4th Febuary, Anglia Adventure

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8 Jun 2005
South East london
4th Febuary Anglia trip.

Beep beep beep beep goes my alarm clock at 06:25, as I dragged myself out of bed and went downstairs. After breakfast and getting dressed, I left the house at 07:00 hoping to walk to Lewisham station. As there was a 484 bus approaching I decided to catch that instead, good decision as I got into Lewisham at 07:10 seeing that there was a 07:17 to London Bridge instead. While waiting at St John’s Southern’s train overtook my train, and as I arrived at London bridge the train came into platform 4!!!
Southern’s train was the 07:30 arrival at London Bridge, on platform 6 as normal.

Here I met Southern, and we headed slowly to the bus station, finding that the 149 hadn’t departed yet, and waited for the doors to open so the passengers could board. It soon departed, heading along the almost empty road across London bridge, and past Monument station, soon we approached Liverpool street.

We arrived at Liverpool street to see a 90 and mark 2s on the 08:00 to Norwich, and a Class 170 arriving from Ipswich.
First priority was to buy the rover ticket, so we headed for the ticket office, to find in shock that the rover was only £2!
After that, Southern went off to McDonalds while I went to Delice de France to get some breakfast phase 2. We walked over to WHSmiths, found it closed so we looked on the board for information on the 08:30 to Norwich. So it was over to Platform 11 to find a Class 90 and refurbished mark 3s waiting for departure, and into coach D to find seats 13 and 14 round a table.

We ate our snacks well before departure, which was on-time at 08:30 and the train’s first stop is Stratford (surely the Great eastern services can stop at all these stations rather than Anglia services!

As is often the case, it’s a very uneventful journey along the GEML as the line is very tiring, but at Ipswich we saw a Central trains liveried 156 in the Felixstowe platform with the destination of norwich! Passing Needham Marker, Stowmarket, Diss (yes, almost in Norwich!). Crossing the Thetford line meant we were almost in Norwich, I headed for the droplight for the final approach to Norwich, saw 87027 in Crown point sidings with a derelict mark 2 coach (presumably these are used for spares?).

At Norwich, the 10:36 to Great Yarmouth via Berney Arms was waiting on platform 5, a 156 in central trains livery. We found a decent table seat, in the rear carriage for the run to Great Yarmouth. At Reedham, we veered left to traverse the single track Berney Arms line, which to everyone’s annoyence had a 15mph TSR, this made things look like we were walking past.
Duly passed Berney Arms halt, in the middle of nowhere, with the masts of yaughts and various boats in the distance. Arrived at great yarmouth 2 minutes down, but it’s easy to make up the time. At 11:17, we duly set off again for Norwich but this time via Acle (this meant I happily completed both lines to Yarmouth on the same train).

We arrived at Norwich again, to find a Mark 2 set on the 12:00 to Liverpool street, part of the plan was to take it to Ipswich (more of this coming up soon…).
After doing a brief spot of Heads out, I joined Southern in the carriage itself, the comfort of mark 2 coaches, the best on the network. The station stop at Diss appeared to be normal, but after 5 minutes of standing in the platform we saw the driver walking towards the back of the train. The words oh and bugger came into my brain at this point, and the guard came on the tannoy mentioning he would come back with more information ASAP. 15 minutes later, the train started pulling away from Diss and we were on the way to Ipswich, 20 minutes down (not fair!) but, to calm down I bought some apple juice and a mars bar.

Because of the late departure from Diss, this meant we’d missed a connection to Lowestoft via the East suffolk line, instead I decided to go to Cambridge. Not before going to WHSmiths to get a magazine, which happened to be Today’s railways uk (Entrain), then across to Platform 3 to board the 13:16 to Cambridge via Bury St Edmunds (Another 156). The magazine had articles which included the proposals to send some Mark 3s to Bosnia and Morocco!!!!!!
At least the magazine entertained me until Cambridge, where we alighted and looked around (which included watching a Cambridge Cruiser bound for Kings Cross, the difference between the WAGN and ‘one’ fleet of Purple paupers).

The 15:12 to Norwich was formed of 170208, rather than 17027x fleet which are dedicated to that route. Well, what can I say about this journey, hmmmm nothing much, it was boring! Flat countryside, getting dark, unit with dodgy vibration, the carriage stank to high heaven too!!!! Couldn’t see much on the Mid Norfolk railway unfortunatly, but then I remembered that most of their fleet is at Wymondham abbey or Dereham.

After arriving at norwich, we had ages to spare before our booked train left at 18:00. We went to the end of Platform 1, and saw a Cotswold Rail Class 08 propelling 6 mark 2s into the dock bay platform, then getting some chips from the vending machine (that’s interesting, if they have ‘em in Norwich, why can’t they have any in London?). We boarded the 18:00, in First Class for the journey back to London.

Arrival in Liverpool street was 5 minutes early, we walked to a bus stop, to get a 47 to London Bridge, then the 20:15 SET 465 to Lewisham (the driver of this unit was unusually using Rheo to brake, rather than friction, so we could hear the train using the motors to slow down.). I said goodbye to Southern at Lewisham, and boarded a 484 for the run back home after a tiring but fun day.
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