Cactus' UK & European rail travels

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cactustwirly

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I thought it was easier to have my own dedicated thread, than separate threads for each trip.

Basingstoke 07/04/16

I wanted to have another attempt at getting 150002, as my first attempt was unsuccesful (2 x Turbo).

My outbound train was slightly disrupted by an earlier incident at Tilehurst, so my train crawled all the way from Sonning Cutting to Reading. But I made my connection with time to spare. Luckily 150002 turned up on the 1307 off Reading, and I got a good seat. We arrived into Basingstoke on time at 1332.

I went off into Town to visit the Bank, and treated myself to a Latte from Starbucks.

Then I headed back to the station, arriving at approx 1415. Finding myself in utter chaos (caused by the earlier incident), the 1437 to Reading was delayed by about 20 minutes, so I caught the 1449 XC Voyager towards Manchester, which arrived into Reading on time! (I didn't really want to wait any longer)

Having been on both Voyagers and Sprinters, I like them both the same as each other! One has character, the other is comfortable and fast, and honestly I don't think Voyagers are that bad. Yes they are noisy and some windows don't have a view, but they are miles better than a class 165/6. I would rate them on par with a class 156, in terms of comfort and sound insulation.

Pictures:
150002 by litecactus, on Flickr

150002 by litecactus, on Flickr

Basingstoke by litecactus, on Flickr

Basingstoke by litecactus, on Flickr

Basingstoke by litecactus, on Flickr

221 Basingstoke - Reading by litecactus, on Flickr

221 Basingstoke - Reading by litecactus, on Flickr
 
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fishquinn

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Welcome to the trip reporting community! I need both 150001 and 002 but with HSTs available in and around Reading, unless I have to go from Basingstoke to Reading, they can wait!
 

cactustwirly

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Welcome to the trip reporting community! I need both 150001 and 002 but with HSTs available in and around Reading, unless I have to go from Basingstoke to Reading, they can wait!

Good luck getting them! 150001 is in Doncaster & 150002 seems to spend more time in the Depot than out!
They're like a needle in a haystack.
 
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Kristofferson

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Welcome! Nicely done getting 002.

On a different note, I believe it is possible to directly embed images from Flickr here :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Techniquest

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Welcome to the trip reporters' community!

I find it almost impossible to rate a Voyager higher than a 150 or 165/166. There was a time I could, but not for the last 7 years!
 

47403

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Welcome to the trip reporters' community!

I find it almost impossible to rate a Voyager higher than a 150 or 165/166. There was a time I could, but not for the last 7 years!

I concur but against a 156:o, however each to their own, one mans rubbish, is anothers mans gold. Me personally I'd sooner ride a lawnmower from A - B than a voyager but sometimes, theres never a lawnmwer about and you have to get on one, they serve their purpose to be totally fair but I still cant stand voyagers, still theyre slightly better than Pacers but thats hardly high praise.
 
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cactustwirly

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Just noticed there is a sale on the GWR website, I was planning to go somewhere to celebrate the end of exams on the 18th June.
so do you guys have any ideas where I could go?
 
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fishquinn

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How about a day trip to PZ? Or, even better, the summer only Pembroke Dock tram (08:45 out of Padd, 09:12 out of Reading)?
 

cactustwirly

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How about a day trip to PZ? Or, even better, the summer only Pembroke Dock tram (08:45 out of Padd, 09:12 out of Reading)?

Yeah had a look, Pembroke isn't covered by the offer, and advances are almost £50. And Penzance isn't really feasible as I would get home at 9pm!

I was thinking Cheltenham Spa but the journey is a little short.

Also I didn't know Trams went as far as Pembroke! ;)
 
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Techniquest

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How far would you like to go? Cardiff or Swansea will be longer than Cheltenham at least, and the run to Swansea will take you past Margam, how long the steelworks will be there for is anyone's guess!
 

cactustwirly

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I can't do any days in the offer, but I've managed to find some cheap advances on the 26th to Carmarthen and back
 

cactustwirly

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Bristol 02/05/16

Went to Bristol for the Depot Open Day. My first train was 166221 from Twyford to Reading. Thanks to the useless bank holiday service, I had a 25 minute layover at Reading, so I sat and twiddled my thumbs! Eventually the 0941 to Paignton via Bristol showed up on time, but due do engineering works at Swindon we were diverted via the Berks & Hants line via Newbury & Bradford on Avon. We arrived into Bristol Temple Meads on time and I headed to St Phillips Marsh.

The depot was quite large, and had some interesting locos on display. I made it just in time to witness the unveiling of 43002 in BR Blue!

At around 1pm it started raining (and I had seen pretty much everything) so I retraced my steps to Temple Meads and caught the 1436 to Avonmouth as far as Clifton Down (the ticket cost me all of £1!). And the 1531 back again.

I then caught the 1700 back to Reading formed of 43012 + 43031 we got caught behind two stopping services at Trowbridge and Newbury, leading to a slow trundle and a 15 minute delay. I caught the 1903 from Reading with plenty of time to spare!

photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157668128866025
 
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fishquinn

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Sounds like it was good fun! The 25 minute wait was probably worth it (in my opinion) because you got a tram and it was extra mileage!
 

cactustwirly

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Good bit of haulage and a divert for a quid, well done mate.
Would a Day Rover of some sort not tick any boxes for you?

Yes, but I didn't have the time!

I'm planning my next outing - a three day Thames Rover to clear most of my TV shacks, then I would just need Hanwell
 

Kite159

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Yes, but I didn't have the time!

I'm planning my next outing - a three day Thames Rover to clear most of my TV shacks, then I would just need Hanwell

Good luck with your plan :)

Hanwell can be done on a travel-card and IIRC it is better connection from a 360 from Heathrow. Or there are probably buses which you can jump on to escape the area back to decent levels of service
 

fishquinn

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Don't faff around with the shacks! Just bash trams between Reading and Padd all day ;)!
 

cactustwirly

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It does, I did just that years ago. Mind you 6 round trips (one was broken at Slough in conjunction with a Windsor branch bash) in one day was always going to get dull...

At least it was a new line for you, I travel up that way fairly regularly.

My main priorities for the Rover is to clear the North Downs Line, Berk and Hants and the Marlow Branch.

My provisional plan is attached (I find excel quite useful for neatly laying my plans out)
 

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fishquinn

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It doesn't! Just remind yourself that your on an HST! Last Saturday I did 7 return trips from Reading to Padd and it didn't get boring (it would've been more if we hadn't seen winners going to and from Swindon). Nothing to split that up but two return trips to Swindon from Reading were had after.
 

cactustwirly

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It doesn't! Just remind yourself that your on an HST! Last Saturday I did 7 return trips from Reading to Padd and it didn't get boring (it would've been more if we hadn't seen winners going to and from Swindon). Nothing to split that up but two return trips to Swindon from Reading were had after.

fun for 2 journeys perhaps, but not 7. As I travel that line semi regularly, I get bored of it for 1 journey, let alone 7!
Anyway I'm on a HST from Padd to Moreton-in-Marsh, and an Adelante back.

My plans only cover 2 out of the 3 days, I might spend the other one HST & Adelante bashing
 
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Techniquest

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At least it was a new line for you, I travel up that way fairly regularly.

My main priorities for the Rover is to clear the North Downs Line, Berk and Hants and the Marlow Branch.

My provisional plan is attached (I find excel quite useful for neatly laying my plans out)

Can't view Excel documents here, as I have no Office. The Windsor branch had been dud for years when I did it, I was accompanying my sister to Windsor as she was going there for something or other.

I found it dull on the round trips even as an HST nutter back at the time, although if you're doing it as a group bash it might be less dull.
 

cactustwirly

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Now that my exams are over, I have now got a lot more free time. Beginning with today's trip.
The plan was to go somewhere using GWR's offer, but I couldn't make any of the dates so I bought some cheap regular Advances instead.

A long jaunt on a HST..... 26/06/16


I started the day at Twyford catching the 0937 to Didcot Parkway as far as Reading, with 165117 doing the honours.
I had a 20 minute connection, so I headed to platform 9 to pick up the 1007 to Carmarthen with 43165 "Prince Michael of Wales" and 43056 "The Royal British Legion".
The train was busy, but thankfully no one had taken my seat, which was a table seat in Coach D facing forwards (no. 56).
There was a technical fault which delayed us by 15 minutes at Didcot Parkway. Which we never fully made up.
I got a Latte from the "Express Cafe" at Bristol Parkway (where a crew change took place), and IMO GWR do the best on-train coffees
At Cardiff most people got off, meaning that the train was only 1/2 full.
At Port Talbot it started raining, and never stopped until we reached Newport again
At Swansea (another crew change took place) the majority of passengers alighted, so I almost had the whole carriage to myself.
A few people boarded at Llanelli and Pembrey & Burry Port. The sea views between Pembrey and Carmarthen are fantastic, and definitely worth the 3 hour journey.
We arrived at Carmarthen 12L meaning I only had an hour to grab lunch from M&S and get back to the station.

The 14:58 to London Paddington left bang on time (& almost empty), but we were held outside Swansea for 10 minutes incurring another delay which we never made up.
The train filled up to roughly 2/3 full.
I had another Coffee at Bridgend.
At Cardiff a lot of people boarded therefore most seats were taken.
The weather cleared up around Newport
We arrived in Reading 8 minutes late meaning I missed the 18:40 connection to Twyford, meaning I had to wait 40 minutes for the 19:20 :(
It was formed of 165102

So at the end of the day, I had cleared 43056 + 43165 for 364 miles and had 11 new shacks.

Some pictures:

43165 + 43065 @ Carmarthen by litecactus, on Flickr
43165 + 43065 @ Carmarthen by litecactus, on Flickr
litecactus, on Flickr
43165 + 43056 @ Carmarthen by litecactus, on Flickr
Sea view near Ferryside by litecactus, on Flickr
Sea view near Ferryside by litecactus, on Flickr
Sea view near Ferryside by litecactus, on Flickr
 
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fishquinn

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I certainly was surprised at your destination! Sounds like a fun time there. Remember to claim delay repay for the missed connection.

You weren't kidding about the images being large either!
 

Kite159

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Depends what the minimum connection time is at Reading, no point claiming if it was an unofficial connection

Sounded like a good day to West Wales, bar the weather
 
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