Techniquest's Amazing 14 Day ALR, 4th to 17th June 2012

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Techniquest

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Hi all,

Well this is going to take me many days to do in its entirety, but not choice but to do it bit by bit. And yes, I do know I've got two WMDR write-ups to do yet as well, think the NI one is still wait to go up too, but we'll get there in time. Still not shared the Oxfordshire Day Ranger one from February! So let's get started with the monstrously awesome bash of 2012, the 14 day ALR!

4th June 2012 - All Line Rover, Day 1

Having got back from the weekend in London around 2255 the night before, and with everything checked and packed with sleep following by 0145, I wasn't overly keen on the 0630 rise! Mum kindly cooks up some bacon rolls and a coffee for breakfast before she drives me to Hereford (as there's no buses thanks to the bank holiday) at 0708. We're at the station by 0736 and I bid farewell for at least a week - I may pop home one night during the week ahead, not sure - and get some timetables. Eventually my train to kick-start the fortnight rolls in and it's 158841 on the 0753 to Manchester Piccadilly. Boo, I wanted a 175! We sit around waiting for ages, but finally leave at 0800. I've a mountain of paperwork from the weekend to catch up on, and by Leominster it's time to rip out the CD player. With Pumpkin having been shut today until 12 midday, and it still being a long way to Manchester, I decide to get a large coffee for £2.20 from the trolley. Been a long time since I last did that, January 2011 I seem to recall! I was going to bail at Crewe originally, but as I remembered it was a bank holiday so bound to be a farce and a half on the WCML. 150284+242 are banged together on the 0905 to Cardiff Central via Llandrindod, wasn't expecting such a sight. Time's flying by so far, we're already now on the approach to Nantwich, when I see I've left enough stuff at home. Oyster card, red pen, food, Tube stock book and sunglasses all left behind, great! I get 56074, 069, 106 and one other 56 for sight as we roll into Crewe, all required which I definitely didn't expect!

I see the WCML appears to be intact so far today, but as I'm settled in I carry on to Manchester. Prefer 158 mileage to 221 mileage anyway! There's diversions via Manchester by the looks of it today, as a pair of 221s pass us going south somewhere south of Wilmslow. We finally arrive into Manchester at 1014 and it's coffee time, which now fills my Upper Crust card with stamps. Finally, that'll come in handy this week! Off to platform 14 then for the train onwards and I arrive just in time to do a leap on 158854+799, a winner 158 with 799 so I leap onwards to Oxford Road where we arrive just in time for a leap on 158812+777 for a double dip in the red ink back to Piccadilly. A good start for my NREA that! The winners keep coming with 185132 on the 1046 to Blackpool. Very busy on here today, I was lucky to get a seat. We have a slow run up to and just before Salford Crescent, and by Bolton the on-board racket is enough to get the tunes back on. We're 11 late by Chorley, which meant that a lot of people missed their connecting train to Glasgow. Glad I was only going to Lancaster and had a train waiting to go shortly with 221106 on the 1153 to Edinburgh. Red ink denied! I chat to an elderly woman on board who's on her first trip on a train since she was a little girl, and I wonder how much different the scene must be now compared to then!

Lancaster, a station that always makes me think of Weird Al Yankovic's Amish Paradise, as in the music video the town/village it's in is Lancaster. I make my way to platform 5 for the 1228 to Heysham Port, and it's 142033. Required, but I'd hoped for a 150 or 156 as I've seen these working this line in the past. I didn't think the train would be busy, I discover later it's due to the TT racing going on over on the Isle of Man. The journey was otherwise uneventful and I re-join 142033 on the 1315 to Leeds. I had considered staying it for the long haul to Leeds or at least the Bradford area, but something tells me not to. I bail at Lancaster's platform 1 and find I've got an age until the next southbound train. Costa on p4 is visited then to kill some time and I manage to find a WiFi signal from somewhere so use it for a while to update some of the weekend's moves on RailMiles. Almost enough points for a free coffee from Costa now, splendid stuffings. 185131+149 roll in from Scotland, having had the Fat Controller order them to work together. Just as well, the train's rather busy and would have been nuts on here with just one 185. I'm bailing at Preston anyway for a trip to Leeds via the Copy Pit route and for some required at the same time. I check the arrival time in Leeds will be before the 1716 to Goole, which it is at 1635, so definitely on I go as winner 158795 is on the 1454 to York. I find a seat and get to work on the many books I have to update. Having a smartphone has helped a lot today, being able to text people without counting lots of 12p's is absolutely brilliant. Not got much data allowance left until the 12th, so won't be online much until then!

We arrive bang on time into Leeds City's platform 9c at 1635, allowing plenty of time for an ATM move and getting food from Burger King. Usual meal from there and I briefly meet up with a couple of mates before they head off to Ilkley. I discover it's winner 144017 on the 1716 to Goole, a journey which to be honest I was expecting to be busy at this time of day. After Knottingly, there was just me and two other passengers on board. One alighted at Whatley Bridge and I discover the other one is an enthusiast. We chat for the remainder of the journey and we arrive at 1822, 4 up. It's then for some photos before joining the late running 1821 up to Brough on dud 158850, where the plan was to alight for a train to Doncaster via Goole. On the way to Brough though, I realise I've left my case on the 144! I get on the blower double-quick with Northern's customer relations and the chap on the other end got in touch with the station supervisor at Leeds who was going to meet the train on it's return. I have to flag winning 158794 on the planned train to Doncaster to get back to Leeds, however I get on 170305, 306 and 308 on the 1911 to Leeds. All winners so a bonus and gets in the bit of the TPX network I need around South Milford, bonus. We arrive into platform 9c and I rush off to platform 17 where the station supervisor has met the train on its early arrival and I fortunately retrieve my case without issue.

Jake, Dave and I re-meet and we all head to platform 11d for the 2020 to Doncaster with 322483 in charge of working it. Winner 322, having only ever had 322481 on a leap from Stratford to London Liverpool Street several years ago. We have a bit of a social up to and at Wakefield Westgate, where I am heading for my first Travelodge of the trip. I still get a bit lost, but thankfully remember where I needed to be heading eventually. After a bit of a chat with the receptionist, I get up to the room and get the TV on and do some paperwork after calling home. De-rancification time too, well needed after a busy day! Day's review then:

An amazing start to the fortnight, let's hope the rest of it goes equally well! Lots of winners, lots of mileage, a good bit of new track, a few required shacks and a good number of new sightings. Score for the day of 9/10, and finally some stats:

Day 1 mileage: 365m12c
Mileage move of the day: 114m53c on 158841
Micro leap of the day: 0m43c on both Picc to Oxford Road leaps
Best bit: Gonna say getting the fiddly Heysham Port branch out of the way
Worst bit: Leaving the case behind and the worry that came with it

Days 2 to 14 will follow in due course :)
 
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R

RailUK Forums

Joined
1 Apr 2012
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426
Location
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Hi all,

Well this is going to take me many days to do in its entirety, but not choice but to do it bit by bit. And yes, I do know I've got two WMDR write-ups to do yet as well, think the NI one is still wait to go up too, but we'll get there in time. Still not shared the Oxfordshire Day Ranger one from February! So let's get started with the monstrously awesome bash of 2012, the 14 day ALR!

4th June 2012 - All Line Rover, Day 1

Having got back from the weekend in London around 2255 the night before, and with everything checked and packed with sleep following by 0145, I wasn't overly keen on the 0630 rise! Mum kindly cooks up some bacon rolls and a coffee for breakfast before she drives me to Hereford (as there's no buses thanks to the bank holiday) at 0708. We're at the station by 0736 and I bid farewell for at least a week - I may pop home one night during the week ahead, not sure - and get some timetables. Eventually my train to kick-start the fortnight rolls in and it's 158841 on the 0753 to Manchester Piccadilly. Boo, I wanted a 175! We sit around waiting for ages, but finally leave at 0800. I've a mountain of paperwork from the weekend to catch up on, and by Leominster it's time to rip out the CD player. With Pumpkin having been shut today until 12 midday, and it still being a long way to Manchester, I decide to get a large coffee for £2.20 from the trolley. Been a long time since I last did that, January 2011 I seem to recall! I was going to bail at Crewe originally, but as I remembered it was a bank holiday so bound to be a farce and a half on the WCML. 150284+242 are banged together on the 0905 to Cardiff Central via Llandrindod, wasn't expecting such a sight. Time's flying by so far, we're already now on the approach to Nantwich, when I see I've left enough stuff at home. Oyster card, red pen, food, Tube stock book and sunglasses all left behind, great! I get 56074, 069, 106 and one other 56 for sight as we roll into Crewe, all required which I definitely didn't expect!

I see the WCML appears to be intact so far today, but as I'm settled in I carry on to Manchester. Prefer 158 mileage to 221 mileage anyway! There's diversions via Manchester by the looks of it today, as a pair of 221s pass us going south somewhere south of Wilmslow. We finally arrive into Manchester at 1014 and it's coffee time, which now fills my Upper Crust card with stamps. Finally, that'll come in handy this week! Off to platform 14 then for the train onwards and I arrive just in time to do a leap on 158854+799, a winner 158 with 799 so I leap onwards to Oxford Road where we arrive just in time for a leap on 158812+777 for a double dip in the red ink back to Piccadilly. A good start for my NREA that! The winners keep coming with 185132 on the 1046 to Blackpool. Very busy on here today, I was lucky to get a seat. We have a slow run up to and just before Salford Crescent, and by Bolton the on-board racket is enough to get the tunes back on. We're 11 late by Chorley, which meant that a lot of people missed their connecting train to Glasgow. Glad I was only going to Lancaster and had a train waiting to go shortly with 221106 on the 1153 to Edinburgh. Red ink denied! I chat to an elderly woman on board who's on her first trip on a train since she was a little girl, and I wonder how much different the scene must be now compared to then!

Lancaster, a station that always makes me think of Weird Al Yankovic's Amish Paradise, as in the music video the town/village it's in is Lancaster. I make my way to platform 5 for the 1228 to Heysham Port, and it's 142033. Required, but I'd hoped for a 150 or 156 as I've seen these working this line in the past. I didn't think the train would be busy, I discover later it's due to the TT racing going on over on the Isle of Man. The journey was otherwise uneventful and I re-join 142033 on the 1315 to Leeds. I had considered staying it for the long haul to Leeds or at least the Bradford area, but something tells me not to. I bail at Lancaster's platform 1 and find I've got an age until the next southbound train. Costa on p4 is visited then to kill some time and I manage to find a WiFi signal from somewhere so use it for a while to update some of the weekend's moves on RailMiles. Almost enough points for a free coffee from Costa now, splendid stuffings. 185131+149 roll in from Scotland, having had the Fat Controller order them to work together. Just as well, the train's rather busy and would have been nuts on here with just one 185. I'm bailing at Preston anyway for a trip to Leeds via the Copy Pit route and for some required at the same time. I check the arrival time in Leeds will be before the 1716 to Goole, which it is at 1635, so definitely on I go as winner 158795 is on the 1454 to York. I find a seat and get to work on the many books I have to update. Having a smartphone has helped a lot today, being able to text people without counting lots of 12p's is absolutely brilliant. Not got much data allowance left until the 12th, so won't be online much until then!

We arrive bang on time into Leeds City's platform 9c at 1635, allowing plenty of time for an ATM move and getting food from Burger King. Usual meal from there and I briefly meet up with a couple of mates before they head off to Ilkley. I discover it's winner 144017 on the 1716 to Goole, a journey which to be honest I was expecting to be busy at this time of day. After Knottingly, there was just me and two other passengers on board. One alighted at Whatley Bridge and I discover the other one is an enthusiast. We chat for the remainder of the journey and we arrive at 1822, 4 up. It's then for some photos before joining the late running 1821 up to Brough on dud 158850, where the plan was to alight for a train to Doncaster via Goole. On the way to Brough though, I realise I've left my case on the 144! I get on the blower double-quick with Northern's customer relations and the chap on the other end got in touch with the station supervisor at Leeds who was going to meet the train on it's return. I have to flag winning 158794 on the planned train to Doncaster to get back to Leeds, however I get on 170305, 306 and 308 on the 1911 to Leeds. All winners so a bonus and gets in the bit of the TPX network I need around South Milford, bonus. We arrive into platform 9c and I rush off to platform 17 where the station supervisor has met the train on its early arrival and I fortunately retrieve my case without issue.

Jake, Dave and I re-meet and we all head to platform 11d for the 2020 to Doncaster with 322483 in charge of working it. Winner 322, having only ever had 322481 on a leap from Stratford to London Liverpool Street several years ago. We have a bit of a social up to and at Wakefield Westgate, where I am heading for my first Travelodge of the trip. I still get a bit lost, but thankfully remember where I needed to be heading eventually. After a bit of a chat with the receptionist, I get up to the room and get the TV on and do some paperwork after calling home. De-rancification time too, well needed after a busy day! Day's review then:

An amazing start to the fortnight, let's hope the rest of it goes equally well! Lots of winners, lots of mileage, a good bit of new track, a few required shacks and a good number of new sightings. Score for the day of 9/10, and finally some stats:

Day 1 mileage: 365m12c
Mileage move of the day: 114m53c on 158841
Micro leap of the day: 0m43c on both Picc to Oxford Road leaps
Best bit: Gonna say getting the fiddly Heysham Port branch out of the way
Worst bit: Leaving the case behind and the worry that came with it

Days 2 to 14 will follow in due course :)

Fascinating. Thanks for sharing that. Lancaster is one of my favourite of the smaller stations.
 

Techniquest

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19 Jun 2005
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Thanks for the positive feedback everyone, glad to see it's worth making uber effort to write it up in the first place then type it all up! Here we go with day 2 then.

5th June 2012 - All Line Rover, Day 2

Having not got to sleep until well gone 0100, due to planning moves and being so excited, the alarm at 0600 was not welcome at all! A quick coffee and I'm off at 0618. Nowt open for food, apart from one takeaway still serving the last of the late night revellers. At this hour, madness! EMT's HST to London via Nottingham at 0646 is first up with 43054 and 43076 pulling and pushing. Ah yes, memories of trips with 43054 back when it had a Valenta and it was Midland Mainline...No catering until Sheffield, and no power sockets. What a great start to the morning...0713 and we reach Sheffield. Only thing is, we're not due to leave until 0732. Perhaps food/drink will be got from here instead. Fat chance, so after a couple of photos I rejoin the train. Apparently there's not one but two trolleys on the train now working their way down the train. What's the point of having a flipping buffet car then?! They don't show themselves before Nottingham, far less than happy. Glad I topped up my bottle of water before I left the Travelodge! Arrival into Nottingham is at 0823 and not only do I miss the 0825 to Worksop but the drag-along handle (is there a proper name for those extendable handles on cases?) broke off whilst carrying the case down the stairs. What a bad start to the day! Carrying the damn case for 13 days by the handles at the top and side of the thing is going to make things so much fun...

I see Pumpkin is open, but Tesco Express outside the station is my first port of call for various supplies. Whoever thought to put that branch of Tesco there, thank you very much, it was a brilliant idea! Large coffee and bacon roll time from Pumpkin on platform 1, that went down a treat! The 0850 to Skegness is next up, and it's 153379 and 156404, the 153 a winner, on it. Never normally have such luck with EMT's 153s! Timetables get poured over to plan moves, and I decide to get off at Sleaford and head to Lincoln from there. Don't know what the connection is like there mind. This journey finally gets in Allington East to South Junctions, one of those annoying little bits that's been bugging me for ages. East to West was done back in the 90s, and West to North was done back in 2009. I assume as I type this up I've got the compass points right, if not then oops! To my surprise, there's a trolley service on this train. So if EMT can manage to provide one on a local service, why couldn't I find any on an HST on an inter-city service? The connection for Lincoln is only 25 minutes, not too bad. We depart on 153355, mega-dud, on the 1025 to Lincoln Central from platform 3, which was a required micro-grice so happy with that! Not really much to note on this run, I was too busy enjoying the DBT (Dog Box Thrash)!

On arrival at Lincoln I see the platform numbers have all changed, with the alterations noted in my Quail. With a good bit of time here, I pop into town and get a coffee from Subway for £1.30 (I'll never understand how it can be £1.30 here, £1.49 in Hereford, €1 in Dublin and no doubt plenty of variations elsewhere, when it's the same coffee) and some Orajel for £3.30 from Boots. I return to the station and get on the 1142 to Leicester, as far as Nottingham for me, and I was surprised to get a table seat and a winner 158, 158773. Time for an early lunch in the form of my usual sandwich from Tesco and a can of Lucozade Orange. Boy that went down well, should be able to carry on happily bashing for some hours now. It's been a bit of a Best of British Bash this morning, which seems appropriate given it's the Diamond Jubilee. The weather isn't as great as yesterday disappointingly, but it's still dry and the sun occasionally stabs its way through the cloud cover. Arriving into Nottingham's platform 6 is another required micro-grice, and I get what I expect to be the last coffee of the day from the other Pumpkin on the station, the p4 branch, redeeming my full collector card. Another BR-built train to carry on the British trains theme of the day with 156405, a winner, on the 1255 to Mansfield Woodhouse.

The noise is good, but I still say that 156 (491 I think) from Preston to Liverpool in February 2011 was better. The noise that thing made leaving Preston that night...<D Radford Junction is now another location in the East Midlands that will forever be known as Coffee Spilling Junction (the other being Beeston on a 222), because as we bumped our way over it my coffee got knocked over spilling onto my Eastern Quail and notebook! They both survive the attack, just showing the stains of war from now on. Not much else to report on this journey, apart from we used the expected platform 3 at Mansfield Woodhouse, where I jump off for a photo and get back on for the leap to Mansfield Town. Another winning Derby-allocated (at least in my 2010 NREA) 156, 156410, takes me forward to Worksop. Thrash it up driver! Semaphores are still in use at certain locations on this line, much to my surprise, the rest of the journey being un-noteworthy. There's a long 44 minute fester in Worksop, and I end up at Londis just down the road where the cash machine (free to use, most unexpected!) gets used so I can get a 4-pack of Fosters and a bottle of water. The bottle of water sounds like a random combination to go with Fosters, I know, but once consumed the bottle will be refilled from the big bottle of Dr Pepper I got this morning, hence getting it. Back at the station, I crack open a can to help pass the time and I end up on Facebook to pass more time.

Surprisingly, the time flew by (whether the amber nectar helped with that or not I'm not sure :lol:) and I join winner 144005 on the 1514 to Sheffield. I need to get to Wakefield Kirkgate ASAP to join the last southbound Grand Central of the day, which means a mere +2 at Sheffield onto the 1550 from there. A bit of a man of steel move there! I need scissors to get into my Orajel, not good since I don't have such a useful tool in my bag. Note to self, on the next bash take a pair with you! We arrive bang on time into Sheffield at 1548, and as hoped the 1550 is from the adjacent bay platform. 158756 is on this, winner! I also wanted to go this way because I needed the northbound bore through Woolley Tunnel, so job's a good 'un! Arrival is on time at Kirkgate and I go to platform 3 for an almighty surprise...Thankfully the GC is indeed running, but the surprise that it was a winner! How many years it must have been since I last got a winning 180! 180107 leaves on time and we head for Doncaster via the slow way, via Pontefract Monkhill and Shaftholme Junction. My camcorder finally gets charged, it somehow having not done so last night, and I get onto the free WiFi to get some of Saturday's moves entered into RailMiles. Winning track from Knottingly to Shaftholme Junction, the reason I wanted to get on this train. Some of Sunday and yesterday's moves are also added to RailMiles, that free WiFi was incredibly handy!

Before I know it we're in Doncaster, and again I'm surprised by 180s at Doncaster. Didn't know 180102 was being used by Hull Trains, which is one of my last two to get. No way will I manage to run over to platform 4 in time, and I'm not sure I could get up to Edinburgh tonight in time after a leap on it anyway. KFC in the Frenchgate shopping centre is visited, it being about the only thing open in the whole universe, for a chicken fillet snackbox. No popcorn chicken left, hence this one. Was actually quite nice, might have to have this again. I check the 1809 to Edinburgh is an East Coast service, which thankfully it is as I had no desire to get a 220 or 221 all that way. As it turned out, the XC service was an HST but I didn't notice that until after I'd got on the East Coast HST with 43313 at the helm. Been a while since I last had this one, and after York it's time for some tunes for the first time all day as I trip down Nostalgia Avenue. Having got the Orajel open thanks to a well-equipped crew member on the 180, I try it for the first time and discover how easy it is to get it on your tounge. After Northallerton, I decide it's Fosters time, the last one of the pack. I try to register for the measley offer of 15 minutes of free WiFi on East Coast, but the registration form won't let me use the drop-down box for the different options requiring it on my phone. Boo!

Some fresh air is seriously required by Newcastle, so I stand by an open droplight. Ahh the breeze feels good! I calculate 180102 will be on the 0720 from Kings Cross tomorrow, might well have to pop in and have a look. Nothing I want from the buffet, a poor selection of booze if you ask me. We eventually reach the Royal Border Bridge for my first trip to Scotland in 2012, and finally arrive into Edinburgh with a most welcome sight. 158727 is at platform 18 next to us, which was my last 158 to see anywhere in the UK! Well chuffed about that and it's photo time! Next up is the good ol' traditional Haymarket leaping, and 156453 is a winner on the first 1 mile, 19 chain leap. It's followed by 334005 back, 170412 to Haymarket and 334025 back. Surprised how few platforms I still need in Edinburgh now. A couple of photos of the night sky in Edinburgh are got before checking in with home, then it's time to get a photo of the 90 in charge of taking us to Carstairs. Shockingly, it was winner 90039. Excellent! I settle in for a long journey via the Midlands and Northampton, seems to be the booked route all week. So then, the day's review:

Been another good day with a fair bit of winner track covered. Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire now complete. Good few winners and finishing my 158s for sight at long, long, LONG last was a massive bonus. Lots of mileage too to make today's score 9/10. Finally then, some stats:

Day 2 mileage: 539 miles 28 chains
Mileage move of the day: 237 miles 16 chains on 43313+43290
Micro leap of the day: 1 mile 19 chains on 156453, 334005, 170412, 334025
Best bit: Tough call to be honest! I'm going with finally finishing my 158s for sight
Worst bit: The long, boring trek from Wakefield to Nottingham when really hungry and in dire need of coffee.
Bargain of the day: Dr Pepper 2L bottle, £1 at the time in Tesco
Rip-off of the day: Wasn't really any to speak of.
 

trentside

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Really enjoying these Techniquest - always find your reports very entertaining :)

Not surprised to see that the EMT catering was a total mess, I didn't even know they provided trolleys on the Skegness trains!
 

Techniquest

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Yeah it is a mess and a half! Got logged out during the long typing spree, so here's the copy-paste:

Then you're in for a treat, day 3 is coming!

6th June 2012 - All Line Rover, Day 3

Arrival into Carstairs is at 0006 in the northbound platform and by 0016 I wonder what's happened to the portion from Glasgow. It finally shows at 0021, then we head to the Up Passenger Loop to reverse and bang onto it. After the rough coupling up (seriously, how do people not fall out of their bunk beds in the berths when coupling/uncoupling occurs? At least it's not quite as rough as when the 442s used to bang the hell out of each other at Bournemouth, and that was bad!), we eventually get the OK from the shunter after a brake test which seemed to drag on and leave at 0049 with 90019 providing mega duddage all the way to London. It's now well gone 0100 as I write this and I'm far too tired to carry on writing, so I pack everything away and get the earplugs out. I'm so glad I had a pair left over from 2011's ALR, I'd lose the will to live if I had to suffer that annoying noise of MK2s braking all night long! Some people may call it heritage, but I have a long list of unpleasant things to call it! Seriously, the sooner Scotrail make it all MK3 or even new coaches, the sooner the sleeper experience will improve...

To my surprise I manage a reasonable bit of doss and awake around Hemel Hempstead. Winner for sight 378256 is noted at Watford Junction, and we reach London Euston's platform 1 at 0641. First time I've used that platform too, win. We did indeed go via Bushbury Junction and Aston but not Northampton according to the gen from the on-board crew. Nice bit of extra mileage on 90019 and for my target of 10,000 miles for the trip. 15 minutes later and I reach the new departures concourse at Kings Cross. Yes it's a bit grand with all this metalwork criss-crossing everywhere but I noticed on my second trip to Kings Cross during the trip that I didn't really notice it and used it as a normal station. Lot of money spent for a few seconds of awe! I redeem my Upper Crust card and get a mini sausage baguette for breakfast for £1.52. Eventually the 0720 to Hull is announced, but sadly it's 180109 so I need a backup plan. I join the 0730 to Edinburgh with 91124, then remember that ALRs aren't valid until 1000 on East Coast from here. Thankfully I get off in time and Grand Central come to the rescue with the 0749 to Sunderland. Been a long time since I last used GC's North East services, 30th January 2010 I recall, indeed I seem to recall that was 065+123 on that occasion. Winners 43465 and 43423 (423 for sight too) seem to be communicating well today, as we have an absolutely belting run up the ECML, during which I spent ages using the free WiFi updating RM, which took ages with the massive amount of moves to add and trying to press the screen in the right place whilst storming along! Only problem is we sit outside York for about 8 minutes awaiting a platform!

Now to try and finish Yorkshire before heading to Anglia tonight, and I see that HST will be sitting in York for several minutes, no wonder we had a long wait for a platform! I'm still toying with the idea of going to Railfest, but don't think I can be bothered. Nothing there I really want to see anyway, certainly the leaflet I picked up didn't persuade me to part with £15+ to go in! Instead, I join 185135 to Leeds for some duddage, then pick up winner 333009 on the 1040 to Bradford Forster Square. I bail at Frizinghall for the shack scratch and rejoin 333009 when it returns on the 1111 Bradford FS to Skipton. I finally get the west side of the triangle at Shipley done, nearly 7 years after I made my first visit to this part of Yorkshire! Saltaire is scooped in before getting on winner 333014 to Bradford FS. It's definitely lunch time now, and after an ATM bash I end up going the long way around from Forster Square to the town centre (imagine how annoyed I was about that when I saw the alternative and much shorter way!) and get a most rateable lamb and mint pasty from Panini Shack for £2.10. I note a megaton of First buses in the town centre, could have got a lot more if I'd not been trying to eat lunch and get to Interchange at the same time!

It's Pumpkin time and I get a large...tea (bet you thought I'd get coffee!) for £1.48. Finally back on the move and for the leap to Halifax Northern kindly produce winning 158904. I note here a bridge bash in Rochdale is causing significant disruption on trains from Manchester, maybe that epic -18 at Brighouse can be made then after all. No such luck as it turned out the issue had been resolved when I checked NRE. Never mind, this next move turned out to be a helluva good one for me, as it produced 153378 and 155347. My first 155 and a winning 153 too! Excellent bit of DBT on this, and when we get to Huddersfield I need to have a look at what time I'd get to Norwich tonight. 1544 off Sheffield, with a change at Retford and Peterborough, gets me there for 1915. Gonna be tight to do any branch bashing down there tonight then! Another winner on the 1413 to Sheffield via Penistone with 158902, excellent! Looks like I was dead lucky too, as the next one's inward working was ex-Merseyrail 142051. Ouch! The next one appeared to be at Barnsley and was 144021. We arrive 4 late due to waiting for the 142 to get out of our way earlier, and I was annoyed that NRE didn't tell me there was a 1538 from Sheffield to Norwich. As it turned out, going via Retford and Peterborough we overtook it anyway and catch it from there.

142024 leaves Sheffield 4 late and it's standing all the way to Worksop. Another line in the book, most welcome what with the amount of 142s I still need. It's also pouring down with rain now, a stark contrast with a fairly sunny Huddersfield earlier! I expected a 91 on the East Coast leap to Peterborough, alas I am denied a winner as like yesterday's East Coast journey it's an HST. 43306 and 43318 have been forced to work in unison today I see, both dud. It's much quieter on board than I expected too, with table seats incredibly easy to come by. Otherwise the journey passes without much need to comment. No required 66s on Peterborough's expansive yards, and I film 91132 going like a bat out of hell on a London bound service. Dud 158812 rolls in on the 1742 to Norwich and I'm glad I wasn't getting the 1745 to Ipswich as that was cancelled! 170207 is parked up at March, perhaps that Ipswich service will start here? High time I got some tunes going on again, and the skies are blue over Cambridgeshire. Talk about varying weather today! 66954 is photted awaiting a path on a northbound Freightliner, and I always think it's 954 that's my last 66/9 to see, but that's 953. Quite, it's my last Freightliner 66 to find and I'm struggling to find a suitable place where it's most likely to turn up. Really need my next data allowance, I miss being able to go online regularly and it seems like an age until Tuesday! I'd have been fine if I hadn't used so much of the current one on the Northern Ireland bash...

We arrive 3 up at 1912 into Norwich, and I had forgot about the 321s to Norwich, looked mighty odd! Had to get a photo of that before joining 156412, still in Central Trains colours, on the 1933 to Great Yarmouth via Acle for some winning track (the first in several hours) and a winner Super Sprinter! 150280 is on hire from ATW evidentially, noted it at Brundall Gardens. Seems to be a bit of a timing issue on this 156, as the engine in the 52 car kicks in after the 57 car. Just sounds a bit odd! Asda is visited, despite my original intention being to avoid every Asda in the country during this fortnight, for my usual sandwich and a can of Monster for tomorrow. Gonna be an early start, so that can of Monster will be well needed! Rith on the kiosk was really happy and friendly, a credit to the MNC (Multi National Company) and deserves recognition. I leave Yarmouth's Vauxhall station behind, happy with East Suffolk finally being completed. Tea time now, around 8 hours after lunch! After returning to Norwich via Acle, I find the Travelodge after just a 6 minute walk, very well placed for easy access to the station! Home is checked in with, then it's de-rancify time with a most rateable shower, a shave and end up chilling out watching most of The Fugitive. Fell asleep though just after midnight so missed the end. So then the day's review:

Another great day with plenty of winners and a decent amount of winning track. Quite a decent amount of mileage too no doubt, roll on tomorrow which promises to be a good day! Score for the day of 8/10, which just leaves the usual stats:

Day 3 mileage: 871 miles 76 chains
Mileage move of the day: 378 miles 44 chains on 90019
Insect leap of the day: 1 mile 53 chains on 333009
Best bit: Finally finishing off East Suffolk
Worst bit: The lack of comfort on the sleeper
Bargain of the day: That lamb and mint pasty, lasted me for ages and extremely tasty
Rip off of the day: The mini sausage baguette from Upper Crust, such a tough ol' bit of bread!

Day 4 will follow tomorrow I suspect.
 

47403

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I have to concur with those already commented techniquest, really enjoying reading this, an all liner must take planning, never done one, always promised myself I would but never did. keep up the good work.
 

Techniquest

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Thanks for your kind comments, it's never too late to do an ALR! As for planning, well yes and no. I did do a lot of planning before the trip, particularly when booking the Travelodges way back in February when they had a £10 sale on. Booked 8 rooms, 6 of them for £10 which was an incredibly good deal. That took planning as I had to change my mind on where to stay on those nights a lot to get the cheapest rooms and ones that I could get to without a need for a taxi. As will become more obvious during day 4, which I'm about to type up, you can plan stuff as you go along but then get bowled out by something, or have something more interesting turn up and then the plan is scrumpled up and chucked in the bin!

What I'm trying to get at is that some planning is required, but not weeks worth of pouring over timetables making a firm plan as some would have you believe. The biggest bits to plan are the overnight stays and/or sleepers. I'll touch on the subject of sleepers in depth more as the write-up goes, for now let's hammer out day 4 and hopefully day 5 soon after!

7th June 2012 - All Line Rover, Day 4

0500, and it's a "What am I doing?!" (if you can imagine Adam from Mythbusters saying that, you'll see why that's funny) moment. It's so early to be getting up, particularly after getting to sleep after midnight! Nevertheless, I've got an action-packed day ahead and so need to get up early. Manningtree East Curve needs doing this morning, so out of the window with the plan to do Sheringham first and get that limited curve in first. Time for a quick coffee before leaving at 0528 and it's off to the station with a quick stop for cash. Pumpkin is still shut to my dismay, one bit less money going into SSP's pockets then! Time next for a few photos, including EMT's 158856 on hire to Greater Anglia on the 0540 to Lowestoft. I join 90009 for some dud buzzage on the 0600 to London Liverpool Street, and I see two 170/2s that could have been my last 170 to see. With no chance of ID'ing them, I settle with cursing "Damn!" and resorting to a bit of a mope. Thankfully the buffet opens soon enough on here, possibly the first time I've ever seen it open on this route since the days of 'one'. The bacon roll and coffee I had for breakfast for £4.70 was simply divine and went down a right royal treat!

At Manningtree I discover a beer festival is on this weekend, imagine my temptation! 90009 is filmed leaving and a few photos are got here before I join 360115 (win) on the 0724 to Harwich Town, only as far as Wrabness for the shack scratch before the train of choice this morning. To my surprise, the guard didn't have a clue what an ALR was, suggesting it was only valid to Ipswich. Clearly he's got his Anglia Plus and ALRs mixed up! The fester at Wrabness passed by quickly as it turned out, and as the 0751 Harwich International to Ipswich turns up there's a need for a victory party, as 170270 has produced on it! FINALLY! :D My last 170 to see in all the land has finally been seen and I get to red pen it too! I wanted to do the curve in this direction especially for the crossovers at either end of the single line curve, otherwise I'd have no doubt done it on another working. The timetable reveals a +2 onto the 0819 to Cambridge at Ipswich, meaning a possible winner could be got as far as Stowmarket at least. I went in search of it, but didn't realise that 170270 was doing it until it was too late. Never mind! Celebratory coffee time, and I make it a large 'un from Upper Cost for £2.04. Swear it cost less than that in Manchester last week...

90005 has pushed its way up from London to whisk me north to Norwich, another dud one when I need so many 90s is just awful luck. Still, mileage move! I read the Metro and find little of interest personally in it this time. Apparently flooding has severely affected the Central Line in London, glad I have no intention of using it then! 156409 beckons the red pen on the 0945 Norwich Trowse to Sheringham (yes I did get out The New Adlestrop Atlas to find out it was Trowse. Was amazed to see how much the East of England used to be populated by railways, so vastly different to the modern day scene!) and it's time to actually hear some sort of noise. That's the problem of 90 bashing on the GEML, unless you're at the droplight in First Class you can't get any noise. At long last, I can pass Crown Point without straining my neck and eyes to see my last 170! Nothing on the BPA area at North Walsham Main, had hoped to see that tankers train here. Not much else to report on really for this leg, other than we reversed in platform 1 at Cromer Beach, that there is a Morrisons right next to said station and that the 156 was quite noisy. The NR shack at Sheringham is tiny, was expecting something more impressive. Even the tiny Sugar Loaf Halt on the Central Wales line has a better platform! :o

After a quick photo it's back on 156409 for a right time departure at 1046. Cromer Beach is reversed at in platform 2 this time, that concludes the track at this station then! Quite so, Norfolk is done now (worth noting that when I say that about various areas during the write-up, it refers to mainline railways and not light rail/freight/preserved railways unless otherwise stated) and we return to some sort of civilisation, before I head to another backwater of the UK rail network. We arrive right time back at Norwich Trowse at 1141, which provides plenty of time to top up my supply of liquid refreshement from the Co-Op East of England shop on the station, a big bottle of Pepsi Max for 99p was considered a good buy. The 1200 to London Liverpool Street produces a winner (I know, shocking, I nearly fainted on the platform when I discovered this! :lol:) and I'm on for the long haul, blocks to blocks, too so I decide to kill some time by trying to get on Facebook. We go through such rural territory though that Orange have failed to infiltrate it much at all with mobile data signals yet (so much for their coverage getting better when they joined forces with T-Mobile!) so I give up with that by Stowmarket. So it's time to catch up with some of the big pile of paperwork that's building up as we race along. I can't decide whether to get a new Oyster card or not yet, so to help make the decision it's time for some tunes. Later on I realise how much I don't miss one feature of the MK3s, the fixed armrests. A mission and a half for anyone to get out from the window seat when around a table! I see 315809 in the Greater Anglia red and white livery at Romford on the Upminster shuttles, not sure yet if I like that livery or not.

We arrive at 1353, 2 up and I decide a new Oyster card is going to be a good investment [Boy that's an understatement...Ed]. It turned out to be a good call, as it's a limited edition Diamond Jubilee one. As I needed a memento from that, it's worth the £5 deposit. Off to the Hammersmith and City line, worth the £2 Oyster fare (£4.30 cash! :shock:) to Paddington as it's bucketing it down outside. I'd have got soaked waiting and looking for the 205 to Paddington, if it even goes from Liverpool Street! 18 minutes later and it's off to Burger King for a rather late lunch/bit-of-an-early-tea for £5.75. Usual size, usual meal! I know you're reading this and eyes are bulging at the idea of eating a supersize XL Bacon Double Cheeseburger meal by oneself. Worth pointing out that this was acting as two meals, and although it sounds expensive, without Bite card discount - there's a reason I don't eat at Burger King away from railway stations! - it was something like £7.19! Eventually at 1458 the 1506 London Paddington to Penzance is announced as boarding at platform 2, with just 8 minutes to go until departure it's quite the scramble - as I typed that, my imagination conjured up everyone on radios running and pushing their way along the concourse a bit like an army! - for the ticket barriers! I eventually find a seat in coach B that's not reserved, then jump off to find it's 43124 taking the lead with 43036 pushing up the rear (I tried to think equally of a dirty way of putting that as well as a clean way...<D) as we head west at 1508. Can't believe it's booked to take 5 hours and 36 minutes! Even though it's raining, I've not heard an HST for some time so stand by the droplight soaking up the R41 sound from 43124 for a few moments, then it's time to settle in for the long haul from blocks to blocks again, this time from London to Penzance.

Well, I say settle in, I end up switching seats when I discover the power socket in front of me doesn't work. Bizarrely the other side's ones do so I swap over. I've lots of paperwork to do (this usually refers to the trip report, for what it's worth when mentioned in the write-up) with truckloads of time on this journey, but I'm enjoying it way too much. For someone who hasn't been an HST basher since 2010, you may wonder why I'm then enjoying it. Simply because it's bringing back lots and lots and lots of bashing memories, particularly those of long-distance HST moves and the trip from Swansea to Penzance and back via Swindon on 21st May 2004. Only this time it's not in First Class, I'm not wearing a suit and it's with totally different engines. Oh, and the weather's very different too. Been a long time since I last came through Westbury, more memories! That annoying little crossover from the Down to the Up Main at Westbury East has finally been done, every other attempt in the past to do it has been a last minute change of platform from 2 to 1. Helps the next Cardiff is seriously late I suppose! I discover Volo:TV is now free, gotta use that later! Yet more memories of when it was trialled back in 2005, at least this time the coach isn't in that garish bright lime green colour scheme, although the disadvantage this time is there's no Thunderbirds :(

Back to the tunes as we storm through Somerset, and I see someone playing Angry Birds which reminds me I have that on my phone. I realise I've cleared 3 classes for sight this week, those being 158, 170 and 43 (for the third time!), not bad going and I hope for equally good luck on my next trip to Scotland, as I've only 3 more Scottish EMUs to see before I clear the FSR fleet entirely. A lot of old buildings seem to have been knocked down at Exeter St Davids, the depot area looks vastly different now but easier to see what's there. As we pass along the Dawlish Sea Wall, the sea's looking incredibly rough and I'm glad I'm not on a ferry! The rain eases by Totnes, so it's back to the droplight for some racket going up Dainton (it's been so long since I last bashed HSTs properly I'm not even sure that's right) right after the station. With the wind blocking much of the sound, I retreat to my seat after I declare it to be beer o'clock and a trip to the buffet becomes vital. Two cans of Arkells 3B (I highly recommend this stuff to anyone who likes their beer), and initially the lady behind the counter wasn't going to serve me as my card didn't have a signature on it. None of 15 pens have been able to write on it, but thankfully as I have my provisional license on display in my wallet with my signature on it she's happy to take that. Her pen just about gets a signature on my card after much force, bet it doesn't last long!

Plymouth is reached, meaning we've still two hours to go. Can 2 is opened by now and all the beer is consumed by the time we arrive in Cornwall. The batteries now die in my CD player, my ears will be thankful of that [as they will be when I get off the laptop today! - Ed] then! After Bodmin Parkway I move to the Volo:TV coach and watch two episodes of The Simpsons and one and a bit of American Dad!, good times! We finally reach the end of the world, as far as First Great Western is concerned at 2038, 4 up. Wouldn't have hurt for the driver to pull on up a bit further under the trainshed though, as it's really, really coming down now. The next one from London managed to go a lot further down...The rain dies down soon enough, so I rush to Costcutter for a 4-pack of pint cans of Fosters, some Cadburys Giant Buttons and a grab bag of prawn cocktail crisps for £7.67. I call home to update them on my location and the plan for the evening, then join the seated sleeper right at the back of the Night Riviera with 57602 at the helm. I've lost my black pen somewhere, a theme that seems to have been running all week, with all my pens either being no good from the outset or getting lost! I have to resort to using my red pen for now then, and as we depart Penzance for the first time for me with a 57, the first can of Fosters is opened. As are the Buttons, I'm starving now! By Par I'm getting really tired and doubt it'll be too long before doss comes along, but which way will we go after Exeter? So then, the day's review:

Another excellent day for mileage with 4 winners, including that 170. Norfolk finally getting finished was good, as was finally getting that little curve at Manningtree East. Can't wait to see what the total mileage for the day was. Score for the day of 9/10, which just leaves the stats to do:

Day 4 mileage: 933 miles 26 chains :D
Mileage move of the day: 324 miles 51 chains on 57602
Insect leap of the day: 4 miles 52 chains on LU's 5531
Best bit: Getting that last 170 in all the land for sight!
Worst bit: The getting up at 0500
Bargain of the day: The big bottle of Pepsi Max at 99p
Rip-off of the day: Coffee from Upper Crust, £2.04. Pumpkin only charge £1.83 (both with Bite card discount I hasten to add) for exactly the same stuff...

Day 5 is a lot longer in my A4 book, so I dread to think how long it'll take to type up. This was just under 2 sides of A4 and took around 90 minutes to type up, although a fair bit of time was taken to add humour and changing tracks on YouTube. Day 5 shall, however, be started on shortly!
 

Blindtraveler

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Excellent day it seems you have had.

Hopefully I will be able to do an ALR sometime soon (When I get well paid job)



a hope shared mate.

What a grand little day day 4 was, HST bashing is always fun. Insidentally how is sleap qualitty on FGW seated compared to FSR? I share your views on this matter. That said an MK2 during the day is a great ride
 

Techniquest

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Well that took a fair while to type up, but then I got intruded by phone calls too. Here, finally, is day 5:

Admittedly it does take some saving, but if you still qualify for a 16-25 railcard I would highly recommend doing an ALR on that as it gets expensive after that! Mind you, I still want to do a First Class one! I had originally planned to do this one in First Class, but I spent too much before I had to buy it so had to settle for Standard. Still, if I win the lottery in the future then it'll be the only way to go! Better check now actually...Nope, another week of work lies ahead then! Anyway, let's get started on day 5 now I'm armed with another coffee and done a couple of chores. The earphones are out and my ears are grateful!

8th June 2012 - All Line Rover, Day 5

Didn't sleep well at all, finally having got there just after Plymouth, waking to see we went via Bristol Temple Meads, returning to the land of nod as we headed up towards Filton Abbey Wood. To be fair, with no stupidly annoying brake noise on the FGW MK3s, and much better (in my view at least) seats, on a less than full train, I slept well otherwise. Reading sees me awake again and time to get ready to alight. We arrive in platform 8 at 0503, 29 up and I head for the Tube. Apparently the Bakerloo doesn't start until 0545, but the Circle's started. That'll do me, I can still go for a PSUL move. This one being the 0721 Horsham to London Victoria, booked to use the spur to the fast lines at Streatham Junctions. Whilst the Circle is running, we only go as far as South Kensington. Great, we have a wait in the open in a fierce wind. Anyone visiting the UK this week would think we're in the middle of February not summer! 8 minutes later and the District line is clearly up and running now and the leap to Victoria is only a few minutes long. Coffee time here then from Nero Express for £2.20, which goes down well for this tired basher and it's been a while since I last had a Caffe Nero coffee! It's a pair of dud 377s to Horsham this morning on the 0552 from Victoria with 377469 and 377138. It appears to form the 0721 back to London too, bonus!

With no First Class advertised on this service, I take a seat in one of the First Class areas with a power socket. Needed it as my phone was down to 26% charge! E-mail checking time and the weekend gensheet is through. Definitely need to get to Glasgow ASAP on Sunday then! Not much in today's Metro to grab my interest, much like usual but very much the opposite to August 3rd 2011's Guilty Pleasures. Those with long memories may remember why I may particularly remember that one! Somehow we arrive 3 late into Horsham and we leave again 2 late at 0723. At long last the Mole Valley is finally done, it's been bugging me for years! Angry Birds is on now until Sutton, and after Cheam this train suddenly got very busy. I hear it's due to the cancellation of the Epsom to Victoria service before it. As we approach the bit we're booked to do in particular, I hope service disruption doesn't affect us enough to be diverted. Fortunately not as it turned out, as we indeed cover the spur to the fast lines at Streatham Junction. Excellent, it didn't prove to be a waste of time after all! It's time for breakfast now from The Cornwall Pasty Company (not to be confused with West Cornwall Pasty like me and others were!), and despite their only having been in their location at Clapham Junction for a few days (4 I think the guy said) they seemed to be doing pretty well. Time now then to get out of the wind and get an annoying bit of the SWT network out of the way, the Shepperton branch. As much of the South East that I need is the plan for today!

Epic wheelslip on this run, although it has been quite wet this morning! No facilities on the 455s or at stations on this route is getting me frustrated this morning, and it looks like it'll be New Malden when I get off 455858+455863 (both winning) later! With the branch done and legs crossed, I make it off the train to find exactly what I need at New Malden. A new black pen is finally sought from a newsagents for 50p, the red pen can return to being used for underlinings finally. 455919 takes me to Surbiton for a quick win, and I forget in my haste to get the rear one [I've since got the gen, but canna be bothered to look what it was on RM! - Ed], fail! 450116+450125 are a double win on a Farnham service onwards from Surbiton, which I get on for Aldershot. I nearly bail at Ash Vale, thinking that's where I needed to alight for the curve to the North Downs line. Thankfully I realise my error before leaving the train! At Aldershot I see there's some sort of decent/rateable buses running with Stagecoach before joining dud 450115 on the next move to Guildford. This curve was originally to be done on Buffer Puffer 9.0 I seem to recall, but at least I'm finally getting it in! Thanks to some chavette on the 455s earlier, I've got that really annoying Glee version of Journey in my head. To think that's what passes as music and/or good singing by some people, I can only shake my head as I try to get rid of it!

A run of duddage on the shoes next with 455903+910 taking me on a leap to London Road (Guildford) as that service to Waterloo was via Leatherhead and I needed the shack. 455906+915 are next up on the much longer leap to Surbiton. That annoying short single line spur from Hinchley Wood to the SWML (I forget the name of the junction) is now finally done then, not much left to do on the SWT network then! A +/-0 exists here for the next Alton train, so I join 455706+735, with 706 breaking the line of duddage and picking up not only DC current but some red ink through its shoes! It's surprising how fast this journey on an all-shacks to Woking went, and it was the first time I recall seeing RPIs on SWT Metro services. Platform 3 finally micro-griced here, just platform 6 to get one day. The barrier staff queried my ALR and after I explained to him what it was we had a brief chat about the railway. Winning 450040 takes me onwards with the 1330 to Alton. It's finally Beer O'Clock so I crack open the last can of Fosters from last night as Dragonforce comes on on the MP3 player. I know I could/should have left Alton until when I finally do the Mid Hants Railway, but I've left the gap beyond Bentley for around 7 years for that reason. The gap's annoyed me ever since and would only continue to do so. I'll probably end up coming back one day to finish the other bit of the loop at Bentley, seeing as we went through the main side of the loop there. The Fosters was all gone by Farnham, could do with another one!

Both platforms got at Alton, and it's onwards back to the Big Smoke on winning 450075, and we're RA to Farnham, very funky. Well hungry by the time I write this into my book at 1448, but then breakfast was finished about 6 hours ago! After getting some 450/5s for sight on the way into Waterloo, I make a beeline for Burger King to sort out my massive need for food. The shocker was that I only had a normal size meal for a change! I fail to have enough time to ID the front 455 with 455917 [got the gen since then, again canna be bothered to go onto RM and check it for the purposes of this write-up! - Ed] on the leap to Clapham Junction. A signal failure in the Battersea Park is screwing everything up on Southern, and I have to move to platform 15 after all to join the seriously enormous crowds on the fairly small platform. I realise my case is still on platform 13 though, so I rush back for it and amazingly it's still just leaning against the wall chilling out! Annoyingly I don't make it back in time for the East Grinstead train, so have to change plans. 377125 rolls in on the next train here that goes to West Croydon via Selhurst. I need that curve from Selhurst to the West Croydon line, that'll do for now then. Another bit of red ink into the NREA then!

They use the same horn sound for passing trains with trains ready to leave at stations down here I see, very funky! I could have just got the next train to East Grinstead, but that would have screwed up my plans to get to Euston later for 1K39 1843 London Euston to Crewe, as required 90045 was on it tonight and I couldn't flag it. Winning 378150 takes me up from West Croydon to Norwood Junction, where they play musical platforms and make us all angry and move platforms for winning 378142 back to West Croydon, as that gets the other little bit in the mass of lines around Selhurst finished. We get held for other trains for what felt like an eternity. I manage to spot the rear of a VSOE working heading to London as we waited for hens teeth to grow. At least I'm definitely done with the LOROL network now, with not much left on Southern to do either. I join the trio of 377307+318+412 on a non-stop run from West Croydon's platform 1 (winning microgrice) to London Bridge, with just 318 winning, and get the pleasant surprise of photting my last 171/7, 171727, that I needed for sight as we went past Selhurst. Another class finished for sight then, and the run to Bridge seemed to take an absolute eternity! No way am I going to be able to get Beckenham Junction to Crystal Palace covered today before my desired train of the evening, so as I can't be bothered right now to fight my way through the crowds to find an FCC service to St Pancras Low Level I join the Northern line instead, after topping up my Oyster.

LU's 51509 takes me to the other side of the city and it seemed at every stop more people kept getting on just our carriage. Bored like hell on here so it's back on with the tunes! When it came to alighting at Euston, no-one wanted to move to let me off mind. How delightfully charming, you want to get on but won't let us off...<( I fight my way through politely and we eventually arrive after a 12 minute journey. Felt more like those numbers were reversed! I have no idea what BNV is or what they do, but they were all over the place doing some sort of demonstration. After getting some photos, it was time to join the 1843 to Crewe and red pen another Freightliner 90. I consider taking it to Coventry, but that would mean getting back to Leatherhead tonight rather late and I'm already tired. Time for a victory parade after Harrow and Wealdstone too, as I finally see my last 350, 350232, for sight! Woo, how many years have I spent looking for the damn thing! I also appear to have got my last 378 too, very glad I didn't flag this move after all! It's a cracking run and we're put into platform 5 to allow a 221 to fly ahead. I decide I definitely can't be bothered to go to Coventry so bail at Milton Keynes Central, from where I join dud 390023 back to town.

I head to the shop as I've got a bit of a hunger going on now. A chocolate brownie and a bottle of Diet Coke will do, and I was amazed to find it came to £2.95. £1.50 for the brownie, it had better be good! Which it was, very good but not enough of it for the money. I notice the tilt somewhere around Cheddington, the best bit of 390 bashing in my book. The journey's over before I know it and it's off to the Tube again [glad I did get that Oyster card then, it's proven to be so worthwhile! - Ed] for the Victoria line to Victoria. A group of youths start chanting something at one point, rather merrily, and over half of the carriage gave me death looks. Clearly they broke Tube ettiquette, being happy and chatting is strictly frowned upon! I get a copy of the Evening Standard, although I am at a loss as to why because I never find it worthwhile reading. I join the 2050 to Dorking and I'm surprised it's going to take around an hour to get to Leatherhead. 377215+114 provide two more bits of red ink into the NREA and I use the time to catch up on some paperwork. Mitcham Junction's PIS shows a cancelled St Albans service, apparently there's electrical supplies on the MML today. If the rest of the MML beyond Bedford ever gets wired up I should hope they make it more reliable! Music on the woman at the opposite table's earphones is heard but this time I'm not complaining as it's Starlight's Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now.

We arrive into Leatherhead at 2144 and the barriers are closed. They have video help points here which I've never seen before. It's certainly a good idea as it must cut down on staffing numbers and/or provide staffing of some sort where there is a need for it. I get a little lost in Leatherhead but the security guys outside Wetherspoon point me in the right direction and I finally check in after a really long day. Home's called and it's time to chillax. Thank Goodness for my notebook though, I'd have never got anywhere with the trip report otherwise! High time I got some sleep, having been awake since about 0405! So for the day's review:

Another excellent day with quite a bit of track covered. Lots of winners for haulage, quite a reasonable bit of mileage and a good few new sights too including two classes at least finished. Score for the day of 9/10, which leaves the stats:

Day 5 mileage: 388 miles 48 chains
Mileage move of the day: 49 miles 65 chains on both 90045 and 390023
Insect leap of the day: 1 mile 23 chains on 455903+910
Best bit: Getting 90045 in the book I'd say
Worst bit: The Northern line
Bargain of the day: None to speak of really
Rip-off of the day: The chocolate brownie, very nice but significantly overpriced!

Day 6 and onwards will follow eventually, but having spent about another 95 minutes typing this day up, I'm gonna need a decent break from typing for a while before it gets too much like work doing this. Day 6 may follow tonight, but early predictions say days 6 and 7 will be done tomorrow.
 

anthony263

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Another good report read and I look forward to reading about day 6.

Anyway I can still have a 16-25 railcrard for 20 months so I will have to make sure I start saving to do an ALR which I will be doing soon if my application for the transport managers job at a logistics firm in Cardiff is sucessful.
 

Techniquest

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You don't have to save a lot in the meantime, even just £20 a month will soon get you most of the way there in just 10 months.

I'd do some more typing now, since I've had a break, but the England vs Italy game starts soon and I'm watching that!

As for it being hard going on all the local runs, it was a bit patience testing at times (hence the getting angry with the platform change at Norwood Junction), but it was a breeze compared to the Southeastern bashing I did a few days later. Now that was a mission...
 

Techniquest

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Wish I'd carried on with the typing now to be honest, a waste of a few hours that was watching the footy. At least the two bottles of Guiness was worth having! New episode of Family Guy on BBC Three made the evening good again :)
 

Techniquest

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Alrighty then ladies and gentlemen, I've hit a sudden random bit of energy so here goes day 6!

9th June 2012 - All Line Rover, Day 6

At 0600 the alarm goes off and having got to sleep around 0030, having watched The Big Bang Theory (:D) for the first time in over a week, I find I'm still too tired. Alarm reset for 0700 then, but I forget that for some reason this phone has defaults for alarms to go off every day but weekends. It being a Saturday, I think you can see what happened...Yes, I got up late when I stirred later on feeling fairly refreshed and seeing that it was 0845 on my watch. Jiminy crickets, I'm nearly 3 hours late getting up! A bad start to the day for sure, but at least I had some amount of energy today. After all the early starts I've had recently, I must have needed extra doss to recover. I leave at 0906 and it's an 8 minute walk to the station. It's quite a nice day today too, excellent! I arrive just in time to join 377157 for the first win of the day and I decide to go to Dorking then over to Redhill to get to the East Grinstead line. Theory says it'll be quicker than going on a slow service via Epsom up to London. I see the 0926 departing Deepdene station so have a look and see it's not until 1011 for the next train to Redhill. Great! Off into town then for some breakfast and some cash. A sausage and cheese sub from Subway is got with a coffee, and that food went down well having not eaten for quite some time now. I struggle not to lose all of the coffee through the weak lid (that's the one thing Upper Cost have done well, the lids there are far better with that closeable drinking hole in them) but somehow manage to get back to Deepdene station with almost all of it in the cup still.

Dud 165101 carts me off for the short journey to Redhill, where I discover the next train to Edenbridge isn't until 1114. Epic ouch, so I await a train to East Croydon instead. Time for a small bottle of Dr Pepper from the shop downstairs for £1.49, and I'm glad I don't need to use the ATM here as it charges a whopping, earth shatteringly disgusting £2.50! 377213 is another dud 'un this morning for the leap to East Croydon, boo! I see they're building a new footbridge here, maybe at last some tight connections will finally be manageable here without going nuts with a run up the long ramp from one platform to run down the million-mile-long ramp down to the next platform...I reckon I'm only 30 minutes behind my plan now compared to what I'd have been on if I'd gone via Epsom today. Still, everything happens for a reason, even if it's not obvious what that reason is at first. 377322+301 provides a win just with 301 on the 1110 to East Grinstead. High time I got some tunes on now, as although I like 377s (not a huge amount, but more than I like 450s) I'm sick of the sound of Electrostars! We arrive on time at East Grinstead in stunning weather, then realise I've left the case on 377301! Fair dos, Southern had reacted fast and got it off the train, and if I'd not realised as soon as I'd gone through the barriers who knows what would have happened. Sainsburys had been going to get visited for supplies, but I didn't bother after all, getting a coffee from the outlet on the station for £2.20. First time I've ever had to pay extra for milk, 20p in this case and I almost left my coffee behind as it was! What was I saying about having more energy today?

This was another one of those lines I'd left to do when the Bluebell Railway finally reach East Grinstead, but like Alton that gap would only have annoyed me and to be honest, unless I can do the Bluebell with a diesel I'm not likely to visit any time soon anyway. It's back on the 377s and with the tunes as I update the Quail and find the coffee was pretty rateable. Off at East Croydon for a +3 onto the 1147 to Bedford with 319425+366 for a leap to St Pancras. Both dud shoe-age, and after Farringdon the noise gets much better as we're now under the wires and I do like my 319s better this way! The next Sheffield isn't until 1355, so I take advantage of the time to get a big pack of painkillers from Boots. 1341 and the scrum for the barriers here is far worse than that for the FGW HST the other day. Fortunately I fight my way through it (that's the only problem I had during the ALR, the fact it works virtually no barriers!) and find an unreserved seat in coach A on dud 222004. We leave on time and virtually all the way to Bedford I have my eyes out of the window looking for my last 319, 319372, for sight. No luck sadly, chances are it's flown past me somewhere and I've just not managed to ID it or it's hiding on depot. 66741 is noted on Wellingborough Yard and a 70 was seen on the Lafarge terminal at Barrow-upon-Soar!

Loughborough looks a lot tidier and modern since my last visit this way, and 170270 is randomly noted waiting in the Up platform. Sadly it's confirmed as being the old Project Rio route through Toton, bah. I had wanted the High Level lines but no, if I'd known for sure I'd have used East Coast to get to Doncaster! On the plus side, I did see some 60s I've not seen in years, 006/033/081 being just three of them. I saw loads of them there, but couldn't get even get close to ID'ing more than a small handful of them. Gotta say this Meridian bash hasn't been too bad, odd how the 222s look OK with red seats and the HSTs don't! Time for an uber late lunch after our arrival at 1601, or perhaps it's a rather early tea, from Burger King. It's been many hours since I ate anything so it's a supersize meal as usual then. It goes down a right royal treat, and I'm rewarded for my patience of going via this route with winning 158908 on the 1641 Sheffield to Bridlington. I note the 1541 to Liverpool with EMT is going from platform 1B today, how funky. Off I go for my leap to Thorne North then! My new pen from yesterday has already run out, much to my disappointment as I've tons of writing to do! We have an 11 minute fester at Doncaster as we were let in 4 minutes early with a 7 minute fester anyway. The 30 minutes at Thorne North flies by with use of Facebook, mNRE and checking e-mails. Only got off here as it was a required shack and I'd have had forever to wait in Goole otherwise.

Dud 142087 eventually arrive to take me forward to Goole, which now catches up that bit of track I was going to do on day 1. Winning 158906 rolls in to take me back to Doncaster, hard to believe this time last week I needed nearly all the 158/9s Northern have, now I need hardly any of them! Some really chavvy girls get on somewhere, playing their rubbish music out loud and making it even more obvious they were chavvy with that stupid Paul's Boutique coat on. I don't understand fashion at the best of times, but this Paul's Boutique trend really is beyond understanding! We arrive 2 up at 1846 into Doncaster, which gives me plenty of time to make my connection onto a London-bound train. I find it's from platform 1 so I have enough time to get a small bottle of Dr Pepper, a new pen and a copy of the 2012 NREA from Journeys Friend for £11.69. This time when I expected a 91 on East Coast, I get one but sadly it's 91119 which is already dud. The GBRf wagons were doing their usual good job of blocking view of any GBRf 66s in the area, grr! With lots of time on my hands now, I get to work on doing some writing. 66744 is scooped for sight on Peterborough to my immense joy, another 66 finally out of the way! Really jerky on this set tonight, you can really feel it when the power goes on or comes off.

We reach Kings Cross at 2038 and it's straight to the Tube. I can get the free WiFi (summer only) working on my phone OK today so update my status on Facebook, thanks Virgin! LU's 12088 races me across town to Victoria, nice to know one day all of the Tube will be like this. Only 9 minutes to get from Kings Cross to Victoria? Very nice! Outside the station, some guy's walking around accusing everyone of smoking joints and cocaine, topped up with "What a ****ing country!". Someone's clearly not having a good day! Off to Gatwick Express for the first time this fortnight, indeed it's been several years since I last used it. Back then, I believe it was 2005, it was all 460s with no signs of that ever changing. Now look at it, it's 442s with the 460s being broken up to extend the 458s. Just goes to show how things can't be taken for granted! I join 442423 on the 2115 from platform 14, a bonus for me as this leaves just platform 12 to get on the Southern side now. The Baker and Quails are updated along with the moves book on this short journey to Gatwick. We arrive at 2146 and I discover one small problem with arriving here. During my looking around for the most sensible way of getting to my Travelodge, I see lots of Virgin Atlantic adverts which have got me seriously wanting to jet off to some exotic location. Doesn't help I've not been on a plane in a while! I also discover after doing the people mover thing to North Terminal that it's definitely not walkable to the Travelodge after all, so I have to get the H2 shuttle bus at £3 each way. For a 5 minute journey, that's a lot of money! When I see how far it was out though (Gatwick Central eh?) it was more worthwhile. So it's time then to check in, call home and de-rancify. The Big Bang Theory is watched and sleep finally comes around 0045. So then, the day's review:

After the morning looked like it was going to be a rubbish day, it turned out to be alright in the end. Fair bit of mileage, some winners and a few required sights too. A score for the day of 8/10, so the stats:

Day 6 mileage: 471 miles 35 chains
Mileage move of the day: 158 miles 28 chains on 222004
Insect leap of the day: 2 miles 70 chains on LU's 12088
Best bit: Getting the East Grinstead line finally done
Worst bit: Leaving the case on the train!
Bargain of the day: I'm going with the coffee from East Grinstead, it was really good for the money
Rip-off of the day: The £3 bus fare, if it had been return for that I'd have not minded.

Day 7 will follow soon, I should be in bed and fast asleep by now but I stayed up a bit longer just to do this. If I'm lucky, I'll get day 8 done later too.
 

Blindtraveler

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Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
your doing well - doubt Il ever get the southeast done, not patient enough. Seeing as your staying at Gatwick Id have thought youd have done southeastern that day rather than go north and back?
Look forward to the next installment
oh and that bus is a wrip a?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
what vehicles are being used on it now? Last time I used it (and this shows how long ago it was) it was a low densitty seated B10M.
 

Techniquest

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Depends how keen you are to cover the UK entirely I suppose, although it takes some effort. To be fair, some of the bits I needed on SET were weekdays only, so would have never have managed to finish it all whilst there. Still, everything happens for a reason!

I've been a bit of a busy ol' bee today and done about 3 hours of typing, so here then are days 7 and 8. As for day 9, well we'll see when I get time for that!

10th June 2012 - All Line Rover, Day 7

Grr, gotta pay a £1.85 charge to use the ATM at the Travelodge! Should have made the effort to look for a free-to-use one at the airport last night, but naively assumed I had enough change in my wallet for the time being. Far from it! A good night’s sleep was had though until 0700, although I still woke up feeling tired. AF56 MBU is on the shuttle bus again (do they only have one?) and I get off at the South Terminal for quicker access to the railway station. Winner 442417 is out on the 0750 to London Victoria. The journey is nice and smooth, and more enjoyable this time as I chose to sit in the motor coach after checking which one it was in the NREA. We use the Quarry line vice going straight through Redhill, which I thought was the reason for it taking 5 minutes longer on Sundays. We also cross from the fasts to the slows just after Balham, although I already have that done from years ago. I decide it’s way too much effort to try and get to Glasgow and back to London tonight to get the sleeper up to Edinburgh, and with the rare track up there happening again next week (well, so the plan goes) then I’ll do it when I’m further up north already. There’s no Crystal Palace to Beckenham Junction service today, it’ll have to wait for another day then.

Breakfast is from BreadBox today, my first visit. It proves to be a good call as I get a proper, decent quality bacon roll and a coffee for £3. Must remember to come here again sometime. I join winning 465906 on the 0836 to Ashford International, as far as Otford for me. We don’t do the bit I expected to do at Shortlands Junction, dang. A reasonable plus at Otford is had for dud 465019 to Sevenoaks for some winning track. It’s only a few minutes journey and I rejoin 465019 on the 0951 to London Blackfriars via Otford and Catford, all the way through as the bay platforms are in use today at Blackfriars. We have a small delay at Bat and Ball whilst the driver races to the back of the train to put the correct lights on, and this time we do the dive under at Shortlands Junction that I wanted. Another bit in the PSUL done then, excellent. Other than that, I was surprised to see I needed the curve around from Denmark Hill towards Elephant and Castle, that’s out of the way unexpectedly then! We use bay platform 3 as 319219 was stabled in platform 4, with no services due to leave platform 4 any time soon. I need to get to Denmark Hill, so I rejoin 465019. There’s no trains leaving platform 3 at Denmark Hill for Victoria, or at least today, and I discover it’s a PSUL trip for the bit I wanted through Cambria Junction.

Onwards and upwards with winner 465181 (the red pen comes out of retirement!) on a leap to Petts Wood to get one of the many bits in the junctions around Chislehurst in that I want. It’s successfully done and with the shack scratched it’s on for an insect leap to Chislehurst next with double winners on 465175+465173. I check that trains are still running from here to Otford or beyond, which thankfully they are. 375821+618 have joined forces today on this working, which did the top curve as hoped towards Swanley. Excellent! I’m glad I saw the delayed 0912 from Otford to Charing Cross earlier, noting it called at Chislehurst then London Bridge, otherwise I’d have not known the rare curves at Chislehurst were in use today. I see mention of diverted London to Kent services later on in the weekend gensheet, but it hadn’t suggested, to me at least, these curves were being used.

I decide to treat myself to a coffee from the trolley when it came around (see EMT, trolley services can be provided on inter-city workings! Yes I’m still fuming about that!), despite the fact it’s Starbucks Via it turned out to be most reasonable for £2.10. Was needed since the last coffee was at least 4 hours ago! There’s a really annoying buzz on this train, so to block it out the tunes are back on. When we get to Otford, I should have bailed for the next one back to London, however I don’t on the grounds that I didn’t want to get off at a dud shack and told myself there’ll be another one from Maidstone East. So I bump up the mileage a bit and scoop the winner shack, then check when the next train to Chislehurst will be. None direct, so I need to change at Otford. OK, fair enough, I’ll happily take winner 465908 back then!

On my arrival there, I discover I should have bailed earlier as the 1312 was the last one direct and now involves going via Sevenoaks to get to Chislehurst. Unfortunately the curve that it should have done is the one that is rarer, with just the 0608 SSuX Faversham to Cannon Street booked to use it. Oops! I change plans and decide to finish the domestic bits of HS1 instead since I’m not all that far away from Ashford and there’s another train going that way shortly. Double dip into the ink then with 375917+609 to Ashford International. I notice as I update my moves book that I’ve a LOT to add to RailMiles yet, can’t wait to get my next data allowance on Tuesday! The second Pumpkin so far not to have loyalty cards when I get a coffee from the outlet on platform 5, never mind it’s time to fly up HS1 and the red pen goes away again when 395012 turns up to rush me like a lightning bolt to Ebbsfleet International. CHARRRRRRGE! I love travelling up HS1, it’s such fun! During my wait at Ebbsfleet International I see some Eurostars fly by, and phwoar, what a noise! When I get onto winning 395011, I decide I’d best charge my phone as it’s down to 58% and I’ve got a need for it on all night for the sleeper tonight! It’s raining now in Ashford, glad I’m not outside in it! I spy 465927 stabled on sidings, leaving me with two more 465s to get for sight to finish them! 373022+021 roll in from France, 022 a winning sight. 395018 is a winner on the 1613 to St Pancras International, and we’re held for a couple of minutes to allow the Eurostar to depart ahead of us, the farce with luggage/passengers having finally finished.

It’s been at least 8 hours by now since breakfast, so I’m getting really irritable. It takes a mahoosive 12 minutes to get from the 395 to the Victoria line, including a few minutes for topping up the Oyster again (I honestly don’t want to think about how much these Tube moves would have cost this fortnight if I’d paid cash for all of them…), and 12023 whisks me off to Oxford Circus in just 4 minutes, with 3331 on the Bakerloo having been made on a super quick connection surprisingly. Burger King is visited for the umpteenth time this week, and after spending a fortune in WHSmith I pop outside and happen to see my last 465/0, 465036, heading to Charing Cross. Excellent stuff, with just 465930 to see to finally finish the class! I join 450123+104 (123 win) on the 1807 to Basingstoke and Aldershot, as I needed the crossover from the Down Main to platform 3 at Surbiton. Time for some more tunes now as I update my notebook with the gen on the 455s I couldn’t ID recently (I’m so glad I joined the UKmodernEMU group on Yahoo! Groups some time ago!), one of which was a winner so I’m glad I checked. We eventually get to Woking, and it’s 455904 on the 1852 to Waterloo via Addlestone and Brentford. When I discovered it went via Brentford, I revise plans and decide to bail there to get the curve around to Whitton Junction in then carry on back to Woking, which would finally finish the SWT network. I hadn’t thought to check if the Hounslow loopers were running today, so imagine my dismay when I discover they weren’t! I have to wait until 2026 to head back to Woking, so I walk into town and get some cash and a drink from McDonalds, that visit having two purposes…

It decides to pour down now when I walk back to the station, how lovely! 455908 finally gets the red pen out again on the trip back to West Byfleet. That finally gets those two Sundays Only bits in, leaving just that curve I wanted to do earlier now. Dud 455859 puts the red pen back in my pocket for the trip to Vauxhall. There’s some screaming brat not far behind me, thank Goodness for earphones! Today’s been quite productive, to think if I’d gone and done that bit of freight-only track in Glasgow I’d have missed out on the Chislehurst curves and much more! I’d only originally planned to spend one day on the Southern Region too, boy wasn’t I wrong when I assumed that would be enough time! Tomorrow I predict the North West will be almost finished [the plans of mice and men… - Ed], concluding on Tuesday. 14036 zips me up to Euston in just 11 minutes (isn’t that how long you had to wait outside Edgware Road on a Circle line train in years gone by? Lol) and at Euston I get a couple of bottles of water for £2.20 and call home, then join the sleeper behind 90039. Three or four people are lucky tonight’s sleeper isn’t wedged full, as they didn’t have reservations! I abandon my booked seat to give the other guy more room as there were some seats I could spread out at instead. I go through my 378s properly and discover I actually still need three of them (210, 213, 214) for sight yet, dang. Slow lines to Watford Junction, and I start on the epic pile of paperwork I’ve had building up all week. The day’s review then:

Pretty good and productive, with more track done than expected. Had a couple of fails, probably the biggest being not getting the rare curve at Chislehurst. A good few winners for sight and haulage, hopefully a reasonable amount of mileage considering it’s all been on the Southern Region. Hopefully tomorrow proves to be as productive, and I score the day at 8/10, and it‘s been an excellent first week. Shocked it‘s over so soon! So then, the stats:

Day 7 mileage: 770 miles 06 chains
Mileage move of the day: 380 miles 59 chains on 90039
Insect leap of the day: 1 mile 34 chains on 465175+173
Best bit: Finishing off the domestic (ie, non Eurostar) bits of HS1 and watching those 373s making a racket at Ebbs fleet :D
Worst bit: Allowing myself to get so hungry and therefore irritable I think
Bargain of the day: The breakfast from Breadbox, proper quality bacon from a station outlet is quite unusual in my experience, and for only £2!
Rip-off of the day: Not really any to speak of, having not been to Upper Cost all day!

11th June 2012 - All Line Rover, Day 8

And so begins week 2! How fast did week 1 go, it only felt like a couple of days! We are indeed routed via Northampton tonight, and by 0043 I’m getting pretty tired. I was when I first woke up at 0700 yesterday mind, weird. Apart from the trip report, the paperwork is eventually completed. Having been awake for 17.5 hours by now, I reckon the tiredness is kicking in far quicker due to it being so very hot on here. I must have a seat right next to a heater, although it’s still a stark contrast to the other day! We head left at Rugby, which means we’ll be going via Aston and Bushbury Junction again to get to Crewe. It’s a PSUL trip but I’ve done it so many times it feels like a normal route! I need the northbound track after Bescot Stadium to Bushbury Junction though, so quite fortunate. 0139 and I can’t focus on the trip report any further and start trying to doss. I manage some before Carstairs, although as per usual it’s interrupted by rough accleration/braking. Seriously, why did I bother with booking any sleepers? Still got one more to go this week as well…

I discover it’s 90019 taking us forward to Edinburgh, so the same locos as the other night’s trip down from Edinburgh to London, just the other way around. I had hoped for 90036 to make an appearance somewhere. Time to change clothes and finalise preparations for alighting, with a little more doss coming after we finally leave Carstairs at 0632. Having been there since around 0600, that seemed excessive. I reawaken we we get to Princess Street Gardens and arrival is eventually into Edinburgh Mazerley (sic)’s platform 7 at 0713. I really miss my Travelodges, I’d just be getting up after a decent night’s sleep now if I’d had one up here. Alas, I didn’t and now I’m furious at myself for it. Imagine how fed up I’d be if I was doing sleepers every night (well, bar Saturday nights that is) for the fortnight, I’d have thrown in the towel and gone home for some sleep! It’s time to try and find out when the loco-hauled turn is, and I couldn’t find the gen online or anywhere around Edinburgh, so I do a leap to Haymarket first on double winning 170428+406 to try my luck there. Nope, no helpful response so I do a leap on 170394 for another win and scoop the shack at South Gyle. I could have no doubt gone further, but I had visions of missing the 67-hauled train after making uber efforts to get up north for it. It’s not on the next one to Mazerley (sic) but I jump on 170432+158725 for another winning 170 to Haymarket. I’ve about half an hour here, and you can see why it’s necessary to have 5 coaches on this working I’ve just got off, the crowds alighting here were pretty massive! During the fester I get my last 380, 380107, for sight as it comes in from Glasgow on a Glasgow to North Berwick service, leaving just 2 320s to get for sight to finish every MU for sight in Scotland. Very happy with that!

67011 eventually shows up on what I discovered later to be the 0715 Cardenden to Mazerley (sic - yes I’ll stop making that joke now…), winner 67 thankfully. Last time I came up north on a sleeper booked to have a 67 on it, in August 2011, it was a super dud royal one! 23 67s in the book, and I can’t resist having a listen to the GM sound as we leave for Edinburgh. I eventually find my way around the station to platform 8E for the 0852 to Birmingham New Street, and find it’s the same as usual, a dud Virgin 221. When will I get my last two 221s?! 221117 leaves on time and I can’t wait for the shop to open as I’m dying for a coffee and indeed some food. My phone finally goes on charge, it having got down to just 39%. I’ve been advised not to drink the water up here in Scotland as there’s apparently been an outbreak of Legionaires disease, so no coffee for now. I was also too busy trying to ensure I didn’t miss the loco-hauled service! [And at this point, I’m shutting the laptop down to sort out my lunch, get a coffee and have a break. Been typing for nearly 2 hours now! After a little over an hour‘s break, it‘s time to brew up a coffee,boot up YouTube and get started again!- Ed]. Time to wake myself up with some banging tunes and catch up a fair bit with the trip report. As we pass into England, I can’t help having a mini scissors flail! Nowt I need on Kingmoor, shame.

I visit Pumpkin for a sausage bap thing (not sure what you call a bread roll up here) and a large coffee. Ahhh, I feel human again! Carlisle hasn’t changed much in the last few years by the looks of it, the only major difference I noted was the removal of the old Lemon Tree building next to platforms 5 and 6. 156438 is up next for some dud mileage over winning track on the 1043 to Barrow-in-Furness. Something’s causing a banging headache, so it’s time to rip out the painkillers. Good thing I got a decent size pack the other day! We leave on time and the Metro gets read over the less scenic part of the route, and it’s nice to have jointed track for a change. I see Workington Yard and the Corus plant are all totally gone, wonder how long it’ll take to put a massive supermarket/shopping centre/entertainment complex up in its place. The coastal bits of this route are especially scenic, and I can see why it takes so long to go round this way with lots of 15mph running, single line sections and a ton of stations as we almost literally hug the coast and the cliffs in places. Taken quite a few photos on this journey, certainly I’ve not been disappointed with the highlight of the day. Whitehaven, and it’s 46 miles to go until Barrow according to the Quail. The highlight in particular of this journey, Sellafield, produces no winners for sight but more here than I expected. I discovered some days later 37510 and 37087 were to be taken for scrap, the useful parts to revive a couple of 37/4s. At least they’re not totally being scrapped. Page 65 in the Baker finally has colour on it, taken long enough! By some measure this line is the longest line I still need, the rest is considerably shorter, both in distance and journey time.

We arrive at 1310, 2 up and I visit the cafexpresshop for a large coffee for £2.50. Another loyalty card for my wallet then! 185128 provides duddage onwards to Lancaster, at least it’s not an all-shacks service. Finally, the Cumbrian Coast is complete as we reach Carnforth! There I note a lot of stuff on the WCRC depot, including 37214 which I needed apparently! As we wait for a southbound path, I film 390051 from on-board the train belting it northwards. From Lancaster I see an old friend, the red pen, for winner 185150 to Manchester, from which I hope to either get Buxton or Ashburys to Chinley finally done. I form a plan that should see both routes get covered, will it work? Sainsburys at Piccadilly is visited, my first supermarket visit in some days, and a big bottle of Pepsi Max for £1 will certainly sort out my need for liquid refreshment for a while! Newton Heath put faith in 150201 solely working the 1552 Manchester Piccadilly to Buxton, which was a winner so that’ll do me! Winning platform 10 too, as was platform 0 at Stockport. 08454 is noted on Longsight, and I make a terrible joke about not needing long range sight for that one. If you’re shaking your head, I’m already doing that…Buxton is one of those lines I’ve been waiting to do on a rail tour, but I’m sick of waiting for my chance to do so. At least I can actually hear the engines working on this 150, better than being stuck at the back of a tour away from the racket or having to endure a 66!

I apologise to the regular travellers on the Buxton line, as you may have been delayed by one of my plans for the day being on the line, following it being chucked out of the hopper window on 150201...Why the need for more changes to the plan? 150201 shuts down at Woodsmoor, and the Hellfire players amongst you will probably have “Dreadful! Something’s blown up!” in your head too as you read this. The 57 car that I’m in restarts, but not the 52 car. All the way to Buxton you’d think we were climbing the Lickey from a standing start at Bromsgrove, it really was slow! We have a hissing sound coming from our end of the train that goes on and off whenever the engine’s under power, making it sound like a cross between a 150 and a steam loco! We eventually arrive 19 late into Buxton, and the 150’s to be coupled in holy matrimony to 156466. Clearly Newton Heath will need to file divorce for the couple as 156466 also has an engine isolated today and the two units were refusing for a few attempts to bang together. So we have 2 engines out of 4 running, this is going to be fun! We leave 29 late with the 1659 to Blackpool North, at least the 156 is also a winner. Until I saw it in the Quail I didn’t realise we’d climbed to 1,140 feet at Bibbington Summit!

Stops are ripped out left, right and centre as we go along due to the severe delay, and after Piccadilly we’re only calling at Oxford Road and Bolton now, much less than the original stopping pattern for this service and definitely no need for 4 coaches anymore! All of the time we recover, not that there was much of it, is lost again as we have to allow passengers to bail once they learn of the revised stopping pattern. Even the carriage lights struggle to keep going at points, something tells me Newton Heath will be having fun trying to batter these two back into life tonight! I’ve not eaten since 1020 now so I’m feeling beyond tired (it’s gone 1800 as I wrote this) now, so despite having time I don’t get any more of the trip report done. We’re terminating in Preston now, where we arrive at 1912. I’ve no idea how late we were, but I’d assume at least 35 late. With Preston city centre appearing to be ages away, I settle with getting the 1941 onwards for the leap to Lancaster. 390048 is a winner on it, that’ll do me. Soon after I get on, 2 20s and 2 37s (by the looks of it 087 and 510) open up under the massive roof of the station with an almighty thunder of English Electric racket. Mmm, very nice! I get tea in Lancaster and is my usual meal from…wait for it…McDonalds (ha, bet you thought it was going to be Burger King!). Large Quarter Pounder with Cheese meal for £4.19 which went down a storm! I get a little lost finding the Travelodge, but finally get there and check in with home.

Chilling out time whilst getting everything organised in the bag. I end up booking another Travelodge during my stay here, the reason being two-fold. First, I can’t face another night on a sleeper, even if it’s the Night Riviera, I need decent sleep. Second, I remember there’s those two little single line bits at Retford linking the ECML station with the Sheffield to Lincoln line that need doing. So after a bit of searching around I find a Travelodge in Worksop for £30.25. Considering it’s only a few days away, that’s a good deal. Less than half the price of the one in Sheffield! The evening concludes with watching The Inbetweeners, The IT Crowd and The Big Bang Theory, before collapsing into a deep sleep around 0020. So then, the day’s review:

All in all, a pretty good day for track. Getting my 23rd 67 in the book was quite welcome, even if it was bus stop mileage. Not too much was planned for the day, and only missed out on Ashburys to Chinley which can be easily enough done on another day. 9 winners for haulage and some required sights about the place too. A score for the day of 8/10, so the stats:

Day 8 mileage: 414 miles 70 chains
Mileage move of the day: 101 miles 28 chains on 221117
Bus stop move of the day: 1 mile 19 chains on 170428+406 and 67011
Best bit: Finally covering the Cumbrian Coast
Worst bit: The endurance mission on the sleeper
Bargain of the day: Pepsi Max for £1 from Sainsburys
Rip-off of the day: Going with the coffee from Barrow, £2.50 is a lot of money for that size cup!

Can't believe how long that lot took to type! Day 9 is two and a bit sides of A4, so going to take an absolute age to go through. We'll see what today brings, but it's back to work tomorrow so might not be much progress with it all for a bit now. Enjoy!
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Well I'm bored off my face now, so let's get moving with day 9 as I really want to get this write-up finished! I apparently have some vodka coming up tonight though, but in the meantime it's coffee time!

12th June 2012 - All Line Rover, Day 9

Up at 0500 and after a quick coffee I leave at 0515. Only a 10 minute walk from the Travelodge to platform 2 at Lancaster, not bad at all. 185148 provides the first win of the day on the 0542 to Windermere via Morecambe. It uses platform 2, the last one I needed in Lancaster so very happy with that. It's a stunning day up here in Lancashire, a theme that wasn't to last on the wrong side of the Pennines later! We do the top line into Morecambe, which was required as was Hest Bank Curve, this being one of the few trains booked to do it and another PSUL move done. As we arrive into Windermere 4 up at 0637, it's time for a celebration as I've now finished the TPX network finally! A victory coffee is called for, but it'll have to wait until Oxenholme. We arrive ever so slightly early into Oxenholme and I'm straight into the cafexpresshop for a large coffee for £2.50 - is everyone rich in the North West? - and another stamp on t'card. Dud from years back 390021 is on the 0724 to Euston which I'm on to Preston. It's tilting timeeeeeee! (best said in the voice of Pauly D from Jersey Shore)

Breakfast time in Preston and Upper Cost is the best option for me today. I could probably have gone to Preston Hero next door, alas I don't have time for a full-on breakfast. Mini sausage baguette and medium coffee was eventually got, and somehow it doesn't get spilt on the way to platform 6, but I still don't see much of my coffee as unfortunately it gets knocked over when I put my books down onto the table on the 185! I do feel sorry for the poor young lady opposite me who got a significant amount of it on her, and fortunately the lady next to me had some tissues to clear up the mess. Waste of money that coffee was! More trip report writing is done and I'm making slow progress but at least I'm getting there, and after arriving into Manchester off 185105+145 (105 winning) I visit Upper Cost again. If Pumpkin had been findable I'd have gone there. Indeed, don't know why I didn't go to BreadBox now I look back...£2.04 for a large coffee here too, if I had the receipt from last week's visit I'd confirm if they'd seriously jacked up the price in the meantime. I'm thankful to whoever allocated 185103 to the diagram involving the 0905 Manchester Airport to Newcastle, a winner so thanks to Ardwick/York depot! I'm down to just 2 more 323s to see for the year now too, quite surprised. Annoyingly platform 2 was dud, never mind.

My coat comes flying off the overhead rack near Mirfield, as I had been busy with my trip report I'd initially thought something had come flying through the window! By Church Fenton I'm most of the way through yesterday, getting there now with the trip report. 144007 is in charge of the 1105 York to Sheffield via Pontefract Baghill, one of only two services a day per direction to use this route. This 144 is a winner, splendid stuffings. It's rather busy down this route for freight, having noted 3 Freightliner coal trains and a GBRf one by the time we got to Pontefract. As we roll into Moorthorpe at 1151, I see there's an 1153 to Leeds. As I'm not even remotely ready to bail, will I make it? A split second decision needed to be made and I chuck everything in as fast as possible and have to run as 144013 (dud) is already arriving to go up to Leeds as I get off. I discover later in the timetable that it suggested we'd be here at 1159, so I didn't think anything of planning any moves involving alighting here. I can see why it's a limited service, hardly anyone using it, it's a bumpy as anything ride along much of it and it's so slow!

Sainsburys is visited in Leeds for some supplies, then after a cash move it's to KFC for a popcorn chicken snackbox for £1.99. Enough time wasted not racking up the mileage, back to it! 185138 is provided on the 1255 to Manchester Airport, another winner! In the past I've had very poor luck getting my required 185s in, not so this fortnight! Really needed that food, and to be fair it was only 25 minutes in Leeds at the most. That snackbox proved to keep me going well for quite some time too, well worth the money. Off then on this to Huddersfield to line myself up for another annoyingly fiddly bit, Mirfield to Wakefield Kirkgate. I've gone the other way before, but the line around the other side of Healey Mills counts as two seperate lines in the Baker so got to be done. But first 144020 offers an unexpected bonus red pen move with a leap to Deighton, where my train of choice also stops a few minutes later. That'll do me then! 155345+153378 (345 win) rolled in and the driver evidentally stopped too short and had to pull up. I thought they were leaving without me for a moment, definitely a moment where I saw red! Fortunately I got on though and calmed down. Time now for that can of Monster from Sainsburys, and crikey how different Healey Mills looks compared to my first time past here when it was chock-a-block with 37s, 47s and 56s! November 2005 that was, and a long time ago clearly...

We get to Wakefield Westgate and I change for 142019 which gave me a need to rip out the relevant pen on the leap to Leeds. More platform gricing at Leeds, dunno if I'll ever get it all done! 158753 is another winner (seriously, how many winning 158s and how much mileage on the class am I getting this fortnight!) on the 1437 to Manchester Victoria via Bradford Interchange (Exchange for you older bashers), that'll do me and I get it in on a leap to Halifax, from where I get required 158758 (this was my last Northern 158 to get for sight some years back, nice to finally pen it in) on the 1526 from Halifax to Blackpool North as far as Preston. I'd hoped for required platform 4 at Bradford Interchange, sadly not. I've got a fair bit of time on here, so it's writing time again and I make more progress than I expected. At Preston I fuel up again with a couple of chocolate bars (to keep me going until tea time in Glasgow) and a medium tea. Finally found a Pumpkin with loyalty cards! An unexpected pleasure with a bonus red pen move on 150142 for the shack scratch at Kirkham & Wesham, that'll make my NREA look a bit better! I see the previous Blackpool South train was 142056, and mine's winner 156459. Lucky me then, last time I was up here much (February and August 2011) it was pretty solidly 142s with little to nothing else. Much prefer my noisy 156!

My Twix gets dunked into my tea, made it so much nicer! Squires Gate station really is close and walking distance to Blackpool airport, gonna have to get it in one day. Same sort of thing for Blackpool Pleasure Beach, never been and passing some of the rollercoasters has got me really wanting to jump off and have a go! Apparently Blackpool North is 3 miles from South, good thing I didn't stay on 158758 and hope for a quick walk! We go past what looks to be an abandoned long ago holiday village, makes the area look neglected and poor. Still, another corner of the massive Northern empire is done, smaller bits remain but I'm almost there. Some really rough, nasty sounding and horrible people have joined the train, their language and attitude even towards each other was disgusting! I move to the vestibule a little earlier than planned, and the peace and quiet was heavenly! I top up my hydration with a bottle of Dr Pepper from WHSmith, as I refuse to pay the prices in the shop on Virgin again! Dud 390017 rolls in on the 1630 Euston to Glasgow, however this is still one of the highlights of the day as beyond Preston it's non-stop to Glasgow Central. I find a table seat but the plug socket appears to be broken, so I switch to another table and thankfully that one works.

Now the question is of course will we actually go non-stop through Carlisle? When the TM comes around I ask her and she's actually really friendly and we chat briefly about trains and the ALR. A credit to Virgin, proof that Virgin do take on decent people for their crews. And YES! We do indeed go non-stop through platform 3 at Carlisle, which means I've now gone non-stop through all stations between Glasgow and London, very happy with that! Kingmoor provides a winning sight for a change too, with 20302 being observed there. Just need 20306 to complete the collection...Finally my new data allowance has landed, I can go online again! Arrival into Glasgow after quite a fun journey, on which plenty of writing got done and up to date, is at 2036, 2 up and it's time for tea which is formed of my usual sub from Subway and a Diet Coke for £3. It's leaping time, and first up is winning 320313 on a move to Rutherglen. Dalmarnock is closed for redevelopment until 24th November 2012, wondered why we belted it through there. 66732 is seen in the yard next to Rutherglen station, finally a winner with GBRf! I make sure I get a photo of it as I return into town, as far as Argyle Street with 320307+318252, the 318 a winner. 320311+318258 join forces on a leap to Bridgeton for 2 more winners, and after scooping the shack I head to Anderston with winning 320312. Services are becoming fewer in number now, gonna have to call it a day soon. 318261+320308 come out of the spin 'n' win machine for a tiny leap to Exhibition Centre for a quick/lucky plus onto winning 320318 back to Glasgow Central.

318265 is had for a quick spin to Partick for 320303 to also win coming back. A Tenacious D show was on at the nearby SECC so all of a sudden the train became packed. Fortunately the barrier staff at Glasgow Central had the sense to open the gates up otherwise we'd have been there forever! Sadly didn't see either of my last 320s for sight, but they could have been on the Queen Street Low Level lines. Back upstairs at Glasgow Central High Level, I call home to let them know what's going on before picking up a few bits and bobs, then join the sleeper right at the front of the train this time. 90019 dragged the stock in and 90028 was at the helm. Winner 90, crikey it's been a while! This makes me glad I'm on the sleeper, but then I discover I'm sat opposite someone, so not glad I'm on it now. There's seats unreserved back down the coach, so I take up one of them. Despite not being ticketed as such, they are reserved according to the TM. Great, and all the other seats after Glasgow are apparently reserved from Carlisle. Hopefully they're not a noisy bunch getting on in the middle of the night then! We leave on time and I try to settle down with some tunes and get some writing done before attempting to find a comfortable position to sleep. So then, the day's review:

All in all, a good day with the TPX network finally being completed. Good progress also made elsewhere on the Northern empire, and going non-stop through Carlisle was quite funky, glad I made the effort to do that train now. Lots of winners and mileage give the day a score of 9/10. Stats:

Day 9 mileage: 984 miles 79 chains
Mileage move of the day: 401 miles 34 chains on 90028
Bus stop move of the day: 0 miles 41 chains on 318261+320308
Best bit: Finishing the TPX network at long last!
Worst bit: Again, the uncomfortable experience on the sleeper
Bargain of the day: The Subway meal and drink, good value for the money
Rip-off of the day: Small bottle of Dr Pepper, £1.59 in WHSmith.

Another 90-odd minutes of typing down, hopefully the last 5 days worth don't take so long! Time for a proper break away from typing as I've got to help get the house prepared for the women of the house to come back to!
 

Blindtraveler

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Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
Hope you can give us day 9 soon, the suspense is killing me! For info the FSR loco diagrams are in the sticky frequantly requested diagrams thread in traction and rollingstock. I hope your going to complain about the sleaper, it really is bad on the Scotrail seated coaches and you gon one of the several where the heating and AC thirmostats are nacked.
I write every time almost. Great cupple of reports both of them so thanks again! Enjoyed the Waverley joke!
 
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