Palmersears' Jaunts

Status
Not open for further replies.

palmersears

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2011
Messages
1,459
As an avid browser to the forums for a number of years I am hugely impressed with the number members who traverse the length and breadth of the country (and indeed further afield) on various outings. Whilst not a rail aficionado by any stretch of the imagination I do enjoy a bit of casual spotting whilst on my travels, be it the daily commute from Hazel Grove to Piccadilly, when visiting friends dotted around the country, or when travelling to watch my beloved Stockport County in some of the footballing backwaters that are associated with part-time football.

The reason for my thread stems from an indirect challenge being laid before me by my partner. Returning on the final train home one Friday after a few drinks I was wittering on to her about the impending Northern and TPE franchise changes, and clearly not the slightest bit interested she, in an attempt to shut me up, snapped "If you love trains that much why don't you go and find them all?!"

So that is what I'm going to (try and) do :D

I have taken the list of locos (diesel and electric), DEMUs, DMUs and EMUs from abrail. I am only really interested in 'spotting' each unit/loco number- carriage/coach/wagon numbers are of no real interest. If I travel on a unit, great, but equally if I simply see them parked up at a depot etc then that will be grand.

I'm under no illusions that this will be a bit like the old analogy of painting the Forth Bridge, and that progress will be slow, particularly as impending life events (house buying and a wedding to name but two) will get in the way, but it will be a nice way of spending the random days off I get more productively. I am quickly ploughing through traffic to/from Piccadilly, but jaunts to Crewe and Bournemouth via London have also helped, all of which I will document as soon as I can. Once I have played catch-up with reportings I will try and do frequent updates, but I envisage as I get towards the dregs at Piccadilly I will be restricted to updating whenever I get out and about elsewhere.

To finish, I'd like to ask as a starter for ten for advice as to potential 'strategies' to help in my quest? Do I focus any days out on major hubs (New Street, York, Leeds, Bristol etc), or rove around? Where should I be looking to go for freight?

Let the jaunting begin!
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

fishquinn

Established Member
Associate Staff
Quizmaster
Joined
4 Oct 2013
Messages
6,620
Location
Warwickshire
Good luck! I'll look forward to reading about your travels!

As for the where to go question, I say that focusing on major hubs always gets you a lot (New Street is fairly local to me) but you can also get a lot by 'roving around' a bit. For example, on a West Midlands Day Ranger, you can see loads of stuff at New Street but you won't get Great Western Railway stuff there but you can at Worcester for example (not too much though) (also valid in the ranger). As another example, you get quite a bit of Virgin Trains stuff at New Street but nowhere near as much as nearby Tamworth (which is also valid in the ranger).

For freight, Nuneaton (valid in the West Mids Day Ranger that I said about earlier) is very good but my personal favourite is Barnetby. Just remember that there isn't anywhere near as much freight traffic on weekends as weekdays, unlike passenger things.
 

palmersears

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2011
Messages
1,459
17/02/16

A five day trip out to London and Bournemouth was the starting point. As you'd expect nearly everything I saw was a winner, including the a first loco down at Wembley. In hindsight trying to do this whilst speeding down the WCML on a 390 wasn't the greatest way to start, but hey ho!

70005
142043
150144
150146
150226
153310
156471
156484
185118
185122
185125
185146
185149
220007
319361
323233
323235
350256
350265
350404
390045
390148
390151

18/02/16

A day in London meeting old work friends gave me what I initially envisaged to be a small window of opportunity to explore from my base around Walthamstow. This window grew somewhat larger when I realised the plans I'd made to meet said friends had actually been done so on their understanding it was to be on the 19th. Queue an extra hour in Liverpool Street. Every cloud, as they say!

43272
67024
82211
90004
90015
315817
315829
317340
317515
317649
317710
317889
321331
321422
360101
360111
365518
365519
365522
365538
378222
379019
379023
379030

19/02/16

Waterloo to Bournemouth today, with the mayhem of an incident at Wimbledon turning 1000s of Londoners baying for blood, it would seem. Having spent 4 years in the capital, leaving in July last year, I was reminded of just how much of a frenzy commuters are in to arrive at their desks as quickly as humanly possible, frequently at the expense of every individual who dares cross them. Thankfully my friends and I were in far less of a rush, and ended up aboard a deserted service to Weymouth which departed 18 minutes late.

Having done the journey a number of times I knew Clapham Junction and Southampton would give the fingers the severest test, but I battled on manfully, even in the face of several large packets of kettle chips and Percy Pigs which required my attention.

66018
66103
66119
66517
66589
159107
377156
377407
377465
444001
444008
444010
444022
444028
444035
450004
450005
450007
450010
450011
450018
450028
450029
450040
450081
450083
450115
450116
450124
450126
450550
450570
456016
458512
458519

21/02/16

After a delightful couple of days in Bournemouth the journey back to Stockport was another fruitful one (best to date indeed), including a diversion on the SWML via Guildford, which threw a few fellow passengers looking to reach the centre of the universe that is Woking.

44013
57304
66238
66540
66955
67005
70007
70014
70019
150105
221132
323230
323236
350112
350249
350267
377123
377711
377741
378234
378256
390011
390122
390125
444003
444016
444020
444027
444042
444055
450023
450096
450100
450103
450109
450548
450549
450558
455709
455730
455850
455917
458513
485510
485520

22/02/16

Back to the daily grind, but the commute was made more interesting by the spotting, a positive side-effect of this challenge! A decent haul given I was so crushed on the return home on the 17:13 from Deansgate I struggled to see anything other than a strangers back until Woodsmoor!

142031
142038
142039
142058
142060
150142
185114
185131
185137
185143
185144
221134
319379
323239
350409
390050
390141
 

fishquinn

Established Member
Associate Staff
Quizmaster
Joined
4 Oct 2013
Messages
6,620
Location
Warwickshire
Lots of winners there! Instead of Liverpool Street for spotting though, I suggest Bethnal Green as you get everything in and out of Liverpool Street and it's much easier to get the numbers.
 

palmersears

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2011
Messages
1,459
23/02/16

142005
142037
142052
142055
150135
150207
150214
185111
185120
185132
185140
185142
185151
221135
319378
319383
323231
350401
390118
390119
390127

24/02/16

142029
142053
142065
150235
150269
150273
150274
175002
185102
185119
220001
323229
323234
250406
350407
390131
390155

25/02/16

142009
142044
142057
150103
150119
150133
150140
150148
150201
150218
175104
175105
185110
185121
185135
220020
220031
232225
319376
323226
323237
323238

26/02/16

After a few fairly routine days commuting a day off today led me on the first dedicated spotting jaunt, with a short hop to Crewe on 323228. Armed with enough peppermint tea to keep a small army hydrated I spent a delightfully sunny day mainly seated towards the London end of platform 5, picking up a decent amount of Virgin 220s/221s, and making inroads into the LM 350 fleet. The frequent ATW services from Piccadilly to south Wales also enabled me to chalk up a few 175s, and I was also able to amble across to platform 12 to catch the 43s of the NR test train and another couple of freight moves. Sadly the peppermint tea caught up with me just as the Royal Mail 325 passed through, so I missed that :oops:

I ventured back to Stockport after three or so hours to tick off a couple of the EMT 158s, before catching 66092 (I think!) on the trundle up to Peak Forest. All in all a very good day!

43013
43014
66092
66136
67016
73922
150112
150139
150211
150251
150252
153326
153355
156413
158785
158799
158810
158852
175102
175106
175109
175113
221101
221103
221106
221108
221111
221112
221119
221127
221142
323228
350101
350103
350120
350121
350122
350247
350251
350271
350375
350376
390001
390005
390008
390016
390040
390049
390115
390123
390130
390136
390137
390152
390153
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
29/02/16

Making the most of the extra day of 2016, I ventured down to Deansgate at lunchtime to pick up a few extra numbers to add to those snaffled during the daily commute. Having arrived just in time to see the rear end of 436Y going through, much to my annoyance, I did settle in to tick off a few 156s and 158s

142013
142049
150137
150143
156424
156425
156440
156461
156487
158788
158846
158858
158864
175001
175101
175111
185124
185130
319368
319382
323227
390006
390042
390134
390138

01/03/16

142011
142033
150141
150147
156466
156486
158832
158841
175112
185105
185107
185112
185145
185148
319386

02/03/16

Dentist today for the final check up before an impending wisdom tooth removal, which lead to an impromptu 30 minute wait at Levenshulme for the journey back to Hazel Grove. Not a great deal passed in this time, and much of what did was already in the old note book (a problem I didn't think would rear its head so prevalently at this early spotting stage!), but every little helps, as the old supermarket saying goes.

142030
142036
142051
150115
150270
156451
156452
156498
158806
158831
158856
158865
185101
185113
220005
319364
390009
390043

03/03/16

The quietest day thus far, mainly due to the fact all I seemed to see were bloody 323s everywhere! A double 150 on the journey in, instead of a double 142, did help (as well as being a welcome rest-bite for the ears on the approach to Edgeley Junction!)

150111
150118
150203
150225
156455
185103
185117
185123
220006
323224
390020
390039

04/03/16

142014
150210
150281
156423
156428
156460
156464
158813
175114
185138
319371
350409
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Good luck! I'll look forward to reading about your travels!

As for the where to go question, I say that focusing on major hubs always gets you a lot (New Street is fairly local to me) but you can also get a lot by 'roving around' a bit. For example, on a West Midlands Day Ranger, you can see loads of stuff at New Street but you won't get Great Western Railway stuff there but you can at Worcester for example (not too much though) (also valid in the ranger). As another example, you get quite a bit of Virgin Trains stuff at New Street but nowhere near as much as nearby Tamworth (which is also valid in the ranger).

For freight, Nuneaton (valid in the West Mids Day Ranger that I said about earlier) is very good but my personal favourite is Barnetby. Just remember that there isn't anywhere near as much freight traffic on weekends as weekdays, unlike passenger things.

Thank you for the excellent advice. I am thinking the next day out may well be to Birmingham, or possibly Nuneaton, but as this won't be for a few weeks I will weigh up all the options!

Lots of winners there! Instead of Liverpool Street for spotting though, I suggest Bethnal Green as you get everything in and out of Liverpool Street and it's much easier to get the numbers.

Sadly I only discovered my date error as we departed Bethnal Green, otherwise I would have alighted there and followed your suggestion! As it was I had to settle for ambling around Liverpool Street for an hour before getting the tube to Kings Cross, picking up a few numbers there and then heading off to central London.
 

fishquinn

Established Member
Associate Staff
Quizmaster
Joined
4 Oct 2013
Messages
6,620
Location
Warwickshire
No probs :)

Reading is also good for your Great Western Railway (GWR) stuff with lots of 165/166s and shedloads of 43s with some South West Trains units, the occasional freight train and some 220s/221s from Cross Country. I'd say a weekday is better for Reading because you have some more services and at the moment there is engineering works almost every weekend, meaning that there isn't so many trains.
 

palmersears

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2011
Messages
1,459
if you want to simply see loads of vehicles then would a trip to major terminus stations/busy interchanges/depot areas not be sensible?

This was my initial thought, yes, particularly whilst I am still in the early stages. I can imagine once I get further down the line I may have to begin targeting more specific areas to hoover up gaps in classes/sub classes, but for now the major hubs should serve me well.

EDIT: As a small aside, that's winners for sight up to date, I will post up today's later on this evening.
 
Last edited:

fishquinn

Established Member
Associate Staff
Quizmaster
Joined
4 Oct 2013
Messages
6,620
Location
Warwickshire
I know what you mean! I started off with everything down at my local station being required and a trip to New Street was brilliant and got me shedloads. Now a trip to Birmingham will very rarely get me any winners for sight and I have to go further afield. Most spotters will have an area that they're doing terrible in. For me, that area is Glasgow.
 

DarloRich

Veteran Member
Joined
12 Oct 2010
Messages
25,111
Location
Work - Fenny Stratford(MK) Home - Darlington
This was my initial thought, yes, particularly whilst I am still in the early stages. I can imagine once I get further down the line I may have to begin targeting more specific areas to hoover up gaps in classes/sub classes, but for now the major hubs should serve me well.

EDIT: As a small aside, that's winners for sight up to date, I will post up today's later on this evening.

the problem is that unless you travel widely you will be limited to an ever decreasing local pool. Targeted trips will have to become a norm.

I don't do spotting but can imagine there will be areas that you wouldn't, often, visit as part of your normal life. But then again how difficult is Clapham Junction if you are already in London etc
 

palmersears

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2011
Messages
1,459
the problem is that unless you travel widely you will be limited to an ever decreasing local pool. Targeted trips will have to become a norm.

I don't do spotting but can imagine there will be areas that you wouldn't, often, visit as part of your normal life. But then Greater Angliain how difficult is Clapham Junction if you are already in London etc

The above in bold is something I have already accepted will have to happen if I want to make any real headway. There will be times when I'll use the network as part of a more substantial journey (London and Nottingham are regular destinations, as is York), but likewise I am undoubtedly going to need to make some dedicated trips. In years to come these may be incorporated into holidays (just how much the wife-to-be will allow is debatable!), but I'm just going to have to play it by ear really.

Either way it'll be a slow process, of that I am sure!
 

fishquinn

Established Member
Associate Staff
Quizmaster
Joined
4 Oct 2013
Messages
6,620
Location
Warwickshire
If the wife-to-be says anything then just remind her who told you to start it :lol:
 

DarloRich

Veteran Member
Joined
12 Oct 2010
Messages
25,111
Location
Work - Fenny Stratford(MK) Home - Darlington
The above in bold is something I have already accepted will have to happen if I want to make any real headway. There will be times when I'll use the network as part of a more substantial journey (London and Nottingham are regular destinations, as is York), but likewise I am undoubtedly going to need to make some dedicated trips. In years to come these may be incorporated into holidays (just how much the wife-to-be will allow is debatable!), but I'm just going to have to play it by ear really.

Either way it'll be a slow process, of that I am sure!

well then a variation of routes and a longer journey to or from might help ;)
 

palmersears

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2011
Messages
1,459
If the wife-to-be says anything then just remind her who told you to start it :lol:

I have long since learnt that using anything said whilst intoxicated as evidence against her is a far from wise endeavour. I like my ears unbent, thank you very much!

Today's offerings were, in all honesty, half-hearted. I could barely keep my eyes open on the way in (I did score 142048 for the ride in), and on the way back was busy trying to avoid the 169 bicycles that were determined to cram onto our 150 (As an aside, why none-folding bikes are allowed on peak services is questionable in my opinion). I am nearing clearing the 185s, and Northern's 323s, so rooting out those will be one of the goals in the near future.

07/03/16

142048
142056
150145
185108
185126
185150
221131
323232
390002
390013
390156
 

palmersears

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2011
Messages
1,459
I've not done at all badly this week thus far as I continue to plug gaps in the stock that trundles around Piccadilly and Deansgate:

08/03/16

142012
142034
142088
150149
150228
175006
220022
220030
319363
390047
390104

09/03/16

142004
142007
142027
150114
150116
150215
150271
175011
185115
185129
220015
323223
390124

10/03/16

Well today was eventful! As I can work flexibly I usually look to get in to Manchester for 07:30 and leave at 16:00, it gives me more of the day to utilise once work has ceased, be it at the gym or elsewhere. Today however was a training day, and with it a 09:00 start for a 16:00 finish (no idea where the other hour disappears to!). All aboard the first winner of the day then, 142087 part-forming 2H05, which chugs along swimmingly until just shy of Edgeley Junction, where we sit for 27 minutes. Information from the friendly driver leads us to understand a broken down train near Levenshulme is the root cause, and that even once we do proceed past Stockport it'll be slow going whilst we and countless other services battle for a platform at Piccadilly.

After a further ten minutes of stop-start we pass the service which has downed tools and shoved its brakes firmly on, 2H01, which, as luck would have it, is the service I usually get! Safe to say arriving 45 minutes late was a blessed relief given it could have been 154!

The one upside to all the mornings disruption were a lot of slow moving services, which meant numbers were far more presentable than usual.

To heap further luck upon me our training centre overlooked Deansgate (well the lunch area did), so I managed to get a glimpse of 66742 on 4M21, which had battled manfully up the WCML and was only 55 late through Manchester. I also had the good fortune to be waiting around at Piccadilly for the girlfriend on the way home when 431F ambled through headed by 90045.

All-in-all, a very good day. To celebrate I ate a whole packet of peppermint Polos on the journey home :shock:

66742
90045
142063
142087
150132
150205
150224
150260
150275
156420
156421
156429
156459
156468
158827
158854
170306
185127
185134
185136
185141
220011
221140
319380
350410

I'm down to needing 8 of the 185s now, three of the 350/4s (402, 405 & 408) whilst only 225/226/238 evade me of the Northern 323s. Everything else, as you'd expect, is miles off.

Finally, it looks likely that I will have a much needed day off, from both a spotting and relaxation stance, on April Fools Day (I kid you not!). As such I'm weighing up where to go for a day out. Thoughts thus far are:

  • Birmingham New Street
  • Doncaster
  • Leeds
  • Tamworth
  • York
Where would you go? And why?

Of those listed above I must say I'm leaning towards either York (nice station to spend a day at, good mix of ToCs, bit of freight) or Doncaster (Crap station, but loads of potential freight and a good spread of ToC as well).

Suggestions/advice welcome!
 
Last edited:

fishquinn

Established Member
Associate Staff
Quizmaster
Joined
4 Oct 2013
Messages
6,620
Location
Warwickshire
Personally I'd go for Doncaster because you do get lots of freight but also get all of the Virgin Trains East Coast stuff out of Kings Cross except the two hourly Newark terminators. There is also Northern 158s, 144s, 153s, 321s and 322s, none of which would be found on your regular commute. There is also Northern 142s which you'd obviously see on your commute too. Then you have the Grand Central and Hull Trains things too and whatever else that I've forgotten/won't say for the life of me (hint. It starts at Southampton or Reading and goes to Newcastle ;))
 

palmersears

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2011
Messages
1,459
11/3/16

Friday arrives with the same amount of vim and vigour as 14203 does to carry me to work for the final time this week. Thankfully there are no sticky brakes, unlike yesterday, and we sail through to Piccadilly, spotting 221123 along the way. For a Manchester morning in March the weather was decidedly pleasant, so I ambled towards the end of platform 8/9 and spent 30 minutes or so picking off a few more units.

The afternoon commute home saw me miss the 16:13 from Deansgate so I strolled along to Piccadilly in plenty of time for the 16:49 (A winner with 150150 if my hastily typed notes tell the truth). Whilst waiting I again caught the half four freight working, which today was 66501 dragging 487I.

66501
142003
142035
142062
150150
150272
156489
156491
158857
158866
170303
220010
220027
221123
221137
350402
350408
390126
390154
390157

12/3/16

A day out in Manchester for the parents’ 60th birthdays, culminating in a delightful afternoon tea at the Midland hotel, gave the chance for a trio of further winners, including 150117, which took us all from Hazel Grove to Deansgate.

150117
175115
390114

14/3/16

142061
150136
156482
158770
158812
158862
175108
185104
390010

15/3/16

Spring appears to be upon us, as the morning commute aboard the 06:50’s pair of 142s was made far more amiable with the presence of glorious sunshine. Indeed it was rather difficult to see anything on the way in, so to catch 66221 standing at Heaton Norris Junction whilst working the late running 669I was no mean feat!

A day which seemingly dragged on forever- and included a building evacuation lasting nearly 2 hours(!)- finally ended in time for me to catch the 15:49 from Piccadilly, and spy, amongst others, 67002 and 82307 pulling into platform 13 either end of the ex-Holyhead service. The day was rounded off with yet more Heaton Norris Junction action, as 66211 stood waiting for us to pass before making its way to Peak Forest.

66211
66221
67002
82307
142017
150138
156441
220019
319366
390046
390103
390121

A check of the spreadsheet informs me that only 350405 now escapes my grasp of the 350/4s. Only managed to clap eyes upon one more 185 since last report, leaving the total outstanding at seven, whilst only 044 eludes me with regards to the 390/0s (plenty of 390/1s still up for grabs). Not seen any of the three Northern 323s required.

Finally, thanks to fishquinn above, I have my day at Doncaster all sorted for the 1st of next month. Advice now needed as to where best to position myself in order to take in as many numbers as possible? Is there one place I can settle in for the day, or is it best to wander around as movements dictate?
 

fishquinn

Established Member
Associate Staff
Quizmaster
Joined
4 Oct 2013
Messages
6,620
Location
Warwickshire
Lots more winners there! For Donny, most of the stuff comes from or goes to the northern end of things so I usually position myself at that end of platform 4 (next to platform 6). You do get a bit from the south that terminates but that is an infrequent EMT 153 from Lincoln.
 

Kite159

Veteran Member
Joined
27 Jan 2014
Messages
14,831
Location
West of Andover
Lots more winners there! For Donny, most of the stuff comes from or goes to the northern end of things so I usually position myself at that end of platform 4 (next to platform 6). You do get a bit from the south that terminates but that is an infrequent EMT 153 from Lincoln.

And IIRC it is the same 153 which operates daily on that route so if you grab it once you shouldn't have to worry about getting it again.

You won't be alone at Doncaster, there are always watchers around watching all the movements :)
 

palmersears

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2011
Messages
1,459
Thank you both. I'm assuming the north end of 4 will provide a decent enough vantage point for the freight as well? I've only been there twice, most recently en-route to Ferriby, and really cannot recall the layout for the life of me!
 

Techniquest

Veteran Member
Joined
19 Jun 2005
Messages
18,227
Location
Nowhere Heath
Welcome to the trip reporters community! Sorry it's taken a while to find your thread, I've been away on holiday.

On your trip to Bournemouth, you mention a distraction of Percy Pigs. What are these, I've never heard of them! As for celebrating on another day with an entire packet of Polos, I don't envy your insides! :o

Looks like you're doing really well so far. I note Fishquinn has given you the relevant advice for Doncaster which I concur with, although I think a few Northern services terminate in the south bays too. The non-stop VTEC stuff will be difficult to grab numbers of, but you'll soon get used to it I'm sure. It's much easier now compared to GNER days mind!

Got to ask, are you spotting trams as well, given the opportunities in Manchester?
 

palmersears

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2011
Messages
1,459
Thank you for the warm welcome, Techniquest. Whilst I cannot promise my reports will be half as entertaining or informative as some that I am already following with great interest I do hope they will at least serve to give an overview to the wider world of the struggles/achievements that the challenge will present.

Percy Pigs are a range of sweets sold in M&S. I confess it's probably the additives that make them so addictive, but rarely does a train journey of any great length take place now without a bag of them to keep myself and the girlfriend happy. The classic Percy is the best, although the Reversy Percy comes a close second.

On the subject of Doncaster, I'm beginning to master the art of getting the eyes to focus on small numbers moving at 100mph+, but it's difficult to do so without nearly giving myself whiplash sometimes!

I can't say the trams have been something I've considered thus far. Whilst they hold an element of interest I never really seem to pay much attention to them on the walk to work.
 

Techniquest

Veteran Member
Joined
19 Jun 2005
Messages
18,227
Location
Nowhere Heath
I'll have to bear those in mind then, they could well become a tradition on my trips! Getting used to the numbers takes some doing, but you'll get better at it eventually!

If you need any tips for trips anywhere around the country, feel free to ask and I'm sure any number of us will be happy to help!
 

palmersears

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2011
Messages
1,459
16/3/16

A fairly decent day as I continue to plug the gaps in the Manchester traffic. Nothing overly exciting, but a nice mix of DMUs and EMUs. Variety is the spice of life and all that.

142028
142042
150113
156488
158773
220025
319362

17/03/16

With the onset of a vicious bout of man flu rearing its ugly head I wasn't really in the mood for anything on Thursday, let along number taking. I did manage two on the way in, including 66125 on its way up to Peak Forest, but the way back was spent slumped against the window of a dud 150 :(

66125
220017

19/03/16

After a day off on Friday (thankfully a scheduled one, hate taking days off sick) Saturday saw the first trip out to watch Stockport since the birth of this thread. As mentioned in my opening post I very much enjoy travelling the country to watch my beloved team. Since reaching the heady heights of what was Division 1 (Now the Championship) in the early 2000's a succession of disastrous owners coupled with appalling managerial appointments have seen us tumble down the divisions to our current resting place, the National League North (Level 6). With the recent return of club legend Jim Gannon as manager we've seen a late season upturn in form, and are making a frantic dash for the play-offs, so every game has taken on added significance, and with this in mind the brother and I made plans to get the train to Hednesford.

Leaving Stockport on the 12:43 dud 390 our intention was to alight at Stoke, catch the 13:28 London Midland service to Rugeley TV, and then finally onward to Hednesford. Numbers aplenty I thought! Sadly not. We arrived at Stoke to find the 13:28 cancelled due to 'a member of train crew unavailable.' Curses. A member of station staff was sought out:

"When's the next service to Rugeley TV please?"
*Staff member sucks teeth and winces*
"Going to be an hour I'm afraid."
"Ah. Nothing sooner? Can I go to Crewe and try my luck?"
"Sadly not, it'll just end up being the same train that's here in an hour"
"...."
"You can try going to Uttoxeter and getting a bus from there?
"On Midland's Grand National Day?"
"Ahh, yeah, might not be such a good idea then!

And with that she was off to the staff room.

So a plan of action was needed if we were to get to Hednesford for 3pm. A bus perhaps? Would take over 2 hours, which was a no go. It'd have to be a taxi. After consulting google maps it appeared it would take 40 minutes to both Rugeley and Hednesford, so we negotiated a fixed price of £40 with a local Stoke taxi firm (down from £100!) and off we went, flying down the M6 listening to the latest Bollywood top ten (which was rather superb, I must say!). As such we arrived in plenty of time, pulling into the car park at the ground at 2:15.

As for the game itself, I won't bore you all with a minute by minute account, but safe to say after watching 90 minutes of utterly dire football from both sides, and with Stockport 1-0 down, I wondered out loud to the brother if we should have just gone home when we reached the partial impasse at Stoke and saved ourselves £45. 4 minutes later, having for the first time in 20 years seen us score 2 goals in injury time to win the game 2-1, I was deliriously declaring it the best £45 ever spent!

We eventually ambled back to Hednesford station to see if our return journey was going to be any better than the outbound one, and arrived just in time to see 170505 heading for New Street, as well as 170506 leading 153366 towards Rugeley TV. We hopped aboard for the short trundle along, chatting enthusiastically about what we had just witnessed, before spending the next 45 minutes at a deceptively cold Rugeley. A few numbers passed as the 390s sped through, with only 390117 a winner, along with 350123, which ran non-stop to Euston as the cancelled 19:05, much to the chagrin of those on the opposite platform. 170503 rolled in and back out as well, before a dud 350/3 arrived to take us to Stoke. The final leg of an eventual day saw another dud, this time a 220, but by this stage I was just glad we had made it home with no dramas!

Not as many numbers ticked off as I would have hoped at the beginning of the day, but it became a secondary issue in the overall scheme of the day!

153366
170503
170505
170506
350123
390117
 
Last edited:

Techniquest

Veteran Member
Joined
19 Jun 2005
Messages
18,227
Location
Nowhere Heath
Despite the cancellation, sounds like a good little trip there. Bet you were glad to be flush enough of cash to do the taxi run after all mind!

Getting there slowly but surely with your number hunting, and I know how you feel about taking days off sick. Unless it's entirely avoidable of course!
 

fishquinn

Established Member
Associate Staff
Quizmaster
Joined
4 Oct 2013
Messages
6,620
Location
Warwickshire
The journey back sounds good enough but the journey down sounded horrible...
 

palmersears

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2011
Messages
1,459
Being the weekend before payday I must admit I did, for a fleeting moment, consider jacking it all in and hopping back on the next service to Stockport. We did try to tempt another couple of Stockport fans to share the cost of the taxi with us, thereby making it £10 a head instead of £20, but they declined and were instead going to wait for the 14:28. I saw them heading into the ground at half-time!

On the subject of being sick, I'm off to have a wisdom tooth out under sedation later this afternoon, so I apologies in advance if I attempt to do an update tomorrow that has all the coherence of a small child!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top