday in the month, leaving Whitby at 11:58. This is to allow people with dementia and their carers to travel in a reserved carriage, with plenty of helpers on hand, with live music, biscuits and other treats. People are encouraged to bring their own picnics too. I'm a side-by-side volunteer for the Alzheimers' Society and took my friend on the January train. Although it lasted 3 1/2 hours, he thoroughly enjoyed it, as did the other people on board and the volunteers were wonderful, including an NHS worker on her day off providing hand massages. The journey follows the Esk Valley up to Battersby, when the train then goes along a spur line to Middlesbrough. The scenery is magnificent. It's a lifeline for the villages along the line too, particularly in bad weather and it also enables schoolchildren along the route to travel to and from Whitby to go to school. I did comment to a friend that the train (2-coach DMU) was very comfortable, with a very smooth ride. In contrast, the NYMR, which travels on the mainline from Whitby to Grosmont, then travels on its own section on to Pickering, accompanied by the rather comforting clicketty clack. Speeds are limited to 25mph, so when occasional steam specials operate betwen Grosmont and Battersby, they can travel at 45mph, which is quite thrilling under steam propulsion. Incidentally, the 18-mile section between Grosmont and Pickering is regularly inspected by a line walker, who has a satellite 'phone in a back pack (mobile reception is poor) just in case a major problem is identified. He also carries an enormous spanner, used either to tighten loose nuts or to whack loose or dropped clips back into place.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
I've just had a message from Johnathon Ross who said " I'm interwested in wailways but I don't have a Yeti. Can I join in? " Any thoughts?
 

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I've just had a message from Johnathon Ross who said " I'm interwested in wailways but I don't have a Yeti. Can I join in? " Any thoughts?
Please NO! Even just the thought makes me want to retch. Him and Piers Morgan should be locked up together in a windowless room and the key thrown away.
 

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Imagine Rossie saying this: 'I am a top-ranking guy and as a high ranker I should be given honorary membership of this forum'. (With due thanks to M Palin and the 'Life of Brian'). I agree with Flintstone: Morgan and Ross are amongst many people in the media whose success and disgustingly high salaries amaze me, so I can hardly bear to listen to them. Add to the list Zoe Ball, Sara Cox, the thank goodness disappeared Evans, Alan Carr, Paul O'Grady, Cowell, etc.Yesterday evening the late Clive James presented 'Postcards from the Edge' in Rome. Now there was a great broadcaster. Sorry I've gone off track and missed the point of the original post, but my train of thought was disrupted by mention of one of my bogie men, hence coupling Piers Stefan Pughe-Morgan with other hate figures. Crazy name, crazy guy but then there's so much more I could say ..... Continued on Page 94.
 

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Yesterday evening the late Clive James presented 'Postcards from the Edge' in Rome. Now there was a great broadcaster.
Absolutely! I too caught that repeat of the original. Thank G for repeats? The clips of him driving a suitably battered Fiat 600 around Rome were brilliant and his self-penned commentary hilarious. Loved CJ ever since discovering him as the TV critic writing a weekly column for the Sunday Times, way back when. Then when Rupert Murdoch started buying up British newspaper titles, the ST among them, CJ quit with the comment: “Everything I left Australia to get away from has now come to Britain”. That comment alone sealed CJ a place in my heart. And remains one of the several factors why no Sky TV or other product will ever be found in my house, nor that of my children if I can help it.

Any of CJ’s “Postcard from .....” series are well worth re-watching. More recently, that the man could face his own mortality with such dignity and wit to the end, remains as his enduring legacy and an example to us all.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
I don't have a great dislike for any that Jimmy mentioned, well maybe Evans and Carr. I always watch Paul O'Grady for the love of dogs and when Susanna Reid has a dig at Piers Morgan and makes him laugh, he is the spitting image of Basil Brush.
 

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The snow isn't so deep, but this was the view out of the Box window one morning:
 
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