Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Monday, January 30, 2012
keeping things moving
So how exactly ARE we going to keep going once all the cheap oil's gone? When will you give up driving, if you haven't already? When petrol hits £2 a litre? £3? £5? £10? Or when the roads become too damaged and dangerous to use? Or when you go to twenty garages and not one of them has any fuel available?
A lot of people have already given up driving. You still see a few learner drivers on the road but how many of them will never actually own and run a car? How many young people will never even attempt to drive?
So how WILL we get around?
Rather than doing a big study I thought I'd narrow it right down. The pics are of the Hope and Anchor at Midford. This is the last pub surviving in the village. Some of their customers walk in or even cycle in, but most drive.
So how will this pub survive after Peak Oil hits us all? Simple - everything will come in by train or bike. They are wonderfully sited to allow both customers and freight to continue to arrive by rail. Perhaps some enterprising villagers will run a horse and cart service to reach outlying parts of the village? Or perhaps some local boffin will build an electric vehicle to do the same thing (as long as it has great suspension!). But whatever happens the starting point will be the station. The pub of course will have the easiest route of all, the platform ending just about by the pub entrance.
I can see, in twenty or thirty years time, a steady succession of passenger trains dropping off people (and picking them up) just to visit the pub. A pub that can offer the lowest prices for miles around because they get their supplies in so easily!
Frieght traffic will be very different from what we see today with the railways replacing 'white van man' for smaller deliveries, either by running dedicated pick up goods trains, or simply adding a few deliverable items to the guards compartment or a wagon or two attached to the slower passenger trains.
Everything will be more slowly paced, vastly more energy efficient and will use human power rather than machines to get things moving.