Adrock's trip reports

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by adrock1976, 23 Jul 2014.

  1. adrock1976

    adrock1976 Established Member

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    Similar to Techniquest and Blindbasher, I have decided to have a thread for my bashing and trip reports.

    Below is a bash I did last weekend (19/20 July). This covered the Thames Valley Turbos and due to a meeting I had planned in Reading being cancelled, my partner was very good to let me go ahead with this railbash as I had already booked the tickets and accommodation several weeks ago.

    The intention was to head in the direction of London after the meeting and doing the branches too. Also, due to engineering works at Reading on the 20th, I thought that I might as well complete the western arm of the triangular junction (Reading West - Tilehurst direct), as I have already done the other 2 sides.

    I revised my plan slightly, and decided to fit in the Cherwell Valley stations too on the 19th. My revised intended itinerary is below.

    Saturday 19th July

    Glasgow Central 0426 Preston 0654
    Preston 0717 Birmingham New Street 0905
    Birmingham New Street 1033 Oxford 1140
    Oxford 1216 Banbury 1246 Stopper
    Banbury 1255 Oxford 1314 ICXC
    Oxford 1337 Didcot Parkway 1351 GW
    Didcot Parkway 1355 Radley 1403 Omits Appleford
    Radley 1413 Reading 1456 Omits Culham

    Reading 1518 Maidenhead 1532
    Maidenhead 1538 Marlow 1601 Every 60 min
    Marlow 1606 Maidenhead 1629
    Maidenhead 1634 Twyford 1642
    Twyford 1650 Henley on Thames 1702 Every 60 min
    Henley on Thames 1724 Twyford 1736
    Twyford 1754 Slough 1814 Plat 5
    Slough 1817 Windsor & Eton Central 1823 Plat 1
    Windsor & Eton Central 1827 Slough 1833
    Slough 1854 Hayes & Harlington 1910
    Hayes & Harlington 1933 Ealing Broadway 1944
    Ealing Broadway 1954 Greenford 2009
    Greenford 2046 Paddington 2112

    Sunday 20th July

    Woolwich Arsenal 0825 Waterloo East 0858 Also 0843
    Waterloo 0927 Surbiton 0955
    Surbiton 1005 Woking 1029
    Woking 1046 Salisbury 1145 Omits Grateley
    Salisbury 1327 Basingstoke 1402 Calls Grateley
    Basingstoke 1407 Reading West 1427

    Reading West 1502 Birmingham New Street 1648
    Birmingham New Street 1715 Glasgow Central 2115


    Thames Turbos bash

    Up bright and early for the 0426 departure from Glasgow to Preston, worked by 390013, which goes the very weird route via Cathcart District Railway to Newton, then via Bellshill and Wishaw Deviation where it rejoins the normal line of route at Law Junction. There was hardly anybody on this service today on departure from Glasgow, but started to fill up when it called at the intermediate stations of Carlisle Citadel, Penrith, Oxenholme, and Lancaster Castle.

    I changed at Preston onto the 0717 service from Edinburgh to Wolverhampton, worked by 390008. Again, a rather uneventful journey on this section. I changed at Wolverhampton onto the Manchester to Bournemouth ICXC service, as I would arrive into Birmingham before the Edinburgh – London service did. It seems crazy having that amount of layover at Wolverhampton: in my view, it should be at Birmingham like how the northbound service has a double-digit layover before continuing.

    While on the Glasgow - Birmingham leg (and various points during by bash), I spotted various locomotives along the route, of which the numbers I made a note of will be compiled into a new spreadsheet when I get the chance to do so.

    After breakfast, I made my way back to New Street, where the fun began. I was intending to be on the 10:33 service to Reading (Origin Newcastle Central), but when I checked the departure screens, it had been cancelled. As I was already at New Street just before the previous service was scheduled to depart, I also noticed that the 09:33 had also been cancelled. This meant that there were 2 consecutive services from Newcastle to Reading that had been cancelled, due to train fault.

    I made my way down to the platform and asked the guard (or whatever the technical term is used nowadays) if I could board the 10:04 departure as the service I intended to get had been cancelled. The lady kindly gave me the go-ahead to do so. It was a 4 car Voyager, so was very cosy inside. As the 10:04 was waiting for new traincrew, their incoming service was delayed, having a knock-on effect. Anyway, we departed New Street approximately 25 minutes behind schedule, meaning that I would make it to Oxford in time to start bashing after purchasing the Cherwell Reading and Thames Branches day rangers.

    My bash went as planned. Class 165137 was doing the 2-hourly all stations service to Banbury. This is one service I believe that could be increased from every 2 hours to every 90 minutes, with just the one diagram being required. During the course of the day, I began to notice a familiar pattern that was building. The Turbos were Class 165s so far. It was not until the Maidenhead – Twyford leg that I landed my very first 166 (166214). On the Maidenhead – Marlow branch, it was 165121 that provided the shuttle service. On the way back to Maidenhead, some numpty was messing about on the platform edge at Cookham: the driver gave a blast of the horn to warn him of the approaching train. After he boarded with a couple of mates, the driver had a stern word with him about what he just did, and found it amusing for some reason. Needless to say, the lady driver asked him to leave the train, which he did. His mates (2 of them) left at Furze Platt. 165130 was working the Twyford – Henley on Thames branch.

    My second 166 came on the Twyford – Maidenhead leg on my way to Slough (166217). 165125 was doing the Windsor shuttle – a branch I found uninspiring probably due the combination of the working class republican and anti-capitalist element in me. I scored my very first Class 360 Heathrow Connect on the Hayes & Harlington – Ealing Broadway leg (360203). I found these 360s very spacious and reasonably comfortable inside, similar to First Scotrail's Class 380s.

    The Greenford branch was operated by 165127 and 165128 (the 2 workings that I am aware of. Unsure if it is 3 or 4 diagrams that are used). When I had a break at Greenford and upon returning to the platforms, there was no staff on the gateline, nor was the booking office open. Myself and a fellow passenger tried to attract the attention of the station staff, whose monitoring office of the whole station was beyond the gateline out of line of sight. In my view regarding bokking office closures on the London Underground, I am against this. A booking office before the gateline is also an enquiry point and can also deal with unusual tickets as in my case, as I was in possession of a ranger/rover that gets rejected by automatic barriers.

    Sunday due to engineering works at Reading, I decided to complete the left hand side of the triangular junction (Reading West – Oxford Road junction – GWR to Tilehurst) due to very little if at all regular scheduled passenger services using that side of the triangle. My route from London from Woolwich Arsenal was via both Waterloo stations. Things were running haywire as there had been an earlier signal fault at Waterloo main. I managed to board the 09:27 Hampton Court service as intended to Surbiton. It was a few minutes behind schedule but I had a 10 minute leeway at Surbiton anyway, so I would be OK to touch out my Oyster card, collect tickets to Reading/Salisbury from the machine. I collected them OK from the machine and re-entered the gateline and back to the platform. Sadly, the dispatcher let the 10:05 Guildford via Woking service depart 1 minute early, which was also witnessed by 2 other passengers who were also intending to get that service. The clock on the screen was still displaying 10:04 when the whole of the train left the platform. I explained this to the dispatcher, but he was insistent that it was “No, No. It was 10:05” :(. I mentioned that myself and 2 others saw the clock was still showing 10:04 as we were coming down the stairs (Realtime Trains website also confirms that the service departed 1 minute early when I checked it at home). I was annoyed with myself at this point as had I collected the tickets from the machine at Waterloo instead of Surbiton, I would still be on schedule as intended.

    Anyway, I managed to check the timetable boards and found that there was the 10:30 Basingstoke service which I could get. I also noted the arrival time at Woking would be 4 minutes before my intended service to Salisbury at 10:46. I made the connection, which was a pair of Class 159s (the very first time I have scored those, as I don't ever recall seeing them in the West Midlands or Scotland). They were 159004 and 159103 :D.

    After having a leisurely stroll around Salisbury, I made my way back to the station to return to Basingstoke. This was my second error of the day as I had it in my head that the train departed at 13:47. At 13:26 I thought to myself that I have another 20 minutes, so bought a cup of tea from the station outlet. I heard a train pull away in the background and yes, it began to dawn on me that it was actually 13:27, 20 minutes earlier than I thought, and that I would not be able to scratch off Grateley. Best of all, I had the sheet of the itinerary with me. A silly billy me – at least I can attribute my 2 errors today down to too much heat and sunshine :)

    A plan came into my mind as how to get out of the mess I had unintentionally dug for myself :idea:. I got the 13:32 Portsmouth Harbour service to Southampton Central, noting that it would arrive at 14:02. This was going to be a huge gamble to get the ICXC service, due to me not having an internet connection (it is a good old fashioned mobile phone I have that makes and receives calls, and sends and receives text messages and nothing else), and having to use geographical knowledge and my brain to have a complete guess if my rescue plan was going to work. A huge sigh of relief came to me at Southampton Central when I checked the screen that the Manchester train (the one I was intending to pick up at Reading West) was at 14:15, and from the same platform too.

    My 2 errors today meant that I was unable to scratch off the stations between Surbiton and Woking, and also Grateley as it is one of those awkward ones to do on a Sunday (in the Exeter direction anyway). Also, I could not scratch off the two stations between Basingstoke and Reading West either. Those errors I made today means that I could do the Basingstoke – Reading West section and Surbiton – Woking on a circular trip next time, perhaps with the Woking – Basingstoke stations. I would be left with the unwanted conundrum of how to fit in Grateley, as that was my intention for the big break in Salisbury today.

    In peace

    Adam
     
    Last edited: 23 Jul 2014
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  3. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    The alternative stops between Salisbury & Basingstoke on Sundays is rather annoying

    I warn you now, there is pretty much sod-all around the station itself unless you come at the time when the pub is open.

    The 159s only work on the SWT network (bar the odd UK Railtour special and the FGW weekend hire unit).
     
  4. fishquinn

    fishquinn Established Member Quizmaster

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    I think it lays over at Wolverhampton that time because it effectively forms a Wolverhampton to London Euston train from there.
     
  5. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    Yep - it takes the old xx45 path that it had when the services were two separate workings. Doubt you could fit it in any time beforehand: it generally arrives at xx32 and there are xx37 (LM ex-Shrewsbury, calling at S&D) and xx41 (XC ex-Manchester, non-stop).
     
  6. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Established Member

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    SWT hire to FGW throughout week during High Summer.
     
  7. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Isn't the SWT 158 on 'permanent' hire with FGW with the 159 joining it at weekends?
     
  8. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Established Member

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    The 159 has joined it Mondays to Fridays also since 7/7 for the High Summer and works the same Diagram as Sats. I've just told you that in my last post and it has been discussed already on this Forum.
     
  9. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Looks like you enjoyed your trip to the south Adrock, and nice to see another forum member posting trip reports :)

    I used to be the same as you, only having a basic phone on my trips. I couldn't manage a bash without my smartphone now, it's proved to be so very useful since I got one. Especially away from home territory and without time to find timetables and so on.

    Pretty sure Greenford to Paddington is just 2 diagrams all day long, certainly didn't seem to be any different when I was down there last and I spent a lot of time at Ealing Broadway!

    Only thing I'm confused about is how you're scoring stations. Would you mind explaining it a bit more?
     
  10. adrock1976

    adrock1976 Established Member

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    London & Birmingham Railway bash 16 October 2014


    I had set off from Glasgow at 23:40 the previous night (worked by 90039 from Polmadie to GLC ECS move, 90036 from GLC to Euston, with 90021 bringing the portion from Edinburgh to Carstairs) to do my London & Birmingham Railway bash. I had realised recently that despite me originally being from the West Midlands, the only section of this route I have done apart from the Intercity service from Birmingham New Street to Euston calling at International, Coventry, Rugby, Northampton on diversion, Milton Keynes Central, and Watford Junction, plus having called at all stations between Birmingham and Coventry/Rugby (first time in 1989). Additionally, although technically not an actual part of the L&BR, I have also called at all stations between Euston and Harrow & Wealdstone on the Overground service (DC Line built by the London & North Western Railway). In other words, I felt that this was something that I needed to rectify, considering I have covered all sections of track (except Shields Road – Bellgrove) and called at all stations in my adopted city of Glasgow.

    After arriving at Euston off the overnight train, I had some fresh air outside to help me wake up. I set off to Harrow & Wealdstone on the 08:07. My BDM OP Day Return did not work the automatic gate, but the attendant let me through. The aforementioned departure was formed of 3 x 4 car sets coupled together, with the set numbers from north to south being 350238, 350247, and 350264. I spotted 90035 to take the Inverness arrival up to Wembley. On my short trip to H & W I spotted 86101 and 86401 at Stonebridge Park; likewise 66728, 66716, 66541, 66017, and 67015 at Wembley.

    I crossed platforms at H & W to the DC Line to pick up the 08:26 to Watford Junction, which was formed of 378234. I would like to mention that I had unwittingly caught myself up in the school and colleges/universities run, as I noticed there were a lot of studenty people that were boarding at subsequent stops. I had spotted 66541 hauling freight passing through Carpenders Park, also spotting 90041 at WFJ. I would like to mention that I have now completed this section of the Overground network, with the only section remaining for me is Blackhorse Road to Barking on the Midland Railway/Tottenham & Hampstead Junction Railway/GOBLIN line.

    I then went on the hiking expedition to Platform 11 for the St Albans Abbey service, which was worked by 321411 today. I had a nice gentle stroll to City station via a hardware store (Wilko) to purchase a new USB mains plug, as my previous one blew last night. At City station, I eventually got through the gateline on the western side on the second attempt after pressing my ticket up to the intercom (after a fellow passenger kindly talked me through it). I believe that a pair of human eyes is the best technology for inspecting tickets, and I am opposed to everything being done with automation, plus machines can eventually put people of of jobs too.

    Anyway, enough of my wee rant there. I arrived at City station in time for the 09:46 northbound service instead of my intended 09:52. I thought to myself that as I have sufficient time at Bedford Midland for my next connection, I will crank out some units by doing some station hops in a forwards linear style. I hopped on 319451 and 319382 for a short trip up to Luton, then onto 377213 and 377501 to the next station Leagreave. This had turned out to be a fatal error on my part, as after alighting at Leagreave things were starting to run haywire on the Thameslink network. Some expletive words initially came into my mind, then after thinking things through, I decided to buy a cup of Earl Grey tea, and have a gentle potter about the vicinity of the station, before boarding 377209 and 214 to take me up to Bedford Midland.

    As I had obviously missed my intended 10:55 Bletchley service (worked by 150109 as I saw it passing through Ridgmont on the way to BDM), my schedule for the day was running an hour behind. Additionally, as I was also doing some missing bits and pieces south of the Thames, the part that I decided to forego was the 16:12 Beckenham Junction curve service along the Mid Kent Railway (the second time I've intended and failed to do that one – hence the explanation for the early start), which would put me back on schedule as intended.

    The 11:55 BDM to BLY service was worked by 153365. I transferred onto 350266 for the short hop up to Northampton, then on to 350113 for another short hop to Rugby. On passing through the vicinity of Long Buckby, I had spotted 66432 and 70014. On alighting at Rugby I had tried to visualise in my mind what the original layout of the station was back in 1989 when I last alighted here. I also spotted 57311 here. It was then onto the 13:53 LM service formed of 350125 for the whizz down along the original L&BR route to Milton Keynes Central arriving into Platform 5. I believe MK must be unique in that it is a town or city that does not have its own original professional football team (I do not include the present day Milton Keynes Dons, as they were founded in Wimbledon). It was then onto 350117 for another short hop down to Leighton Buzzard, a station name I have always had images of being a wildlife sanctuary for ornithologists that has a sexy sounding name.

    I had a bit of time here at LBZ so another Earl Grey tea was calling. While I was waiting for the 14:58 London departure, I noticed 66432 passing through hauling freight. Maybe a future visit for spotting perhaps? I boarded my service for another short hop down to Tring, calling at Cheddington, which was formed of 350104. It was then onto 321416 and 415 down to Watford Junction. My perception of these 2 units of this class is that they do not just need the carpets hoovering – it needs all the fittings and fixtures stripped out and start from scratch again. I can understand why this class is nicknamed “Dusty Bins”, apart from the reference to the 1980s TV game show presented by Ted Rogers.

    I got caught up in the school/college/university run again at WFJ. This was evident when I changed to the 16:01 Overground service for the short hop to H &W on 378227. It was then on the 16:24 LM service to Euston, which was 321412 and concluded this part of the day's bash with what I had set out to achieve I did so, with all units being winners.

    I will have more reports to follow of the weekend when I get chance to type them up.

    In peace

    Adam
     
  11. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    A most enjoyable read, and if I could I'd reply with much more detail, but I see you got quite a bit I need there, including my last LM 321, so jealous!

    Had that sort of issue more times than I care to count on station gricing trips, I really need to get on with the lot on the north side of Thameslink!
     
  12. adrock1976

    adrock1976 Established Member

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    Thursday 16 October - London & South Western Railway bits

    Onwards from Euston to Waterloo via Northern Line, I made my way to the 17:09 Portsmouth Harbour via Basingstoke service, which was formed of 444017 (my first 444). My journey on this was as far as Eastleigh, calling at both Micheldever and Shawford (normal journeys alternate between the two). There was selective door opening at Shawford due to the short platforms. It was then a short wait at Eastleigh before boarding the 18:33 Winchester terminating service which was formed of 159107. I could count on one hand the number of passengers who boarded at Eastleigh for the short hop northbound on this service.

    It was onto the 18:56 at Winchester for a hop north to Basingstoke, which was formed of 450113. This is the service that runs non-stop from Basingstoke to Waterloo. At Basingstoke, it was then a transfer to Platform 1 for the stopping service to Woking, which was formed of a triple 450 set (450017/052/554). My intention at Woking was to see if I could get the 20:02 all stations stopping service to Clapham Junction, but I knew in my head that making a 3 minute connection at Woking would be pure chance. Needless to say, it was the 20:32 service that I got next, which was formed of one of the L&SWR/LB&SCR workhorses - a double class 455 - being 455704 and 734.

    Arriving CLJ at 21:11, I made the sprint from Platform 10 to Platform 1 via the passageway (I guessed correctly regarding set of doors to leave the train) onto the 21:16 London Overground service to Shepherd's Bush. This was formed of 378226. I was only 15 minutes behind my original schedule, and after alighting at Shepherd's Bush, I transferred to the LU Central Line to Queensway in the Bayswater area, where I was staying overnight in a hostel.

    After checking in, it was to Waterloo via Central Line and Bakerloo for the 23:12 Basingstoke service that runs via Point Pleasant Junction and shares track with the LU District Line. This was formed of 450003 and 450040 for my trip to Surbiton. It did seem strange approaching Wimbledon station from the western side of the depot before joining the L&SWR fast lines passing through Wimbledon station. At Surbiton (I have memories of the comedy series The Good Life with Richard Briers as it was set here) after crossing to the London platforms, there was a couple of workmen installing new fluorescent light fittings while I waited for the 23:41 back to Waterloo, which was formed of 455911 and 455707. It was back to Queensway and my accommodation for me to put my head down for the night.

    All winners for me, and covering station calls between Surbition and Woking that I intended to do earlier in the summer, plus between Woking and Basingstoke, and Micheldever and Shawford, this sets me up nicely for March/April when I intend to do the Severn and Solent Rover 3 Day in 7, the Portsmouth Direct line via Haslemere, plus maybe the London, Brighton, & South Coast Railway with the Southern Daysave.

    Friday 17 October - North London bits and Thameslink cranking

    As I have a meeting today to deal with administration and finance for an organisation that I am a member of, I fitted in some bits that may be perceived as being awkward to do.

    After checking out of my accommodation after breakfast, it was to Queensway tube station and onto an eastbound service to Stratford. I used my Oyster card as although I held a Zones 1-6 one day paper travelcard, I was needing to be at Stratford by 09:30. I arrived with 15 minutes to spare, so after touching out my Oyster, I gently sauntered along to Platform 11 for the 09:30 Bishops Stortford service, which was formed of 317662.

    I alighted at Angel Road (in my view, an awkward station to get to, whether on foot or arriving on a train) and crossed over to the southbound platform for the 09:52 service back to Stratford. I had made the 4 minute connection here, with the southbound service being formed of 317663 (2 consecutive numbers in ascending order on 2 separate journeys - it had to happen to me at some point). When passing through the vicinity of Orient Way, I noticed the 10:00 Stratford to Bishops Stortford service was formed of 317501, with 90003 and 82112 in the depot sidings.

    It was then onwards to Paddington via the DLR to Bank, then via "The Drain" and Bakerloo Line. It was then a hike to Platform 14 for the 11:36 Chiltern service to West Ruislip via the GWR/GC Joint Line/Alternative Route. I could count on both hands the number of people who were on board, but not quite reaching double digits. This service was formed of 165004. After departure from Paddington, it was a speedy trip to Old Oak Common where I noticed the Hitachi complex for the IEP on the western side (North Pole) and the GW depot on the eastbound side.

    After diverging from the GWR mainline and onto the GWR/GC joint line, it was then a very slow crawl, along with the sound of rusty track on the single line section. I am astounded as to the sorry state that this section of line is in today. Contrast that to when it was first constructed when there was vision, ambition to connect Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, and points south to Calais and mainland Europe, profitable freight, and comfortable intercity services. It has left me puzzled as how it fell into the state it is in today.

    The train began to speed up after joining the GC/GWR Alternative Route at Northolt Junction, running parallel to the LU Central Line (this section of formerly part of the GWR). The train pulled in to the London - bound platform where it was all over. It sat in the platform for a while as it was waiting for a couple of non-stop southbound London trains to pass through. After 165004 departed for an ECS move southbound, it was onto the 12:31 to Marylebone, which was reasonably loaded and was formed of 165010.

    Passing through Wembley Stadium, I noticed 67018 and 67023 in the depot sidings. After arrival at Marylebone, I noticed 67013 with 82304 forming the 13:15 service to Birmingham Moor Street. I had a brief wander around the station, not necessarily to spot trains, but to admire the architecture of the station building, and conjuring up images of the ambition and vision the engineers of the Great Central Railway had at the time, albeit Marylebone station ended up being half the size as was originally intended.

    It was time for me to make my to to Highbury & Islington via Bakerloo and Victoria Lines to my meeting in Holloway Road (equidistant between HHY and Holloway Road tube stations - I chose HHY so as I could stop off at Tesco for a meal deal).

    After my meeting finished, it was to Kings Cross/SP Thameslink to crank out some units before meeting my host who is a fellow member of the organisation I'm staying with the next couple of nights. I had no planned schedule for this, so I just made it up on the spot. My first was the 18:12 I think northbound service to St Albans or Luton calling all stations. I went as far as Elsetree & Borehamwood on 319009/367, then picked up a timetable from the rack in the waiting room. I saw 66618 passing though hauling freight before I headed south to West Hampstead Thameslink on 319421, then on to 377208/522 as far as London Bridge (I thought about East Croydon, but decided against it at the final moment). I then returned northbound on the 19:17 service formed of 377501/507 for the short hop to Blackfriars, then onto 319314 to City Thameslink, 319449/422 to Farringdon where by this time, the Thameslink network was starting to run haywire with services being delayed. My next northbound service was on 377502/215 to St Pancras, then on to 319455/375 service to Kentish Town where it was scheduled to terminate. It was on 319429 that I returned southbound to St Pancras, where I made my way to the LU Northern Line to go to Highgate and walk along Muswell Hill Road to my host's home.

    There will be more to follow for Saturday and Sunday - stay tuned! :)

    In peace

    Adam
     
  13. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Have the 444s now been fitted with SDO for Shawford, last couple times it's been Local Door Only? (I can recall there was talk of them getting it at somepoint, maybe with the wi-fi getting fitted?)

    I guess you were lucky having a double 450 for the 23:12 service via Point Pleasant.

    You had other passengers on the Chiltern parliamentary service from Paddington? The guard must have been busy.
     
  14. adrock1976

    adrock1976 Established Member

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    As I remember it, the Shawford call I think was the front car/coach for the doors to be opened. I was sitting in the second one and saw the guard release the doors at the second set in the first car/coach if I'm making sense here.

    The Chiltern service I noticed 3 people alighting at South Ruislip, with another 4 at West Ruislip.

    In peace

    Adam
     
  15. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    8 passengers on that Chiltern Parliamentary, probably the most it's seen in a fair while

    And how did you find your first 444, the intercity Desiro?
     
  16. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Another good read :)

    Seems everyone's getting Point Pleasant in lately! However I'm glad there are trains back afterwards from Surby!

    Good bit of successes by the looks of it, looking forward to the next instalment :)
     
  17. adrock1976

    adrock1976 Established Member

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    Saturday 18 October - 2 circular tours

    Up early for my intended circular tours today. The first one is Waterloo to Reading via the 2 Windsor & Eton stations, returning via Basingstoke. The second one is Paddington to Newport (Gwent) via Bristol Parkway and Filton Abbeywood, returning direct to Paddington via BPW.

    On the bus from Muswell Hill Road down to Highgate tube station (alighting at Wood Lane bus stop). A very steep downhill gradient all the way to the station entrance, walking (or running down the escalator as the momentum was carrying me automatically) to the platform where luck would have it, a southbound train via Charing Cross arrived immediately.

    Exited at Waterloo and up to the main station and onto the 08:58 to Windsor & Eton Riverside, formed of 450010 and 450563. There were messages emphasising that passengers who required Sunnymeads and Datchet stations to travel in the front 4 coaches due to short platforms. Passing through North Sheen, I had spotted 66753 that was most likely to be part of the track maintenance wagons for the following day. This appeared to be a reasonably loaded service all the way to the terminus, but still with space to spread out.

    It was then a gentle stroll up the hill passing the castle to Windsor & Eton Central station. The grandeur and pomp was noticeable from when the station was originally constructed, which is part of a shopping arcade that leads to the platform. Pricewise of having a quick eyeball at various products, teas, coffees, etc it seems that you need to rob a bank first :) Also on display was "The Queen" steam locomotive, built at Swindon.

    It was then on board the 10:27 shuttle to Slough, formed of 165129. According to Realtime Trains website when I checked previously a few days ago, it would normally have been a simple transfer to the other face (Platform 4) at Slough on to the 10:36 Hereford service. However, due to engineering works on part of the fast lines, this was diverted to run on the relief lines for part of the route, and was re-platformed from 4 to 2. The 10:36 Hereford was formed of an Intercity 125, with power cars being 43131 (country end) and 43190 (London end). For information, the train re-joined the fast lines in the vicinity of Maidenhead.

    At Reading when I alighted from the IC125 at Platform 9, I noticed sitting in ajoining Platform 8 was the 11:04 Reading - Redhill service, formed of 166221 "Reading Traincare Depot". For me, it onwards to Platform 2 for the 11:07 local shuttle to Basingstoke, formed of 165126. The incoming service was rammed full due to the Bournemouth - Manchester Piccadilly XC service that normally runs behind it having been cancelled. However, for the journey to Basingstoke, the 11:07 was reasonably but not too heavily loaded on departure from Reading. I had noticed that there was track missing from Platform 3 at Reading while I was waiting for the Basingstoke service - i believe the track will soon be reinstated in the future.

    On the way to Basingstoke, I spotted that the other unit that was operating the local shuttle was formed of a Turbo (I forgot the number) when passing at Bramley. After a comfort break at Basingstoke, it was on to the 11:57 Waterloo service, which was formed of 159107 and 159006, calling Woking, Clapham Junction, and Waterloo. Between Basingstoke and Woking, the leaf fall was noticeable along this section due to the amount of lineside vegetation.

    It was then onwards to Paddington via Bakerloo Line for my second circular trip. The 13:36 Swansea service had 43158 (country end) and 43152 (London end) on today. Passing through Reading I spotted 70018, at Cholsey spotted 60021, and at Didcot Parkway, spotted 66132, 66526, and 66015. Furthermore, at Swindon, 75406 was spotted too.

    I alighted at Bristol Parkway to await my connecting service round the corner to Filton Abbeywood. When I glanced at the screens, my heart sank slightly as the 15:20 service to Westbury via Temple Meads was running 15 - 20 minutes late. This would mean that I would miss my connection at Filton Abbeywood for the 15:30 Cardiff Central service. You may ask me why was it critical for me to be on that Cardiff service? Well, as it is a Saturday afternoon, there is possibly a big clue here regarding a particular station call that can be awkward to get in at a convenient time. Yes, the station call I was attempting to get in was the mighty Pilning. Needless to say, my original intention flowed into the Severn so to speak (alternative phrase to "gone down the pan").

    I nipped outside Parkway station to see if there were any maps of the local area, but to no avail. I also could not find any bus maps at all either - perhaps this is something Stoke Gifford Parish Council could arrange? Anyway, it back on to the platform for the delayed 15:20 service I was intending to catch, and as I do not have internet access on the move, I was relying on my memory and geographical knowledge. The 15:20 arrived 14 minutes behind schedule, which was formed of 158763. I got a window seat on my favourite right-hand side, and on arriving at Filton Abbeywood, I glanced at the screen on the opposite platform to see if my intended 15:30 service may happen to be on the off chance delayed as well (forever the optimist I am in times of unplanned events!). Sadly, that had already departed, as according to the screen, the next departure was at 16:30.

    I remained on the delayed 15:20 to Temple Meads, calling at Lawrence Hill and Stapleton Road - 2 stations very close together. After leaving the train, luck was on my side as there was a 15:54 Cardiff Central service, which was formed of 158952, calling Filton Abbeywood and Newport. Arrival into Newport was around 16:23, meaning I was only 22 minutes or so behind my intended schedule, and a break was already intended at Newport before getting the 16:39 to Paddington back (formed of 43151 and 43147). I did not fail to notice the bilingual announcements at Newport station either - may come in handy for when I do the 7 day Wales rover in the future.

    On arrival at Paddington, I made use of the 1st class lounge, being as I had booked 1st Advances London-Pilning, and Severn Tunnel Junction-London, with a single between the 2 stations either side of the tunnel. I had some Earl Grey tea and some snacks while I was there. It was then onwards back to Muswell Hill, via the Bakerloo and Northern Line alighting at Archway for some hot food before continuing up the hill by bus (I could not face the uphill task from the platforms at Highgate tube station again).

    Sunday 19 October - Engineering works PSUL diversions

    I started early evening due to me being at a conference earlier in the day. It was to London Bridge for the 18:24 service to St Mary Cray (via the loops at Chislehurst), which was formed of 375824. It was a short wait for the 18:58 back up to London Bridge, which was formed of 465035. it was then on to the next Charing Cross service to Waterloo East, which was formed of 375621 and 375712.

    It was then a comfort break and some fresh air at Waterloo before boarding the 19:44 service to Staines, which was formed of 450006 and 450126. It was then on to the 20:46 to Woking via Addlestone and Byfleet Junctions, formed of a triple 450 set, being 450035, 073, and 102 in this instance (the rear portion for Alton, the front two units for Basingstoke). I was sat among a group of young ladies that were rather merry and were singing Kenny Loggins' Footloose. Also, it appeared the diversion had confused them slightly, as they had perceived that it was taking longer than normal to get to their destination of West Byfleet.

    I had a very quick wander around the town centre at Woking (one of my favourite bands The Jam are originally from Woking) before heading back on to the platforms. I saw the 21:34 Waterloo service arrive but decided against boarding that when I saw that 159006 was on the front portion, and thinking that the unit coupled to it was the same as yesterday, having already got that one. It was on the 21:45 to Waterloo for me instead, which was formed of 450021 and 450111. During the wait at Clapham Junction, it caught up with the previous departure from Woking, and I had spotted the joint Network Rail and SWT locomotive 98926. On arrival at Waterloo, it was onwards to Queensway where I would be staying overnight via Northern and Central Lines.

    Monday 20 October - Back home via London Underground and Great Northern Railway

    After checking out after breakfast and as my booked train from Kings Cross was not due until 13:00 (1st Advance), I decided to hop on the 390 bus from Queensway to either Marble Arch or as far as Tottenham Court Road (my first time on a Borismaster). At TCR, I decided to do the Central Line Hainault Loop, as I have not done that section before. I let a couple of trains go by before the one I wanted - Woodford via Hainault appeared. It was all the way around the loop to Woodford, which seemed to take an eternity, however, I could not fail to notice the original designs of the stations as built by the Great Eastern Railway before the loop was transferred to London Underground. At Woodford, I noticed on the poster that the frequency of the trains via the loop are every 20 minutes, and the time was approximately 11:30, so decided to travel to Mile End via the direct route, where I would change on to the Hammersmith & City to Kings Cross, arriving KGX just after 12:30.

    It was to Platform 0 for the 13:00 service to Edinburgh Waverley, which was formed of 91109 "Sir Bobby Robson" (disgraceful as to how he was treated by the Hall family when manager at Newcastle United) and DVT 82223. At Hornsey, I spotted 66194 and 67002 at Hatfield, with 66746 and 66744 coupled together at Peterborough. Somewhere between Peterborough and Doncaster, it began to lose some time probably due to the previous service having a fault somehow, hence the reason it made an additional call at Doncaster. 47739, 67029, and 158707 were spotted here, with 67024 spotted at Heaton Depot. Arrival into Waverley was 20 minutes behind schedule. As I had some time before the Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk High shuttle was due to depart that would connect with my service back to Springburn, I made a visit to the 1st Class lounge. Finally, it was on to the 18:15 GLQ service formed of 170418 and 170423, with my Springburn service being formed of the unit that seems to forever stalk me on a regular basis - 320320, arriving back 28 minutes behind the original itinerary when booking the ticket.

    That's all my October trip reports up to date for now - my next big bash will either or both be the Midland Railway/Great Central/eastern side of Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway in Manchester (possibly February), and most definitely the Severn & Solent Rover with the London, Brighton, & South Coast Railway with the Southern Daysave.

    In peace

    Adam
     
  18. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Another enjoyable read, looks like you've had a good bit of coverage lately. Shame you missed Pilning in the end, one day eh?
     
  19. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Good read Adam :)

    The Staines diversion is rather slow, although I guess a 450 can go through the stations a bit quicker than a 159. The Basingstoke-Reading service is quite odd, during the week it's standard class only (bar a couple services) with 3-car units (mainly the 150/0s, but have been replaced with 3-car 165s & 166s at times). Weekends is 1st class and it's 2-car 165s (which do get busy)

    (and the worst thing is looks like the first few weekends in January are appearing to be diversion weekends :()
     
  20. adrock1976

    adrock1976 Established Member

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    Lancaster area PSUL bash 10th November


    This is a simple and straightforward bashing in a day, where I wanted to do both the Heysham Port and Bare Lane – Hest Bank curves while it was still daylight hours. I had also decided to combine this with linear cranking by hopping on and off at as many stations as the timetable allowed via the Lancaster & Carlisle Railway. Thank goodness for the Glasgow to Preston Off Peak Day Return, also with it being at a reasonable price too!

    My first leg was the 09:07 Glasgow Central to Manchester Airport service, which was formed of 350406. This was a smooth ride, as it is the 380's sister unit in the Siemens family. I alighted at Carlisle Citadel, where after a 15 minute wait, it was then on to the 10:49 Glasgow Central – London Euston service via Trent Valley Railway service. This was formed of 390005, where I was alighting at Oxenholme The Lake District (this service missed out Penrith, as the TVR services alternate between the two).

    As I had a 49 minute break here before the next southbound service was due to call, I had a very gentle saunter around the station environs. I had a close observation from the road bridge at the south end of the station where I could see the passing loops closely from an elevated position. I was thinking to myself that depending on the geology of the land, it may or may not be possible to re-site the station in the loops, and to grade-separate the junction for the branch to Windermere (I may start a discussion in the Infrastructure & Stations thread in the near future).

    It was then on to the 12:12 service from Edinburgh Waverley to Manchester Airport for the one stop to Lancaster, which was formed of 350401 (a unit that was to stalk me everywhere in the future AND on my next bash 9 days later). Luck would have it that it was the same island platform that my first PSUL service of the day to Heysham Port was due to depart from. The 12:33 was formed of 142050, which was heavily loaded for the complete route to Heysham. During the layover at Heysham, the port police may have appeared to have busted a couple of guys for either controlled substances, counterfeit goods, or tax avoidance. Anyway, it was back to Lancaster for me on the same unit.

    It was then on to the 13:56 London via Birmingham service, formed of double Super Voyagers 221106 and 221102 southbound to Wigan North Western. It was a 10 minute wait for the 14:38 northbound to Preston, formed of another Super Voyager (single this time) 221116. It was then hello again to 350401 for the 14:58 to Lancaster, where I had a 50 minute break, and took a wander around the city centre.

    It was then my second and final PSUL move of the day, while being caught up in the school run as a bonus too. On to the 16:04 Leeds service via Morecambe, which was formed of 142025. This was a busy service, with practically all the schoolchildren tipping out at Morecambe before the reversal to go via the Bare Lane – Hest Bank curve. I would alight at Carnforth, where I had a 30 minute wait before the next southbound service to Lancaster, exploring the station during that time. It is also noted that darkness was starting to fall, and I was pleased with myself that I had achieved what I had set out to do by covering both the Lancaster area PSUL moves in daylight hours.

    The 17:02 service to Lancaster direct via the L&CR was formed of 156469. Luck would have it at Lancaster the 17:14 service from London was delayed and was already in the platform (formed of 390155 “X-Men Future Days of Past”), which I would take for the one stop to Oxenholme The Lake District. I noted 185113 formed the 17:33 Windermere service. It was then on to the slightly delayed 17:28 for the one stop to Penrith on 350409 (my intended departure from Lancaster), where I had a 45 minute break and took time to have a wander around the town centre.

    After my break, it was back to the station and on schedule with the 18:53 northbound service for one stop to Carlisle Citadel, formed of 350408. While I was waiting for the next Glasgow service via Caledonian Main Line, I took the opportunity to do some spotting here, noting 156462 forming the 19:17 Glasgow via Dumfries, locomotive 66305 passing through with containers or coal, 390039 forming the 19:03 service to Edinburgh Waverley, 156443 forming the 19:38 service to Middlesborough via Newcastle, and surprisingly, 350401 with the Manchester Airport service (I did say that this unit would stalk me).

    It was then on to the delayed 18:47 Glasgow Central service, which was running almost 60 minutes late. This was formed of 390151, and upon arrival at Glasgow Central just after 21:00, I made a rapid beeline to Queen Street station and made the 21:16 back home to Springburn, formed of 320315.


    Lancashire Day Ranger 19th November

    My main objective was to cover the lines and station calls in Lancashire that I have not done before, in particular, the northern half of the area that the ranger covers. Combined with a Springburn – Lancaster Off Peak Day Return, I also took another opportunity to do some linear cranking on the way down to Preston.

    It started with the 06:30 London service to Carlisle Citadel, which was formed by 390151 “Virgin Ambassador”. I had also spotted 91180 locomotive with 82205 DVT for the 06:50 Glasgow to London Kings Cross service in the adjacent platform. Arrival into Carlisle Citadel on time where it was then a 20 minute wait for my next southbound service, the 08:06 Edinburgh Waverley – London Euston via Birmingham which was formed of a double Super Voyager 221106 and 221111. Alighted at Penrith and waited 20 minutes for the 08:48 Manchester Airport service, which to my horror turned out to be my stalker 350401. I only tolerated this stalker as far as the next stop Oxenholme The Lake District, where it was just over a ten minute wait for the slightly delayed 09:23 London service, formed by 390127 “Virgin Buccaneer” to Preston.

    As I had positioned myself in the unreserved coaches, this meant that I was closer to the subway and therefore would avoid a lot of passengers changing platforms. Furthermore, I was fortunate in that the train had made up time on arrival into Preston.

    Anyway, it was on board the 10:00 Colne service as far as Blackburn for me, which was formed by 142058. I had a wander around Blackburn before getting on board the 10:51 to Clitheroe. This was a blast from the past for me in more ways than one, as the route from Preston to Clitheroe I last covered in October 1996 when the Intercity 125 from Birmingham to Edinburgh Waverley I was on was diverted this way and on to the Settle & Carlisle Railway. Also, the Clitheroe train I was on from Blackburn was formed by 150275, which had the square blue buttons for opening and closing the doors, with this design of units formerly being used in the Birmingham and West Midlands area, and having happened to have scored all the 150s that used to operate down there before their move north in the 1990s.

    Enough rambling on here for me. It was back down to Blackburn on the same unit 150275, where I had a 20 minute wait for the 12:27 to Colne, formed of 150201. During the course of this leg of the bash, the 1991 song “It's Grim Up North” by the KLF/Justified Ancients of Mumu came into my mind, particularly as it namechecks Nelson, Burnley, and Colne to name some of the places. Anyway, it was back to Blackburn where I was scheduled to have a 6 minute wait, but was slightly longer as the 14:08 Manchester service was delayed by a few minutes, formed by 150143 and 153304 for the trip to Bolton.

    During the course of the journey from Blackburn to Bolton, I was having heart palpitations wondering if I would make my next connection – the 14:41 to Blackpool (I had 4 minutes between). As the Manchester service I was on was 3 minutes late in arriving, I had positioned myself at the rear of the train with finger ready on the button to open the doors, taking very massive strides to the footbridge, climbing up 3 or 4 steps at a time, sprinting across the deck, going down the stairs 4 or 5 steps at a time, and finally on to the 14:41 in 75 seconds with 5 or 10 to spare before the doors closed, which was formed by 150139 and 142034. 142034 had the British Leyland National single decker bus seats in it. It is noted that the electrification project between Bolton and Leyland appears to be progressing in some form, as evidenced by holes dug at the trackside ready for the masts to be installed.

    I alighted at Kirkham & Wesham for a 10 minute wait for the 15:38 Blackpool North/Talbot Road service, formed by 150144 to the next stop, Poulton-le-Fylde. A very quick observation seems that this is a posh station, and I also noticed the junction for the route that diverges to Fleetwood. After 5 minutes, it was then on to the 15:52 to Blackpool that was formed by 185147. I then immediately made my way on board the 16:11 York service back to Preston, which was formed by 158791.

    My next leg was possibly crazy, due to the location of the next station being in the middle of nowhere and a minimal frequency of the service level provided. It was the 16:41 Blackpool South service (formed by 142058 – hello again!), which is one of only a tiny handful to call at Salwick, with it being the only service that meets the other one in the opposite direction a few minutes later. This was indeed a very risky and crazy strategy I intended to take, and pulled it off as it was running to time, with me getting the 16:52 back to Preston as intended (formed by 142083). It was noted that on the northbound journey to Salwick, nobody else alighted with me or boarded the train, but there were 2 other people that were waiting with me for the southbound service to Preston.

    It was then on to a delayed 17:19 service to Layton, formed by 142044, then on 185137 for the short hop to Blackpool, which was only 5 or 10 minutes behind. It was then a gentle saunter along the Promenade and Bloomfield Road/Tangerine Way to Blackpool South for the 19:21 back to Preston, formed by 150201 (hello again!). The last time I was in Blackpool was in 1989 when I went on a school trip on the direct Intercity Saturdays only train from Birmingham.

    It was then on to the 20:07 Birmingham service as far as Wigan North Western, which was formed by a single Super Voyager 221101, then on to the 20:25 Glasgow service as far as Carlisle Citadel, formed by 390138 “City of London”. It was then on to my final train the 22:02 service to Glasgow, which was formed by 390039 “Virgin Quest”, with the aforementioned legs of the journey being uneventful apart from spotting a double 37 passing through Wigan North Western formed of 37059 and 37218.

    In conclusion, I have revisited a couple of lines I travelled on years ago, pulled off a couple of dubious connections at Bolton and Salwick, covered the tricky section between Bolton and Blackburn, and had a walk along the Promenade in Blackpool in addition to cranking out some 390s, 221s, and the odd 350, including 350401 stalking me everywhere I happen to be :).

    In peace

    Adam
     
  21. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Something must have been going on in the Isle of Man if the Heysham Port service was busy after Morecambe, could you imagine the whole trip back to Leeds on a 142, nasty.

    Interesting that there is an afternoon service which uses the north curve, I was under the impression that the only service which went that way was an early morning FTPE service. *Makes a note for future reference*

    What's that over your shoulder, 350401 is waiting for you ;)
     
  22. adrock1976

    adrock1976 Established Member

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    Glasgow
    Lancashire Day Ranger Part 2 Friday 13th February


    When I last done this ranger back in November last year, I had centred it on Preston when I used it to cover Blackpool, Clitheroe, Colne, Bolton via Darwen etc. This time, I was using Manchester as the hub so as to enable me to cover points west that are bounded by the mighty Mersey and south of Preston. This would be my first major bash of 2015.

    It was up early for me and after having a quick tea to help me come round and getting dressed, it was time for me to set off at 0500 for the predominantly downhill walk to Glasgow Central (no rail services from my 2 local stations at that time in the morning and no buses that would arrive without me having hair raising moments through it being a tight connection with my booked train. Plus, I know how exactly long it takes me to walk to Central station too).

    It was on board the 05:40 departure to London Euston via Trent Valley Railway as far as Preston for me, which was formed by 390132 “City of Birmingham”. As I had First Class Advances to Manchester, I was served with tea and a copy of a Murdoch rag, and had a vegetarian breakfast after departure from Carlisle Citadel. There was nothing to note of this leg regarding observations as it was still dark at that time in the morning, apart from passengers boarding at the intermediate stops.

    At Preston, it was then onboard 185134 and 185103 from Barrow-in-Furness and Blackpool North (Talbot Road) to Salford Crescent, at which time my Lancashire Day Ranger would start to become valid. Again, I had a First Class Advance for this leg, and was served tea and shortbread from the catering crew. Several passengers boarded at Bolton (Lancashire), and after departure, the guard/conductor had to ask two passengers to leave First Class as obviously they held a season for within the metropolitan area of Greater Manchester (I believe local fares set by PTEs do not have First Class, only Standard, and to a certain extent, I can understand that in most cases, there is no First Class for journeys wholly within the PTE areas on local services. Somebody please mention if there are First Class seasons or fares for journeys wholly within PTE areas outwith London as I would like to know).

    As this is a regional service operated by TPE, which tries to be a combination of local and regional distance journeys, I was thinking perhaps for southbound journeys, it could be set down only, and for northbound journeys pick up only at Bolton during the peaks. Another observation was there was a guy who held a Solo card (or whatever it is called these days) to purchase a fare, but the machine rejected the card. As the guard/conductor had already been working that service daily during the week, he firmly mentioned to the guy that next time he sees him, he wants to see either a ticket already purchased, or the exact fare ready, otherwise, a report would be going in. On a side note, I noticed further preparation work for electrification of the Bolton route.

    It was then on to 153304 (dud) and 150110 for the short hop on the 08:51 to Victoria. This was where I had 2 versions of my itinerary, neither of which I opted for. For clarity, I have posted both versions below.

    Version 1: 09:03 MCV – LIV start (Including Clifton).

    Victoria 902 St Helens Jct 931 Dep Plat 3
    St Helens Jct 948 Newton-le-Willows 955
    Newton-le-Willows 1011 Warrington Bank Quay 1025
    Warrington Bank Quay 1051 Liverpool LS 1139 Edge Hill 1132
    Liverpool LS 1155 Warrington Central 1233 All stations. Edge Hill 1159
    Warrington Central 1259 Oxford Road 1335 Omits Glazebrook and Chassen Road

    Oxford Road 1349 Deansgate 1351
    Deansgate 1409 Salford Crescent 1412
    Salford Crescent 1421 Kirkby 1522 Via Atherton. Omits Ince
    Kirkby 1528 Sandhills 1540
    Sandhills 1545 Southport 1623
    Southport 1654 Salford Crescent 1806 Via Atherton. Calls Ince
    Salford Crescent 1817 Bolton 1832 Calls Clifton SSuX
    Bolton 1842 Salford Crescent 1859 All stations
    Salford Crescent 1904 Salford Central 1907
    Salford Central 1910 Victoria 1913
    Victoria 1926 Littleborough 1953 Calls Moston
    Littleborough 2003 Victoria 2033 Omits Moston


    Version 2: 10:03 MCV – LIV start (Excluding Clifton).

    Victoria 1002 St Helens Jct 1031
    St Helens Jct 1048 Newton-le-Willows 1055
    Newton-le-Willows 1111 Warrington Bank Quay 1125
    Warrington Bank Quay 1151 Liverpool LS 1239 Edge Hill 1232
    Liverpool LS 1255 Warrington Central 1333
    Warrington Central 1359 Oxford Road 1435 Omits HUP and TFP

    Oxford Road 1449 Deansgate 1451
    Deansgate 1509 Salford Crescent 1512
    Salford Crescent 1521 Kirkby 1622 Via Atherton. Omits Ince
    Kirkby 1628 Sandhills 1640
    Sandhills 1644 Moorfields 1648 1645 to SOP arr 1725
    Moorfields 1655 Liverpool Central 1658
    Liverpool Central 1707 Sandhills 1711
    Sandhills 1715 Southport 1753

    Southport 1815 Salford Crescent 1924 Via Bolton
    Salford Crescent 1939 Victoria 1947
    Victoria 1956 Littleborough 2021 Omits Moston
    Littleborough 2031 Victoria 2100 Calls Moston


    As I had made an error regarding which set of doors to alight from (the rear set – I used NRE to check the layout of MCV) and after legging it over the rearmost footbridge from Platform 6 to Platform 3, the 09:03 was already pulling out of the platform just as I came off the footbridge. Some expletives were going round in my head, but afterwards I realised I had a second plan. After checking the second version and the first version, I decided to mix both of them together, so as to get the awkward station call at Clifton in. I then decided to do the Southport circular first, as there are some station calls on the Manchester & Southport Railway that are awkward to do in one fell swoop.

    I boarded the 09:16 to Kirkby via Atherton, which was formed by 150277. it was then on to 508126 for the 10:28 to Sandhills, and on to 508110 to Southport. The compressor for the braking system sounded like it was going to fall off at some point, and sounded like it was replenishing the air supply at a rapid rate due to the rapid and higher pitch of the whirring noise when the train was already braking to slow down for each stop.

    After arriving at Southport, I checked the timetable on the wall of when the next service calling all stations along the M&SR would be (it is a very simple mobile phone I have, and have no desire for a fancy smartphone or iPhone/Blackberry, or whatever, hence how I was working things out in my mind until I could get my hands on the various timetable booklets). It would be the 12:51 departure that I wanted, so as I noticed there would be a Hunts Cross departure soon, I made my way across for the 11:28 that was formed of 508111 for the short hop to Birkdale, then back to SOP on the 11:33 that was formed of a double set of 507111 and 507124, which was slightly delayed by a couple of minutes. By then, I was needing the lavatory and a nice cup or pot of Earl Grey tea so had a wander around Southport. After my tea break, I made my way back to the station and was wandering if I could crank out a couple more 507 or 508s, but realised it would be the 12:28 departing SOP and 12:33 from Birkdale (very tight, and 15 minutes for the next SOP bound service meaning I would miss the intended 12:51 M&SR service), and as I felt I had already pushed my luck enough so far with everything going well considering my rescue mission, I decided against that idea.

    The 12:51 was formed of 142013 for the journey to Salford Cresent via Atherton (I have already covered the via Bolton route between Salford Cresent and Wigan Wallgate several times on my trips to Manchester, so was not too fussy about doing that section with the ranger or not). It is noted that there were less than 10 passengers each that alighted at Bescar Lane and New Lane stations. At Salford Crescent, it was then on to the 14:09 Hazel Grove service for the short hop along to Deansgate (first time I've boarded and alighted a train there, meaning that I have done so at all four central Manchester stations), formed of 156420.

    It was then across to the other side for the 14:18 Liverpool Lime Street service via Warrington Central, which was formed of 156482. This journey would omit Trafford Park, Humphrey Park, and Padgate but would call Chassen Road and Glazebrook (alternating so as to give a service frequency every 2 hours). 66716 was passing though Castlefield Junction with containers soon after departure from Deansgate. I alighted at Warrington Central, it was on to the slightly delayed 15:10 service all stations to Liverpool Lime Street, which was formed of 156487.

    At Lime Street, I went to the travel centre and got my hands on a couple of timetable booklets for the CLC line and the Liverpool & Manchester Railway routes. After consulting the L&MR timetable, I realised that I could crank out a couple of units after finding out that it would not be possible for me to cover the Grand Junction Railway section between Newton Junction [sic] (Earlestown) and Warrington Bank Quay if I wanted to get the Clifton call in as well. I stuck to the Clifton call at the end, and can do the missing section on another day, perhaps with a Cheshire Day Ranger.

    It was on to the heavily loaded 16:16 Wigan NW service as far as Wavertree Technology Park, which was formed of 156421, then a short wait for the 16:26 Warrington BQ service as far as Earlestown/Newton Junction, which was formed of 142012. After a quick saunter around the vicinity of the station and when I headed back, I saw 60074 passing through. I had also saw 66765 passing through Edge Hill earlier on hauling containers. It should be noted that there are good signs that the electrification work is almost complete along the L&MR.

    It was then on to the slightly delayed 17:14 all stations service to Victoria, formed of 142001. It was starting to become dusk at this time, and as I've already covered the Bolton route several times over the years, I was not too fussy getting the Clifton station call fitted in in darkness. At Victoria, it was on to the 18:10 Wigan Wallgate via Bolton service, of that is the journey that calls at Clifton on Mondays to Fridays going northbound. This was formed of 156472 where I alighted at Bolton and crossed over to the other side for the 18:42 all stations except Clifton service towards Salford Crescent, formed of 156441, then on to the 19:04 for the short hop to Salford Central (I've now alighted and boarded services at both Salford stations) formed of 150118, and on to the 19:10 to Victoria formed of 150133. To end the heavy rail bash of the day, it was on to the 19:26 as far as Littleborough calling Moston, formed of 158753 (3 cars), and returning back to Victoria on the 20:03 formed of 142047.

    It was then a short walk to Shudehill Interchange where I purchased the weekend Metrolink ticket, and set about to cover the tram network. Firstly, it was out to Altrincham and back to Cornbrook, then to Eccles via MediaCity UK and back to Cornbrook, then to Bury and back to St Peters Square. It was then to my accommodation in Newton Street for the night.


    Saturday 14th February – Missing MAN – LIV CLC calls and Metrolink

    After checking out of my accommodation, I walked along to Oxford Road where I boarded the 09:16 LIV service, formed of 156425 and 150210 (dud) as far as Warrington Central calling at Trafford Park, Humphrey Park, and Padgate, but omitting Chassen Road and Glazebrook. At WAC, I then crossed to the other side for the 09:59 service back to Oxford Road, formed of 150201 (dud). I then went to The Paramount for a veggie breakfast, then it was a short walk to St Peters Square where I boarded a tram for East Didsbury and back as far as St Werburgh's Road, then to the airport and back to St Peter's Square for the short walk to Cross Street for my meeting. The only section of the Metrolink network I need is harbour City – Broadway avoiding MediaCity UK on the western arms, and Rochdale and Ashton-under-Lyne on the eastern arms.

    Due to the line between Preston and Lancaster being closed for engineering works, the bus replacement service would have meant very tight connections at both Preston and Lancaster, so had went for the Megabus option from Shudehill Interchange to Glasgow departing 17:10 arriving Glasgow 22:15. Had I travelled back by rail and missed the connecting train at Lancaster, it would not have been any quicker compared to the Megabus service as it would have arrived at roughly the same time as the next train from Lancaster. However, due to traffic congestion along the motorway on the way to Manchester, this was running 45 minutes behind schedule when departing Manchester, but only 30 minutes by the time it arrived in Glasgow.

    In peace

    Adam
     
  23. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    A very busy time there, I assume there were quite a few winners there as not much is marked as dud.

    I still need to get on with a Metrolink bash, so much of the network I haven't covered yet and tons of stations on the network to visit!

    Looks like you had an excellent time, do you mind telling us where you stayed and if it's worth looking at for future trips?
     
  24. adrock1976

    adrock1976 Established Member

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    As my bashing trip was mostly uncovered metals or classes of units, it is most likely to be winning units I land. Compared with my twice-weekly commute to Partick, I have landed most of the electric units and mainly get duds on this route.

    The accommodation was called Hatters (a hostel). it comes with a breakfast too, albeit cereal, toast, tea, juice as expected.

    In peace

    Adam
     
  25. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Fair games, my commute hasn't had a winner bus in quite some time now. Not surprising either really!

    Not interested in hostels personally, my days in them are way behind me!
     
  26. Kristofferson

    Kristofferson Established Member

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    More Metro bashing! Definitely seems to be popular recently. I still can't be convinced it's any more fun than riding the sub surface LU stock, mind ;)

    A well planned trip and sounds like a good couple of days - even if Friday 13th didn't start so brilliantly!
     
  27. adrock1976

    adrock1976 Established Member

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    West Wales and PSUL moves bash (3 days)


    Intro

    After being tipped off by Fares Advisor bb21 back in December about the Ninian Park Sunday diversion of services to South Glamorgan. I booked myself a 2 night stay in Cardiff, and decided to combine this with covering points west of Carmarthen (in the deep south of Dyfed), and doing a couple of the Saturday PSUL moves via Swansea Loop and Swansea District Railway, plus also fitting the Pilning station call in at the second attempt (I failed back in October due to a late running service from Bristol Parkway) before the main bash on the Saturday.

    My chosen route to get me to Cardiff was via Shrewsbury, Central Wales Railway (Heart of Wales Line passing through some of the remotest parts of Powys), and Swansea, with me returning back north via Abergavenny, Hereford, and Shrewsbury. Details of my bash are below, in daily sections.

    Friday 27th February (Day 1): Journey to Cardiff

    It was up nice and early for me today and after leaving at 07:10 for the short walk to Barnhill (one of my 2 local stations), the 07:20 Dalmuir via Yoker produced my very fist winner of the day in 318268 (just require 318264 to complete the set), which I would take as far as Glasgow Queen Street. I could have stayed on to Partick and change there for a Central low level service (and may or may not have scored another winner), but the timings were a bit on the risky side. So I decided to walk from Queen Street to Central instead.

    It was then on to the 08:00 London Euston via Birmingham service, which was formed of 390006 “Tate Liverpool”, which I would take as far as Crewe. I noticed 90037 in the adjacent platform attached to the Glasgow end of the overnight sleeper that had arrived from London within the last hour. At Kingmoor, I spotted 92019 hauling containers, 66115 and 67514 by themselves too in addition to a few 37s and 47s. While at Citadel station, I spotted 66192 hauling Castle Cement tankers southbound through Platform 3, and just after departure I spotted 66?(? = 1 or 2)00 hauling tankers in the northbound direction. On the approach to Preston, 156471 came from the former North Union Railway platforms waiting to perform an empty coaching stock move.

    At Crewe, I had spotted 175006 that was working the Manchester – Milford Haven service. It was on board the 11:20 local shuttle to Shrewsbury, which was formed by 153323 calling all stations. Before departure, 390141 “City of Chester” was working the 11:20 to London Euston (either from Liverpool or Manchester I believe). Passing the yard at Gresty Bridge, 57008 was attached to “The Great Briton” coaching stock, plus a trio of 47501, 57002, and “The Northern Belle” locos too. At the request stops of Wrenbury, Yorton, and Prees, one passenger alighted at Wrenbury with none boarding, one boarded at Yorton with none alighting, and nobody alighted or boarded at Prees. It should be noted that there were several people that boarded at Wem, making the train quite busy.

    As I had a big break at Shrewsbury of just under 2 hours, I made use of the time to have a wander around and eventually stumbled upon a Cafe Nero, where I had a pot of Earl Grey tea, plus a stamp on the loyalty card. It was then a gentle saunter back to the station so as to be ready in plenty of time for the 14:03 Swansea via Central Wales Railway/Heart of Wales Line. The service was sitting in the bay platform ready, albeit locked and engine switched off. As I've used the singular form rather than the plural here, you can guess it was a 153, or to be precise, 153312. Before the train crew came along, I spotted 175114 working the 13:58 to Manchester. At the administrative centre and county town of Powys – Llandrindod Wells, there was a crew changeover, and I had spotted 153867 working the northbound service to Shrewsbury. The train started to fill up at here for the southbound journey to Swansea, with it mostly emptying out at Llanelli, with only a small handful remaining on to Gowerton and Swansea/Abertawe.

    At Swansea, it was then on to the 18:28 London Paddington service, which was formed by 43037 “Pennydarren” and 43021 “Charlie Austin Cartoons”, as far as Cardiff Central for the final leg of the day's journey, which was uneventful.

    Stay tuned for Saturday and Sunday :)

    Cheers

    Adam
     
  28. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    One heck of a journey in one day from Glasgow to Cardiff via the Heart of Wales! I can only imagine you went that way for track coverage!

    I too only need one more 318, mine being 318254, which I believe is the last one to come back from Doncaster.

    Looking forward to seeing how you get on with the rest of the trip!
     
  29. adrock1976

    adrock1976 Established Member

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    Part II: Saturday 28th February – Pilning, West Wales, and PSUL moves

    It was up nice and early again for the gentle saunter to Cardiff Central for the 08:00 Taunton via Weston-super-Mare service. This was formed of 158763, which I would take as far as Filton Abbeywood. It should be noted here that this is the service that calls at Pilning on Saturdays only, and my previous attempt back in October last year had failed due to a late running connection at Bristol Parkway. At Cardiff, 66232, 66xxx, and 66107 were light engines, plus 170106 for Nottingham via Birmingham service was sitting in the platform. 66757 and 66109 were passing through in opposite directions. At Alexandra Dock, Newport, 66061 and 66084 were sitting in the yard, together with DB red 66184. Severn Tunnel Junction saw 66109 and 66155 hauling coal wagons in opposite directions, where at Patchway, 66592 was hauling containers in the direction of the tunnel.

    While I was waiting at Filton Abbeywood, I spotted 150104 working the Gloucester/Worcester/Great Malvern service, and spotted 221138 passing through with a (I think) Manchester – Bristol Temple Meads service. It was then on the 09:01 back to Cardiff, which was formed of 158957. I had a brainwave the previous evening in that as I had landed 2 lots of 153 dogboxes on 2 separate legs of the previous day's journey, I might as well go for 3, so it was on the 09:46 Bargoed service for the short hop to Queen Street, which was formed of 150255. It was then on 153303 for the Cardiff Bay/Bute Road shuttle service, my premonitions turning out to be true.

    After a wander around the Bay area and finding a supermarket to purchase a meal deal, it was back to Queen Street on the 10:30 which was the same dogbox as before. It was then on the 10:38 (approx) Barry Island service back to Central, which was formed of 143614. After purchasing a cup of tea from one of the retail units in the main concourse, it was to Platform 3 for the 10:57 to Fishguard Harbour, which was formed of 158829. This is the PSUL service that bypasses Swansea High Street station, running either via Landore (behind the depot), or via the Swansea District Railway. I had checked beforehand that it was running the normal Saturday booked route via Landore (the Swansea District Railway is normally Mondays to Fridays). On passing Landore depot, I had spotted a solitary IC125 power car, which I believe was 43005, but maybe wrong here. It is further noted that this service is also the only one as it presently stands that bypasses Carmarthen too, meaning that my Anytime Day Return was from Cardiff Bay to Whitland (rather than Carmarthen) where it would join up with the West Wales Day Ranger.

    The section of the westbound journey to Clarbeston Road was at full throttle, with the mileposts increasing in distance from London. On the approach to Clarbeston Road station, the train began to slow down ready for the crawl to the signalbox, where the driver was issued with a token for the single track section to Fishguard Harbour. It was obviously the same unit heading back eastbound on the 13:30, which I was on board as far as Whitland. I had mentioned to the guard/conductor if the train called at Clarbeston Road, as I had noticed it online on the Real Train Times website that it did, but he explained that it did not actually call at the platforms, but at the signalbox to hand back the token; also, he was already aware of the entry online making it look like it calls at the station platforms. Anyway, I remained on to Whitland and crossed the bridge on to the 14:06 to Milford Haven, which was formed of 175104. There were 2 or 3 people who alighted at Clunderwen and nobody boarded or alighted at Clarbeston Road or Johnston either.

    By now, the weather was light showers with cold winds, so as I had 40 minutes before the bus was due, I had a gentle wander around the adjacent retail park. It was then on board the 356 bus due at 15:30 for the trip across the water to Pembroke Dock. After a mile or so, the bus turned off on to another main road, then turned down a narrow country lane that was unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles. I was wandering to myself that I would not like to traverse these lanes in the snow. When the end of another country lane, it was then along the military road, then over the toll bridge (as a side note, the Erskine, Forth and Skye Bridges had their tolls abolished in the early noughties when the Scottish Parliament had the [New] Labour – Lib Dem coalition as the government. The Lib Dems supported the [New] Labour motion to scrap the bridge tolls in return for [New] Labour supporting the Lib Dem motion to reopen the North British Railway Waverley Route to Tweedbank) into Pembroke Dock, where I alighted after the police station.

    As I had almost an hour here before the train was due, I had a gentle saunter around the centre of Pembroke Dock. As there were heavy showers by this time, I did not wander too far away from the vicinity of the station. I eventually stumbled upon an independent cafe where I had my old favourite brew in the form of Earl Grey tea. In the background, there was a tranny that was tuned in to a local station that played some present day music (if it's called that or passes off for these days), plus a pleasant dose of “The Voice” aka Tom Jones. I had also heard how wonderful (or dreadful) how my team Aston Villa were getting on against Newcastle United away at St James' Park. At that point, they were losing 1-0, with the scoreline remaining the same at full time. My adopted team of Partick Thistle were doing much better, winning away to Dundee United 2-0. In other words, it was both pain and pleasure for me regarding my teams today.

    It was then on board the 17:12 Swansea service as far as Carmarthen for me, which was formed of 150235. The guard/conductor asked me how far I was travelling and that I explained that I was going to Carmarthen. He then explained that as I had the ranger, there are several request stops along the line. On arrival at Tenby, I had spotted 150257 heading in the opposite direction to Pembroke Dock. At this moment in time, it was starting to become dusk, and on arrival at Carmarthen, it was now dark.

    At Carmarthen, I had checked the screen for the departures, and it was showing the 18:54 Cardiff Central as being delayed by 20 minutes. I consulted my intended plan, and thought to myself that is still OK for my next move afterwards. A few minutes later, the screen had displayed my intended service as being 25 minutes late, and I was thinking to myself that I had better not wander too far away in case it may be an error, or a spare unit is conjured up from somewhere. I decided to remain at the station, and I noticed a terminating service pull in to the platform, which displayed “Carmarthen” on both the front and rear blinds. About 5 minutes later, I asked one of the train crew if that was going to be the 18:54 service, which they replied that it was. The said unit that I boarded was 142085, which I would remain on as far as Port Talbot Parkway.

    There were some passengers who boarded at both Kidwelly and Pembrey & Burry Port stations. It was also time for me to wave goodbye to this part of Dyfed, as this was where I had spent most of my day. It is noted that there was a group of 6 to 8 men who had a carry out and were consuming their purchases, and being at the stage somewhere between the combination of merry and boisterous. When this group left at Swansea, they left behind their glass empties scattered around everywhere. As they had left the carrier bag that their carry out was in, I spent the layover time at Swansea tidying up the train by gathering the empties up and placing them into the bag, and handing it to the guard/conductor, and thanked me for doing so. This was me using initiative on my part, as the train was starting to become heavily loaded at Swansea now.

    I had arrived at a windswept Port Talbot Parkway, where I had a 25 minute break before my next move. While waiting, I had a wander around the vicinity of the station, and noticed that the entrance to the booking office had the traditional double arrow British Rail symbol engraved or imprinted on the aluminium plate between the panes of glass in a 1970s style (I believe that this was the next Parkway station after Stoke Gifford/Bristol Parkway had opened, and with the ongoing renovation works, this should be left alone as it is a part of history). It was soon back to the platform via a detour over the temporary footbridge and into the warm waiting room (itself a temporary Portacabin structure at the moment). Before my intended 20:36 Milford Haven service via Swansea District Railway (normally Saturdays only), the London Paddington – Carmarthen via Swansea IC125 service pulled in (slightly delayed) with the 20:22 departure formed of 43198 and 43194. It was a couple of minutes later that I was on board 175004 for the trip to Llanelli via Swansea District Railway, my second PSUL move of the day. Although it was dark, I wanted to get this track in due to me not previously having much luck with the Beckenham Junction curve in London after failing with 2 attempts to get the previous 16:12 departure to Charing Cross London. I can always return to the Swansea District Railway in the summer, when I intend bashing the Valley Lines network around Cardiff, plus maybe fit in the Leckwith Junction from the Taff Vale Railway to the GWR on the 03:5x Swansea – London Paddington service.

    At Llanelli, it was over the bridge to the other side to return to Cardiff. While I was waiting, I said “hello again” to the London – Carmarthen IC125 service that I previously saw at Port Talbot Parkway. Obviously, the power cars were the opposite way round this time due to the reversal at Swansea. After it departed Llanelli, it was soon on board the 21:17 service to Cardiff Central via Swansea calling all stations to Bridgend, which was formed of 150237. At Swansea, the train became heavily loaded, but had started to gradually empty out at Neath, Port Talbot Parkway, and Bridgend. From Bridgend to Cardiff Central, the unit was more or less going at full throttle for the non-stop run. On arrival at Cardiff Central, it was then time for bed, being pleased with what I had set out to achieve today.

    In peace

    Adam
     
    Last edited: 15 Mar 2015
  30. Kristofferson

    Kristofferson Established Member

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    An enjoyable read there - I was surprised by the amount of "old fashioned" request stop and token-based lines still in existence and operated by ancient stock! But then "London-on-Sea" (Cardiff Bay) did have a "Bubble Car" still in use until recently...
     
  31. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    A very busy day out there, full of much productivity!

    43006 would definitely not be on Landore, as it was renumbered 43206 some years back (late 2007 I think!) and still is an East Coast machine. Possible you saw 43005, very easy to mistake the two numbers.
     

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