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Got a ticket to my destination

9 Nov

At stations there are signs that politely inform the intending passenger that it is illegal to board a train without a ticket if you get on at a station with a ticket office that is manned, or words to that effect. Which seems fair enough to me. So form an orderly queue at this rather splendid Victorian booking office which was clearly designed to cope with far more passengers than ever use this line. You might have to wait as the ticket seller is probably having a coffee in the buffet across the way …

I’ve waited in far worse places than Bridlington station for my train to arrive though, as I’ve mentioned before, the hanging bikes are a bit of an oddity.

Being by the seaside brings with it a yearly influx of young gulls learning the delicate art of walking on a sloping glass roof.

Sitting in the railway station

27 Oct

I had a few minutes to sit and ponder on the 169 year old Driffield station and what’s left of its glory. Above is the old stationmaster’s house and the brick stand for a water tank, those white vans are parked in the old coal yards, while behind me the former goods yard is now modern houses. Just up the track to the right there were cattle loading facilities to take beasts to west Yorkshire from the cattle market in town. Below is the passenger station which once had a fine roof like Beverley station but now just awnings keep out the rain. Nowadays just four small trains an hour pass through whereas in the 1940’s there were up to 125 train movement in one morning!
Well good riddance to all that I say. Coal is a foul stinking fuel, steam engines are inefficient mucky things and the great British railway system was a complete and utter unco-ordinated shambles with hundreds of uneconomic lines running hither and yon. There’s a progress of sorts in all this, canals put out the wagoners, train put out the bargemen and diesel lorries put out the trains. No doubt the lorries and vans will be put out by something as yet unknown (though I don’t see drones taking off, if you pardon the pun).
In the UK, unlike just about every other country,  the state played no part at all in planning or building the rail infrastructure. The early 19th century saw a mad rail glut as it were, completely bonkers and bound to fail which it duly did along with much criminality and fraud. After the last war rail was nationalised and rationalised and was working pretty well until monetarist ideology sold it off. Nowadays our rail system is officially much better organised with a mere 28 companies receiving between them a meagre £4 billion in state subsidies though it is said that this may rise (or skyrocket as one opposition MP put it). But surely it is only right and proper for the latter-day successors of George Hudson that the costs inherent in owning a licence to print money from a natural monopoly should be placed firmly on the broad shoulders of the long suffering taxpayer.
I’d better go now, I’m beginning to ramble incoherently …

If you really want to know just about everything there is to know about Driffield station then follow this link.