ash39's Trip Reports & Photos

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by ash39, 15 Jul 2017.

  1. ash39

    ash39 Established Member

    Messages:
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    8 Feb 2012
    Decided to convert this thread into a report thread rather than start a new one up each time I post a report...


    Freedom of North East 7-day Rover – July 2017

    Originally intended to be a Freedom of South West 3 in 7, but after an expensive 2017 so far, the cost of required overnight stays lead me to stay closer to home for my ‘big’ move of the summer. The downside would be not seeing very many new lines as I’ve covered most of the rover area, but loads of stations are required and I hoped to finally clear the Class 91’s for haulage, and boost some of the lower mileage locos up to the acceptable 100 mile marker. I’d also be joined by a mate for four of the days, so it promised to be a good week.

    Wednesday 5th July 2017

    I was initially undecided whether to start the rover on Wednesday or Thursday. I only had Thursday-Monday booked as holiday at work due to limited days remaining, so 2 days of moves would be post-work only. In the end, as I’d got workings of 91114 (one of my last three), I decided to start on the first Wednesday. Unfortunately, when I got the information for 91114, I’d also been informed that 91110 was currently at Doncaster for works attention and 91121 was stopped for repairs at Bounds Green (but due back out at the end of the week). So now, the best case scenario was to get down to my last one.

    The first move of the rover fell to 91111, already cleared for 100, which I took from York to Durham in order to hopefully meet 91114 coming the other way.

    [​IMG]
    91111 York 05/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    I had 20 minutes at Durham. First thing I noticed here was the ticket barriers seemed to have been removed since my last visit in 2015. A refreshing change when other stations seem to be having them installed, and also quite ironic as my one major run-in with a member of staff occurred at this very station when the barriers were left closed but unmanned. This is my reason for disliking them as they often don’t accept rovers and rangers so you’re effectively trapped on the station if no staff are immediately available.

    I decided a coffee was in order but after crossing to the southbound side I was greeted with a queue around 5 deep at the Costa kiosk, so I went back to the other platform and got served much quicker. It was also worth if for the amusing conversation the barista provided. Rather than the usual small talk she informed me that she ‘may not be with it’ and her arm wasn’t functioning properly as she had taken a beating in a charity boxing match at the weekend. She was a fairly stacked woman so I can only imagine what her opponent must have looked like!

    I made it back to the platform with around five minutes to spare before 82227 rolled in with much required 91114 on the rear. The irony of scoring the loco named ‘Durham Cathedral’ from Durham wasn’t lost on me, although I hadn’t realised when I planned it earlier in the day! The train was quite busy, I got a seat but it was about as bad as you can get, in the aisle going backwards with a pillar where the window should be. At this point I was thinking of leaving at Darlington but the gentleman by the window seemed agitated by my presence and eventually just after Darlington asked if I could let him out. Good luck finding a seat elsewhere!

    Having started the day on 4929 (logged) Class 91 miles, this journey was also noteworthy as I’d be passing the 5k mark, happily on a winning loco. I stayed with 91114 to Doncaster, somewhat frustratingly leaving it on 98 miles but at least it’s a LDS-WKF leap away from being over 100.

    We’d lost 4 minutes somewhere along the way, putting my connection onto the York terminator in jeopardy. Fortunately this was also late, and I even had time for the obligatory thunderbird photo, 67010 on standby today. Required 43257 lead dud 43310 on a very quiet service, taking me back to where I started a few hours previously.

    Following closely behind was 91104 on a Glasgow Central service, which I took to Darlington. I gave up my chance of fighting for a seat with all the other York passengers as I required the toilet first, so I perched on the stool over the luggage area in the vestibule for the short journey.

    I’d originally planned to score Dinsdale next, but there was a northbound HST due before it so I could have been persuaded by a winner. As it happened, very dud 43300 was leading dud 43319 so I stuck to the plan, taking a fairly busy 142024 (a winner!) to first station score of the rover, Dinsdale. Should have been a fairly comfortable +4 but due to a 1L arrival and the bridge between platforms being up a large ramp, it was tighter than expected. I had around a minute to spare before dud 142020 returned me to Darlington.

    I decided the order of the day from here would be to get some food in Newcastle and then return direct to York. The fact the next northbound train from Darlo was a Cross Country HST might have played a part in that decision! Even moreso when double winners 43301 and 43378 rolled in! It was lightly loaded and I enjoyed an almost silent, relaxing run to Newcastle.

    I’d lost track of time and not considered that, at 1930, Greggs would be shut. In the end I resorted to my standard Boots meal deal of Chicken & Bacon sandwich, coconut water and popcorn for the journey home. After a couple of minutes delay due to an empty 185126 occupying our platform when it was meant to be heading to Heaton for the night, my train home arrived in the form of 91101, a long term absentee from my moves book having not had it since summer 2012. Arrival at York was at 2116, not stupidly late as I didn’t want to overdo it on the first day! I did wait an extra 5 minutes though, as 66728 was following on the Port Clarence-Cardiff tanks that I'd never photographed before, and there was (just about) enough light.

    [​IMG]
    66728 York 05/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    Day summary:

    91111 YRK-DUR
    91114 DUR-DON
    43257 & 43310 DON-YRK
    91104 YRK-DAR
    142024 DAR-DND
    142020 DND-DAR
    43301 & 43378 DAR-NCL
    91101 NCL-YRK

    1 new station: Dinsdale
    5 new units/locos: 3x HST, 1x 91, 1x 142
    5 dud units/locos: 1x HST, 3x 91 1x 142

    Mileage for day: 365 miles

    Thursday 6th July 2017

    Started today as I did the previous day by driving to York racecourse and parking the car. My mate was starting his 4 in 8 rover today, and was meeting me at York in time to catch the 0855 to Darlington. He arrived before me on 158850, having caught it from Micklefield. The guard, probably bamboozled by selling a Freedom of North East, allowed it to be used despite it not being valid until 0845. We then boarded 91127 to Darlington, my second highest mileage 91, it would be sat on a satisfying 501 miles upon arrival at Darlington.

    We had a steady 10 minute change here onto winner 156469. We were slightly disappointed it wasn’t a 142 but can’t complain. We took this to winner station Thornaby. We had a plan from here, but my mate likes to make things as dicey as possible when planning moves by chucking in the odd +2 connection in there, and generally leaving no leeway for recovery! Therefore when our planned move to Eaglescliffe was running 2 late, we had a bit of a problem. We decided if it was a winner for either of us we’d chance it, but it ended up losing a couple more minutes before it finally arrived, making the connection impossible. Annoyingly, it was winner for me 142095.

    We saw a 185 enter the other platform so went over to have a look. The number sounded familiar as being a required unit, but in trying to rush I kept accidentally closing my excel sheet on my phone! I finally got it open on the right tab, and indeed 185106 was my only required one below 185111, so that gap had to be filled, and we boarded to unrecorded (but visited in the 90’s!) Middlesbrough.

    [​IMG]
    185106 Middlesbrough 06/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    We went from here back to Thornaby on winner 142065. I was having some luck today. Then in order to get Yarm in the book we had to reboard 185106. There seemed to be a problem with the doors on this unit, being very slow and sticky to open, as if there wasn’t enough air pressure.

    The sun came out here after some pretty ominous looking skies earlier, and right on cue as well as 66142 came through with a binliner train.

    [​IMG]
    66142 Yarm 06/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    A short wait at a pleasant station before 185112 turned up to take us back the other way, my winning streak continued and by complete chance I’d managed to get two of my last fifteen required 185’s! It’s much more relaxing catching 185’s around here than it is on the York-Manchester core, rather than the usual fight for a seat we had a two thirds of a coach of 185112 to ourselves!

    Back at Thornaby we then took dud 142092 to winner shack Allens West, where we had a short wait before, as we suspected, dud 156469 from earlier returned to take us for a short hop to another required shack Eaglescliffe.

    We decided to use our 20 mins here to go obtain food. Having already looked on Google maps we didn’t hold out much hope of finding much but there was a nice looking recently opened cafe called Station No 5. Despite my mate having already had a dodgy looking chicken wrap from WH Smiths at Middlesbrough station earlier, the menu looked good so we both ordered panninis. Unfortunately despite the enthusiasm of the two young girls working there, the panninis took an age to cook and one of them was probing the chicken with a thermometer to ensure it was the correct temperature. We said we’d take our chances with the chicken (I’m certain I’ll have consumed worse) but as they’d just opened they were apparently concerned about being shut down. In the end we missed our planned move, and this was bad as we’d worked out it would be 142095 which we’d had to reject earlier at Thornaby.

    It wasn’t a complete disaster as it was only 20 mins for the next train towards Darlo. After eating the pannini on the platform (chicken and avocado, not bad but the avocado was a touch too hard), we boarded dud 142022. At this point we decided to split temporarily in order for my mate to get 91117 to Northallerton, whereas I bailed at Dinsdale (dud from yesterday!) in order to have a third crack at getting 142095 in the book. After a 15 minute wait, 142095 did produce as hoped, but I now had a ropey +4 at Allens West. Ropey because there’s a level crossing and I wasn’t 100% sure it would open between trains. I got off the 142 and made for the level crossing. The train cleared the crossing, but nothing happened. Fortunately the barriers then rose, and I hurried across before they promptly dropped again. It’s fair to say I was slightly fed up of 156469 now, but I had little choice but to board it for the third time of the day (and the second time I’d caught it at Allens West!).

    My mate was on 185126 heading back from Northallerton, and as it was dud for me we decided to wait for the Class 91 behind it which we thought we’d worked out to be 91109 which he also required. Something must have swapped diagrams at some point, as it wasn't 91109, but he also required 91105, so we took this to Newcastle. We were in the quiet coach for this journey and a guy absolutely lost it because someone wasn’t being quiet. It was quite amusing although it was at the other end of the carriage so I couldn’t hear what initiated it but it certainly wasn’t anything major. He literally went from zero to raging in seconds!

    We’d spotted a quick move available to Metrocentre, a dud station but we could then catch the following service to Prudhoe. So we took winner 156479 (not 469!) to Metrocentre. Following a couple of minutes behind was dud 142090 which we took to Prudhoe, where we killed a 20 minute wait for our train back the other way by watching cars struggle through a flash flood just next to the level crossing. We’d aimed for this move to get a ScotRail unit and were rewarded with final class member 156514 in spotty livery, which we stayed with back through to Newcastle.

    [​IMG]
    156514 Prudhoe 06/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    A 91 was about to leave south, and without really thinking about it we boarded 91119. We decided we’d have been better heading north, and fortunately for us the Aberdeen bound HST had lost a few minutes by York so we had a chance of making the -3 move at Darlington to get on it. With perfect timing, we walked over to the other platform to see dud 43307 approaching, but happily for me winner 43295 was later discovered to be on the rear. We took this 102 miles to Berwick-upon-Tweed.

    The station building here smelt exactly like my old school – a smell I hadn’t experienced for over a decade but it immediately reminded me of it. We had around 30 minutes here before a HST back south, so we had food in mind. A plethora of takeaways are within walking distance of Berwick station and we ended up in ‘Q-Kurdi Express’, which sounds like it could also be the name of the operator of Kurdistan’s intercity network. We were aware the cooking time for the pizza could put us in another Eaglescliffe situation but we ordered anyway. Donner, onion and pepper pizza for me and meat feast for my mate with a bag of chips to share. Fortunately this time we comfortably made it back with around five minutes to spare. This one was double duds 43314 and 43251, and busier than hoped but after walking through around 3 carriages with pizza in hand we eventually got the holy grail of a table seat on the coast side!

    Eating pizza with this view is about as good as it gets, and the pizzas were superb. Would definitely visit again. It absolutely hammered it down about five minutes from Berwick, we’d seen some huge rainstorms throughout the day but skillfully managed to avoid being outside for any of them!

    We got off the HST at Newcastle, as we were suitably stuffed and our table was reserved from Newcastle onwards. My mate reckoned we’d be best getting the TPE service which left 5 minutes behind the HST, and I was more than happy to go with that when I saw it was yet another required one. 185131! It was busy, as I’d anticipated, but we got a table as far as Durham, where we were joined by another passenger to Darlington.

    Pretty knackered by now, but there was no point waiting for the following VTEC service as we could meet it at Durham instead. This was a good move for me as lowest mileage 91129 (on a pitiful 10 miles) took us up to Durham, before 91103 took us back to York (on 1E27, the same service I finished on the previous day) arriving on time today at 2115. 91103 topped 600 miles on the run from Durham and extended its lead over 91127 which had closed the gap earlier in the day. My mate was not amused to find the same unit from this morning, 158850, for his return to Micklefield. Unusually this left from Platform 1, previously I’d only seen Hull services leave from this platform.

    Day summary:

    91127 YRK-DAR
    156469 DAR-TBY
    185106 TBY-MBR
    142065 MBR-TBY
    185106 TBY-YRM
    185112 YRM-TBY
    142092 TBY-ALW
    156469 ALW-EAG
    142022 EAG-DND
    142095 DND-ALW
    156469 ALW-DAR
    91105 DAR-NCL
    156479 NCL-MCE
    142090 MCE-PRU
    156514 PRU-NCL
    91119 NCL-DAR
    43307 & 43295 DAR-BWK
    43314 & 43251 BWK-NCL
    185131 NCL-DAR
    91129 DAR-DHR
    91103 DHR-YRK

    7 new stations: Allens West, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Eaglescliffe, Middlesbrough, Prudhoe, Thornaby & Yarm
    9 new units/locos: 1x HST, 2x 142, 3x 156, 3x 185
    14 dud units/locos: 3x HST, 5x 91, 3x 142, 2x 156, 1x 185

    Mileage for day: 485 miles

    Friday 7th July 2017

    Didn’t fancy driving today so walked to the top of the road and caught the Coastliner bus into town instead. I’d seen the new buses driving past but never been on one, they’re nice but I’m not sure table seats are required on a bus. It was fairly busy with a mixture of passengers, some of them commuters, as it arrived into York at a useful 0835. Useful for me too as it got me to the station in good time to catch the 0845 Cross Country HST to Leeds. A good way to start the day, even better that leaves on the same minute the rover becomes valid! Dud 43285 was leading, with winner 43321 on the rear.

    I’d planned to meet my mate at Leeds and do a couple of S&C stations, but he’d seen winner for him 333014 before I arrived so we’d agreed to catch up later. I also needed Cononley to almost clear the line to Skipton (just leaving Kirkstall Forge to do on a WYDR sometime).

    I boarded dud 333015, initially intending to get off at Cononley but my mate said to get off at Keighley and he’d meet me on the next train. Unfortunately we got our wires crossed somewhere as I boarded 333011 at Keighley and couldn’t find him on it! He was on the train behind that, 158844 to Carlisle, and as this didn’t stop at Cononley I decided to stay on to Skipton, where we found each other and got back on 333011 to score Cononley. This should have been a +7 back on an EMU to Skipton to pick up our original plan and head to Settle. Unfortunately the barriers went straight up on the crossing and we were unable to cross! Thankfully this happened here and not at Allens West yesterday, and it was only 15 minutes for the next Leeds train but unfortunately the plan was now out of the window. I wasn’t relishing the thought of a 3 mile hike between Dent and Garsdale anyway and we may have got ourselves stuck there. We’ll save that one for another time...

    333013 picked us up from Cononley, as it was dud for both of us we took our chances on bailing at Keighley for the DMU following us. It was dud 158901, but it would be cleared for 10 miles on this run at least. It was busy compared to the 333 though! We drafted up a rough plan to get Retford in with a comfortable connection, so that was our new plan.

    However, back at Leeds again, we spotted 142030 and 142094 paired up about to form a Sheffield service. My mate needed both and I needed 030. We’d also seen DVT 82204 which was paired with 91101 on Wednesday and he required it, so I walked up to the top of platform 8 to ID the loco whilst my mate went to find some food. There had obviously been a loco swap at some point as 91121 was on it, and I wasn’t turning that down! My mate had already boarded it and got a table seat, after running too low on time to get any food. We took my penultimate required 91 through to Doncaster.

    We had a short wait here for the ex-York Virgin service, which was dud from Wednesday 43310 and 43257. Another fairly quick change at Retford, quite an unusually laid out station, got us back onto a York bound service hauled by 91120, required for my mate, back to Doncaster. This is sub 100 for me but unfortunately this run wouldn’t clear it. At Doncaster, we noticed two odd things. The thunderbird my mate was certain he’d seen on the way down wasn’t there, and 185115 was parked in a Leeds facing bay platform. Between us we worked out that the thunderbird had probably been called into action as we’d noticed the 1215 Leeds-Kings Cross had been showing as ‘delayed’ on the information screens, and this turned out to be correct as it was subsequently cancelled. The 185 was in the bay as it was running shuttles between York and Doncaster presumably for route knowledge for upcoming diversions via the ECML.

    We’d worked out a plan which should see us meet the pacers we’d turned down at Leeds earlier. So we boarded 91129, another sub 100 machine, to Wakefield Westgate. Despite having this twice in two days, it still wouldn’t quite clear 100. I was flagging at this point, yesterday was a long day and today it was catching up with me. I tried to fight it off with a chicken tandoori baguette and chicken bake from Greggs from Westgate station. Whilst here, we saw 67010 taking the failed Virgin set to Bounds Green for attention - we later found out it was a brake fault with the DVT.

    [​IMG]
    67010 Wakefield Westgate 07/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    My mate then took required 322484 to Outwood, but as I’d cleared it for 10 already I stayed put at Wakefield and waited for what we hoped would be the pacers from earlier. Whilst we were fairly certain we’d got the diagram correct, I did suggest there was a possibility they’d split at Sheffield. Unfortunately this turned out to be correct and mine got left behind! So it was dud solo 142094 through to Leeds, picking up my mate at Outwood although it was bittersweet for him as shortly after he left Wakefield 144010 (his last 144!) turned up!

    My mate went home at this point, and I was still feeling fatigued but carried on with my plan for the rest of the day to get some East Yorkshire shacks and go for a walk over the Humber Bridge. I turned down a busy dud 185144 in order to catch a slower stopper to Selby. This was dud 144021 but I did at least enjoy the novelty of leaving from Leeds platform 7 for the first time.

    I nodded off for a large chunk of this trip, which made it feel like a quicker journey than it was. My idea to get a Hull Trains 180 was scuppered as the service I’d aimed for was cancelled. I could still make it work by getting a TPE service to Brough, but there was a York bound service due and if it was a winner 158 I was tempted to call it a day early and come back with renewed energy tomorrow.

    I was not expecting what happened next, as a Class 144 bounced its way over the swing bridge. I’ve seen the odd 142 on Hull services but never a 144. At first I thought it must have been another service I’d not noticed on RTT. But no, it was definitely the York train and it was my last required one 144001! I made my way over the bridge pretty sharply and boarded for a highly unusual 144 run up the ECML. We were held on the curve at Hambleton East Junction and I got a good view of the unusual spectacle of 185115 flying along this section of the line.

    I text my mate to rub it in, as I'd managed to beat him to clearing them (although he would get his own back later in the week!) The 144 had given me a boost and I spotted a move that would get me a station and probable winner in the book. However there must have been problems at York as we queued adjacent to Holgate sidings alongside a 185 bound for Newcastle. This got the green light but we stayed put. Shortly after, another 185 pulled alongside us, this was the Middlesbrough service I intended to be on next! We must have waited another five minutes but eventually we got the road and terminated in platform 9, also a pretty unusual move.

    Job done
    [​IMG]
    144001 York 07/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    I made it over to platform 10 to join a busy 185114 to Thirsk. A good example of a fairly local shack not visited (Malton also irks me in a similar way). We were a few minutes down due to the issues outside York but the connection held, unfortunately my hopes for a HST back were quashed as I could see the nose of a 180 approaching. At least it was winner 180107, and I got a seat, which has to be said is a lot more pleasant than sitting on a suitcase in the vestibule next to a hot vibrating exhaust for a non-stop York-Kings Cross run (my last experience of one of these was exactly that).

    Back at York the entire station seemed to be heaving with people. I decided Friday evenings in summer is not a good time to be on long distance trains and called it a day. 144001 was now in the Harrogate facing bay platform sandwiched in by a 142. I had a bit of a wait for the bus so I went to the BrewDog bar, unfortunately the amazing Hazy Jane I’d had a few weeks ago wasn’t on. I settled on a half of New England IPA. It sounded very similar to Hazy Jane (and it was), not cheap at £4.40 for a half but I’d rather pay that for a fantastic half than pay the same for an average pint. I noticed they had cans of Hazy Jane in the fridge to take away but at £13 for four!!

    I made my way back to the bus stop and home for some rest (after realising I needed to cut the grass)!

    Day summary:

    43285 & 43321 YRK-LDS
    333015 LDS-KEI
    333011 KEI-SKI
    333011 SKI-CEY
    333013 CEY-KEI
    158901 KEI-LDS
    91121 LDS-DON
    43310 43257 DON-RET
    91120 RET-DON
    91129 DON-WKF
    142094 WKF-LDS
    144021 LDS-SBY
    144001 SBY-YRK
    185114 YRK-THI
    180107 THI-YRK

    3 new stations: Cononley, Retford & Thirsk
    4 new units/locos: 1x HST, 1x 91, 1x 144, 1x 180
    13 dud units/locos: 3x HST, 2x 91, 1x 142, 1x 144, 1x 158, 1x 185, 4x 333

    Mileage for day: 255 miles

    Saturday 8th July 2017

    Must be mad after being tired yesterday, but a 0530 alarm was set for this morning. I wanted to get some photos at Berwick in the morning light and this was the day to do it, as the rover is valid anytime on Saturdays. Again I went for a bus, and I had much less trouble dodging cars on the verge on the walk to the bus stop this morning as most sane people were still in bed! Bus 3632 arrived bang on schedule, dud from yesterday! Also interesting to note on the three bus trips I’ve made so far, I’ve had three different female drivers. Not sure if this is deliberate employment policy or coincidence!

    The bus was rather early at York station where it waits time, so I ended up with a 20 minute wait. I could have boarded a 185 to Darlington and picked up the Berwick service there if it was a winner, but dud 185122 showed up so I got a Costa and waited a few more minutes for 91125. This would join the 500 mile club on the run to Berwick - not having much luck with the low mileage locos this week! In a way I was also now rooting for 91103 as it has a small outside chance of reaching 1,000 before they are stood down in the next few years. I boarded the quiet coach but ended up with the iPod on as despite it being empty when I got on, a group of lads travelling to Edinburgh joined and were far too jovial and vociferous for this time of morning!

    After rejecting coach B’s toilet for being blocked, and coach C’s being locked out of use, I eventually queued for what felt like around 15 minutes for the toilet in coach D. There was nobody in front of me so I was fearing the worst for what was inside. Eventually the woman came out and it was fine, no clue what she was doing in there but another lady had joined the queue in the meantime! Finally arrived in Berwick, we were around 3L so I got a hurry on as 5 minutes later there was a 91 due south and I was aware I only had a handful of trains to photograph on the bridge in the time I was here. Fortunately it’s only around a 3 minute walk to this fantastic viewpoint.

    [​IMG]
    91132 Berwick-upon-Tweed 08/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    A Voyager followed shortly after (even they look good in these surroundings) and I decided to go for a walk and try some other angles, seeing as the trains are quite spaced out. Berwick is lovely, the kind of town where everyone says hello to you. I sat on a bench and enjoyed a piece of banana loaf my wife had made earlier in the week, if it had been a few hours later I’d have been tempted to get another Q-Kurdi Express pizza! Another view of the Royal Border Bridge...

    [​IMG]
    91112 Berwick-upon-Tweed 08/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    Before long my time in Berwick was up, and winner 43309 lead my train back to Newcastle. Pretty busy train, so I perched in the vestibule for the 45 minute journey. After getting off at Newcastle I discovered the other power car was also a winner! 43306 doing the shoving.

    Today was the first day of a 3-day Northern strike, which meant reduced service (and buses on certain lines) and Northern were warning services would be busy as a result. Fortunately every service I saw at Newcastle seemed to be running doubled up, and perhaps people were put off travelling as it didn’t seem to be the case from what I saw. Double winners were unfortunately followed by double duds – 142065 leading 142026 to first winner station of the day Sunderland.

    I was here for a ride down the coast on Grand Central, so I was pleased to see a HST nose arriving from the south as I got off the pacers. I had a feeling I’d end up on a dud 180! As it wasn’t leaving for half an hour and I had no solid plan for later in the say, I took the opportunity to go get some food to keep for later, incase I didn’t get chance to get anything.

    I was back on the platform in plenty of time for the HST, which was another double winner formed of 43468 & 43423. I got in position for the declassified first class coach and bagged a single seat on the coast side. This was a great run, clearly a well used service but not everyone knows about the declassification, so I retained my solo table as far as Northallerton despite passing hoards of people on the platforms at Hartlepool and Eaglescliffe. I left this train at Thirsk, probably the best journey of the week so far, in the hope of getting another HST back up the line to Northallerton. Unfortunately it was dud 180105 (the one I already have 187 vestibule miles on!) but I boarded anyway as I could beat the next southbound service, and I required Northallerton.

    Here I had a choice of two TPE services towards York. The first was a Newcastle-Leeds service with dud from yesterday 185114. I waited instead for (also dud, was worth a try) 185142 on a Middlesbrough-Manchester Airport service.

    Once back at York for the first time in several hours, I had a very quick change onto a Virgin service following closely behind. 91101 appeared for the second time this week, and provided propulsion to Doncaster.

    I had planned to pick up 91132 here to clear it for 100 miles, as I’d seen it going south at Berwick in the morning, but unfortunately the diagrams had all gone to pot due to another failed mk4 set. Instead winner 185113 turned up, so I took the opportunity to score this and Scunthorpe in one swoop. I feared the worst for coming back, with it being a sunny summer Saturday heading from the coast, but 185130 turned up pretty much empty to ferry me back to Doncaster.

    It was half an hour or so until my next northbound service so it seemed like a good opportunity to try the recently opened ‘The Draughsman’ pub at Doncaster station. I will definitely be returning, great beer selection and they appear to offer a decent snack menu too. I finished my Hop Fiction and made my way over to platform 4, where 91125 (for the second time today!) was potentially in a position to knock 91103 off the top of the mileage table. Having said that, I had no intention of revisiting Berwick today, so I was originally going to bail at Durham for a nice connection onto a southbound service, then call it a day. That all changed when I then spotted an opportunity to do something a bit different, and try a type of train I’ve never been on before (and an train operating company I’ve never used from York...). So I bailed at York again, for a +15 onto East Midlands Trains 222011 back the way I came to Doncaster.

    There were two ways I could get home, both getting me back to York for just after 1930 (13 hours out travelling is enough I reckon!). I had a +4 at Doncaster onto a Virgin service to Leeds, which looked dodgy as it required going under the underpass from platform 1 to platform 4, or if I missed that I’d have a bit of a wait at Doncaster before going back to York direct. Pleasingly, they sent the EMT service into platform 8, meaning it was a cross platform change, and I’d seen the loco was 91129 so I was keen to get on. Despite having it three times this week, it still wouldn’t be clear for 100, but every little helps! The half coach worth of standard class unreserved seating was very quiet and for the first time today, a perfectly chilled temperature.

    I roughly totted up the mileage for the day on the journey to Leeds. I knew it would be high, but hadn’t realised it would top 500! As we pulled in, I saw another required 185 (141) for Middlesbrough, which I could have caught to York if I’d been 10 seconds or so quicker over the footbridge onto platform 10D. In the end, it fell to 221133 to take me back to York, a winner if not my first choice of traction!

    I had 16 minutes at York before the Coastliner was due, and seeing as I don’t leave the car at home very often it would have been rude not to have a quick half pint in the York Tap. I went for a Pennine IPA, it was pretty average but not awful. Winner bus 3636 (male driver this time!) took me home.

    Day summary:

    91125 YRK-BWK
    43309 & 43306 BWK-NCL
    142065 & 142026 NCL-SUN
    43468 & 43423 SUN-THI
    180105 THI-NTR
    185142 NTR-YRK
    91101 YRK-DON
    185113 DON-SCU
    185130 SCU-DON
    91125 DON-YRK
    222011 YRK-DON
    91129 DON-LDS
    221133 LDS-YRK

    3 new stations: Northallerton, Scunthorpe & Sunderland
    7 new units/locos: 4x HST, 1x 185, 1x 221, 1x 222
    9 dud units/locos: 4x 91, 2x 142, 1x 180, 2x 185

    Mileage for day: 518 miles

    Sunday 9th July 2017

    Had family commitments until mid afternoon, so this was just an evening out. Lovely day for it again, even had shorts on! I got dropped off at the station at around 3pm. I wanted to be in Sheffield for around 1730 in order to catch the London St Pancras to Leeds EMT service, and having expected to be at the station for 4pm I now had some extra time so I headed via Doncaster, initially rejecting 91104 for a service following shortly behind which was 43302 & 43290.

    I had another beer at The Draughtsman, I should have stuck with Hop Fiction as a known quantity but tried a ‘Lemon Delight’ by an American brewery. It wasn’t bad, expected more lemon though. I had a few ways of getting to Sheffield in time, but the Northern service from Hull intrigued me the most as it was showing as 3 carriages. This is usually a 158 so I wondered if one of the three car sets had strayed off the York-Blackpool diagrams, or if a 153 had been attached. Anything was possible this weekend with the strike on. In the end 144021 showed up, which wasn’t great news as a) I had it on Friday and b) it was about 25 degrees and sunny. I took it anyway, it arrived at Meadowhall 5 early! I got off here to try my luck with the following TPE service, but ended up with dud 185121. They’re going to be harder now I’m down to the final few.

    At Sheffield, there were stacks of Northern units stabled in the centre roads.

    [​IMG]
    Northern DMU's at Sheffield 09/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    The only thing that could tempt me to go off plan was if one of my last two Cross Country power cars were on the Plymouth-Glasgow service. Fortunately, it was dud 43304 and 43303 so I let them go and awaited the EMT service. It got held up outside the station due to a late running Norwich-Liverpool, and the whole train seemed to empty at Sheffield, so we were 7L leaving Sheffield. On the plus side, there were only three other people in the carriage. I hadn’t identified the rear power car at this point, but the set was in reverse formation and I was in the TGS, and the rear power car was making some great noise. After a most enjoyable run, foregoing the booked 3 minute stop at South Kirkby Jn, we were only 3L at Wakefield Westgate. Continuing the theme from yesterday, it was double winning HST combo 43082 & 43058.

    [​IMG]
    43058 Wakefield Westgate 09/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    There was a 20 minute or so wait at Wakefield for what I hoped would be 90036 on 1D22. I was planning to do this to Leeds then there was another Cross Country HST behind, which I could get back to York. 1D22 was late, having left London 5L and even slipped to 8L at Retford. There was a chance the HST would beat it to South Kirkby Jn, but the 90 had put in a strong run to only be 6L at Donncaster. In fact I was starting to doubt if it was 90036 and thinking I’d end up with a 91, but sure enough 90036 pulled into Wakefield, now only 4 minutes late.

    [​IMG]
    90036 Wakefield Westgate 09/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    I got a seat in coach B. Usually you can’t hear a great deal from inside a mk4 but the 90 was absolutely screaming. Didn’t realise they were that noisy under power. After a lively run we arrived at Leeds only 1L, the driver saying he’d used some ‘proactive driving’ to make up the time!

    We had comfortably beaten the HST, which was only 2 minutes or so behind us but was booked for an 8 minute wait at Leeds. Unfortunately it didn’t look much like a HST. Double winners 220020 & 220022 were almost turned down but I’d wanted to get at least one station score today, and I had to get back to York in order to achieve this.

    Next up, 185149 took me to winner shack Malton, which has bugged me a little bit for some time as it’s a fairly local one. It’s still a 20 mile journey from York, but thankfully the trains were both lightly loaded considering it’d been a hot weekend. The return was 185151, slightly annoying as I required 185150 in the middle!

    [​IMG]
    185149 Malton 09/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    It was to be a bus move home. I thought I’d planned a perfect connection from the 2042 arrival onto the 2047 bus. Which I would have done if it was a Saturday, but unfortunately I’d read the timetable wrong! The next bus was 2117 so I went to BrewDog again (just to pass the time...) and they had Hazy Jane on, which reaffirmed it’s place as my favourite beer!

    Day summary:

    43302 & 43290 YRK-DON
    144021 DON-MHS
    185121 MHS-SHF
    43082 & 43058 SHF-WKF
    90036 WKF-LDS
    220020 & 220022 LDS-YRK
    185149 YRK-MLT
    185151 MLT-YRK

    1 new station: Malton
    5 new units/locos: 2x HST, 1x 90, 2x 220
    6 dud units/locos: 2x HST, 1x 144, 3x 185

    Mileage for day: 155 miles

    Monday 10th July 2017

    The penultimate day already, and the last full day. Unfortunately the Northern strike was still on, which restricted station moves quite significantly. Also the weather took a gloomy and drizzly turn after being glorious all weekend. I drove to the station, leaving the house at 0807 which was around 7 minutes later than planned and made my chances of catching the 0845 HST to Leeds somewhat dubious. I’d parked the car by 0827 so I had 18 minutes to walk from the racecourse, which I just achieved, making the HST by a minute. It was the same power cars I had on this service last week, and, assuming a coach swap hadn’t taken place, I even had the same seat! 43285 leading 43321 to Leeds.

    I was meeting my mate at Leeds, but he’d gone on a leap to Morley in the meantime. I took a couple of pictures around the station, including a heavily graffiti’d 158907 which was one of the units in the through road at Sheffield the previous day. Surely it wasn’t done there? I also had to turn down, frustratingly, a pairing of 185118 and 185134 (both winners) going towards York, as I wouldn’t have been back in time to continue the plan. You can see the pair of 185's passing my HST in the shot below...

    [​IMG]
    43285 Leeds 10/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    I realised we’d not have much spare time time for lunch, so I went and got a Boots meal deal, leisurely choosing what to have before realising I was cutting it quite fine for the Hull train we were aiming for. I also bought some deodorant as I felt like I needed to freshen up (I always think warm rain smells musty), and it was better value to get two cans so my bag was now at bursting point. I found my mate on Platform 15 and we got a table seat on 185109 to winner station Brough.

    We were around 3 late, ironically due to my mates stopper from Morley being in the way of it back before Leeds. We had 20 minutes though, so we went for a walk as my mate also needed food. We did a circular lap of Brough, not finding anything but takeaways (too early), pubs and estate agents. We eventually found a Cooolands and Sainsburys Local, but we were getting tight for time. I carried on walking as I couldn’t run if necessary due to a sporting injury. In the end when I reached the level crossing and saw the station was still a few hundred yards away, I ran anyway. Made it just in time to get a shot of Brough.

    [​IMG]
    180113 Brough 10/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    180113 was our unit, Hull Trains becoming the eighth operator travelled with on this rover. We were going to bail at Selby as my mate needed the station, but we realised we’d be getting the same 185 back that we’d caught from Leeds so we stayed on to Doncaster. Someone had left some jeans unattended in our coach, leading to one of the strangest announcements I’ve ever heard on a train. The female guard said they’d be removed at the next station (Howden!) should they not be claimed before then... the man soon came and collected them. I was a bit disappointed, as I wanted to see where she planned on ditching them on such a remote station!

    At Doncaster, we did a Scunthorpe return on TPE so my mate could get the station. Dud 185143 out, for dud 185113 back. Ironically 185113 was the reason I scored Scunthorpe on Saturday as it was a winner then!

    There were some problems in the Stevenage area affecting Virgin services, one was around an hour late and had Coach M locked out of use. We couldn’t see an obvious problem with it when it arrived. We planned to do a return to Gainsborough Lea Road on an EMT service but the connection was a +5 and if anything went wrong on the way down, there was no other services for two hours! Instead, 91109, winner for my mate, turned up on a York service.

    We went separate ways at York. My mate had to get back to Leeds for mid afternoon, and was looking for 91101 which he’d spotted at Leeds earlier in the day. I finally had some luck, sub-100 mile 91116 was heading north, and Durham would be enough to clear it.

    I saw a +3 at Durham which would be the quickest way to get onto another 91, I made it onto winner 220031 for the run back down. Here I would turn around again, having 10 minutes or so to wait for the delayed Newcastle service. Unfortunately 91104 was clear for 100 already, but I took it anyway before realising there was an on-time Edinburgh service just behind it that I could have caught instead.

    At Newcastle, rain now coming down again, I made my way over to platform 2 where 91114 appeared moments later. Now I was cursing my decision to board 91104 at Darlington as I’d have to take this to Berwick to clear 100 miles even though it was already on 97!!

    I decided it was better to clear one for certain rather than take a chance on others producing. I also worked out from seeing it earlier that 91121 should be on the next southbound service from Berwick, and this was also needed for 100. I arrived in Berwick and had 30 minutes, so I figured as it’d be the last time I’d be here on this trip and I needed food, I had to go back to Q-Kurdi Express!

    Made it back to the station around 5 minutes before my train, which wasn’t 91121 as hoped but in actual fact 91126, which is already over 100 and now not far from joining 91103, 125 and 127 In the 500 mile club. The food was devoured on the run to Newcastle, where I bailed as I didn’t need to continue on 91126 so I decided to go for a station instead. I had a wait here of around half an hour, so decided to get a coffee. My Starbucks rewards app had decided to award me a free ‘white mocha cold-brew’, and I’d unsuccessfully tried to redeem it at Doncaster earlier in the day. I managed to get it at Newcastle, it was OK but mostly froth. It certainly didn’t inspire me to purchase another one, nor did the service I received in store which was best described as frosty.

    91124 arrived just as I finished the coffee, to winner shack Alnmouth. I had a +1 here, or if I missed it there was a +25 or so, so it seemed a good time to do it as the service pattern here seems a bit erratic (even more gaps due to the Northern strike). In the end the southbound Cross Country service was 3L which helped me out, and I boarded 221138 back to Newcastle.

    [​IMG]
    82226 Alnmouth 10/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    I was pretty low on options at Newcastle. Other than staying on the Voyager which for obvious reasons did not appeal, my only other options were to wait for the Virgin service 25 minutes behind it (would most likely be 91114 again), or I could do Morpeth, but the connection was iffy and if it didn’t hold I’d be looking at a +90!

    I had a tough call to make, as I’d worked out from viewing the stills gallery on railcam UK that the Cross Country outward move to Morpeth had 43384 on the front which meant it should be required 43207 on the rear. On a normal day, all things equal this move would work out, but the XC service kept losing time and was 8L at Durham. The southbound service I needed to meet there was also 4L but then crept back up to only 2L at Berwick. At this point it was a -1.

    I’d watched 91114 come and go heading south as expected. I was starting to wish I’d boarded it, but that moment had gone. The HST arrived, and I boarded. We got a swift getaway from Newcastle, down to just 6L thanks to the dispatch staff being sharp getting the doors shut. It felt ridiculous to be heading north from Newcastle at 2040 when I had to be back in York. We seemed to be shifting at a good rate and it was clearly going to be close, but the odds were still against.

    I moved down as far as I could towards first class, after sussing from Google satellite view that the underpass at Morpeth was at the south end of the platform. We pulled in and the southbound service was already platformed, I knew I was in trouble! I ran down to the underpass, down the steps and up the other side as the doors closed and the CDL lights went out. It was 20:57:23 (I remember it well). The service had fully recovered time and left only 23 seconds late. I watched 91102 ‘City of York’ (ironically, where I needed to be) push its train out of the station. Then it sunk in that I had a bit of a wait on my hands.

    In all the drama, I forgot to bold my winners. It was as hoped 43384 leading 43207 to Morpeth, leaving just 43357 to get (not currently in service) from the XC HST fleet. I couldn’t just sit at Morpeth in the shelter for an hour and a half (the waiting room was closed). I went for a walk, and found a Sainsbury’s Local which had been converted from what looked like an old pub. Exciting stuff. I used the opportunity to do a mini food shop, getting some peanut butter for my toast in the morning (a couple of bags of coffee might have been a better purchase!) and a bargain 69p chicken and avocado sandwich for my lunch at work. It was even one of the posh ones in a bag rather than a box.

    There was only so much time I could spend in Sainsbury’s without looking like a shoplifter, so I carried on walking, before realising I was heading out of town so turned round and carried on past the station in the other direction. It was very quiet, must have only seen 4-5 people. There were a couple of pubs/bars but they didn’t look terribly inviting (though in hindsight probably moreso than the waiting shelter at Morpeth station). In the end I got as far as the river and turned round, getting back to the station at around 2145. Halfway there!

    [​IMG]
    Morpeth Shelter by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    It's fair to say the next 45 minutes went pretty slowly. 91125 broke the silence with the penultimate train of the day from the station (2155 to Edinburgh) before 91132 passed through non-stop. Finally the barriers on the level crossing a few hundred yards up the line went down, and the silver lining in this whole situation was confirmed as ex-works 43206 ‘Lincolnshire Echo’ lead my train into the station. We’d seen this earlier in the day heading through the centre road at Doncaster so I knew it had winner 43238 ‘National Railway Museum – 40 years’ on the rear. I joked at the time we saw it that I could get it in the book today if I didn’t mind getting in after midnight. Now thanks to my ill-advised move, I was indeed going to be in after midnight, but I was also down to 4 Virgin HST power cars to get.

    The run back was faster than expected, and thanks to Northallerton being a set-down only stop on this service, plus a fair bit of engineering works timetable padding, it arrived in York 21E at 2354. The station is eerily quiet this time, a long way off what it's like when York races are on!

    [​IMG]
    York at midnight by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    I got through the door at 0025, and set my alarm for 0530 for work!

    Day summary:

    43285 43321 YRK-LDS
    185109 LDS-BUH
    180113 BUH-DON
    185143 DON-SCU
    185113 SCU-DON
    91109 DON-YRK
    91116 YRK-DHR
    220031 DHR-DAR
    91104 DAR-NCL
    91114 NCL-BWK
    91126 BWK-NCL
    91124 NCL-ALM
    221138 ALM-NCL
    43384 & 43207 NCL-MPT
    43208 & 43238 MPT-YRK

    3 new stations: Alnmouth, Brough & Morpeth
    5 new units/locos: 2x HST, 1x 180, 1x 220, 1x 221
    13 dud units/locos: 4x HST, 6x 91, 3x 185

    Mileage for day: 617 miles

    Tuesday 11th July 2017

    I managed to survive work, and wasn’t feeling too bad at all considering I’d walked around 24,000 steps the previous day and only had 5 hours sleep! I finished work and decided the best way to start my station scoring would be to start from a new one, so I drove to South Milford. If the weather was iffy yesterday, then it was downright awful today. Non-stop rain all day!

    I was therefore happy to see my train approaching around 5 minutes after I arrived, after a slight detour after a road was closed on my usual route home. Even better, it was 142030 leading 142017. 142030 was the one I missed out on the previous Friday when it split at Sheffield and never came back, so I was pleased to get it as it’d have bugged me.

    We arrived at Selby on time, and 10 minutes later 158905 arrived on a York-Hull service to take me to second shack score Gilberdyke.

    [​IMG]
    158905 Gilberdyke 11/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    Again it was another short wait before 158794 took me to Doncaster – the line via Goole being a new stretch for me. It was all going to plan so far, I had around 15 minutes at Doncaster so could have grabbed something to eat but didn’t fancy a Subway, and the shelves at Starbucks and Costa looked pretty barren so I decided to wait a bit longer.

    I boarded winner 180109 to Retford. I was expecting to have to justify why the ticket was valid at least once over the course of the week, but had no trouble with it at all, even on EMT, Hull Trains and Grand Central who aren’t listed as valid on the National Rail website.

    At Retford, it was still chucking it down. I didn’t realise it, but I must have been suffering from fatigue induced stupidity as I left the train on platform 1, and I saw an information screen showing my next service which was for Lincoln Central. Now I was already aware that Retford was a split level station, but it didn’t sink in that the screen was in fact showing the next train on the low level platform. I only realised when I heard the screech of pacers coming to a halt, and made a dash for it. Unfortunately, much like at Morpeth last night, I was too late!

    Retford is also like Morpeth in terms of calling patterns, so there was now nothing I could catch for half an hour. Even worse, that service was going the other way on the low level platforms, but to take it one station down the line would give me a +0 at Worksop, and there was no way I was attempting that on current form! So the end result was I had an hour to kill at Retford, and it was too wet to go anywhere, and I’d stupidly left my raincoat at work.

    [​IMG]
    91121 Retford 11/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    In the end, after taking a couple of photos, I decided I was too bored and hungry. I looked on Google and found a well rated chippy nearby, but it wasn’t simple to get to as you had to cross the ECML via a footbridge to get to it, and then walk back the way you came at the other side of the line. Once you’re wet, it doesn’t make much difference if you get a bit more wet, so i went and got a chip butty and a can of coke. £2.85 seemed a bit steep, I’m sure it was around half that when I was a kid! I carried them back to the station in the bag, noticing a slightly quicker route on the return down a bridleway instead of down the road.

    I could have caught a Virgin service back to Doncaster (or even right through to Leeds), but there’d be nothing to aim for in those areas that can’t be had on a West Yorkshire Day Rover or South Yorkshire Connect Plus, so I decided to go with my original plan (except an hour later than planned!) – and boarded 142051 to Gainsborough Lea Road. I ate my chip butty en route. How very British, eating chips out of a paper bag on knackered old train in the rain, in July! The chips were good, although the bread had disintegrated slightly on the power-walk back to Retford station! This was another new stretch of line for me, I noticed we passed West Burton Power Station on the right hand side but other than that it was too murky and grey to see much.

    [​IMG]
    142051 Gainsborough Lea Road 11/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    Gainsborough really is a the definition of a shack, literally a little wooden canopy on each side with an underpass. I liked it, quite a charming station. The layout also meant you couldn’t see the arriving train until it passed the staircase canopy, but I was really hoping for a 153 over a 156 as I’d not yet had one on the trip. I was in luck, 153376 did the honours. Just me and two teenage girls joined, but quite a few people got off the train, possibly commuting home from Lincoln.

    We made good time on the run to Donny (another new stretch of track) until we got close, then we staggered along the approach on single yellow signals. 91109 pulled up next to us, this was the Kings Cross-Bradford Forster Square train, and despite not particularly wanting the loco, I wanted to be on it as it gave me 30 min at Leeds to catch the 2021 TPE service back to South Milford. The next service to Leeds would have been a bit tight.

    We got into platform 5 more or less bang on time, 91109 followed shortly after. This was probably the emptiest train I’ve been on all week, with perhaps the HST from Morpeth to York last night being the only exception. In fact I was that confident nobody would join me, I took a table seat which I rarely do when travelling solo!

    The TPE service, and final train of the epic rover, fell to 185140. It was another fairly quiet service, though I did board it about 15 minutes prior to departure. The connection from the later Virgin service from Doncaster would have held, and I saw it was my favourite loco 91130 on it. The run
    would have gone some way to clearing it for 100 but wouldn’t have been enough.

    Typically, the rain relented and the sun came out for the first time all day as I arrived back at South Milford.

    [​IMG]
    185140 South Milford 11/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    37175 was following on a test train so I sat in the car and waited for it to pass, unfortunately it was coasting through so no aural treat!

    Day summary:

    142030 & 142017 SOM-SBY
    158905 SBY-GBD
    158794 GBD-DON
    180109 DON-RET
    142051 RET-GBL
    153376 GBL-DON
    91109 DON-LDS
    185140 LDS-SOM

    3 new stations: Gainsborough Lea Road, Gilberdyke & South Milford
    3 new units: 1x 142, 1x 153, 1x 180
    6 dud units/locos: 1x 91, 2x 142, 2x 158, 1x 185

    Mileage for day: 136

    Trip summary:

    21 new stations
    38 new units/locos
    Mileage total: 2533 miles

    It was a great week, I will definitely be doing another FONE in a couple of years. It should be a period of transition for Northern, TPE and Virgin fleets by that time, so the chance of winners and variety should be high (it'll be hard to stay away from the 68's though...). There were a few moves I'd intended to do on this trip that I never got round to as well, so these will be targeted next time. The only one I really wish I'd done is the Hessle to Barton-upon-Humber walk over the Humber Bridge, but the Northern strike made it difficult. Next time...
     
    Last edited: 23 Jul 2017
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  3. djpontrack

    djpontrack Member

    Messages:
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    Morecambe
    That was some good moves mate. I've not been in that area for a few years and it all sounds very interesting.
    I've got a week of work soon and was planing to do a North West rover but I am thinking about a North Country rover now as that would allow me to head East for a change.
    Thanks for sharing your trip and it's always good to hear about takeaway options near stations too.
     
    Last edited: 15 Jul 2017
  4. ash39

    ash39 Established Member

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    Thanks, I've done both of those rovers as well and they're all great value for the areas covered, you can't really go wrong with any of them.

    I've added days 3 & 4 to the original post. The rest is typed but I've got a couple of photos to sort through before I post it.
     
  5. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Nowhere Heath
    Some top reading as always good sir! Far too much 91 action for my taste of course, but still a very well written piece.

    I know how you felt about flagging during the trip, I did in places on my ALR and you do occasionally get that "I could just go home..." thought during such a trip.

    Some stunning photos in Berwick, and you must have an immense lens to get some of these photos, the one at Yarm being a good example.

    Congratulations on clearing the 144s too! Very much looking forward to the rest of the read when it's ready :)
     
  6. CumbrianSausag

    CumbrianSausag Member

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    Stupid bloody chicken pannini........

    I did indeed get my own back!
     
  7. ash39

    ash39 Established Member

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    You'll like the next day then, it was the only day I didn't end up on a 91 (although I still did 10 miles in a mk4!)
     
  8. ash39

    ash39 Established Member

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    Now fully posted, including a couple of farces towards the end, of my own doing !
     
  9. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Devon
    This was an excellent read. I loved the guy going into meltdown in the quiet carriage. I could picture it very easily :lol:.
    Great photos too especially the ones at Berwick.
     
  10. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Sounded like a good week, farces at Morpeth & Retford aside :)
     
  11. alexf380

    alexf380 Established Member

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    Where to begin...
    A fantastic week of heaven by the sounds of things, and congrats on getting down to just 4 and 1 powercars on EC and XC required. I can't be the only one on here that wants to do one of those rovers now :P
     
  12. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

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    Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
    Sounds like an excillent week, if a little to much 91 action for my liking. I dont mind them as much as some but still not my favourite. Glad you got the 90 in, they do indeed scream loudly if given the chance, rather fond of them personally.

    Good to know about food options near BWK, when I was last there it was a bit cold for hanging around eating pizza but as I say good to know.
     
  13. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    interesting report - lots of travel
     
  14. ash39

    ash39 Established Member

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    It was amusing for sure, and as always in these situations, I don't think he saw the irony in the fact he was complaining about a lack of peace in the least peaceful way possible! :lol:

    Thanks, only 2 Grand Central as well but unfortunately got a long way to go on GWR and EMT!

    Entirely my own doing on both occasions!

    The 91's have always been my favourite, the main aim of the week was to get as many as I could over 100 miles but somehow only managed 91114 and 91116 in the end. Got a couple of years yet at least.

    Must admit I didn't expect to top 2,500 miles, considering my 2015 and 2016 totals were only around 5,000 for the year!

    There were more photos from the trip that didn't make it in to the report, the flickr album can be found here for those who are interested!
     
  15. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    That picture of the York departure screens reminded me so much of my trip to Glasgow in November 15, finishing the day at half eleven to find the departure screens at Glasgow Central a little on the bare side:

    [​IMG]A busy Glasgow Central by Kite, on Flickr
     
  16. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    I've now read the concluding part. What a series of farces there, I can only imagine how exhausted you must have been after getting in from the dump also known as Morpeth. I spent 20 or so minutes there recently and that was too long!

    90036 I am immensely jealous of, one that got away in 2006 and, along with 90034, is a frustrating gap in my NREA. Good to hear 90s can be enjoyable, I've not had a good performance out of one like that for years.

    Like Alex, I so want to do one of those rovers! Not done one since early 2007 and even then I couldn't use all the days. The 68s are going to appeal to a lot of us next year, indeed sales of all relevant rangers and rovers are going to soar!
     
  17. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

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    To my mind, Morpeth is an interesting town with a lot of history (and, last time I was there, a museum of Northumbrian bagpiping).
     
  18. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

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    Well if I'm not jealous of that I'll never be of anything! Sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing!
     
  19. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    And I assume that this was 20 minutes spent at the station? Not representative of Morpeth at all, it's a pretty nice town.
     
  20. ash39

    ash39 Established Member

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    Thanks, glad you enjoyed the read.


    On Morpeth, from what I saw of the town it looked really nice. The station itself is not particularly pleasant. The station building looked nice, but not much use when it's closed and unstaffed!
     
  21. woodhouse122

    woodhouse122 Member

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  22. ash39

    ash39 Established Member

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    Had a look through your photos Woodhouse, some nice shots! Looks like you had better weather than I did overall!
     
  23. ash39

    ash39 Established Member

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    Greater Manchester Wayfarer – Friday 21 July 2017

    I had been telling myself for weeks to head over to the North West for a post work Friday move, especially as 67022 had been on the ATW loco-hauled set for what seemed like months, and it was a requirement. I finished work just after 1pm, and was aiming for either the 1437 from Glossop or 1440 from Dinting depending on how long it took to drive to Glossop.

    It was a stunning drive through the Peak District, one I’ve not done before in daylight. I made up around 10 minutes on the sat nav estimate but got stuck behind a school coach trip for the last few miles. I parked the car at 1422 so decided to attempt the walk to Dinting. Turned out this was mostly uphill, probably explains why the Google maps estimate seemed quite conservative for 1.2 miles. I ended up running about half of it, seeing my unit making its way into Glossop as I crossed the railway bridge. I had around 2-3 minutes to spare in the end, and boarded 323232 at Dinting.

    [​IMG]
    323232 Dinting 21/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    I purchased my Wayfarer ticket from the friendly female guard, and enjoyed the fairly scenic run (my first on this route) to next winner shack Flowery Field.

    [​IMG]
    323237 Flowery Field 21/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    I was disappointed not to find any flowers. In fact it wasn’t the most welcoming of stations. Didn’t matter, as I only had 8 minutes here before 323237 took me back the way I came to Broadbottom.

    This was a much nicer station, with a nice old booking office and waiting shelter. It was another short wait here before 323233 took me back again, past not-so Flowery Field, this time bailing at Guide Bridge. I’d staggered through here many times before on TPE services but never stopped. I dropped lucky as during my short wait here a shiny 66041 came through with a train of red box wagons, looking quite smart.

    [​IMG]
    66041 Guide Bridge 21/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    First dud of the day 142029 took me into Manchester Piccadilly. A useful dud though, as it was sat on 9 miles prior to this so it’d easily clear 10 miles by Piccadilly. I’d originally planned to do Brinnington next but when I realised it would be 142029 again, I binned that idea. I took the opportunity to get some food, and got the now obligatory Boots meal deal. Must admit I’m getting quite bored of the chicken and bacon now, but I can’t seem to stop myself choosing it. I was tempted to do a Stockport leap on a Pendolino to get some phone charge, but the next one was dud 390107 so I instead boarded 319376 to Mauldeth Road.

    Made a mental note to never attempt a tight connection here, as it’s a good couple of minutes walk out of the station and up the ramp at the other side. The platforms looked brand new here, possibly recently relaid. 323235 took me back to Piccadilly.

    [​IMG]
    323235 Mauldeth Road 21/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    We passed the ATW mk3 set outside Longsight depot, so I already knew 67022 was on the set as hoped. 8 minutes to make the change at Piccadilly, which turned into 13 as there was a bit of a backlog. I couldn’t believe a freight had been sent through platform 14 in rush hour on a Friday evening. The platforms were unbelievably busy, thankfully most of the crowd were waiting for a Blackpool North service due before the 67. One of the 156’s was a winner, but I decided against doing a wedged Oxford Road leap and picking up the 67 there.

    It seemed to take an age to get everyone off and on the 156’s, further delaying my train and putting the rest of the evening’s plan in jeopardy. An amusing announcement occurred during the wait, as the 1639 EMT service to Norwich was announced as ‘splitting at Nottingham’. Nothing unusual about that you might think, happens all the time. The announcement went through the whole spiel of travelling in the right part of the train for your destination, and then 158854 rolled in on its own. That would have been an interesting split!

    67022 finally rolled up around 6 minutes late. It was busy but there were probably seats available, I opted to stay in the vestibule as despite the intermittent rain it was quite a humid day. I shared the vestibule with a chap I met on the 67 hauled set back in December. It was 67012 that day, and there were catastrophic signal problems around Oxford Road meaning we were stuck at Castlefield Junction for an hour! He's retired and regularly pops out for a return run into Manchester on the loco-hauled set, not a bad way to spend your retirement - I wonder if I'll be able to do the same in 40 years or so!

    A few more boarded at Oxford Road, but we managed to stay just 6 minutes late. 67022 did its best to make up time, and I enjoyed the warm breeze coming in through the droplight with a hint of oily two-stroke diesel fragrance accompanying it. I bailed at Earlestown as planned, just about managed to get a (very poor) photo of the 67, then set off on the walk back down the line to Newton-le-Willows. It was fairly tight what I was attempting, especially now with the late arrival. I knew I wouldn’t be stuck at Newton-le-Willows for very long if I missed it, so I didn’t run this time, but still walked quickly as the rain started to come down quite heavily. Unlike the time I got drenched in Retford earlier in the month, I did have a raincoat with me in a bag but it was too warm to wear it. Luckily the walking route is a footpath between the railway and the back of some gardens, and is mostly sheltered by overgrowth. I was surprised how much vegetation there was considering the wires only went up a few years ago.

    I heard my intended train roll past, looked like a white 319. I was still a fair way from the station, no chance of making it. Once finally on the platform, I took a seat under the shelter and tried to come up with a new plan. I was originally aiming for Birchwood next but wouldn’t make the train at Oxford Road now, so needed a plan B. The first train was going to Victoria, a winning 319 but I let it go. There was an ATW service shortly behind, having only had 2 Class 175s I was expecting a winner, but I was to be disappointed as 175108 showed up, previously had from Warrington Bank Quay to Manchester Piccadilly after getting 67014 in the book back in 2015.

    It was a fairly busy service so I made use of one of the flip down seats in the vestibule and ate my popcorn from Boots. I went right through to Piccadilly, and decided I’d have a look for winners before deciding my next move. Nothing of real interest was lurking, but a Pendolino arrived as I was crossing the footbridge. It was late, as were quite a few Virgin services due to a person hit by train somewhere down the WCML. It was due back out at 1835, which was only 5 minutes away, but the screens were saying expected 1848. The unreserved coach came to a halt conveniently next to me, and it was winner 390125, so I decided to board and got a table to get the phone on charge, as it was down to around 35% charge. Once people realised this was the next London train, it got busy quite quickly, especially as there had been a couple of cancellations. One of the train crew gave everyone a laugh by having a discussion with his colleagues about the PA not working... over the PA.

    Eventually we left at 1843, I could have stayed on to Macclesfield for a winner station but the connections back weren’t great so I got off at Stockport. I missed a Voyager heading back by a few seconds, which I would have taken as I only had a couple of hours left and wanted to get a few more moves in. Everything towards was delayed to some extent, the next train was a TPE from Cleethorpes to Manchester Airport but when it arrived it was dud 185120 and people were wedged up against the doors so I gave that a miss too. Eventually I boarded 150228 & 150268 on a service from Buxton, and once on board I looked on RTT and realised due to various small delays I could get a couple of stations in quick succession. I left the 150 pairing at Levenshulme, and crossed to the opposite platform where another came to take me to Heaton Chapel – this time it was dud 150110.

    Pacer express down the fast line at Levenshulme:
    [​IMG]
    142053 Levenshulme 21/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    The plan had worked out well, and I had +5 here which would usually be a +1. I still nearly messed it up though, as I couldn’t work out how to get to the other platform. The ticket office entrance was closed, and I’m sure the sign pointed to the alternative entrance being down the road, but it was actually behind me on the other side of the road. Eventually I found myself onto the platform, which was fairly busy with people heading into Manchester for the evening. Another single EMT 158 came through whilst I waited. Although not as deep, the stretch of line approaching the station reminds me of Marsh Lane cutting on the eastbound approach to Leeds, where I grew up.

    [​IMG]
    158857 Heaton Chapel 21/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    323226, another winner, took me back to Manchester. I saw an ATW Class 150 outside the station which I don’t remember ever seeing in Manchester before. It was due to leave for Chester in 2 minutes at 1950 so I decided to go try and make the connection. Platforms 13/14 were still as busy as earlier, and there was a backlog of services meaning 1950 came and went with no sign of the 150. Another winner 323 appeared on an Oxford Road only service – I didn’t even realise they went past Piccadilly. I turned this down, plus another pair of 156’s on another Blackpool service, before 150281 appeared for the novelty move just after 2000. Quite a few people boarded, and I realised I’d be stuck at Oxford Road for 20 minutes if it didn’t get a move on, as there wasn’t as many services coming back the other way. We stopped outside Oxford Road for a couple of minutes too, but in the end I had just enough time to jump on 185128 back to Piccadilly.

    I went to get a coffee, only to find the Starbucks at Piccadilly has closed! It helpfully suggested two nearby outlets but unhelpfully they’d both closed at 1900. No Costa available in walking distance either, I should have stayed at Oxford Road where there was a later opening Starbucks just outside the station. In the end, I got a mars bar and some odd green tea based drink, which was the only thing that wasn’t full of sugar that was a reasonable price. I made my way up to the far end of platform 4, where my train back to Glossop was due to leave from. There were two trains after the 2049 service that I could have caught, but I still had a 70 mile drive back home. Whilst waiting I spotted a football in the six foot, most strange location for a kickabout!

    I was expecting a dud 323 on this service, as I’d managed to dodge the 3 Northern ones I already had prior to today, and I’d not had any repeats of the units I’d had today either. I was in luck though, finishing on winner 323229 back to winner station Glossop.

    The drive home was another stunner as well, especially the twisty stretch from Glossop to Woodhead which was empty. Just a bit of light left in the sky, rain coming down (obviously), it was superb. I got home just before 2300.

    Day summary:

    323232 DTG-FLF
    323237 FLF-BDB
    323223 BDB-GUI
    142029 GUI-MAN
    319376 MAN-MAU
    323235 MAU-MAN
    67022 MAN-ERL
    175108 NLW-MAN
    390125 MAN-SPT
    150228 & 150268 SPT-LVM
    150110 LVM-HTC
    323226 HTC-MAN
    150281 MAN-MCO
    185128 MCO-MAN
    323229 MAN-GLO

    10 new stations: Broadbottom, Dinting, Earlestown, Flowery Field, Glossop, Guide Bridge, Heaton Chapel, Levenshulme, Mauldeth Road and Newton-le-Willows
    11 new units/locos: 1x 67, 2x 150, 1x 319, 6x 323 and 1x 390
    4 dud units: 1x 142, 1x 150, 1x 175 and 1x 185

    Mileage for day: 87 miles
     
    Last edited: 23 Jul 2017
  24. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

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    Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
    Interesting evening. FYI, burger King coffee is very nice.

    Well done in particular on all the ATW moves
     
  25. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Sounded like a productive day in Manchester area :)
     
  26. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    I forgot I loaded this up to read earlier! Quite a good evening out there, lots of scores for the short time on the rails.
     
  27. BR60062

    BR60062 Member

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    Lots of great photos there and some of those locations have given me some ideas for the future of my planned trips :).
     
  28. ash39

    ash39 Established Member

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    I only really drink iced coffee (strange I know), so Starbucks and Costa are the only real options. Yes that even applies in winter!

    Cheers, I do need quite a lot over that side of the hills so I can see a few more of these Friday evening moves now I know it's easily done.

    I think Levenshulme and Heaton Chapel would be great for telephoto shots of the many intermodal trains that run that way. I'll definitely be trying that next time I'm over that way and have enough time on my hands.
     
  29. ash39

    ash39 Established Member

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    South Yorkshire Connect Plus – Friday 28th July 2017

    A bit of a last minute move which came about on the Thursday evening. My mate had an afternoon spare, so we planned to meet up after I finished work on the Friday. I finished early again, and drove to Moorthorpe station. I still need Thurnscoe, Goldthorpe and Bolton-on-Dearne which are nearby but parking isn’t as easy at these stations.

    I boarded dud 142071 to Swinton, clearing it for 10 miles in the process. As on the previous Friday the rain was lashing down – so much for a nice summers evening shack scratching! At Swinton, I’d arrived just before a delayed 144/142 combo which was on a Sheffield service. It turned out my mate was on this (we’d planned to meet at Doncaster but he’d changed plans). Amusingly, he’d had no winning units all day until this point and had almost re-cleared the 144’s after falling onto 8 of them. He’d done very well on stations though.

    From here, it was another 144/142 pairing formed of 144013 and 142041 (winner for my mate, sub 10 miles for me) which we took all the way through Doncaster to winner station Thorne South. This station has been spruced up with new Northern logo'd signage and fencing/handrails painted in blue and yellow. A nice Leeds United theme going on, but a bit unusual that they don’t really match the new livery on the trains. Blue and white may have been better. A pair of Freightliner 66’s passed through light engine whilst we waited for our train back.

    [​IMG]
    66534 & 66615 Thorne South 28/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    144004 took us back to another winner station Kirk Sandall.

    [​IMG]
    144004 Kirk Sandall 28/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    My mate was fairly sick of 144s now! We planned to get Thorne North next, which would clear the rover area east of Doncaster (we already had Hatfield & Stainforth). Unfortunately there was a problem with our plan, we could get to Thorne North but the return working from Hull to take us back to Doncaster had been cancelled. We were a bit stuck and faced an hour wait unless we thought of something else. A quick scan of RTT showed that if we bought a return from Thorne North to Goole, we could meet a non-stop (Goole to Doncaster) service there and get back to Doncaster much sooner.

    We got rained on for 5 minutes at Kirk Sandall thanks to the apology for a shelter that we were stood ‘under’. The only amusement was watching a scrapyard operator aggressively chucking cubed cars around with a machine, clearly in Friday afternoon mode! Still, I was very pleased to see 158907 arrive, even more so when I worked out it was a winner, leaving me just 10 of 45 Northern Class 158’s to get. The guard checked our tickets and told us not to worry about paying for the extension to Goole, though from his manner it seemed like this was more due to the fact he couldn’t be bothered to issue the tickets as opposed to a nice gesture.

    Goole was a winner station that neither of us expected to score today. It did mean we’d have to leave Thorne North for another day, as well as Dore which we’d planned to get later but now couldn’t fit in. Goole was quite a nice station, with a modern glazed canopy and well placed for the town centre. The return service we aimed to meet was a few minutes down so we had 10 minutes to kill. A food move was considered but nothing took our fancy. We could have gone for a panini from Costa but after our panini experience in Eaglescliffe on the FONE we decided to leave it!

    Another low mileage unit, 158844, took us back to Doncaster. We had a bit of time so went into Frenchgate and got a KFC for tea. On me, as I still owed my mate for the pizza in Berwick-upon-Tweed earlier in the month!

    For some reason the two chicken breasts in my variety meal were much hotter than the rest of the meal, so I had to take them along onto dud 322484 and eat them on the way to South Elmsall. This was an annoying shack as I’d used it many times around 2012-2013 to go into Doncaster after work but never recorded any moves. Now officially ticked off, we had a short wait where we pondered which EMU would pick us up next. I’d cleared all 8 Northern 321/322s for ten miles with the exception of 321901, whilst my mate still needed 322482. I was in luck again, as 321901 showed up. Unfortunately it still wouldn’t be cleared for 10, but it was now much closer. After a lively run with lots of wheelslip, we left the 321 at Bentley as my mate needed the station.

    Shortly behind the 321 was 144003 on an Adwick-Scunthorpe service to return us to Doncaster. We then boarded 185130 to Meadowhall, surprisingly managing to grab a table seat! We’d decided Meadowhall would be the best place to look for winners, as we’d pretty much ran out of time to tick off any more stations. We boarded 158792 to Sheffield, as my mate needed it and I had a feeling I did as well. However, I checked my spreadsheet only to discover I’d had 182 miles on it! Fair to say I misjudged that one slightly!

    At Sheffield we spotted a 150 we both required, so we made a quick dash over the footbridge onto platform 1 to board 150115 back to Meadowhall. The Meadowhall leaps were proving to be quite fruitful, and it continued as we boarded winner for both of us 158902 back to Sheffield.

    I’d seen winner 142086 heading towards Doncaster at Meadowhall, and we could make the return working and still make our train back to Moorthorpe but it involved a +2 at Meadowhall which looked dodgy. We boarded dud 158905 anyway, and headed back towards Meadowhall. We’d have had to stay on to Rotherham Central, to change onto the 142 and then make the change at Meadowhall. We scrapped the plan, as the 142 had left Doncaster 1 late. We bailed at Meadowhall again, and this proved to be a good decision as another winner 158784 returned us to Sheffield. 8 to go!

    We got a drink from the station before boarding our final train of the day, which we were both very pleased with as it was last built and required for both of us 142096 for the run back to Moorthorpe. My mate reckoned he deserved credit for spotting it heading into Sheffield when we left for our last Meadowhall leap and working out we'd be able to get it, but we'd have caught this service regardless as it was the train back to the car!

    [​IMG]
    142096 Sheffield 28/07/2017 by Flash 3939, on Flickr

    After dropping him off, I got home slightly earlier than the previous Friday at 2215. After a slow start it was a worthwhile session!

    Day summary:

    142071 MRP-SWN
    144013 & 142041 SWN-TNS
    144004 TNS-KKS
    158907 KKS-GOO
    158844 GOO-DON
    322484 DON-SES
    321901 SES-BYK
    144003 BYK-DON
    185130 DON-MHS
    158792 MHS-SHF
    150115 SHF-MHS
    158902 MHS-SHF
    158905 SHF-MHS
    158784 MHS-SHF
    142096 SHF-MRP

    4 new stations: Goole, Kirk Sandall, South Elmsall, Thorne South
    5 new units: 1x 142, 1x 150, 3x 158
    11 dud units: 2x 142, 3x 144, 3x 158, 1x 185, 1x 321, 1x 322

    Mileage for day: 128 miles
     
  30. CumbrianSausag

    CumbrianSausag Member

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    Haha, that's a fair point, we'd have got 096 regardless.

    Hope you've kept your ticket, Northern reclaim for Thorne North fiasco awaits.

    10 hours of rattling around South Yorkshire bagged me 144 003 004 007 010 012 013 015 017 022 023, that's a lot of 144s.
     
    Last edited: 30 Jul 2017
  31. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Sounded like a good day in South Yorkshire, and with the delay at Thorne North might mean some freebie Northern tickets for a future day trip somewhere ;)
     

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