The Anonymous Widower

British Steel Secures Major Contract From Deutsche Bahn

The title of this post is the same as this article on Global Rail News.

I thought the article had a touch of Coals-to-Newcastle about it.

But read the article and there are a lot of things coming together to enable the order.

  • British Steel have spent a seven-figure-sum at Scunthorpe, to make the longer rails, that the Germans use.
  • Deutsche Bahn are Europe’s largest purchaser of rail.
  • The initial order is for 20,000 tonnes of rail.
  • Rails can be delivered in 120 metre lengths through the Channel Tunnel.

I should say, that I’ve read in the past, that Scunthorpe makes a quality product.

I found this video on the British Steel web site.

It all brings back memories of the time, I spent as a sixteen-year-old putting automation on heavy machines use to roll non-ferrous metals.

I doubt you get work experience like that these days!

March 15, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , , | 4 Comments

Three Good Things About Scunthorpe

Other than the coffee and Raz and his excellent taxi, there is only one other thing good about Scunthorpe.  Or should we be polite and call it Shorpe! And that is the TransPennine Express, that gets you out of the town.

TransPennine Express at Scunthorpe

 I took one of these trains as far as Doncaster, where I headed north towards Edinburgh.

September 29, 2010 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Scunthorpe 1 – Ipswich 1

It was not a good match and who’s to say it wasn’t down to the cold.

Glanford Park

 Interestingly, Glanford Park istill a ground with a standing terrace and they are getting a campaign together to save it.  In my view, they need completely closed terraces with some form of heating.

September 29, 2010 Posted by | Sport | , , | 1 Comment

A Welcoming Coffee

I’ll say one thing for Glanford Park though!  The Douwe Egberts coffee was good and it warmed me up.

To be fair, all the stewards and staff seemed to be very welcoming.

September 29, 2010 Posted by | Food, Sport | , , | Leave a comment

A Waste of Police Budget?

As I sat getting even colder on a bench in the car park eating my salmon sandwiches, nibbling at the cold salad and drinking the even colder smoothie, I noticed a large Police truck appear, which on closer inspection was a horse-box. 

Police Horses at Glanford Park

 

 As everybody knows, Ipswich Town fans have a reputation.  They seem to turn up in larger numbers than most and perhaps this is why the Humberside force decided to bring in the cavalry! 

But what a waste of money!  Unless it was some odd method to keep the horses warm on such a cold day. 

Incidentally, you don’t often  see Police horses at Portman Road, because the Suffolk force doesn’t have any. And neither does Norfolk or Cambridgeshire. 

But thinking back, I don’t think I actually saw the horses outside the box, so perhaps it was too cold.

September 29, 2010 Posted by | Sport | , , | 2 Comments

A Taxi to Glanford Park

As the bus was still nowhere to be seen, I got a taxi from the station to the ground about two.  The driver, Raz, was helpful and I booked him to pick me up at 4:30, as I really felt that to spend more time than I wanted in the town was not a good idea. Especially, as I was getting chilled to the bone!

At least by the ground there was a large Tesco, so I suspect, I could have got something there, but as you can see from this picture, the various eating places were not renowned as being coeliac friendly.

Eating Places at Glanford Park

September 29, 2010 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , | Leave a comment

A GLuten-Free-Free Town

So I didn’t search too hard, but a quick walk into Scunthorpe didn’t appear to be very promising, when it came to looking for something to eat.

Scunthorpe Town Centre

I think of all the places I’ve been to in the UK, I can’t think I’ve been anywhere that was so lacking in any place that looked like it might be able to sell me a gluten-free meal.  Usually, there is an Indian restaurant and they can very often be relied to produced something more than acceptable.  But the only such restaurant appeared to be closed at lunchtime. 

So I turned to that other standby and bought an egg and potato salad, a drink and a banana in M & S.  In fact this was the first M & S in a decent sized town that I’ve found, that didn’t stock gluten-free bread!

But I had prepared myself and I had some smoked salmon sandwiches in my case.

I would hate to live on a gluten-free diet in the town.

September 29, 2010 Posted by | Food, Transport | , | 1 Comment

Thorne, Althorpe and Flixborough

One of the places the train stopped was Thorne.

I can remember driving through it on a dark and wet night sometime in about 1970, when it was one of the poorest areas in the UK.  C, myself and our eldest son, who was just a baby at the time had been to visit C’s friend from Liverpool University, Sandra Briton and her husband Keith at Gliberdyke.

It still looked pretty bleak from the train, as the wind blew across the flat lands of North Lincolnshire.

It’s not a place I should have ever wanted to live.

Althorpe was another place passed by the train and we used to have friends who lived near there under the shadow of the River Trent. C could remember being woken up by a boat on the river virtually passing by the room where she was sleeping.

Our friends used to tell a story how tourists used to turn up looking for the last resting place of Princess Diana.  But of course they had got the spelling wrong.  I hope it’s improved with Sat-Navs or do they send those Dianaphiles to the wilds of North Lincolnshire?

But I couldn’t go to this part of the country, without thinking about the Flixborough disaster.  I’ve worked on lots of chemical plants and know how dangerous they can be.  And the disaster at Flixborough, proved my fears, when 28 people died and many were injured in June 1974.

According to Wikipedia, the cause of the explosion my well have been a badly-designed bypass pipe that wasn’t properly tested.  I also heard a contributing factor from an engineer at ICI, was that the design of the plant had been metric as it was a Dutch design and it had been converted to Imperial when it was built in the UK.  This had meant that the pipe that broke was the wrong size to withstand the pressure.  Wikipedia says this.

The official inquiry into the accident determined that the bypass pipe had failed because of unforeseen lateral stresses in the pipe during a pressure surge. The bypass had been designed by engineers who were not experienced in high-pressure pipework, no plans or calculations had been produced, the pipe was not pressure-tested, and was mounted on temporary scaffolding poles that allowed the pipe to twist under pressure. The by-pass pipe was a smaller diameter (20″) than the reactor flanges (24″) and in order to align the flanges, short sections of steel bellows were added at each end of the by-pass – under pressure such bellows tend to squirm or twist.

I don’t know what the truth was and probably we’ll never find out, but in my view to mix measurement systems in anything as dangerous as a chemical plant is asking for trouble.  It should be noted that ICI went fully metric in chemical plant design sometime in the 1950s. I seem to remember hearing somewhere that safety was one of the reasons.

The fact that we still commonly use Imperial measures is an absolute disgrace.

September 29, 2010 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Doncaster to Scunthorpe

Doncaster to Scunthorpe is not the most salubrious of railways. It goes in a pretty straight line through a series of stations, that have seen some improvement over the years.  But that can’t be said for some of the trains.

Class 142 Diesel Multiple Unit

I had just missed the Trans Pennine Express, so I had to travel in one of these Class 142‘s or Pacers.  I thought that the junk we have on Ipswich to Cambridge was bad, but these seem to be even worse!

Welcome to Scunthorpe! At least the station had had a makeover.

Scunthorpe Station

But it had been said that there was a courtesy bus to Glanford Park, where Scunthorpe United play.  Perhaps I was too early, as it wasn’t there.  So I decided to explore the nearby town centre and get some lunch.

September 29, 2010 Posted by | Transport | , | 8 Comments

Little Bits of Cardboard

I took this picture at some time on the journey to Scunthorpe, possibly between Peterborough and Doncaster sitting comfortably in First on East Coast and it shows one of the problems of complicated journeys on trains.

British Rail Tickets

On my trip from Saturday until this morning, I collected eighteen of these little orange tickets. Some incidentally, were marked “NOT VALID FOR TRAVEL”

Surely, those in charge of our railways could do better!

But let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater and make the ticketing dependent on a smart phone.  I  am old enough to never need a replacement for my Nokia 6310i and if you can’t do it on that, I’m not interested!

So perhaps we need just one orange ticket per trip,that is the same as the ones we have now,but has a bar code printed on the face, so that it can be read by a simple reader in the conductor’s hand on the train.

September 29, 2010 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment