Richard's Trip Reports

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by rg177, 4 Jan 2015.

  1. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    I've been meaning to start doing this for a while, but here goes. I'll be posting reports on my more significant outings, which tend to be around once a month.

    Greater Manchester bash, 03/01/14

    My first trip of the year was a bash around Manchester using a Greater Manchester Rail Ranger on January 3rd, travelling in from Newcastle.

    The day started quite early indeed with a 5am alarm and a rather cold walk down to the bus stop for the 0550 service to Newcastle St Mary's Place. Being early on a Saturday morning, it was fairly easy for the bus to run early, getting me into town shortly after 6am, allowing me to catch an earlier Metro for the two stops to Central Station. This was the first rail journey of 2015 for me, and the service, the 0606 to Pelaw, was formed of units 4003 and 4077. It was inevitably lightly loaded and I was soon enough on the concourse and making my way onto Platform 4 for the 0623 XC service to Reading, which I was to take to York. The service was formed of single Voyager 220007 and was very lightly loaded indeed, with me having Coach F to myself for the entire duration of the journey. The journey was uneventful, and it was still pitch dark outside so there wasn't much to look at for the duration. :lol:

    I arrived into York at 0721 at the far south end of Platform 5, and then decided to see if I could make it onto the 0724 to Manchester Airport, which was waiting on Platform 4. The distance between 4 and 5 is longer than it sounds! I proceeded to dash over the bridge and down onto the platform, and onto a waiting 185139 for the journey to Manchester Piccadilly. The departure from York seemed very slow and sluggish, as we were chasing a late running Newcastle-Liverpool service, but we seemed to eventually pick up speed as we approached Garforth, our first stop. Daylight then began to poke through as we got to Leeds, resulting in a pleasant sunrise by Huddersfield. The service remained lightly loaded throughout, making the journey all the more relaxing, and soon enough, we had arrived into Piccadilly at 0848, 5 minutes late.

    From here, the bashing began. I had 25 minutes to kill before my next intended service, the 0916 to Glasgow, so I decided on a quick leap to Oxford Road and back. 156426 arrived on the 0855 to Liverpool, and I then took 156482 back to Piccadilly on the 0901 to Manchester Airport. I arrived back at Piccadilly to find a double 185 splitting, with one portion going to Blackpool North and the other to Liverpool Lime Street. This seemed to cause quite a lot of confusion with people as the entire train was displayed as being the 0912 to Blackpool on the departure board. The Liverpool section departed first, followed by the Blackpool. This also caused slight delays on the very busy Platform 14. But soon enough, my train, the 0916 to Glasgow, arrived, being formed of 350407 which I was to take as far as Wigan North Western. This was my first journey on a 350/4 and I was rather impressed by it. The lack of diesel engines gave a very smooth, relaxing journey through Eccles and Patricroft before diverging and joining the WCML before arriving into a rather cold Wigan.

    I left North Western and headed for Wallgate where there was a 0953 to Manchester Airport due, which would take me back to Piccadilly via Bolton. This was formed of a rather busy 150118. It was still a reasonably quick journey, running non-stop from Bolton to Salford Crescent, but the train seemed very tired looking indeed. It looked to have not been refurbished at all except for the addition of Northern moquette on the seats. Arrival time was however punctual into Manchester Piccadilly at 1035. From here on in up until departure back to Newcastle, everything was unplanned so I just picked whatever took my fancy. I noticed 323236 working the 1046 to Stoke, so I hopped aboard. I do have quite a soft spot for 323s, and I do really enjoy riding on them, not to mention their acceleration sounds! I took the train to Stockport, before returning on the 1059 back to Piccadilly, formed of 175002. This had been an early service from Carmarthen and it was very busy indeed, and we arrived back in Manchester at 1111. By now the heavens had also opened, and the rain became rather heavy, but it didn't really bother me.

    I then headed for a 2nd return to Stockport on the 1115 to Euston, only to find that it wasn't there and it was running late, so I opted for the 1114 to Manchester Airport which was formed of 323237. However, there seemed to be an issue as the driver was speaking to other members of staff and his cab door was open. 1114 came and went and as I saw a member of staff with a 'Not to be moved' sign coming down the platform, I took it as a hint that the service was cancelled, so I alighted and headed for a Tram as my ranger was valid in the City Zone. I boarded 3038 which was headed for Altrincham as far as Deansgate-Castlefield. I quite like Metrolink and I really should do a proper bash on it this year as the last time I bashed the network was when it consisted only of Eccles/Bury/Altrincham and St Werburgh's Road and it was dominated by T68s. How things change.

    (Continued- Part 2 below)

    I headed for Deansgate G Mex where I joined 156460 on a delayed 1130 service to Oxford Road only where I then evaluated my options as to what to do next. Looking at the boards, the 1139 to Norwich was due, so I joined the service, formed of 158864/158812. I do quite like the interiors of the EMT 158s, not that I had much time to appreciate them on my 2 minute journey :lol:. I crossed platforms at Piccadilly to see that the 1146 TPE to Blackpool North was arriving, so I took it to Salford Crescent. The service was formed of a rather quiet double set of 185116/185149. Just as I alighted, the 1200 to Manchester Victoria formed of 150134 was arriving on the opposite platform which I took to Salford Central. This was a pretty busy service, and I couldn't help but notice the gent smoking an e-cig on board. I must say that some of the clientele on board were quite 'interesting' to say the least :p

    I decided to go on a slightly longer journey after this, joining the 1206 to Clitheroe which was formed of a scruffy 150271, and I couldn't help but notice the size of the gap and the step up onto the train. The train was pretty dirty in side but my seat felt very comfortable which was a surprise. We called only at Salford Crescent before running non-stop to Bolton, where I left the train and awaited a train back to Salford. I took shelter in the waiting room as it was still very cold and damp, and I observed the crowds awaiting the Preston service. It seems unusually busy for the off peak. Soon enough though, my train, the 1226 to Huddersfield, arrived. It was formed of 150148 and also seemed very busy, but it seemed to be in much better nick than previous 150s that i'd used earlier in the day. It took a mere 9 minutes to cover the 9 miles to Salford Crescent, where I alighted.

    I originally intended to catch the 1247 service to Manchester Airport, but 142039 appeared on the 1242 to Todmorden so I jumped on that instead. Another busy service which was also my first 142 of the year (of many, i'm expecting!) which I took to Manchester Victoria. I've never liked Victoria as it seemed very dark and dingy, but with the works underway, I hope that the station will be a much more pleasant one to use. The plan was now to catch a Tram to Piccadilly (changing at St Peter's Square), and that required a walk to Shudehill which was a short uphill walk next to the Tram line. I somehow managed to race a double set formed of 3053/3015 bound for Altrincham to Shudehill, so I joined them there. On arriving at St Peter's Square, I noticed that the next service via Piccadilly wasn't for 7 minutes, so I continued to Deansgate-Castlefield. I then crossed platforms onto 3075/3090 on an Ashton service, as far as Piccadilly.

    I then had three minutes to dash over for the 1318 to Hadfield which was being worked by 323235. This was a peaceful journey until Ashburys, when an older looking chavvy couple boarded. They appeared to be known to the guard and had no real intention of paying, and when the guard went back to do the doors it was no surprise to me that they ran off when we arrived at Guide Bridge. I also alighted here with the intention of changing onto a late running 323 back to Manchester, but changing platforms took forever and I missed it so I was stuck with a 15 minute wait for a service from Rose Hill. The aforementioned couple had returned to the platform and were now having a full on slanging match which didn't really help the image of the area. The 1341 to Manchester Piccadilly soon arrived which was annoyingly formed of a very dud Heaton 142026. The seats are more comfortable then the benches on Newton Heath ones though :p The train picked up quite a few folk at Fairfield and Gorton before arrival at Piccadilly.

    I then headed for Platform 13, where there was a late running 1358 to Manchester Airport formed of 185111/185147 waiting. This was another pleasant, quiet journey, and I alighted at Heald Green. This was another station where it took ages to get from one platform to the other, but I thankfully had sufficient time to transfer onto 323234 back to Piccadilly which was working the 1421 to Manchester Piccadilly. It seemed to really get up to speed between stations, making this one of my favourite journeys of the day. That, and it happened to be a 323 :p The journey was swift, and we were soon back at Piccadilly. Since breakfast at 5am, I hadn't actually ate, so a trip was then made to Boots where a bunch of their sandwiches and wraps were reduced to 50p. Result! I stocked up on food before heading over to 175114 which was working the 1450 to Llandudno, and I took it to Oxford Road, before returning on the 1454 to Manchester Airport, formed of a familiar 185116/185149.

    The darkness was slowly setting in as I called it a day. It seemed pretty early but I wouldn't be back in Newcastle until 1754, and it was early January, after all. I took a seat on the platform and awaited the 1526 back to York, formed of 185124. A pretty quiet train and a sunset over the Pennines made this a pleasant journey, and we arrived into York 8 minutes late at 1648, allowing me to connect with the 1654 back to Newcastle, formed of 91113. This was a very busy train, but I found a spare window seat in Coach B. I then resisted the urge to fall asleep as I was so tired! We soon passed an illuminated Durham Cathedral and arrival was at 1759. I then made my way down to the Metro for a service back to Haymarket. I then caught the 1810 bus home, and was on the sofa by 1830.

    A tiring but great day! :)
     
    Last edited: 4 Jan 2015
  2. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    I'm glad I'm not the only one with a soft-spot for the hyper-turbos 323s

    Sounds like a busy day so far
     
  3. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    All finished. Have just edited original post :)
     
  4. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Wahey, another Starship fan! :D I love the 323s, they're just awesome little machines!

    An excellent day by the looks of it, although even with the early rise (I've got one at 0600 tomorrow, won't be home until at least 1920) I'd still have gone home later than you did there! 1526 is a bit early to end a day's bash in my opinion, 1626 or 1726 heading home for me would have been the very earliest I'd have tolerated heading home!

    Otherwise, I will say I'm glad to see you've posted a trip report, it's well written and I enjoyed it all the way through :) I look forward to more in the future :D
     
  5. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    My usual bashes are longer. Glasgow will involve a 0743 departure from Newcastle and a 1958 arrival back. Still got a month and a half til that though. It was generally the fact that darkness was setting in quite quickly :)
     
  6. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Fair enough, the Glasgow trip sounds excellent :)
     
  7. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    With a bit of hap hazard planning, my next trip has just been booked for Saturday. I have the vouchers for the £10 Northern offer, and I've booked First class advances to York (£17.55 vs £15.85 in Standard), with a return to Leeds purchased at £6.50 too with there only being 1 direct Northern service an hour York-Leeds.

    Plan is to clear Bolton-Blackpool N, maybe Barnsley-Wakefield Kirkgt if I can.

    Booked on-

    0645 Newcastle-Leeds 0808 (XC)
    1708 Leeds-York 1729 (XC)
    1752 York-Newcastle 1849 (EC)

    Will have a trip report in due course :)
     
    Last edited: 21 Jan 2015
  8. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    Have a good trip :)

    Hopefully the weather will hold out
     
  9. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Sounds like a good trip, I shall look forward to the trip report :)
     
  10. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    Did something quite different...

    Report tomorrow :)
     
  11. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Ooh, a teaser! :D
     
  12. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    Right, let's get this started...

    Here, there and everywhere- 24/01/15

    This was quite a sudden trip for the agenda, due to the Northern Ranger offer making an appearance. However, with engineering works from Hexham-Carlisle this weekend, I would have to spend extra as Newcastle is effectively cut off from the south on Northern. And so, I looked up advances to Leeds to find that the cheapest were sat at £29, so I gave up and tried York instead, which came out at £15. I then found that First Class was hardly any different in price, so I opted for that.

    Right, here goes. This trip contains less journeys, but they’re also considerably longer. :)
    I started my day at 0450 with the alarm going off and me going downstairs for some very bleary eyed breakfast. I had only had around five hours sleep the previous night! :p I was actually up so early that my Dad hadn’t even gone to work yet, which is highly unusual considering that he does the early shift! I then prepared the bag with the usuals, the camera, headphones and the pile of tickets and reservations for the day before setting of out of the house. Since the last trip, I’ve actually moved slightly further down the road, so the walk in the dark down the road was slightly shorter, but still very cold. I waited for the same bus as last time, the 0550 to Newcastle which turned up slightly late, which led to me panicking as the fact that it hadn’t turned up a few minutes before (my stop is the first on that service) made me think that it wasn’t running at all! However, this of course wasn’t the case and we ended up running 5 minutes early into Newcastle, allowing me to catch a late running 0602 Metro to South Hylton as far as Central, formed of 4026 and 4045. This was pretty busy for such a time in the morning, especially considering that the service interval is every 6 minutes through the ‘core’, even early on a Saturday morning. The journey took the usual three minutes or so, and I was on the platforms at Newcastle by 0610.

    I now had 35 minutes until my train, so I ended up sitting in the empty waiting room, with the wafts of coffee coming from a yet to open Costa. I watched a few comings and goings, which included a triple 142 formation which splits up to form different services, one being the 0630 to Hexham which is normally bound for Glasgow and worked by a SR 156. But soon enough, at around 0630, the stock for my service, the 0645 to Plymouth, formed of 221123, arrived on Platform 4 and I waited for the doors to be released. I was pretty excited as this was my first journey on Cross Country in First Class, and with early morning services being quiet anyway; I was looking forward to the chance to relax. The doors were subsequently released, and I took my seat in Coach A, to realise that there was only one other passenger in the carriage. Departure was timely, and the guard checked my ticket before asking if I would like anything to drink. Of course, I took up the offer and was served tea and biscuits before we had even reached Durham :D. The rest of the journey was pretty peaceful, but again, not much to look at with it being dark outside :lol:. With my onward journey from York to Leeds being in Standard, I moved into unreserved Coach B and was amazed to find that the carriage was completely empty on the approach to York, and only a few folk joined on our arrival. The further 25 minutes to Leeds were similarly peaceful, and we arrived into Leeds at 0807, 1 minute ahead of schedule.

    With this being a Northern Ranger, I had to take the slower route to Manchester, and so I headed for Platform 11B, where 158792 was waiting to form my next service, the 0818 to Manchester Victoria via Bradford Interchange. This service was again very lightly loaded, with only a handful boarding at Leeds, and most of them leaving at Bradford. I couldn’t help but notice the amount of snow on the ground as we headed further west, particularly between Todmorden and Rochdale, and indeed, the platforms at Rochdale were pretty well covered in it! The journey was actually very scenic, and the 158 was most welcome compared to the 144s and 155s that also work the route. We subsequently arrived into the dark and dingy Manchester Victoria at 0937, again, 1 minute ahead of schedule. And, seeing as we had arrived on time, I was able to follow my preferred plan, which was to clear Southport. I made my way to Platform 5, negotiating the 2 ticket checks required to reach it, and noticed that the Southport hadn’t actually arrived, which seemed unusual considering that it was due out at 0942. However, this seemed to be perfectly normal, as it arrived in and we departed on time. This service was formed of a pretty well loaded 150137, but at least it looked like Northern had done something with it since it had been built :lol:. Due to engineering works, we also took the route that Liverpool trains normally take, avoiding Salford Central, before re-joining the usual route at Salford Crescent, and heading onwards to Wigan via Atherton. From there, the line seemed to become quite rural quite quickly, with stations such as Appley Bridge looking rather pleasant. The horn also seemed to be constantly blasting, with a lot of foot crossings on a route that ran through quite a lot of farmland. At the same time I was also working out my next move, as I was beginning to not feel like having a half hour fester at Southport to double back to Manchester, so I considering taking a Merseyrail down to Liverpool, which was also required track. In the meantime, the familiar Merseytravel appeared as we pulled into Meols Cop, and then into Southport, which seemed to be a pretty large station with a few 507s and 508s being stabled.

    I decided to bite the bullet and head down to Liverpool, so I headed into the M to Go shop/ticket office thing and purchased an All Areas Saveaway for £2.70, which was actually cheaper than a single which was £3.05. Logical. I grabbed a few photos of the units on the station before joining the 1113 to Hunts Cross, formed of 508114. This was my last bit of passenger track to clear on Merseyrail, having cleared all of the Wirral Lines along with Kirkby in May 2013, and Ormskirk last year. It was also the longest of the Northern Lines, and so I was expecting a monotonous journey through deepest darkest Merseyside, but I was actually pleasantly surprised. The train ran over various level crossings as it seemed to have effectively cut areas such as Birkdale in half, before passing a few golf courses and opening out into slightly more rural surrounding areas. This then gave way to urban industrial Liverpool, as we joined the other lines at Sandhills. I left the train at Moorfields, intending to catch a Wirral Line to Lime Street. Merseyrail had other ideas. There seemed to be some sort of disruption which was delaying everything around the loop, so I gave up and asked for directions from the gateline, and legged it to Lime Street myself. The reason for this was that I wanted to catch the fast Northern to Manchester, rather than the slows to Victoria or Oxford Road. I actually only had 10 minutes to run there, but I somehow did it in five, despite it being uphill most of the way :p. I briskly made my way onto Platform 1 where 150268 was waiting on the 1216 to Manchester Piccadilly. A 150. I had really both expected and wanted a 156 for this journey, but both times I’ve done it recently, Northern’s random unit generating machine has thrown up a 150. With calls only at Wavertree, St Helens Jn, Newton Le Willows, and Oxford Road however, the journey was incredibly brisk as I observed the electrification works progressing. We also headed through what seemed to be new track at Roby which had now had 4 platforms. Arrival was five minutes late into Piccadilly at 1306.

    There was a reason for opting to travel into Piccadilly. With the engineering work on at Manchester Airport, trains were running to Wilmslow via Heald Green but using the line which runs direct to Styal, which seems to be currently only used by the 0511 Picc-Bournemouth and 1940 Euston-Picc on Weekdays, along with three ATW services on Sundays. However, I was to do this bit of line on a 323, which is quite a lot rarer as far as I’m aware. And so, I made my way onto the platform, and joined the 1314 to Wilmslow, formed of 323230. This service was completely empty on leaving Heald Green, and we headed down the short section of track, before passing Styal and arriving into Wilmslow where we terminated. The platform was pretty busy, with folk waiting for a late running Pendolino via Stockport, but I just grabbed a few shots before joining the 323 again as it formed the 1344 back to Piccadilly. It was another enjoyable journey as the fantastic 323s as usual, and we arrived into Piccadilly at 1410. I now had to get to Victoria on foot for a train back to Leeds. I know, it seems very early indeed, as if I’d been travelling on TPE, the 1626 would have sufficed to get me back to York in time for my connection back home, but no, I was travelling with Northern :p

    I’d never actually walked Piccadilly-Victoria, but my logic was simple: follow the Tram line :lol:. It took around 20 minutes to get there, and I realised that I had enough time to catch a few different services back to Leeds by going via Stalybridge, but the 150 on the 1429 to Stalybridge looked quite cosy so I flagged it and awaited the 1458 to Huddersfield. At this point, I then heard the dispatcher yelling at a group of ‘gents’ who were standing in the doorway of the train holding it open for what was apparently a late running friend, which isn’t exactly a valid reason to delay a service, so he gave them two options, either get off or remain on board and let the doors close. They however found the whole situation hilarious and continued to hold the doors open. At this point, the guard refused them travel and told them to leave the train. Their friends then made an appearance and proceeded to push the dispatcher out of the way and board the train, and so, the train remained on the platform. Then the police were called as the blokes refused to leave. I realised that this train was probably going to have a knock on effect on my train so I gave up on the idea of going via Staly and headed for the 1448 to Leeds, which was formed of 158905. So, it was back through Rochdale and Todmorden and past the snow topped hills but only as far as Bradford Interchange this time, where we arrived in at 1543. I opted to take the free bus over to Forster Square as I had absolutely ages before I had to be in York. Two hours, in fact.

    I boarded the little Optare Solo which was operated by the unusually named ‘Ladies Only Travel’ and took a ride through Bradford. I noticed the sign in the bus saying that if you remained on the bus for more than one circuit, you’d be charged £1. I have no idea why anyone would want to go round and round Bradford, but hey ho. It took around five minutes to reach Forster Square where I joined 333013 on the 1601 to Leeds. Another lightly loaded train with a friendly who noticed my camera and asked me if I was into trains, and he then recommended Doncaster to me if I wanted to do some photting. I’ve been to Doncaster quite a few times, but it was nice of him to take an interest :D. I do find the announcements on the 333 slightly misleading, as when we arrived into Shipley the auto announcer said ‘Welcome aboard the Leeds train. The next station is Leeds. This train terminates here. Take all belongings!’ as the doors were released at Shipley. The 333s are pretty decent trains, despite the very weird window alignment in places, and the 20 minute journey into Leeds was soon over, just as the sun was setting. And despite my more convoluted route back into Leeds I technically had 55 minutes until my intended connection back to York, so I proceeded to head for Boots for the obligatory evening mark downs. I bagged myself a Noodle salad and a not-really-worth-full-price Jamie Oliver sandwich for a mere £2. Another result! I was also incredibly hungry as I hadn’t eaten since 7am! :p I then just decided to catch the next train to York, which was the 1643 to Newcastle, headed over to Platform 15B, having failed to notice that it was due in on 15A, along with the mob of people waiting for it. Having attempted to board, I said out loud ‘nope!’ and headed back to 15B and waited for the 1649 for Middlesbrough instead. This was much quieter and formed of 185131. I went and made myself at home in the empty section of fold down seats in Coach C in front of First Class and gobbled up my late lunch. It was now completely dark but it was a pretty peaceful journey, and we arrived into York at 1716.

    I now had just over half an hour to kill, so I decided to go for a little stroll down to the river, past the illuminated City walls and with the Minister in view. It was however very cold indeed and so once I reached Lendal Bridge I decided to walk back and wait out the remaining ten minutes next to a Meridian that was awaiting departure to London St Pancras via Sheffield, Derby and a variety of other exotic destinations :lol:. My service then arrived on Platform 5, the 1754 to Edinburgh, formed of 43311 and 43318. I took my seat in Coach L which seemed pretty quiet, contrary to the EC seat selection, which had greyed out the majority of seats in the carriage, having me believing that it was to be very busy. I immediately noted the drinks trolley coming down the carriage, and was somewhat relieved as I really needed a hot drink. I asked for tea which was greeted with a ‘certainly, sir!’ and the snacks trolley then followed so I opted for a muffin and crisps. Not bad for the £8.15 I paid for the 55 minute journey, but the full service wasn’t to resume until after Newcastle, so I couldn’t nab any sandwiches :P. I can remember fellow forum members comparing the free tea to dishwater, and it was pretty weak in my opinion, but pretty acceptable considering that it was free. It was a very pleasant journey, and we arrived into Newcastle at 1750, 1 minute down. Now it was just the small matter of catching the 1855 Metro bound for the coast, which I took to Haymarket, formed of 4084 and 4062, followed by the 1908 bus home, getting me home for 1930.
    A great day, some unusual track scored, both lines into Southport cleared, and all regular passenger track cleared on Merseyrail :)

    Total Mileage: 412mi 06ch
    Total cost for the day including food: £39.85


    On another note, I went out and tipped myself over the 1000 mile mark for the year by doing a short trip out today, which was basically Metro Whitley Bay-Heworth on 4082/4087, Heworth-Sunderland on 142020, Sunderland-Heworth on 142019, and Heworth-Whitley Bay again on 4082/4087. The Metro is very useful for getting the mileage up a bit :D
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2015
  13. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    Sounds like you had an enjoyable day using that northern ticket
     
  14. Techniquest

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    An excellent time had by the looks of it, and I'm not surprised you've cleared 1,000 miles already this year what with all those long distance moves! If memory serves, Newcastle to York is about 80 miles each way so just that's 160 miles on a round trip, only 8 miles short of my total for the year so far! :(

    Congratulations on clearing the Merseyrail network, well worth the extra ching then no doubt :) 150s turn up a lot on Lime Street to Man Picc/Airport runs, much in the same way a pair of 142s can turn up on a Lime Street to Warrington Bank Quay vice 156 (yes I've had that happen in 2014!) on occasions. Kite159's trademarked NRDMUG strikes again! :lol:

    Did you have a fast or slow service to Southport? If it's a slow train it's not much fun, fast ones are better generally. Mind you, I almost made a fast train from Southport to Manchester once (didn't make it on due to queues in the M To Go shop), that was a pair of 142s. The slow train a short time later was a 156, much better! <D

    I can't recall how rare 323s are for the Manchester Airport avoiding line, but they're certainly not a very regular thing (apart from the current blockade of course). I've had a pair of 221s, a 57-hauled 390 and a 175/1 over that section in the past but never a 323.

    EDIT: Oh aye, I almost forgot to mention I've done full days on just 2 hours of sleep before, so your 5 hours in this case would be luxury compared to that! I also don't anticipate a lot of sleep this time next week, I know full well excitement levels will be through the roof! <D

    Anything else in the pipeline for yourself in February?
     
    Last edited: 25 Jan 2015
  15. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    I've done a couple busy days, last train (01:00 ish {set down only so varies}) to first train (05:25) with another 01:00 finish. Needless to say I was tired the following day.
     
  16. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Exhausting that must have been, glad that wasn't me!
     
  17. Kristofferson

    Kristofferson Established Member

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    I do enjoy a good trip report with a cuppa :)

    Seems a bit grim up north what with all the arguing passengers, but the XC services sound alright!

    What are you going for, clearing all the trains up north or the track? Or both? ;)
     
  18. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Clearing all the trains up north won't be easy, especially if the north doesn't start until Sheffield! Clearing the track's a million times easier!
     
  19. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    Mainly track, as I can't see clearing every train up north being very easy. Even the Northern fleet would be quite a task. I have however cleared Heaton's 142s several times over :lol:

    For Southport, it was a half and half. All stations except Moorside, Hag Fold to Wigan. Then calling at Gathurst, Appley Bridge, Burscough and Meols Cop. Not too bad a journey.

    As for February, on the 14th it's an SPT Roundabout bash, 15th is a short wander to York, and the 16th to the 21st is London with the parents, so it'll be half bashing half tourist stuff. Plans include a Southen daysave and a return to Gatwick for the final time on 442s.

    March 1st is the first VTEC service ever (I believe) which I'm taking to Peterborough via Lincoln. Plan is to then clear the line to Ely.
     
  20. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Sounds like you've got a good month coming up then :)
     
  21. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    Yeah, I've ended up with every weekend from February 14 to March 14 having something planned :)
     
  22. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Nice, I have nothing like that going on, but I do have some big trips lined up at various points this year :D
     
  23. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    I now have Easter sorted with a Central Scotland Rover :) £63.90 for the 3 days.

    April 7-

    0743 Newcastle-Edinburgh 0921
    2002 Edinburgh-Newcastle 2134

    April 9-

    0743 Newcastle-Edinburgh 0921
    2002 Edinburgh-Newcastle 2134

    April 11-

    0738 Newcastle-Edinburgh 0907
    1830 Newcastle-Edinburgh 1958

    Plans for Shotts, Lanark, Larkhall, Alloa and the Fife Loco Hauled :)
     
  24. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    Will the Fife loco hauled still be going on under the new franchise? Isn't it currently using one of the 67s which would sit idle from the highland sleeper, so when the franchise is spilt and the sleeper goes to Serco to somehow mess up, would Scotrail still have access to those locos?
     
  25. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    Currently off on a little impromptu trip up over the border behind 91118. Bit foggy.

    *Edit* I was pretty vague. Report soon :)
     
    Last edited: 7 Feb 2015
  26. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Excellent, I look forward to reading the trip report, keen to see what you got up to while I was up your way :)
     
  27. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    The Scottish Multi-modal- 07/02/15

    It was time for another trip that had been rather hastily organised a few days previously. The plan was to head up to Edinburgh for a revisit of the Trams which had been covered but not properly bashed back in September. It was also a good chance to do it while I’m still on child fares (16 in 17 days!). The cost for the advance fare from Newcastle to Edinburgh and back came to £19.30 in total, which was going out in Standard and back in First, as there wasn’t much difference in the price between First and Standard coming back, and it was actually cheaper than the outward standard fare! I then intended to purchase a PlusBus for a rather cheap £1.50 which would cover me for all of the buses and trams in the area. This was also mixed in with a few extra journeys on ScotRail, with the three extra return journeys purchased coming to £6.65 in total.

    It was a slightly later start with me catching the 0630 bus which goes slightly closer to Newcastle Central, meaning that no Metro journey was required. The bus was a ’63 reg vehicle of Optare Versa vintage which had the overly Geordie next stop announcements blaring as usual. (It’s a thing that’s taken off up here). The journey wasn’t quite as sprightly as on the usual 0550 bus of choice as it seemed to be late enough for people to actually use it, and so it took around 25 minutes to reach Market Street, and a further 5 minutes to stroll down to the station, with me being on the platforms for 7am. At this point I then needed to purchase my PlusBus for the day as it was somewhat of an afterthought. The clerk required some assistance to issue it from a colleague (I don’t think that Edinburgh PlusBus tickets are sold THAT often :P) but I soon had the ticket in my hand as I headed over to Platform 3 and into the waiting room to kill 40 minutes until my train. I’ll be honest, the time seriously dragged but eventually I decided to head over to Platform 2 for my train, the 0743 to Edinburgh Waverley, which was being hauled by 91118. I boarded in Coach B to find that my seat was missing a reservation label, but I wasn’t particularly bothered as I opted for an unreserved table instead.

    This service called at Alnmouth, Berwick and Dunbar en route and so it seemed to be one of the slower services but the views along the coast were gorgeous. This part of the ECML never fails to amaze me, and the sunrise was something to behold as we rolled into Alnmouth. No folk got on in our coach here, and we continued through the famous station that is Chathill, as the sun continued to rise, and as the coast seemed to draw ever closer, and soon enough we were heading over the Royal Border Bridge, and into Berwick. Another station where our coach simply rolled past everyone under the canopy and resulted in another uninterrupted peaceful station call :P Final stop was Dunbar, where we did pick up a few folk, before arriving into Waverley, 2 minutes late, at 0920.

    The first port of call for me was the ticket machine, where I decided to have a jaunt over the Forth Bridge and back before getting started on the Trams, as I couldn’t see myself spending six hours on them, and so a return to Inverkeithing for the princely sum of £2.75 was purchased and I made my way onto Platform 17 for the 0935 to Perth, formed of 158707. It was a pretty lightly loaded train that called only at Haymarket en route, and the sun was actually shining until we hit Dalmeny, when we were plunged into fog. As a result, the view over the Forth was somewhat less interesting. :P We arrived into a suddenly very cold and foggy Inverkeithing on time at 0954. I then had a choice, catch the next train which was the late running 0952 to Edinburgh, or await the 1001 HST to London. 170393 rolled in on the Edinburgh service, and so I decided to pass on it and await the HST. This was formed of 43317 and 43208, and was actually very well loaded, but I found an unreserved pair of seats at the very back of coach B. The journey seemed very slow and sluggish indeed as we were following 170393 which was calling at all stations, but it was another pleasant journey and I was deposited back on Waverley station at 1027. From here, the tram bash began.

    I made a brisk walk up to St Andrews Square, where 271 was approaching with an Airport service. I boarded and sat at the very front, remembering the horrible window alignment on these trams. This particular tram had a relatively comical flaw, which was that the front door on the right wouldn’t close if the window next to it was shut, due to a dodgy pressure sensor which made the door think that the window was actually someone leaning on the door. This resulted in the conductor having to climb onto the seats and open said window. Not good for a new system. The journey was very slow through the City, but we got up to speed on leaving Murrayfield, where good views of the Mainline were had. I was checking the boards on the opposite platforms, looking for good places to bail with minimum wait times. I ended up bailing at Gogarburn, where I appeared to be the only person for miles around the station, but I only had a two minute wait for a service back, formed of 261.

    I took this one to Edinburgh Park Station, which happens to be a very good place to swap units if you’re in the right place and you’re fit enough! The trams cross over here, and with a crossing at the end of the platform, a very hasty bail was made onto 256 for the short trip back over to Edinburgh Park Central. I was again the only passenger to leave the tram here, but it was a pretty pleasant place to wait at. It reminded me of the Cobalt Business Park (viewable from my house), with its emphasis on greenery, just without the seemingly heaps of empty office buildings :P. It was a 4 minute wait then for 268 to take me back to Edinburgh Park Station, where I decided that another mainline jaunt was in order. After a few minutes, 334038 pulled in on the 1132 to Helensburgh Central. I wasn’t sure whether to take this to Uphall or Livingston North, but I decided on Livingston North and paid the £2.60 return to the conductor. This turned out to be a good choice as I would’ve missed the service heading the other way at Uphall. The journey was pretty pleasant, and very quick considering the distance covered, it taking around 12 minutes to cover the 10 miles to Livingston.

    Livingston North seemed to be one of those stations that wasn’t particularly easy to do quick platform changes at as it required me to leave the station, go out onto the main road and back into the car park before going to the far end of the car park to the stairs. At a leisurely pace it took me 4 minutes. I was certainly glad that I had 8 minutes for my connection back, which was the 1152 to Edinburgh, formed of 334023. I was back at Edinburgh Park just after Midday, and so this had proved to be a pretty decent mileage move, 20 miles in just over 30 minutes and a winner 334 on top! It was back to the Trams, which presented a slightly problem. The platform indicator insisted that there was a 16 minute wait for a City bound service, so I crossed over to the Airport platform, intending on maybe heading to Ingliston. But then, on the other side, the indicator changed its mind and decided that there was now only a 2 minute wait. So it was back over to the City platform and onto 274 for the journey back into the City, this time to Princes Street. On this particular tram, the announcements were one station behind, resulting in some confusion as Haymarket was announced as Murrayfield, West End as Haymarket, and so on. My intention was to then take a trip on a couple of buses as my ticket covered those too.

    There was however a small problem, which was that I didn’t want to go too far because I wasn’t particularly sure on how long journey times were, so I didn’t really stray that far out of the City Centre. First up was bus 834 on Route 16, a B7TL Gemini, which I took just a few stops to Fountainbridge. I then proceeded to cross the road and return back to Princes Street on 353, a B9TL Gemini on Route 11. This was then followed by a short ride on 201, on Route 10 to York Place, which was a pretty nice Enviro 400. I then proceeded to miss the next Tram out, so I had a 10 minute fester before catching 251 to the Gyle Centre. This wasn’t a particularly smooth journey as there was an ambulance called to a Tram ahead of us at Bankhead, so we were delayed by 10 minutes at Princes Street. This then bunched up services, making bashing a bit more difficult. I made the walk over to the bus station at the Gyle Centre, and boarded 344, another B9TL Gemini, on the 22 to Saughton. This plonked me a few hundred yards away from Saughton Tram Stop, where I then boarded 266 to Edinburgh Park Station, and did another one of those practically zero minute bails onto 251 back in the opposite direction, and headed back to my originating point of St Andrews Square, four hours after starting.

    This left me with an hour or so to spare so I ‘just picked up a Mayo Chicken for 99p’ (bonus point for getting the reference) and made my way to Waverley. I had some spare change in my pocket so I headed for the ticket machines to see what a couple of quid could get me. I could’ve done Newcraighall but that was pushing it for time as I’d just missed one, so I settled on Haymarket with the intention of scratching a couple of units and so £1.30 was put in the machine. It was out on 170393 working the 1509 to Glenrothes, which seemed to be fully loaded in the rear coach and then completely empty in the other two. Sheep mentality, eh! I then did a quick dash over the bridge and onto 158706 working the 1513 back to Waverley. Double winners, so can’t complain. I get the feeling that when I do a Central Scotland Rover at Easter I’ll be filling in my spare time doing a few Haymarket leaps!

    This still left me with 40 minutes until my train left, so I had a wander around, before photting the loco propelling my train home, 91104 on the 1600 to Kings Cross. I then passed on my reserved seat in Coach K and bagged a table for four instead, and reclined my seat a little, awaiting departure. We left on time with just 4 other folk in the coach, and within 2 minutes of leaving, I was offered a cup of tea. Not bad, eh? Passing through Wallyford, the actual drinks trolley came through, and I opted for a can of Diet Coke, the woman on the trolley then offered me another tea on top! By the time we were through Longniddry, I was sat with a pack of Cheese and pickle sandwiches, crisps, and a muffin too. Well, it would’ve been rude to decline :P The journey was non-stop through to Newcastle, and it was most enjoyable as the sun gradually dipped, giving a very pretty sunset as we passed over the Royal Border Bridge once more. Arrival was 3 minutes early into Newcastle at 1721. I then had the task of boarding the 1727 Metro to the Airport, formed of inevitable duds 4076 and 4061. I’ve cleared the Metro fleet a few times over, as you can imagine. It was then a case of two buses home, and being home by 6:10. A most enjoyable day!


    Total Mileage: 324mi 61ch
    Total cost including food and extra tickets: £28.44


    Roll on Strathclyde!
    For my London trip I’m not entirely sure on what to do in terms of Boundary zone jaunts. I have three planned, which are St Albans Abbey, Windsor via Slough (for tourist purposes with the parents) and perhaps Sevenoaks for the purposes of track bashing. Gatwick might be a decent idea too as it’ll be the only chance for me to really bash a 442 to Gatwick non-stop. I do plan on doing one from Brighton on a Daysave too, though.
     
    Last edited: 9 Feb 2015
  28. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    An excellent value trip, I can see your amount of trips dropping significantly in a couple of weeks time!

    I'm envious of your First Class trip, it looks so much nicer than Standard! I also have a hunch 91118 is required here, same for 91104.

    No doubt plenty of winners by the sounds of it for you!
     
  29. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    The majority were winners, one tram, 334023 and the 91s were however dud. I require 91107/08/09/10/14/16/22/23/24/26/30, so I've scored 21 out of 32 so far, so not bad :)

    I've ended up with eight consecutive days of rail travel between February 14th and 21st, and then the following to look forward to...

    1/3- VTEC Newcastle-Peterborough via Lincoln
    7/3- Supertram bash or Derbyshire Wayfarer
    14/3- South Pennines Ranger
    28/3- Cheshire Ranger
    7-9-11/4- Central Scotland Rover

    I'm planning on doing something during May half term, probably just the one day as it's GCSE exam season. Maybe London if i'm feeling ambitious...was going to say Brum but the XC price flows are just daft- £41 vs £19 to go to London....

    I also have a free Northern pass to use up :)
     
  30. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    I had 91114 and 91130 when I was up your way last week, 130 from London and 114 from Darlington. Sounds like you did well still, and if you really wanted to clear out your 91s quickly you could always do lots of leaps between Darlington and/or Durham and Newcastle on a Tyne and Tees Day Ranger, same for getting Voyagers, 185s and HSTs.

    Very much jealous of your plans! I'm potentially doing a Great Escape in 2 weeks time, then after that it's a 2 and a bit weeks until the 3 day trip in London. Mind you, that's getting tweaked a fair bit too, lots of planning involved but that trip alone should produce a lot of results!
     

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