Three links for Thursday

Three links for this Thursday.

First the BBC visits Baghdad Central station.  It’s an interesting and sympathetic article, interviewing a veteran train driver.

The state railway’s heyday, when it offered luxury travel to Jerusalem and even as far west as London, has long passed.

Now, its overnight journeys run only to Basra, and its large fleet of trains has been reduced to just six, pushing more than 200 train drivers into compulsory redundancy.



Another off the wall layout idea.  We’ve seen wartime UK and European models.  How about the Middle East?  Operation could, of course, be limited…..

Secondly, probably a familiar scene to some, the ‘foldaway’ market over the railway tracks in Bangkok.  I have worked there, but never discovered this gem.  I do recall travelling by train into Dhaka, Bangladesh, where people lived and traded within inches of the train, but they kept off the tracks.

Southwest of Bangkok, the Maeklong Railway Market is one of the most popular places to shop for seafood in Thailand. But buyer beware: oncoming trains may spoil your trip if you fail to step out of the way.


When we were in Stuttgart, the punters were most impressed by the train-operated level crossing barriers on Konigshaven.  How much more impressed would they be by a train-operated market model?  Mind you, if it were a module, they’d have to move quick to dodge the ICE and bullet trains….

And lastly, on the same site, I followed this link to an interesting article on beating graffiti on the New York Subway.

In just about every movie set in New York City in the 1970s and 80s there’s an establishing shot with a graffiti-covered subway…

For two decades, the MTA failed miserably in its attempts to fix the problem, sometimes, laughably. Like the time they decided to repaint 7,000 subway cars white.  They called it “The Great White Fleet.” Of course, this only provided a fresh white canvas for the graffiti writers and then before you knew it, the fleet was covered in spray paint again.

Then there was Mayor Ed Koch’s “Berlin Wall” method. Koch surrounded the train yards with two fences topped with barbed wire and guarded by German Shepherds. This worked until graffiti writers realized they could distract the dogs with food and cut through the fences……

In 1984 David Gunn became President of the New York City Transit Authority…..

Systemically, train line by train line, Gunn took the subways off the map for graffiti writers. While they were fixing it, they didn’t allow any graffiti on it. If graffiti artists “bombed” a train car, the MTA pulled it from the system. Even during rush hour.

There is still subway graffiti—it just never leaves the train yards. Artists—many of them from abroad—paint subway cars knowing full well that they will get cleaned before they’re ever seen by the public…..

The only place most people can see NYC subway graffiti is on social media.

One has to say that graffiti looks better on a model than on the real thing – especially inside carriages.  There are plenty of sources of decals to tag your models.


About snitchthebudgie

Secretary of the East Surrey N Gauge railway club
This entry was posted in Inspiration, Out and about, Prototype, Weird and wonderful and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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