Birmingham and Leicester, 12/10

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Veteran Member
19 Jun 2005
Nowhere Heath
Well this day began with a lot of 'Shouldn't have bothered going', with delays all the way to New Street, via Bristol Parkway. Only after I got to Leicester (OK, Nuneaton) did things cheer up. You'll see as we go on. The day ended with a lot of 'So very glad I went' by the end of it.

My day began at about 0628, when I was faced with a walk to work to get my bag with my stuff in it back, as I had left it there the previous night (I'll say now that this trip wouldn't have gone ahead if I could have got to sleep). I left work at 0755 or so, having arrived at 0718! On the way to the station, I decided that if I failed to make the 0830, I would not go, as otherwise it meant getting a unit on the 0900 to Gloucester, or waiting for the 0930, neither option I liked. Thankfully I arrived at 0817, and having had 5 decisions to make about which destination to choose, I settled with Birmingham as I announced my declaration to the ticket office staff member that I required a 'Young Persons SuperSaver Return to Birmingham, please'. Near £23 leaves my card, and I head onto the station, not long after I see 43028 pull in the HST from Carmarthen. We depart more or less on time.

En-route to Bridgend, we stopped twice, the explanation I didn't hear. heart-of-wessex rang me at this point.

We eventually reach Cardiff around 12 down. 175107 is seen waiting for time to depart with the 0944 to Manchester. Newport we're 12 down still. By Patchway, we stopped at least twice, once in the station, where we had an announcement to say that passengers for BP should alight here for RRBS, due to problems in the area with signalling (I forget the exact announcement, I heard at least three explanations!). Around 10-11 minutes later, after a 7-minute coach ride, we arrived at BP, at 1029. Naturally, I've missed the 1008 Voyager now, and I'm still not happy about it. The 1038 Voyager shows up at 1044, after an announcement was heard that things are back to normal, at least for services to South Wales. We depart 1046.

Then we stuck behind a train in front of us, which is later revealed to have a broken oil pipe. The depot staff and engineers these days...tut tut. We arrive at Cheltenham Spa around 24 down, and at New Street 20 down!

After a bit of number crunching, which saw me get a new 350, I go up and buy my Y-P CDR to Leicester. £4.80 leaves my card, and I go downstairs to see what Voyager is on the 1248 to Manchester...

(Dramatic drum roll) It's a flaming 90! Well, I see the DVT first, then I remember the diagram! I get the numbers, some of the carriage numbers I needed, but not the 90 unfortunately. Typical, I don't have my cam when I need it. I soon run upstairs after dismissing the idea of buying on-board. The ticket machines won't let me buy the ticket to Stockport (was going to go there as only needed H-O to there from Stafford), so I give up and storm off back to the platforms in a bad mood. The 90 leaves 1 down, and I watch it leave without me. My mood is worsened by the poor weather, and the fact 170520 turns up on the stopper to Leicester! Again! GRR!

I got bored of the 170 not long after boarding it (which I only just made), and decided to alight at Nuneaton for the fast 170 on the Stansted train. Good thing I did, as I got 66406 and 401 here before the Stansted train came in! I dismiss the idea of doing the Cov-Nun route, as I wanted to make my way to Leicester for HST numbers (the whole point of the trip)! 170515 pulls in 3 up to take us to Leicester, where most of the train empties out at.

The exact way things went I forget, but here's the brief:

Down to just 1 more 4-car 222 to see, 012.
Got 43044 and 072 here, taking me to just 12 more 43s to go.
8 sheds through Leicester or near to it, which sparked up a parody of the 'I saw three ships...' song, which went like this 'I saw 8 sheds on my Leicester trip, on my Leicester trip, on my Leicester trip, I saw 8 sheds on my Leicester trip in the afternoon'. I loved it myself, don't know whether anyone else will know what I mean.
Saw 60023 here too.
Got a new CT 153 also, which was good.

I got the 1549 (delayed, arrived 1554, left 1556), which was run by 158856. I consider alighting en-route at Nuneaton in case anything interesting comes through, but I dismiss the idea, especially as I saw 66568 approaching Nuneaton as we did, so I was happy with that score and stayed on the train. Good thing I did too, although I missed the locos on three freights (two were FLs!) unfortunately en-route to New Street, I got my last 323 in the entire class as we arrived! Cue one mini-celebration before alighting!

A bit of number crunching before I head to Moor Street for numbers sees the 90 again on the 1648 (slightly less angry I missed it now), 350103, and some other stock which I didn't bother noting. The platform drains were overflowing with water at New Street, something I can't say I've seen before!

At Moor Street, I see 150013, 14 and 17, as well as 168001, none of which I needed. I wasn't willing to wait for the heavily delayed trains coming from the other direction, so I left to get a drink from the newsagents nearby, then for the 1742 Voyager home. 220006 forms this service. Still I need 221115!

On the way home, at 1750, I fall asleep, and remain that way for most of it. At Cardiff, I alight to find the 1953 to Carmarthen is around 35 minutes late. I go get a Mars bar to eat and hence keep me awake til I get home. The Carmarthen HST eventually arrives at 2029, we leave a couple of minutes later.

We arrive in Swansea at 2125, and I proceed to the shop for a bit of supplies, then leave town at 2128. It took me a record 50 minutes to walk home, with most of it up hills! I indulge in some beans on toast, then a sandwich, with a few episodes of the Simpsons, before going to sleep. By now, I was shattered, as a result of not sleeping the night before.

That sums up my day pretty much. Comments are, as per usual, welcome.
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