Sunday 4th Feb- Sheffield

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14 Jun 2005
Walthamstow, London
My day started about 0845 when I caught the Victoria Line to Highbury & Islington, whereby I found the access steps to the NLL platforms were still locked (as the first train isn't until 0938 on Sunday's), so I went out the station for a bit to spot buses.

I came back into the station just before 0930 and by then I could go down on the NLL platforms to catch the 0938, which was formed of 313101. Due to engineering work between Camden Road and Willesden Junction HL trains to/from Stratford were diverted after Camden Road via the Primrose Hill line and Queens Park to Willesden J LL (which I knew in advance, hence my reason for doing this to get the Primrose Hill line done.) I had to do it this early as the diversion only lasted until 1030.

At Willesden Junc the train pulled in the bay platform (plat 2) and I stayed on the train to await its 1002 departure back to North Woolwich. I alighted at Dalston Kingsland and proceeded to walk to the Junction in order to catch a route 30 bus to Hackney Wick. After a bit of a wait 17401 finally appeared and whisked me to Hackney Wick.

Now to find Hackey Wick Station in amongst the myriad of industrial estate side streets, which the help of a map in the bus shelter found I found the station entrance with relative ease (which means now I have ticked off EVERY NLL station except South Acton). The 1126 towards Richmond was formed by the 313101 (again!) I took this to Caledonian Road & Barnsbury.

As I exited the station I noted PVL298 (which was on Kings Cross- Blackfriars TL replacement) running dead up towards Holloway. I saw it in the distance reverse into a side street then sped back past me towards Kings Cross!! I got the next available bus down to Kings Cross, hence I had about an hour to kill.

Since I have spotted everything (train wise) out of KX and St P, I spent this hour standing outside KX spotting buses, to some degree of success. At 1245 I decided to walk up to St P in order to give me time to buy my ticket to Sheffield and some supplies before the departure of the train. In typical MML fashion, my train was booked to be a HST but 222006 was assigned to the duty instead (much to my dismay) when boarded commenced I found a seat in the leading coach and started to get out my rail atlas and notepad before the train departed.

Departure time was soon upon us and the Meridian pulled out of the station for the non-stop run to Bedford (enabling me to tick off Luton (Town) as passing). Interestingly between Luton and Bedford the train was routed onto the slow lines before switching back to the fast lines just after Flitwick.

At Kettering we were about 5 minutes up, hence the train was held until booked departure time and to allow a s/b HST to come off the Corby line. I noted how the Corby line is a little rough in places. Just as the train came into Leicester I noted a couple of CT Flymos as as we pulled away the guard reminded passengesr for Loughborough and Long Eaton to make thier way to what were now the front four coaches in order to alight at these stations.

At Derby, I passed the FM Rail depot and there were loads of locos parked up in the various sidings, too many for me to write down at the speed the train was travelling, although I did get a few numbers anyhow. I also saw the Wessex purple liveried 31 there too, it has gone back "home" for the winter!!

Now for my third frieght-only line today, after Chesterfield, instead of the usual route via Dronfield, this train took the alternative route via Barrow Hill and Woodhouse to approach Sheffield Station from the north.

As the return train wasn't until 1820 I had some time at Sheff to jot down the comings and going's (notably the string of 8 Pacers parked up in one of the through roads between platforms six and eight) and grabbing some South Yorkshire rail timetable booklets.

The train back was 222006 again, so to compenstate for not being able to do H-O I treated myself to a FC upgrade (which on MML is only £6)! The train came back to London the way it went up (i.e via Barrow Hill, Derby and Corby) managing to grab a few more loco numbers at Derby (but by this time it was dark), arrived back in London at 2220 whereby I walked back to KX and got the Victoria Line back to Walthamstow.

Three freight-only lines covered in one day, can't be bad!
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Established Member
11 Jun 2005
i done the 1330 and was a 9-car 222, seems it has taken over the HST diagram now, so no HSTs left on it, or it was because the driver that went round Barrow Hill could only drive 222s (as there was only 2-3 serivces those days that went round barrow hill)


Veteran Member
19 Jun 2005
Nowhere Heath
Hmm, still I'd be MORE than peeved if I got there, promised a HST, showed up and got rewarded for all my efforts with a 222! I'd be sitting there, bored out of my head as soon as we left London, passing the time for a bit with filling in an MML complaints form! Of course, I'd be happy marking off the freight-only routes, hence covering more of the Midlands, but no H-O, no fun. MMMs, VVVs, VBPs and HTPs peeve me off more than anything else!

But that's me.

Glad to know you had a good time there Sprinter, I wish I'd been able to do that NLL diversion! I desperately need that diversion via Corby and preferably Beighton!
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