Vintage railway film - Spick and Span - 1962 British Rail...

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Ziv

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Caravanman, that video has one of my all-time favorite coaches (I think) arriving on Platform 15 at the beginning. Each compartment has its own door to the platform which is very cool! People come boiling out of the car while it is still rolling to a stop. Old fashioned, but cool! I loved those cars. They were still in use on a Southern route in the early 90's and they had these old but comfortable wing type seats with heavy old antimacassars to keep your Brylcreme from leaving a permanent mark on the head rest. ;-)
The other thing that hit me was the staff. I would have liked to sit and have a pint with them and hear their thoughts on the job, and the film. And from the older ones, if they would share, what their war had been like. When I was traveling in the UK in 90's it was far enough in the rear view that I could frequently get vets to talk about the countries they had been stationed in. We never talked about the fighting, but we did talk about heat, bugs, food, weather, sunsets, ships, trains and lorries. I met an old couple at the First In, Last Out pub in Hastings one time. They mentioned that they had met on a merchant ship in the Med in 1942 and we talked about Mediterranean sunsets, named winds (mistrals vs. siroccos), troop ship compartments, food and how long it took to get from the UK to Alexandria. Given their description, I later began to think that they might have been in the middle of Operation Pedestal, where just 5 of the 14 merchant ships made it through. And they talked about the warm windy days and cool evenings.
 

caravanman

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Caravanman, that video has one of my all-time favorite coaches (I think) arriving on Platform 15 at the beginning. Each compartment has its own door to the platform which is very cool!
Indeed, those trains were very common when I worked for B.R. back in the early 1970's. We called them the "slam door" stock. Similar coaches had less doors, and the interior compartments were removed, but one could still lower windows and the doors "slammed" to close. One feature of the exterior door handles was that if a door was open, the handles stood verticaly, and closed they were horizontal. If not quite closed correctly, they stayed at 45 degrees, so station staff looked at them before giving the "right away" signal.
I liked the English Electric diesel hauled train arriving on platform 14, a type 37, which I worked on myself. Happy days, lots of cameraderie on BR in those days, and never far from an oversized kettle on the simmer for the next "cuppa tea" ;)
 

caravanman

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Interesting how the US cleaners are using vaccum cleaners, and years later, that UK one above is still using mops and brushes... :D

Most famous though? I think The Flying Scotsman and Mallard the steam speed record holder would disagree! ;)
 

MARC Rider

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Interesting that all of the coffee/tea cups were ceramic, and people just left them at their seats when finished, and then ,when cleaned up, the cups had to be returned to the canteens to be washed and reused. When did paper cups come into use?
 

caravanman

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I confess to being confused by the cup business myself... Some trains had restaurant cars, and proper sit down table service, but finding ceramic cups on the coach seats is odd. I have asked the question on a different UK-centric rail forum, and will report back. ;)
 

caravanman

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I asked my chums on a BR forum, and produced 25 replies! (Easy to get Brits talking about a cup of tea) :D.
Although the conversation was wide ranging, covering divers topics such as owning a B.R. teapot, green colour china cups, etc, no one had much idea about the china cups ending up on the coach seats. The consensus was that tea in china cups was supposed to be consumed in the restaurant or buffet car, not taken to a coach seat. Folk think paper or poly cups were introduced in the mid 1970's...
 

trainman74

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When I was there in 2014, the National Railway Museum had a display of the interior of a 1970s British Railways snack car, complete with disposable cups.

 

Willbridge

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On the BR night boat First Class from Hoek van Holland to Harwich in 1970 we were served morning tea in chinaware. The service and cups were left with us. On the return trip in Second Class we were served in plastic cups with the milk and sugar already mixed in. Previously I had only come across that in the British Army's Berlin train.
 

NYP2NFL01

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Interesting how the US cleaners are using vaccum cleaners, and years later, that UK one above is still using mops and brushes... :D
I found the mirror cleaning method in the “Spic and Span” video most interesting (and disturbing): using mouth breath to moisten the glass before wiping it down!!! 😳
 

caravanman

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I found the mirror cleaning method in the “Spic and Span” video most interesting (and disturbing): using mouth breath to moisten the glass before wiping it down!!! 😳
That was a tried and tested method, back in the day! (Not so good in these Covid times)!

The snack car shown in the museum photo is from a HST type train, introduced in 1976. I notice an advert for "maxpax" hot drinks. These were dire in taste, some sort of powdered tea, truely awful !

Most "on train" snack type food offerings here in the UK are rather poor, and eye wateringly expensive. Better to buy a sandwich before you board the train!
 

JontyMort

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The snack car shown in the museum photo is from a HST type train, introduced in 1976. I notice an advert for "maxpax" hot drinks. These were dire in taste, some sort of powdered tea, truely awful !
That‘s actually pre-HST. Mark 2f, by the look of it. The last development before the iconic HST. The window seals give it away. You’re right about Maxpax, though - truly awful.
 

trainman74

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Most "on train" snack type food offerings here in the UK are rather poor, and eye wateringly expensive. Better to buy a sandwich before you board the train!
I may have figured this out from eating the "Herbed ham and roasted peppers on sundried tomato bread" sandwich you see in the photo above. :D

(My recent experiences with buying sandwiches on American trains have all involved the Pacific Surfliner, and those sandwiches have been pretty good.)
 

caravanman

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It may be more worldwide than I think, but it seems that here in Britain, we are particularly prone to price hiking, or "gouging"! Motorway services, trains, stadiums, airports all suddenly become places where the price of rather poor food magicaly becomes double what one should expect to pay!
 
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It may be more worldwide than I think, but it seems that here in Britain, we are particularly prone to price hiking, or "gouging"! Motorway services, trains, stadiums, airports all suddenly become places where the price of rather poor food magicaly becomes double what one should expect to pay!
Didn't the term "highwayman" originate in your county?😁
As in, "prey" on the traveler...

I think it's world-wide. What really irks me, are the exorbitant taxes and 'fees' charged to hotel guests.

The one notable exception I recall, was when they expanded the Pittsburgh airport into a major hub (for US Airways) years ago. The also made it into a shopping mall of sorts. When they did that, they got pledges from merchants and restaurants to only charge "street prices", and in that way attracted nearby residents to shop there. It was a real oasis from the usual gouging.

Since the hub closed, I don't know if that policy remained, or not. Haven't been there in decades.
 

cirdan

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I asked my chums on a BR forum, and produced 25 replies! (Easy to get Brits talking about a cup of tea) :D.
Although the conversation was wide ranging, covering divers topics such as owning a B.R. teapot, green colour china cups, etc, no one had much idea about the china cups ending up on the coach seats. The consensus was that tea in china cups was supposed to be consumed in the restaurant or buffet car, not taken to a coach seat. Folk think paper or poly cups were introduced in the mid 1970's...
Could it be that these were drinks served by a drinks trolley. Passengers would then leave the cups and these would be collected afterwards.

I don't know if this was done in Britain at the time but I remember in Switzerland in the 1990s when they already had disposable cups but many drinks still came in glass bottles. I once threw such a bottle in the trash and was corrected by a fellow passengers who told me to leave it on the table and it would be collected for re-use later.

Maybe something similar would have been done with cups.
 

trainman74

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The one notable exception I recall, was when they expanded the Pittsburgh airport into a major hub (for US Airways) years ago. The also made it into a shopping mall of sorts. When they did that, they got pledges from merchants and restaurants to only charge "street prices", and in that way attracted nearby residents to shop there. It was a real oasis from the usual gouging.

Since the hub closed, I don't know if that policy remained, or not. Haven't been there in decades.
From a little research, it does appear that they still do have that policy in place (and Allegheny County, which oversees the airport, regularly reviews the pricing at shops and restaurants).

I passed through a few years ago when I was visiting Pittsburgh, and the airport seemed like a veritable ghost town compared to when I lived in Pittsburgh in the late 1990s -- one issue was US Airways gradually decreasing the amount of flights (a trend continuing under American), and the other issue was people not being able to get past security without a boarding pass since 9/11/2001.

In recent years, the airport had started allowing a limited number of people to sign up in advance to be able to go past security and shop at certain times of the day and week -- a program called MyPITPass -- but that program is currently suspended.
 
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From a little research, it does appear that they still do have that policy in place (and Allegheny County, which oversees the airport, regularly reviews the pricing at shops and restaurants).

I passed through a few years ago when I was visiting Pittsburgh, and the airport seemed like a veritable ghost town compared to when I lived in Pittsburgh in the late 1990s -- one issue was US Airways gradually decreasing the amount of flights (a trend continuing under American), and the other issue was people not being able to get past security without a boarding pass since 9/11/2001.

In recent years, the airport had started allowing a limited number of people to sign up in advance to be able to go past security and shop at certain times of the day and week -- a program called MyPITPass -- but that program is currently suspended.
Glad to hear that they are continuing the "street prices" policy. I had thought that the shopping mall was before security check in, so why would they need boarding passes? And if not, with the reduced need for gates, surely they could redesign and shrink the 'sterile' airside, to make it so...
 

trainman74

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Glad to hear that they are continuing the "street prices" policy. I had thought that the shopping mall was before security check in, so why would they need boarding passes? And if not, with the reduced need for gates, surely they could redesign and shrink the 'sterile' airside, to make it so...
The Pittsburgh airport is basically two separate buildings, connected by an underground train: the main terminal, where ticketing, baggage claim, and the security checkpoint are, and then an X-shaped building where all the gates are. The shopping area is basically in the middle of the X.

Moving security so that the shopping is in an unsecured area would require serious renovations (and would result in having four separate security checkpoints, not just one).
 

PaTrainFan

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The Pittsburgh airport is basically two separate buildings, connected by an underground train: the main terminal, where ticketing, baggage claim, and the security checkpoint are, and then an X-shaped building where all the gates are. The shopping area is basically in the middle of the X.

Moving security so that the shopping is in an unsecured area would require serious renovations (and would result in having four separate security checkpoints, not just one).
The airport is about to begin a three year $1 billion massive overhaul that will consolidate the two terminals ("Landside" and "Airside") into one building. Will completely transform the entire facility.
 
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I haven't ever really studied that airport...just did a brief transfer there once. I don't know how they could expect to lure 'locals' in to shop, if they had to hassle with security. The all new design will probably just make it like any other airport, strictly catering to traveler's...
 
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