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Post of the Year 2023


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20 hours ago, Fatty Facesitter said:

Lots of chat about this 'driverless trains' at the moment. As a self-confessed rail buff, let me explain why his is more complicated and how the anti-rail folk (tories) are wrongly using this as a stick to beat the railways with - 

The most frequently referred to example is the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in London. For the uninitiated, these are the quirky-looking red trains in London where you get to sit at the front and pretend to be the driver - there's no driver's cab at the front of the units, so you get an amazing first-person view of whizzing around the capital. It's maniacally thrilling. 

BUT! Did you know that technically, the trains are not actually driverless? All DLR trains have a 'train dispatcher' on board. The dispatcher essentially travels on the unit and is only really seen in action when the trains stop. They have a fancy little key with them, turn a few nozzles and away the train goes again. But this mysterious figure isn't just a train dispatcher - oh no! They can also manually drive the DLR trains too if required. Just in front of the front-facing seats of the trains, a section of controls can be accessed. If the train runs into issues and needs to be manually driven, Mr. Dispatcher man can take control keep the ship on course. So while the trains themselves don't require a physical driver sat on his arse at the controls for the majority of the time, the train is not driverless, because one is technically always present. Also, the DLR is a self-contained route with low-speed trains and nowhere near as much activity as the main national network. 

Another example referred to is the Thameslink train service - this service is actually quite unique, because it's one of only two ways you can travel by rail through the city of London (the other being the Elizabeth line), as opposed to starting or ending your journey in the capital. In the 'core' section which runs through the centre, the trains have a so-called 'driverless' function, where thanks to modern signalling, the train is powered by computer-based train control in-between the various stops (as a sidenote, this is really impressive from an IT perspective). 

BUT! That does not make the train driverless - while the computer takes over in this core section, the driver doesn't nip to the bog, go for a lie down and put his feet up or spend half an hour scrolling through the UKFF - he has to be physically present in the cab of the train for the whole duration, and continuously acknowledge the system's prompts as if it were an attention-seeking Samoan Tribal Chief.

Also, this computer-based section of the Thameslink route is relatively short - these trains cover distances from as far as Peterborough and Cambridge right the way through to Brighton and other parts of the network, often doing 70 to 100-odd mile trips in one direction, and at speeds of up to 100mph in some parts. They also require two different types of electrical current that needs to be manually changed and applied depending on which part of the network they are on. 

In short, while the case for innovation will always be there, we're nowhere near at the stage where we're ready for 100% driverless trains yet, and won't be for yonks...it won't stop me pretending to be the driver at the front of the DLR either. Although you do get some funny looks when you make fake horn sounds. 

This is bloody excellent from @Fatty Facesitter

The sort of thing that I love the forum for. Where else would I have learnt this?

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2 hours ago, waters44 said:

Hi there! Just seen this notification - I haven’t logged in for a long time.

I’m really sorry to say the Farming Dad passed away last year after a short illness (he had just bought a PS4 Pro as well which he only switched on once!). He was only 62 and the family are all completely devastated. I’m going to play through all the FS games now in his memory

It really made me smile that you remembered him, he would have loved that too! If you want to see his stats (although I’m not sure it will be public tbh) his username was Foden-S21 

I hope you and your families are all well. Looks like I’ve got a lot of UKFF to catch up on, have I missed much? :) 

This post from @waters44 is terribly sad. It’s funny how you can get emotional not only about posters from here, but their/our families too. Regular visitors to the WHAT PLAY YOU thread were always enthralled and entertained by the trials and tribulations of Mr Waters and his love of Farming Sim. It was a beautiful and innocent ongoing story that had many fans. The whole forum, I’m sure, send their condolences to waters and I hope you find warmth knowing that your dad brought happiness and fun to a bunch of wronguns on a wrestling forum. 

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1 minute ago, SuperBacon said:

Mortifyingly (or Mortimerfyingly) I went to this. 

Not the actual funeral, but me and 2x other mates put on our best trousers and shirts and went to "pay our respects" 

This was at the height of Lock, Stock, Dave Courtney in FHM/Front/Loaded etc, and being enamoured by tales of The Blind Beggar, and Bethnall Green, reading those horrendous "Dan the Daggerman from Dagenham" books and all that bollocks. 

I remember one of the "big" ones, Mad Frankie Fraser maybe, made a big deal out of us coming down and called us "good boys" and offering us a drink like a nonce, as we hung around outside a pub with no money and just 10 Sovereign Blacks between us, trying to look hard.

I cannot believe I'm confessing this. It's so embarrassing looking back.

And to tie it all in, my first ever concert was East 17 at Hammersmith on their Steam Tour. Amazing.

Alright, alriiiiight, everything's gonna be alriiiiight. 

Mainly for visibility because everyone should read this story, as it's hilarious.

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15 minutes ago, Keith Houchen said:

Had a dream last night where I was in the show Greys Anatomy. I was working at the front desk when a silent and stern looking @Scott Malbranquewalked up and handed me a letter. He glared at me as I opened it. The letter said he had won a competition that allowed him to, and I quote, “Hairy Ape me once”. Meredith Grey took the letter from me, studied it, and said “This holds up, he is allowed to Hairy Ape you but just the once”. 

The unblinking, unspeaking Branquefurter carried on staring at me the whole time as she read it. After she handed the letter back to Le Branque (who never averted his steely gaze) he started following me around the hospital, grabbing my arse are trying to grope my balls. All the time never speaking, blinking, or smiling. 

I woke up with a hard on. 

I am genuinely crying with laughter at this. Fuck sake.

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8 minutes ago, Frankie Crisp said:

The opening to Ticket to Ride.

I love The Beatles, obviously, and as a song this isn’t even in their top 30. But it was the song (and the album it’s on) which got me into them when I was a kid and it was thanks to my Nan.

I may have told this on here before - sorry if so - but when I was young, me and my Mum would always go to my Nan’s of a Saturday morning. Nan was riddled with Arthritis which would flare up on and off every day. If we’d get to hers and she’d feel okay, we’d lift her into the car, put the wheelchair in the boot and take her to either Greatie or Tuebrook Market. But when she wasn’t feeling too clever, my Mum would pop to the market and I’d stay and keep Nan company.

One day when the latter was the case, we were sat in her front room and I think Football Focus was on or the Chart Show, but it wasn’t entertaining me/us so I must have looked bored. I was cripplingly shy as a kid and struggled with conversation, and I hardly had much in common with a then 70ish year old widow.

I remember her trying to get something out of me with no joy, so she asked what music I liked. I mumbled something about Guns N Roses or Iron Maiden or something to look cool to woman who wouldn’t have had a clue who they were, but she then asked if I liked The Beatles. Aware of them? Of course I was. Knew a few of their hits? Yeah. But ‘like’ them? Not really.

She pointed to her massive cabinet and told me to pull out her copy of Help!, and to turn on the player which was the size of Belgium. I played it. Whilst it wasn’t the first song that came out of the dusty, crackly speakers, I’ll honestly never forget hearing those first few seconds. So clear, so crisp and so gorgeous despite the sound quality. I was hooked. That was it. That was the one for me.

I completely immersed myself in The Beatles after that, borrowing cassettes and getting hand-me-downs from the family to build up my collection. I still to this day struggle to decide my favourite album or song, but Ticket to Ride always makes me think of my Nan. She was just a beautiful human being, in constant agony but never complained and did everything she could to look after others.

She passed away over 20 years ago and I was privileged enough to be one of the family members to carry her coffin, so when that song comes on unexpectedly my lip quivers at the very least, but usually I fill up and have to excuse myself if I’m in company.

And wouldn’t you know it, here’s the well-worn and cherished family copy of the LP that’ll never go anywhere for as long as I’m kicking around. I’m going to get a glass of wine and put this on. My Nan was ace. 



Frankie’s ode to Ticket To Ride. Wonderful.

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