Palmersears' Jaunts

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by palmersears, 7 Mar 2016.

  1. palmersears

    palmersears Established Member

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    Yeah I'm going to need the stars to align if I'm to get them easily. The two I need, 967 & 969, are both stopped on Craigentinny for exams at the moment, so I have a dreadful feeling they'll be out again by mid-March and working to Aberdeen or Fort William. If that's the case then I'll need to see how well I've done with the DMU requirements on day one to see if it's worth a trek into the Highlands for one/both of them on day two.
     
  2. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Although depending where you are staying in Glasgow you could ID the Fort William portion when it runs via Queen Street Low level to save a trip out to the wild west.

    (I.e. if staying around the Charing Cross area you can ID it working through after midnight before retiring to your hotel)
     
  3. palmersears

    palmersears Established Member

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    I'm staying near Central, so that's an excellent shout if required. Thanks, Kite.
     
  4. palmersears

    palmersears Established Member

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    February/March

    As the weather begins to improve (he says whilst staring out of the window at sideways rain) I've ventured out a bit more recently, with some good results.

    The steady flow of new CAF units arriving at Edge Hill mean I've been able to pick off 20 winners before they've even entered service, with 195108, 195113, 195116, 331107, 331108 and 331110 all ticked off since my last update.

    February 26th saw a nice stint chasing my last handful of London requirements. Starting at St Pancras to get 700048 coming in at rush hour to take the unhappy hoards to St Albans, it was then quickly over to Dalston Junction to see if my last remaining 378s were about. I've struggled to locate them over recent trips south, often due to the fact they are confined to the ELL, which is out of the way compared to the other locations I go hunting. The gods must have been smiling on me however, as no sooner had i arrived than 378149 pulled in, swiftly followed not 10 minutes later by the final London Overground unit currently in service, 378148 (we might never see the 710s anyway at this rate!).

    20190226_165224.jpg

    With the cannon still warm it was quickly off to Charing Cross for perhaps the biggest moment of my spotting journey yet. I arrived just in time to see 375812 roll in from Hastings, the last of the 112 required, and the last of the 392 SouthEastern units. To celebrate I took a rubbish photo of it before heading for tapas:

    20190226_175207.jpg

    March so far has been decent, I've just returned from two fairly hectic days in Scotland. My usual morning 150 from Marple was followed by a well loaded 350 up to Glasgow, seeing nothing but rain-soaked countryside until Carlisle. The DRS depot threw up 57002, the last in-service loco of this class I needed. I was hoping 88010 would show itself, either there or on the Doncaster-Millerhill flow, but sadly it's stuck in Doncaster with a fault.

    When Glasgow arrived it was straight to Queen Street, purchasing a Central Scotland Rover on the way (excellent value at the railcard price of £32.35 for 3 days travel around the central belt). The expansion of the place is coming along nicely, but does mean the current temporary setup is a bit awkward. The winners began to flow as I got onto the platforms, with a trip of 385s, 010, 105 and 112 providing a nice start. It was aboard the first two for the run to Edinburgh, picking up 385108 at Eastfields depot not long after departure, but after that it was the metro crossword that passed the time until Edinburgh.

    Waverley was fairly quite, being mid-afternoon, so I wandered round to see what was what, including the newly commissioned platforms 5 and 6, before hopping on 385111 for a quick spin to Musselburgh, mainly to see what was on Craigentinney. The answer was not much, only the newly arrived 385024. A quick up and over and onto a 380 back to Edinburgh, there was then a plethora of 385s rushing to and fro for the next thirty minutes, many of which were required:

    385008, 385009, 385011, 385012, 385018, 385020, 385116, 385123

    More importantly 170426 also pulled in just as I was readying myself to leave, which meant just one 170 remained.

    A short hop to Haymarket next, as it's easier to see everything from the cosy sofa in the waiting room on platforms 2/3. I had an afternoon snack here, spending a bit of time doing some crosswords whilst waiting to see if the last 170 was coming through. In the end it didn't, but I got yet more 385s:

    385005, 385022, 385033, 385106, 385110, 385114, 385115, 385117, 385122

    As i was making to leave 158716 sped through heading to Waverley to strengthen a peak time service, knocking off one of the three 158s that were on my needs list when I started.

    With that it was back to Queen Street as news had arrived regarding another of the handful of outstanding units I needed. Arriving 40 minutes later to the unexpected bonus of 158709, the penultimate Scotrail variant, it was the oft made walk back to Central, and the arrival from Kilmarnock of 156445, heralding the chalking off of my penultimate 156.

    A bit of a loose end was reached then. I had 7 hours to kill until I needed to be at Queen Steet again, so I went to check in at the Rennie Mackintosh Hotel nearby, dropped my bag off, and then made for Hyndland to see if my last three 320s were out for the evening. It was still surprisingly mild as I settled in, quickly picking up 320420, before a rather long wait of 90 minutes until 320403 showed itself. That was it though, and at half 7 I bailed, walking back to Partick to grab tea from Morrisons. I decided to head to the hotel for a bit of a nap before intending to get to Queen Street at midnight for the ex-Fort Bill 73, which was needed. My body decided otherwise however, as I woke at 1am, still fully clothed...

    Day two started with a veggie breakfast at 7am (me and the wife are going veggie on weekdays for Lent), before a barren spell at Central looking for the last 156. When the Rover kicked in I went to Queen Street to head to Edinburgh again, picking up yet more 385 winners by way of 109 and 113, before the now familiar journey to the capital.

    The usual sweep of Waverley threw up yet more 385 winners, 015 and 019, then it was back to the sofa at Haymarket again. After yesterday's successes today was more quality over quantity, with 385023 stabled in platform 0. The highlight though was this:

    20190315_105138.jpg

    My last 170! Cannons please!

    I fired off a cheeky Twitter request to Scotrail to see if any of the final four I needed were about, with limited success, but the info they did give me meant I had time to head back to Glasgow and head for the various depots to see if anything interesting was stabled.

    Yoker was first up, with nothing needed, but I did note the 365s being stored ready for their impending departure (indeed I didn't see a single 365 out in service at any point). Back to Central and out on a Paisley Canal service to head passes Shields Depot, where I picked up the last in service 320, 401, and then Corkerhill, which had a trio of 385s on the road nearest the mainline, namely 031, 107 and 118. That was all the time I had, so my final 156 at Springburn would have to wait for another time, as I was due back at Haymarket for an appointment with a HST...

    Sadly this is where things went belly up. I rather stupidly decided to go to Waverley for a quick check of whether there were further required 385s on the North Berwicks, but having done this with no success the signalling system at Edinburgh Park went down, stopping the job completely for anything going West. I eventually made it onto a Central via Shotts service, which was packed front to back, and it was a race against time to get to Haymarket for the HST. We waited, departure time came and went, they went to find a 158 to bolt on to the back of our solitary 156, and we then departed 15 late. I briefly contemplated getting off to wait for the HST, but couldn't risk it with the need to get back to Central for half 6, so begrudgingly stayed on and we pulled away just in time to see my final HST, 43132, as we passes between Haymarket and Mound tunnels. Not the way I wanted to catch the last HST, but I just couldn't risk missing my 390 home.

    We eventually arrived at Central with 9 minutes to spare, and then it was a 390 through the dark back to Preston, and then the vague novelty of a Northern 158 non-stop to Oxford Road. I walked along to Piccadilly from there to waste a bit of time, then it was a very quiet 142 back home.

    And so with all that in the bag I cleared five classes (43, 170, 320, 375, 378) and two TOCs (London Overground, Southeastern). Scotrail is down to just two DMUs and, rather surprisingly, I'm over halfway through the 385s as well. I'll probably leave the remaining units until all the 385s are in service before I return.

    Looking forwards, I'm in London next week, so I hope to knock off the last 700 I need, the two 158s for SWR, and the bloody Mendip 59 that's been evading me for years. After that it's just the IETs and 717s to look for.
     
    Last edited: 16 Mar 2019
  5. 433N

    433N Member

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    Nice to hear you had a good time up here.

    Don't take it to heart, I think Haymarket has been a nightmare for quite a bit of this week.

    Scotrail stuff can be hard to finish, I certainly haven't done it and have stopped trying, truth be told - I just hope to bump into stuff occasionally ... but you're getting there.
     
  6. The_Train

    The_Train Established Member

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    Enjoyed that read from North of the border. Congratulations on clearing 5 classes as well. Any trip that clears that many is more than worthwhile
     
  7. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    A good few days in London & in Scotland for your book of sights, plus good work on making inways with the new Northern stuff
     
  8. palmersears

    palmersears Established Member

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    Speaking to the locals it seems to be a fairly regular occurrence, but perhaps they're just being cynical!

    That's the approach I took with Northern, the area the units cover is so vast I just let them work through Northern's Random Unit Generator and they all turned up eventually. It's just slightly frustrating to be so close. I would like to get a picture of 43132 ad well next time, just as a memento.

    Indeed so, thanks train. My rough calculations suggest I've got ten classes of unit left to clear (of those that have units in service that is), and seven loco classes. So the end is very much in sight.

    The new northern stuff is fascinating. I can't remember having properly new stock in my lifetime, perhaps the 323s arrived when I was very young but that's it. I'm caught in two minds about appearances of them. I seem to swing daily from thinking they look quirky and fresh to thinking they look a bit cheap and plasticy. I'll need a few rides on them to make a full judgement, so they're rumoured initial introduction onto the routes out of Lime Street will be interesting to follow.
     
  9. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    An exceptionally productive time in recent weeks! The end is definitely in sight!
     
  10. 55013

    55013 Established Member

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    All those cannons going off will give you tinnitus :)
    Congratulations.
    Looks like a very enjoyable couple of days.
     
  11. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Although with all the new stock due to arrive in the next couple years that end line is forever getting pushed further back ;)

    Although fixed formation bits should be easy enough to ID without long walks.
     
  12. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Indeed, but given the honourable gentleman is in the North and that's where a lot of new stuff is going to, that should make things easier. Once the 710s and 717s finish entering service there's nothing else new for a fair while in the South East is there? Well actually oops there's 755s on the GEML?
     
  13. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    The new stock for West Midlands Railway (replacements for 350/2s) (730s I believe)
    New stock for SWR (replacements for 455/456/458/707s) (701s I believe)
    The new bits for Greater Anglia (720s & 745s, as well as the 755s)
    The half dozen new 711s for C2C
     
  14. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Shows how out of touch I am then eh?

    I forgot the 350/2s are going, which makes me rather appreciate my little spin on 350257 last night! 701s are a long way off arriving on these shores aren't they? I will have to have a farewell to the 458s before the 701s come into service, 455s I don't mind seeing off so much but the 458s I have a special place in my heart for.
     
  15. palmersears

    palmersears Established Member

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    My plan has always been to play catch up and get to a point where I can be waiting for new classes to be introduced in full before going to get them. Now I'm almost done with the older stock I can wind things down a bit. It does make it a bit easier when most of the new stock is either likely to be based in the North, Midlands or South East, as they're easy to get to.
     
  16. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    It makes sense waiting for the new stock to mostly/fully enter service so you can try and grab as much as possible on a single trip.
     
  17. palmersears

    palmersears Established Member

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    Exactly. There's no point doing it in dribs and drabs, if rather rattle the whole of a class off in on trip later down the like, far more efficient.

    I am looking forward to the new northern and TPE stuff eventually entering service, will liven up the commute again hunting some 802. Not to mention them 68s :wub:
     
  18. pieguyrob

    pieguyrob Member

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    I'm looking foward to the new TPE stock myself. The cat's are ace! Can't wait to get them out of Piccadilly, it will be like the old cross country 47's out of there.
     
  19. Bezza49

    Bezza49 Member

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    Quick question @palmersears

    Do you visit with or without gen when setting out to see the last few units/locos you need now? Do you let the fates decide? Or do you find out where what you need is before you go?

    I ask, because personally I find it so much more rewarding when you see something you need when you aren't expecting it ;)
     
  20. pieguyrob

    pieguyrob Member

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    I prefer to let the fates/gods decide. But, I am after 7 pacers before the end of the year, (5×142, 1×143, 1×144). I might need to stack the odds in my favour, and find out exactly where are and see them in 2 goes. There are split almost equally between northern and wales.
     
  21. palmersears

    palmersears Established Member

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    If the last few are in an area some distance away then I'll plan a trip to stations that give me the greatest percentage chance of seeing them without gen. If they turn up, great, if they don't then I either have a nice time watching the world go by, or have the means to get elsewhere in the surrounding region quite quickly should gen come in showing my requirements are elsewhere. For example, when I go to Scotland I tend to base myself mainly in Edinburgh, as I can either scoot across to Glasgow quite quickly or get up to the Highlands if a unit is up there.

    EDIT:

    This seems like a good point at which to update briefly. I've not really been doing much, the winter months are a bit of a slog and I don't need any great numbers of old stock now.

    I did have a journey down to London at the end of March for work, heading via Crewe and picking up 319214 and 710103 at the Arriva Depot to kick things off. Kings Cross was first up when I arrived in London, which heralded the arrival of my last 700, 032, before South Ruislip via Marylebone as news reached me that my penultimater shed, 66773 has brought the latest S7 to be modified back from Old Dalby. It was accompanied by 20905 which was an added bonus.

    From here I had my first trip down the Greenford branch, which was quaint (I do feel for any driver who gets trapped on there for any great percentage of their daily diagram!), and a session on the GWML for a few more IETs and 345s:

    345003
    800312, 800313
    802009, 802022, 802103, 802107, 802111


    All of that leaves me with just one 66, 746, to track down (currently up in Scotland), as well as just nine 800/3s.

    I've also chipped away further at the Northern CAFs that are slowly arriving at Edge Hill before being dragged off to various testing locations in the North, with 195114 and 195115 taking my total of new DMUs up to 15, as well as stumbling upon my penultimate skip, 67028, which I almost missed from aboard my 390 to London last week as it sat in Wembley yard waiting to head North.

    All of that leaves me pretty well off. I need a single 156 and four 158s (2x SWR, 1x Scotrail and 1x Northern) and then everything pre-2016 is done that is currently in service in terms of units. There's a 66, a 67 and two Colas 70s I need to find as well, but that aside it's possibly a trip up to Scotland again once all the 385s are out, likewise in London once the 717s finally all enter service. I have a day in late May allocated for a trip out, but as yet I'm not seeing anything that greatly appeals. Perhaps London via Bletchley to get the new 230s done, or maybe a bonkers overnight freight-fest at Acton Bridge...
     
    Last edited: 3 May 2019
  22. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Overnighter at Acton Bridge? Stuff that for a game of soldiers I say!

    You've been doing rather well by the looks of it, can't imagine it will be much longer before squadron service of the 717s not to mention the Northern and GA stuff!
     
  23. palmersears

    palmersears Established Member

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    I've always wanted to do one, no idea why but it's going to be done at some point! The plan is to then get the first train to Crewe and either carry on to London for the day or, more likely, head up to Scotland for those last pesky DMUs and some more 385s. I can get a decent kip in on the way up as well!
     
  24. palmersears

    palmersears Established Member

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    On the road again: 13-21 May

    Time for another update from my various travels thus far in May, which began with the latest CAF unit to arrive at Edge Hill, 331111, which takes me up to 12 of the 43 Spanish EMUs destined to eventually serve us humble Northern folk. The afternoon brought more Zaragoza-produced winners, with 397001 at Manchester International Depot (which I note is now sporting CAF branding). The 397s do look mighty sleek, and it's going to be wonderful finally sampling some new stock in the North when they do all finally come into service later this year.

    Last Wednesday saw a three day trip to London, started with the now typically dud laden extravaganza that is a 390 down the southerly WCML. I've started to register track machines now, such is the boredom that a trip to London induces, but even they were in short supply.

    After dropping bags at the hotel I was off to Ealing Broadway, a traditional haunt as regular readers will know. Paddington threw up 800311 & 800320 to get the ball rolling, and there was also 802015+017 at North Pole in the way. Ealing Broadway was the usual mix of brain dead commuters refusing to listen to the incessant requests of staff to use all the doors, but I found a nice spot in the sun towards the London end of platform 3 and had a productive two and a half hours by current standards:

    345029 (on test heading towards the crossrail tunnels)
    800310, 800314
    802003, 802013, 802102, 802105, 802109, 802110, 802112, 802114

    I had anticipated that my final 59 would head through from Whatley quarry around half 7, and was mighty disappointed when dud 59204 rattled through to find it's allocation had clearly been changed, but that aside I retired back to the hotel having enjoyed the best spotting evening in London for some time.

    The return back to Stockport two days later was more productive than the outbound leg, with the route via Crewe, and therefore the Arriva Traincare facility, always offering the potential for some new scores. This time it offered up another 397, this time 004, as well as the latest 710 to try and convince the world it's not a bug riddled piece of rubbish, 710117. The former was the third of the three 397s in the country I've seen, though I believe 002 might be on its way soon.

    After a restful weekend it was yet another trip to that there London yesterday, this time starting at Lime Street. This enabled me to score DR73922 on the relief lines outside Edge Hill, as well as yet more new arrivals at the depot, this time 331007 and 331109. At this rate I'll have seen all these new units before they even enter service!

    Unsurprisingly little had changed at Crewe in the 48 hours since I last went through, although I noted 397003 and 004 coupled together, which I believe is a first on UK soil. I picked up three further OTMs, DR73936 (Stafford), DR73906 (Litchfield) and DR73930 (Watford Junction), but that was about it.

    A hotel near Regents Park allowed for quick access to both Waterloo and Paddington, which proved handy. Gen was received that one of the two remaining SWR units required was at Waterloo, and so it proved to be when I stood on platform 13 to see 158881 roll in as part of the filling in a sprinter sandwich. Just 887 to find now on the SWR front. From here it was across to Paddington, making use of further inside info to score my penultimate 800/3, 800321 sitting on the blocks waiting to head off to Cardiff. As is mandatory I took a quick spin passed North Pole, picking up a bonus of the LNER IET 800111 (no idea what it was there for), but little else. I alighted at Ealing Broadway not feeling all that great, a summer cold beginning to take hold, so I headed straight back to the hotel with no further winners had.

    And so to today, where I was anticipating another dull Pendelino home. Unfortunately I arrived at Euston to hear of a fatality at Milton Keynes Central, and was advised to head home up the MML to change at Sheffield. This did provide a nice change of scenery, and meant I copped 717019, 717021 and 717024 parked up at Cricklewwod depot, as well as 37198 as we swung into Derby passed the network rail site. I rounded off with DR73940 just outside Chesterfield, and arrived at Sheffield just in time to bounce back to New Mills Central on my favourite (ie worst) Pacer, 142062. I arrived only 30 minutes after my scheduled arrival had I gone the usual route, which wasn't too bad all things considered.

    Overall, good progress in picking off what little remains in London these days. Just one 158 to get, likewise the 800/3s, and I need just seven 802s to clear GWR as well. Despite not seeing a 717 in service yet I'm also now down to just nine of those as well!

    Next up is Scotland next Wednesday I think to try and get the last couple of DMUs up there, a couple of 73s, and a few more 385s. I'm wavering a bit as to whether to tag on an all nighter at Acton Bridge on beforehand, but we shall see.
     
  25. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    You did well at Ealing, it isn't easy to try and ID those 80Xs at speed.

    Other than being bowled out by that 59 sounded like a productive couple trips with your reducing requirements
     
  26. The_Train

    The_Train Established Member

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    Sounds like a good few outings there ears. Nothing wrong with chasing OTMs either ;):)
     
  27. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    All good progress going on there, and spotting HSTs at Ealing Broadway used to be hard enough so getting numbers of the IETs is an achievement!

    Spotting track machines, oh yes I remember doing that in years gone by too. It's almost mandatory when covering frequently used routes, purely to find something to do. Snowploughs will be next, and maybe even wagons too. Based on what I tried to keep things more interesting back when I was out almost every day in South Wales. I also did buses for a significant time...
     
  28. palmersears

    palmersears Established Member

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    I've got it down to a fine art now! It's not too bad on units that go through the far side, platform 1, they're just far enough away to be visible. Those coming into Paddington are a bit more of a challenge.

    I said when I first started that I'd not bother with OTM, ever. But given the amount of time I seem to spend on trains now, and the lack of anything else to spot, it does help pass the time!

    I can 100% assure you wagons will never be a thing! Even as an avid spotter I cannot fathom undertaking such a thankless task.
     
  29. The_Train

    The_Train Established Member

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    I don't see an issue in noting OTMs down, they are just a special type of loco ;)

    As for the wagons, I don't think I could ever do it either. Not necessarily because it's a thankless task but more because whenever I've tried to check out the wagon numbers as they go past, it makes me feel slightly nauseous o_O
     
  30. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    I don't know if they still do it, but the guys at Newport used to have it down to a fine art. I tried it for a while on and off, but no I couldn't do wagon spotting regularly. Fudge that!
     

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