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Links and tidbits, Wed May 19

A 6-car Mark 1 train leaving Brentwood Station. Photo by <a href=>DennisTT</a>!

A 6-car Mark 1 train leaving Brentwood Station. Photo by DennisTT!

Oof — here’s another round of tidbits and links. If you have any to suggest, or a photo to showcase on these posts, e-mail me at!


  • By Cliff, May 19, 2010 @ 8:36 pm

    As someone who used to live breathe and eat Sim City, I’ve seen that video. The guy pretty much nailed it. He beat it in the sense you can’t really make the city better than that. Of course, you play Sim City to enjoy it’s uniqueness, how each city is different each time you play it. Sim City 3000, which is what this guy was using, has a template of Vancouver in it. However, said template is pretty much useless because it’s rotated 45° so streets like Cambie and Granville become like Kingsway, and Kingsway like Cambie and Granville.

  • By Anonymous, May 19, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

    Seeing the old Routemaster brings back memories. I used to live in the UK and as a child, road many buses similar to the Routemaster. They weren’t Routemaster’s of course because those buses were exclusive to London. I rode the RTs, which looked very similar to the Routemasters.

    I would jump on the bus as it slowed down. find a seat upstairs and then pay my fare when the conductor came around. When I went to get off, I would walk down the stairs to the platform and the conductor would press the bell once to let the driver know to stop (passengers never pressed the bell, that was always the conductor’s job). As we slowed down, I would hold on the pole and jump off, wave to the conductor who then pressed the bell twice to tell the driver to get going again. Timed right, the bus never had to stop, just slow down so I could jump on or off the platform. And of course, I never thought anything about it – that’s how it works and that was how I travelled to and from school.

    Another great advantage to the open platform and the pole was that one could run after a departing bus, grab the pole and jump on. I’ve one that once or twice.

    A big disadvantage is it can get cold in the bus and safety. Riding on the platform was not allowed – only when the bus was slowing could you go on the platform. And the bus was limited to curb lanes, which in the UK is not an issue as that’s all there was in those days.

    I loved those buses and still miss them.

  • By David Arthur, May 20, 2010 @ 6:43 am

    The way the curve at the back of the bus replicates the Routemaster is sort of nice, but the asymmetrical front is just odd, and I’m not an admirer of the open platform, which will make these things impossible to heat or air-condition properly – even as TfL are spending large sums of money to introduce air-conditioning in parts of the Underground! I’d take a standard double-decker bus like the Enviro400 over this any day.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 20, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

    Cliff: Magnasanti is pretty intense. I was thinking it would be a rather miserable place to live… although the slab of libraries altogether is awesomely appealing :)

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 20, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

    Anonymous, David Arthur: I really like the Routemasters too, and I too am a bit wary of the open platform concept. It does get a bit cold near the entrance on blustery days, and there is of course all that safety stuff. If you can cram an extra three or four people on board in that open space, I think some would certainly appreciate it.

    Also, I was a bit aghast at how hated the bendy buses are in London. I’d always seen them as just another transit vehicle… but I guess if you pit them against the double deckers, they are bound to lose.

  • By David Arthur, May 20, 2010 @ 5:48 pm

    The thing to remember about the bendy buses is that in London, people are still angry about the loss of conductors on the double-deckers. On the bendy buses, with back doors so far away from the driver, the issue is even worse; within certain sections of society they became known as ‘free buses’, and those aren’t the sections of society with which most people want to share a bus.

    There’s also the issue of certain London streets being a bit narrow and sharp-cornered for a vehicle that long, meaning that cyclists get cut off in frightening ways, and the fact that the bendy-bus load standards are based on much tighter standing room than people expect on a double-decker.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 20, 2010 @ 5:50 pm

    Aha! I see.

  • By zack, May 20, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

    I have seen a lot Routemasters when I was in London, but never actually got to ride one, however people kept telling me that they were very risky to ride in.

    This issue becomes much worse when the the bus is full and people cram towards the door-less rear-side on the left of the bus (more like the San-Fransisco cable car). The modern Enviro400 buses are quite nicer, considering that they are more accessible, environmentally friendly, and also have a special rear-door feature. Once the doors are about to close, a 5-second beeping sound is implemented warning passengers that the doors are closing (kinda like the 99 B-Line heh, heh, heh, :D).

    @ David Arther: Btw, Weren’t the original routemaster buses retired in 2008?

  • By zack, May 20, 2010 @ 8:21 pm

    Oh dear! Sorry, I mistaken the name (David Arthur).

  • By David Arthur, May 21, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

    The Routemaster was indeed retired from serious service – it’s from the 1950s, after all – but they’re still running on one or two ‘heritage’ routes in central London.

    (The Enviro400 that we’re praising, for anyone who’s wondering, is basically a slightly smaller version of the Enviro500 that’s used in Victoria.)

  • By Cliff, May 26, 2010 @ 2:02 am

    Why doesn’t London look to Vancouver or other cities on how to deal with chavs using the back doors for free rides?

    From what I’ve seen it doesn’t happen too often on the artics here (except the B-Line).

    I suppose it’s all for the best. The routemasters really do fit London better. It’s hard to imagine them being replaced by artics and I’d be sorely disappointed if all I saw them being run on were the heritage routes. In that case, I may as well just go to Victoria!

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