Welcome to the Mushroom Farm

SouthWest Trains were in a particularly uninformative mood all day today. Not only was the Vauxhall train information system displaying its regular ‘owing to a fault’ message, but the rest of the stations’ platform indicators seemed to be having the problem as well, and weren’t willing to commit themselves beyond a basic ‘Welcome to Kew Bridge’ (or wherever … they had at least usually got the name of the station right). Presumably the rest of the information was being made available on a Need to Know basis, under the Freedom of Information act.

However, one mystery has finally been cleared up. Some time back I wondered how much a bus weighed and a certain amount of desultory searching on the Internet was not particularly enlightening. However  Huttonian has alerted me to a letter in today’s Guardian which finally provides an answer: 7 tonnes for a routemaster and a lardy 18 tonnes* for a bendy bus.

So with that question answered I give you another to ponder:
You are the driver of a van and you are about to drive through a bit of the road which has cars parked on both sides when you see a cyclist who is already trying to squeeze through the same gap. Do you
a) Accelerate, make sure that you are equidistant from the cars on either side so there’s no space for both bike and van, and force said cyclist to stop and back up in order save her puny life?
b) Cyclist? What cyclist?

* that’s respectively 7.716 tons and way too bloody much in imperial measures.


9 responses to “Welcome to the Mushroom Farm

  1. b.
    But then again, I only have bike!

  2. Do the two buses carry the same number of passengers ? (I hope not !) I ask on economic and environmental grounds.

  3. The old Routemaster-Flightbuff-is considerably more environmentally friendly than the Bendy Bus. You really must pop out to get to day’s Grudienne and read the letter column and you will see whatI mean. It also does much more to the Gallon than its posh stuck up replacement. Fuel and global warming wise the Routemaster is the DC3 and the Bendy Bus the Concorde and down HighGate Hill the Routemaster can go faster than both. (especially if there are people queuing for it at that stop opposite the Whittington Hospital)

  4. Flightbuff – well the bendy bus has fewer seats. It might be able to take more people standing, though, so it might transport more people in more misery than its predecessor. Not sure that’s an improvement!

  5. Now why am I not in the least bit surprised by that information. Thanks for that, I’ll catch up with the Grudienne later on.

  6. Worcester Park is a fine place to be, but now when you’re stuck on a London-bound platform. Indicator boards all blank and no announcements as to why there had been no trains for 25 minutes and the platform was heaving with frustrated commuters. I note that the ticket office staff resolutely refused to break off the selling of tickets for trains going nowhere to do something silly like make an announcement…

  7. worcesterpark – well if they did announce the trains were all running 25 minutes late, who would be silly enough to buy a ticket? Caveat emptor…

  8. People silly enough to have no alternative but to use their trains to get to work. And people who have already bought their monthly season tickets for 10% of their monthly salary.

  9. true … one of the joys of flexi time is being able to turn around & go home when the trains are in total chaos (25 minutes not quite there!)

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