Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

The conference dinner for OR50 was scheduled at the National Railway Museum in York.  As we approached the venue, the size of the Yorkshire Wheel became apparent.

DI_20080910 140326 YorkshireWheel

The material and techniques to construct the wheel should have been low in complexity, given today’s technology.  The form, however, is still impressive.

DI_20080910 140448 YorkshireWheel

I had arrived on one of the later buses, because our driver got lost on the way.  Most of the other attendees had already had their ride on the wheel.

DI_20080910 142010 YorkshireWheel queue

Each pod seats up to 6 people.

DI_20080910 142230 YorkshireWheel pod

The ride is a low-energy thrill.  It’s a fun and low-risk activity.

DI_20080910 142220 YorkshireWheel pod interior

Almost at the top of the wheel, we got great views of York, including the train station.

DI_20080910 142456 YorkshireWheel view station

We rode around twice before getting off the wheel.

DI_20080910 143638 YorkshireWheel disembarking

The National Railway Museum had lots of exhibits.  Here’s a car for underground mail rail, as deployed in London.

DI_20080910 143900 York NationalRailwayMuseum mail rail

Since the museum houses trains, it’s huge.  Here’s a footbridge to cross over for those who want a higher view.

DI_20080910 143948 York NationalRailwayMuseum footbridge

The Atlantic Coast Express train used to run from London to the southwest coast of England.

DI_20080910 144128 York NationalRailwayMuseum AtlanticCoastExpress

One side of a train that people don’t normally see is the underside.  There’s a trench in the museum with stairs down … and signs for one-way entry.

DI_20080910 144300 York NationalRailwayMuseum train pit entry

The undercarriage of the train revealed big metal — gears, chains, wheels — lit up from the bottom.

DI_20080910 144320 York NationalRailwayMuseum pit undercarriage

Farther down the trench were more complicated mechanisms.

DI_20080910 144346 York NationalRailwayMuseum pit mechanicals

A large scale display demonstrates how gears work together.

DI_20080910 144912 York NationalRailwayMuseum gears

The museum had a special exhibition of Chinese trains.  This locomotive, built in 1935, was designed by Kenneth Cantlie to run on the steep gradients and tight curves between Canton and Hankow.  The Chinese government gave it to the City of York in 1981.

DI_20080910 145110 York NationalRailwayMuseum Chinese locomotive

Dinner was served in the station hall.  A temporary kitchen was set up by the caterers.

DI_20080910 150340 York NationalRailwayMuseum kitchen

As entertainment between courses, a magician performing card tricks had us wondering “how did he do that”.

DI_20080910 153816 York NationalRailwayMuseum card shark

I enjoy conference dinners at non-traditional venues.  I’ve seen my share of restaurants, and the larger space of museums allows more mingling and distractions.

[Start a large-image lightbox screen show]

September 13th, 2009

Posted In: travel, Uncategorized

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