ollieb's reports from the rails

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221129

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Hi guys,

I am new to posting in this area of the forum but having read a few reports from others I feel I want to give it a go! Any comments, questions or suggestions feel free! :)

I'll start off by some of my recent trips from last year to get the ball rolling before some big trips this year.

Starting off with Cornwall 2015.

The aim of this trip was to cover all 4 Cornish branch lines in the course of one weekend in June 2015 with forum member emilyd & Temple Meads joined us for a little while.

Ticket-wise, we combined two Ride Cornwall passes with a Devon Evening Ranger, a Devon Ranger and a return from Exeter to Taunton (Total cost £34.10)

Starting from Exeter St Davids at 18.22 on the Friday, I caught the Penzance HST (1C87) which had already picked up Temple Meads and emilyd at Tiverton Parkway and we headed down to Newton Abbott where we arrived on time at 18.41 before picking up the 18.52 unit back up to Dawlish. After fish and chips and ice creams, we caught the 20.07 to Starcross where we had an 18 minute wait before we met the 20.33 all stops HST to Paignton (1C91) and managed to photograph the rear power car (43040) from the level crossing. As darkness fell we made our way to Plymouth on the 2230 Devon Metro unit and 23.02 Voyager, changing at Newton Abbott arriving at 23.39.

Our sleeper move went to plan leaving on time at 23.54 and arriving at Taunton 10 minutes early at 01.34 Temple Meads had left us at Exeter, although after waiting at Taunton for the down sleeper at 02.30 we were so exhausted that we were tempted to upgrade to a room if one had been available. Sitting on the floor in the vestibule until we got seats at Exeter was a low point of the trip.
But that was made up for when we woke up in Cornwall, shortly before arriving at Lostwithiel. We alighted at Truro and immediately boarded the 07.16 Maritime Line service to Falmouth, rubbing the sleep from our eyes. We came straight back up and then got breakfast in Truro before boarding the 09.04 Voyager to Liskeard.
With a 9 minute connection we took the 09.59 dogbox to Looe and the 12.48 back up to Liskeard, after exploring the pretty town and taking a boat trip across the harbour. From Liskeard we took the 13.42 HST direct to Redruth and checked into our B&B. Then we headed to Camborne on the 15.48 HST but got the bus back.
Next morning our first objective was the St Ives line

St Ives was disappointing, shrouded in drizzle, but this did mean it wasn't busy. As we took the unit back up to St Erth we got a great view over unusually empty beaches.
Having caught the 11.50 HST to Liskeard, we joined the 13.53 Atlantic Coast Express to Newquay with 43025leading & 43094 on the rear. For this leg of the trip we got a weekend first upgrade for only £5. It was interesting to take a HST along such a narrow, overgrown line.
When we reached Newquay the sun was out again and just across the road from the station was a place where you could look down into the blue waves from the top of a cliff. After buying cheesy chips we set off back to TVP with 43094 leading & 43025 trailingon the direct 16.21 Paddington service finally arriving back at Tiverton Parkway at 19.30.

Thanks for reading, as I said any comments or questions welcome.

Also Thanks to emilyd for helping with this report.
 
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fishquinn

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Sounds like a very fun time! It looks like you already have the hand of trip reporting and I'm looking forward to more in the future!
 

Techniquest

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Welcome to the clan of trip reporters ollieb!

A most interesting couple of days there, that's for sure. The trip around the harbour at Looe sounds quite interesting and I'd like to know more and see any photos if you have some to share.

I note you don't mention which units you travelled on, nor which locos you had on the Night Riviera, however you did note at least one pair of HST power cars. Just out of interest, do you keep record of them? Not complaining, please be aware, but just interested in what appeals to you.

Did you find Par to Newquay to be a bit of a drag? Having done it a few times on summer Saturday HSTs I find it a boring line. No better on a 150/2 that I originally did the line on in September 2005 mind, and I still need to go there on a GWR HST one day. Bargain Weekend First fare though, worth the upgrade for the extra luxury!

I sure enjoyed the read, and I hope to read more from you in the future!
 

221129

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Welcome to the clan of trip reporters ollieb!

A most interesting couple of days there, that's for sure. The trip around the harbour at Looe sounds quite interesting and I'd like to know more and see any photos if you have some to share.
Thanks, it was a very enjoyable weekend. They run a small passenger boat across (it saves a bit of a walk) and I think it was something like £1 each way. I'll see if I have any photos and I'll post them up if I have.

I note you don't mention which units you travelled on, nor which locos you had on the Night Riviera, however you did note at least one pair of HST power cars. Just out of interest, do you keep record of them? Not complaining, please be aware, but just interested in what appeals to you.

I wasn't writing or recording haulage at this point so all the numbers etc are from photos that I have taken or memory. I only started writing down numbers on my ALR in November, which will be posted up at some point soon.

Did you find Par to Newquay to be a bit of a drag? Having done it a few times on summer Saturday HSTs I find it a boring line. No better on a 150/2 that I originally did the line on in September 2005 mind, and I still need to go there on a GWR HST one day. Bargain Weekend First fare though, worth the upgrade for the extra luxury!

It is a bit of a drag yes, but I met a couple of friends (also in first) so wasn't too bad and for emilyd it was a new line for her so she was more interested in that.

I sure enjoyed the read, and I hope to read more from you in the future!

Thanks alot! I will try and get our next trip up this afternoon!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Sounds like a very fun time! It looks like you already have the hand of trip reporting and I'm looking forward to more in the future!

Thanks fishquinn
 
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Techniquest

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Fair enough on the numbers thing, I was like that for a long time myself way back in the mid-2000s. Wish I'd kept better records now but c'est la vie!

The trip across the harbour sounds like a bargain and well worth investigating! Looking forward to your ALR trip report, I'm hoping to one day be flush enough to do one again!
 

55013

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I will echo the greetings to the Guild of Trip Writers and say I'm looking forward to future reports :)
 

Temple Meads

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I can help with the unit numbers from the 26th - will attach a screenshot from my records to this post!

Ollie and Emily didn't do 2A65 and 2T29 - I just enjoy the declassified First Class on 2A65, I was pleased I did as it was quite interesting with 43040 having power issues - we had to skip Torre.

Also I remember we had a healthy debate about regulation of delayed services with 2F55 waiting for a delayed 1A94 at Newton Abbot! :p

A shot of 43040 at Paignton was the only picture I took that evening:

FGW - 43040 - Paignton by Tim Squires, on Flickr
 

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221129

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I was with emilyd again for this week-long trip. The aim was to have a bit of a holiday whilst covering some easy and scenic lines in South Wales.

So we combined a 3 in 7 days Freedom of Severn & Solent Rover (FoSS) with a 4 in 8 days Explore South Wales pass (ESWP).

Day 1

We'd planned to spend the first day in Bath en route to Cardiff but in the end we just headed up in the evening, taking the 1837 Voyager from Tiverton Parkway to Bristol TM, where just because we could we changed onto the 1940 unit to Bristol Parkway. 4 minutes later and it was time for the 2007 HST through the Severn Tunnel (a first for emilyd). Emerging out the other side into Wales really gives the feeling of being in a different country, much more than crossing an invisible border. After alighting at Cardiff Central it was straight to the ticket machines for a quick bash down to Cardiff Bay - as we were only using the FOSS that day, which does not cover that line, we could not get it included, but it was only around (£2?). So we took the 2101 to Cardiff Queen Street and 2112 to Cardiff Bay, coming straight back without alighting at Cardiff Bay. We then got a taxi to the youth hostel from Central station.

New lines covered for Ollie; None
New Lines for Emily; Bristol Parkway – Cardiff Central, Central – Queen St, Queen St – Cardiff Bay.


Day 2 to follow...
 
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Techniquest

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A nice and easy first part there, and did I read that right, you've got a female companion that enjoys rail travel? If so, she's a rare breed!

Looking forward to seeing what you got up to Wales, some nice scenic journeys to enjoy :)
 

fishquinn

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I'm looking forward to the rest of the report!

£2 for a return from Central to Bay is a rip off though!
 

221129

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An interesting report on Cornwall. I do love it down there. It isn't the North East but it is pretty good ;)

thanks for sharing and welcome!

Thanks!

A nice and easy first part there, and did I read that right, you've got a female companion that enjoys rail travel? If so, she's a rare breed!

Looking forward to seeing what you got up to Wales, some nice scenic journeys to enjoy :)

It was a relaxing trip, more of a holiday than bashing to be honest but still got a lot of route clearance in!

Indeed you did! A rare breed indeed, although can be more of a curse than a blessing!

Thanks, I hope to add day 2 and 3 today.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the report!

£2 for a return from Central to Bay is a rip off though!

Thanks fishquinn
 
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emilyd

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The trip around the harbour at Looe sounds quite interesting and I'd like to know more and see any photos if you have some to share.

Here are some photos I took of Looe harbour. As you can see, it was a beautiful day, though we were half asleep after the overnight journey! :)
 

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emilyd

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Here we have the powercar photographed from the level crossing at Paignton, the St Ives unit, and the front and rear power cars at Newquay
 

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221129

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Day 2
To start day 2 we headed west on the delayed 0948 HST to Swansea, where we had nearly an hour to connect to the 1138 ATW service to Camarthen. We wandered around town in the rain, bought pasties for lunch (along with a hoodie which I hadn't thought I needed to pack), and stocked up on some provisions for our two night stay at Manorbier. Then the 1451 formed of 150217 took us to Pembroke town and we walked down to look at the castle. As soon as we entered Pembrokeshire the weather and scenery had changed dramatically: sunshine and green countryside with views over the blue sea, instead of Carmarthen's bleak estuary.
Unfortunately we hadn't looked into taxi availability and assumed we would be able to get one at Manorbier station. After 150217 had come back from its trip to the dock on the 1717 and had dropped us off we found that wasn't possible so had to get the 1754 with 150259 back to Pembroke and a taxi from there.

New lines covered for Ollie; Swansea – Pembroke.
New Lines for Emily; Cardiff Central – Swansea, Swansea – Pembroke.


Day 4
After spending two nights camping at Manorbier Youth Hostel and a great day on the beach we were on the move again. After taking a bus to the pretty little town of Tenby we caught the 1031 Pembroke Coast Express HST (headed up by 43098) to Swansea. Then we stocked up on snacks for the Heart of Wales line.
This was a very remote, scenic route but was quite tedious in the single 153 running the 1312 to Shrewsbury. The journey took just under 4 hours and as we lost track of all the places beginning with a double L, the train filled up as we passed through the heart of Wales.
Fortunately when we changed at Church Stretton and had a leg stretch we didn't have long to wait for the 1700 (formed of 175107) down to Leominster, where we stayed at the youth hostel.
New Lines covered for us both – Heart of Wales Line.

Day 5
Next day was just a trip to Hereford on the rail replacement bus (due to engineering works) for me. But emilyd managed to fit in a train trip to Gloucester via Newport in order to cover the line that runs alongside the Severn estuary.
 
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emilyd

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(From Day 2 of the South Wales trip)
 

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emilyd

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Photographed here at Swansea before boarding, and at Church Stretton after we alighted. :)
(On Day 4 of the South Wales trip)
 

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Techniquest

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Leominster has a youth hostel? I didn't know that, and it's reasonably considered part of my local area! Also, you went to Leominster? You poor souls, what on Earth did you do to be tortured with a visit to such a terrible place?!

Surprised you didn't appear to enjoy the Heart of Wales though. Yeah it's an endurance journey (imagine spending most of the day going up and down the line!) but surely you appreciated the scenery? Not the West Highland Line, sure, but it's better than the Pembroke Dock line! Saundersfoot is a nicer place to visit, having been there multiple times during my childhood. I do wonder what it's like these days!

Thanks emilyd for the photos of Looe Harbour, looks like a nice place. I'd also forgotten what Newquay looked like, having not visited since 2008, so that was a nice sight. I really need to get down to Cornwall again for a proper visit!

Looks like it was a good time overall though!
 

221129

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Day 6
Next day it was back to using our FOSS passes and the last day of our flexi Passes, as we took the 0916 (175) from Leominster to Hereford where we spent the morning, We then caught the 1433 175 to Newport (where we nearly missed our connection because I was photting 60100 on a loaded Steel), we decided to make best use of the FOSS so it was time for the 1539 HST to Swindon. It was then time for the Golden Valley Line up to Gloucester on the 1638 Cheltenham-bound HST (43186 & 43071). We then took 150925 down to Bristol TM on the 1746, taking a somewhat tedious and fragmented journey back to Tiverton Parkway. From temple Meads we got the 1916 stopping HST service to Taunton via the Weston loop, and after food there we picked up the 2054 HST for the last hop home.
 

221129

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Been a while since I posted in here so here we go!

Travelling around Scotland by rail had been a dream of my friend Emily for years, and when we found out about the Spirit of Scotland Travelpass we couldn't wait to give it a try. This amazing ranger ticket, valid for 8 in 15 days (or 4 in 8 ), can be used for all passenger rail services and CalMac ferry services within Scotland, as well as some Citylink and bus routes.

My report starts a long way from the main focus of this part of the thread, at Tiverton Parkway on 14th July.

In time for 1S51 the 1337 departure from Tiverton Parkway to Glasgow, which will be my lift as far as York, I watch 43303 & 43384 pull into the platform. One of my friends is already on the train and I find him at an empty table. The journey goes relatively smoothly and after several rounds from the trolley we arrive into Wakefield Westgate, where we are expecting another friend, who is half way through a 2 week All Line Rover. On arrival at York we are met by emilyd and we head into the Tap. After a quick drink in the tap we head our separate ways, as they head to Newcastle and Emily and I head into York.

Tickets Used;
A Combination of Advance and Off Peak Singles.

Miles Covered: 287
 

221129

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So after a couple of days in York waiting for Em to finish uni we start our 2 week Scottish Adventure.

I had bought my Spirit of Scotland Flexi Pass the weekend before in Cardiff (got some comments from the guards), however Emily had to buy hers from the ticket office at York. Having got her ticket without issue, we collected our advance tickets to Berwick-upon-Tweed splitting at Newcastle.

Our first train promptly pulled into Platform 9 with 43320 leading 43314 with 1S03 the 0737 departure from York.

An uneventful journey up the ECML to Berwick followed. Today had a purpose and a strict timetable to pick up a Ferry later that afternoon. We arrived at Berwick on time at 0930 time for a bit of photting and a wander around town.

Back in time for the 1021 CrossCountry service to Glasgow which arrived about 8 minutes late in the form of 221122. This formed my least favorite journey of the whole trip. With a large group in front of us playing loud music and being generally obnoxious, coupled with further delays and some overcrowding made me consider bailing at Edinburgh, however with the ferry connection in mind we decided to continue to Glasgow about 20 mins late.

After finding out about a few engineering works, and that we would be having to change at Kilwinning instead of a direct service I thought, "Ideal, a winning shack & more winning units!" Emily, not so impressed.

So, it was now time for 380021 & 380107 with 1Z25 1318 Glasgow Cent - Troon as far as Kilwinning, where we had a very quick connection onto 380016 with 2Z65 1355 Kilwinning - Ardrossan Harbour, where we would alight to catch the CalMac ferry to Arran for a few days.

Winners for the day were;
43320
221122
380021
380107
380016


Total miles for the day: 291

Some Pictures should hopefully be attached below.
 

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fishquinn

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I'm enjoying the read so far! 'S51 is a service that I travel on regally.

314 would've been cleared if I got it on the run you had!
 

Cowley

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Looks like a nice trip and you're from Tivvy pretty close to me! It's a very different scene in Scotland that's for sure
 

221129

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I'm enjoying the read so far! 'S51 is a service that I travel on regally.

314 would've been cleared if I got it on the run you had!

Cheers, as do I! I feel that i'll be using it a lot more soon...
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Looks like a nice trip and you're from Tivvy pretty close to me! It's a very different scene in Scotland that's for sure

Indeed! Enjoyed Scotland so much!
 

221129

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After a few days on Arran (which if you would like to hear more about just let me know) it is time to head back to the mainland.

With our tickets being valid on the CalMac ferries, the first leg of our short journey today is on MV Isle of Arran from Brodick - Ardrossan.

It is then time for the leisurely stroll across the car park of the ferry port and onto the platform at Ardrossan Harbour station, where 380114 is waiting to take us to Glasgow on 1F72 1636 Ardrossan Harbour - Glasgow Central.

Tonight, we were booked into a room at the Euro Hostel located just around the corner from Central Station. A handy location for several reasons, you can see the trains coming into Central, it gave us a chance to relax, order some food and have a quick nap, and gave me a chance to nip back round to Central to clear my first ever 92s for sight and phot.

On arrival at Central station I am greeted with 92033 on the blocks with 92014 ready to lead the train to London. On walking back to the Hostel we passed the KFC on the corner of Union Street which appeared to be having some issues as the Fire service turned up and headed in. (I am led to believe that it is a semi regular occurence.) After that little bit of drama and excitement it was time to head back to the hostel for an early night ready for some 73 miles tomorrow...

Winners for the day;
MV Isle of Arran
380114

Miles covered: 32
 

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221129

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Mmm, 92s, some of the most beasty and noisy locos ever!

I only got to see them stood at GLC so can't comment aha!

After an early night at the Euro hostel, it was time to check out and head to Queen Street. Walking through Glasgow city centre at sunrise felt a world away to the walk last night, by 0530 we were on the Low Level platforms at Queen Street (middle of July so during the works) to await 1Y11 0548 Caledonian Sleeper Service to Fort William with us alighting at Bridge of Orchy. With me getting more and more excited to get my first 73s in 73968 & 73966 shatter the morning peace as they pull into the platform. I remain wide awake for my first ever journey onto the West Highland line, taking in the scenery as we leave the built up areas of Glasgow and the lowlands and head up into the clouds... After a few delays at Crianlarich and Upper Tyndrum due to RETB issues we arrive at Bridge of Orchy about 25 minutes late. Fortunately our connecting train was in the section ahead so had some form of entertainment with the sleeper set being there to photograph.

Not long after 156456 came to whisk us back down the hills to Crianlarich with the 0907 departure to Glasgow. With a 45 minute or so wait we decide to reccy the area, after all this will be one of our stop offs later in the trip. We got back to the station in time for 156500 to pull in with the 1015 to Oban, we board for the hour and a bit trundle through some of the best scenery I have ever seen. After we arrive into Oban, we had about 90mins to explore before the MV Isle of Mull was ready to embark on its voyage to Craignure and on to Tobermory...

Winners for the day:
73968
73966
156456
156500
MV Isle of Mull


Miles Covered: 123
 

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