Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Railways or Katya Virshilas – you decide

Posted in Dreaming, London, Other general stuff about railways by Chairman Pip on 21 February 2012

It’s becoming a source of bewilderment to me why in the course of my slumber that my subconscious seems continually to fixate on railways rather than focusing on what would be, in the normal course of things, much more pleasant areas to think of. Such as seeing West Ham win the FA Cup, or measuring Katya Virshilas for her Strictly outfits. So it continues (or rather continued), and I shall elucidate precisely where I went this time. I went non-stop, without changing trains, from Woolwich Arsenal to Upminster which, as you should all be well aware, is impossible. What’s more, upon leaving Woolwich Arsenal, the train proceeded through a tunnel that took more than 40 minutes to traverse, which led me to think “there should be a station or two built into this rock formation”. Why I was going from Woolwich to Upminster I’m not entirely certain, but clearly it wasn’t important, as the next I was aware I was on the District Line heading for Barking. Nothing unusual in the you may think, except that it wasn’t the eight stops that it is in the real world, but 25. Further, the route was in a cutting, with a high embankment on either side (neither of these are there). What was that much stranger was the fact that there was another railway line on the embankment, and my train was following the London Overground service from Upminster to Barking, which I could see out of the window, and which I needed to catch to continue my journey. So I got off at Barking (Low Level), and was forced to follow a circuitous route up to the high level platforms, where the c2c trains terminate, so that I could then get down to the platform from which London Overground’s trains depart. All of which should tell you the following:

  • London Overground trains terminate at Barking, and don’t go on to Upminster
  • Barking’s platforms are all at the same level
  • All of the c2c services are through trains, and don’t terminate at Barking

I am somewhat curious as to what my subconscious is trying to tell me, given that I was actually in Nottingham when I was dreaming this, and have had no contact for some time with London Overground, c2c or Barking station. Perhaps it means that I should champion an extension to London Overground’s services as far as Upminster. Or perhaps that I should campaign for Crossrail to be extended from Woolwich back under the river northwards. Or possibly that there should be more trains from Barking to London. Of course, it could just mean that I think too much about railways, and that I should think more about Katya Virshilas.

While dreaming about railways is fun, dreaming about Katya Virshilas is probably more fun

Lord Grantham on the train? Could it be a sign?

Posted in Dreaming, Other general stuff about railways by Chairman Pip on 7 February 2012

I’ve spoken before of the way trains sometimes intrude on my subconcious, and last night was no exception. For some reason, I was travelling on the Waterloo & City Line, as one does, but this was on a Class 487 train, which, as you know, was withdrawn in 1993. As I was sat there, I was explaining to Hugh Bonneville about how Waterloo & City Line trains arriving at Waterloo shunt into the depot just beyond the station to then run into the outbound platform. I was explaining this as the train was actually running through the depot (which for some reason contained a number of Class 31 locomotives) and out the other side, where it then ran partly under a motorway overpass, under which was moored HMS Illustrious. I’m fairly sure it was at this point I concluded that I was dreaming.

As I’ve said, I have dreamt about railways before, but this is the first time someone famous has actually been in my dream. Why it was specifically Hugh Bonneville and not some other member of the cast of Downton Abbey I don’t know. I mean, could it have killed my subconcious to have had me explaining things to Michelle Dockery or Jessica Brown-Findlay? Still, perhaps it’s a sign – after all, Hugh Bonneville has a high profile these days. Perhaps he’d like to front a campaign to restore the remaining Class 487 vehicle currently stored at the London Transport Museum depot. It’s a thought.

Could Hugh Bonneville travelling on a Class 487 in Pip's dream world actually be a sign?

Living the dream? Probably not

Posted in Dreaming, Other general stuff about railways by Chairman Pip on 6 February 2011

Yet another of my bizarre, train related dreams last night saw brand new rolling stock on what I’m fairly sure was the Piccadilly Line, but only the Heathrow branch. This saw the driving car of an O/P Stock coupled to a Class 378, with a Metro-Vick electric locomotive on the other end. Of course, why an electric multiple unit with cabs at each end would need to be marshalled between a locomotive and another driving car is totally beyond me. Much in the same way that Piccadilly Line trains to Heathrow were leaving from Baker Street. And that my friend Little Jo was disappointed that she had received her MBE from Bono rather than The Queen. Not that she has an MBE of course. At least, I’m fairly sure she doesn’t.

A Metro-Vick electric locomotive - probably not the best rolling stock to use on the Heathrow branch. Given you can't get there from Baker Street

Have you any dreams you’d like to sell?

Posted in Dreaming, Other general stuff about railways by Chairman Pip on 17 April 2010

Now I’m not saying I’m anywhere near to being a railway obsessive. So it’s a little worrying that I’ve started to dream about them. Of course, we all know that dreams don’t usually mean squat. In any case, the dreams that I remember having are often so completely bonkers, that it’s best to just laugh at the lunacy. Here for example are some of the non railway based ones that I can remember. The one that I had last night went sort of thus:

There I was standing on the platform at New Cross, on a normal weekday, waiting for the train. As it then happened, virtually the entire Southeastern network then went kaput, with no trains running at all, which was slightly odd given that trains to Ramsgate then started terminating at New Cross. Obviously that should have told me something, because Ramsgate trains don’t even stop at New Cross. Fortunately, London Overground had started running their services along the East London Line. “Good-oh”, I thought, until I saw that the train that was standing at the platform was not a 4-car Class 378, but a 2-car Class 172, with a front end that was certainly not one of a Turbostar. “Something’s not right here”, thought I, so I proceeded to get on a train, which for some reason was a First Great Western High Speed Train. Clearly, this wasn’t about to take me where I wanted to go, but thankfully I was able to jump off as it began pulling out of the station because some of the coaches were Mark 1s without central locking. By now it was getting on for 10.00am, and I thought it might be an idea to phone my office and let them know I might be a bit late. Fortunately, at that point a train was announced that was going into Cannon Street. Again though, the fact that it was a “Virgin Megatrain” service and that the train that pulled in was a Blue Pullman should have suggested something amiss. But by then time was getting on, so I got on the train and proceeded on my merry way. And that’s where I assume my subconcious took me elsewhere. It’s interesting the way way your mind works things out.

An intercity train on a commuter service, 30 years after it was scrapped, operated by a company that doesn't exist - interesting

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