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  1. Very sad about the demise of the Zeebrugge route. I worked in Belgium at the end of the 1980s, and for long weekends or holidays I tried to combine Munro-collecting trips to Scotland with visits to family in London. North Sea Ferries (as they then were) and Sealink (ditto) used to offer round-trip tickets at a reasonable price, combining Zeebrugge-Hull and Dover-Calais crossings, or v.v., which suited me very well. The Zeebrugge ships then were Norland (of Falklands fame) and Norstar. I still count them as the nicest ships I’ve crossed on - very comfortable, excellent catering, a civilised t
  2. One of them is apparently going to the Epping Ongar Railway, appropriately enough since that was once part of the Central Line. Even though the line served only a small rural population out in Essex, London Transport in its heyday electrified it. It boasted the only station on the underground network from which no other building could be seen (Blake Hall). I understand that the preservationists who now run the line intend to keep the ex-Island Line train operational - presumably by using batteries, since the electric rail has long been lifted.
  3. I’d never realised that it was red below the waterline - is that new?
  4. I believe there were a couple of pinch points, one of which was one of the Ryde bridges, but the track has now been moved or lowered in these places during a couple of recent weekend possessions. We had always believed that it was the tight dimensions of the Ryde Tunnel that limited the railway to tube-train size stock, but this is apparently not the case and the railway are confident that the ‘new’ trains will get through all right. Let’s hope they are right. The trains will be unloaded on to the railway at Sandown, where there is a siding and the approach is easier than anything at
  5. COVID restrictions mean that railway enthusiasts hoping to have a last ride on the 1938 tube stock can’t (or at least shouldn’t) travel to the island. This webcam will be the next best thing for them.
  6. Coinciding with the major road works outside St Mary’s Hospital, this has led to huge delays on the Cowes- Newport road. The proponents of a bridge/tunnel across the Medina have resurfaced, but with about as much chance of success as those advocating a fixed link to the mainland (ie nil).
  7. Portsmouth- Fishbourne currently delayed by 1hr 45 minutes, reportedly because of an issue with the Fishbourne link span. Sounds like déja vue all over again, but particularly unfortunate at a time when the island has been absolutely rammed with staycation visitors. At least they won’t have to worry about being quarantined if the ferry is late.
  8. Thanks for the splendid pictures of Arundel - though they do prompt the sad thought that this year there’ll be no Sussex cricket match at the ground in the castle park, the most beautiful venue for first-class cricket in the country. I too am lucky enough to live in a beautiful area, and being unable to leave the IoW for over 3 months has been no real hardship. I’m very happy to keep clear of thoughtless youths - and not just them, as there also seem to be quite a few of older generations who are behaving as though the whole virus threat is a hoax. But I have a constant reminder from
  9. She needs to turn hard to starboard, or she will miss the channel.
  10. A great picture of MV Hamnavoe, seen at Stromness, from where it does the short crossing to Scrabster (so will not benefit from the promised improvements at Kirkwall). I did the trip last year, and it’s a very comfortable and attractive ship. It was however very lightly loaded, and I did wonder whether they were losing out to the competition from Pentland Ferries, whose route to Orkney is shorter, cheaper and more frequent. We had booked a repeat trip for this April, including the overnight cabin and breakfast offer for the morning sailing from Stromness. When it became clear that the holi
  11. He may not be commuting every day - as far as I know, firefighters have a shift pattern that gives them concentrated periods on duty, followed by several days off.
  12. A good point, but I imagine the thinking is that there will be so few people travelling that it will be easy to maintain social distancing at all stages.
  13. Hovercraft + Hoverbus to station won’t take much longer than the cat. And It appears that Hovertravel were chosen because they carry the mail and pharmaceuticals. I wonder anyway how many of the normal train commuters are key workers still allowed to travel?
  14. Red Eagle did the same yesterday afternoon in a strong westerly - she turned round after departing from Southampton and proceeded ‘backwards’ down Southampton Water before turning again off the Parade in Cowes. The sea was quite bumpy in the Solent but I’ve known worse. One consequence was that the North Lounge, where pets are supposed to go, was at the south end of the ship. Was this simply a means of lessening the movement of the ship or does it relate to Red Eagle’s troubles following the dropped anchor incident?
  15. Indeed, well done them. Whatever their other faults, the Wight Ryders are well-designed for their route and have only rarely been cancelled for bad weather. The fact that they’ve been able to continue while the car ferries haven’t suggests that on this occasion the determining factor has been wind speed rather than sea state.
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