Techniquest's Dublin Bash, 21st - 23rd April 2012

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Techniquest

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Hey all,

As it's still pouring down outside and I'm finally on a day off today, here comes at least the first part of the trip:

21st April 2012 - Dublin Bash Day 1

With a good night's sleep having evaded me, preparations for the trip were complete and I join VX12 FBO on my commute to work. With a need to pick up my tickets to/from Manchester Airport, it's off at the station for the walk to the station. Surprisingly it was only 19 minutes and the 5 hour shift flies by. After a quick post-work social, I pop into McDonalds for a coffee and even with that 7 minute stop, I reach the station in 24 minutes. Facebook is popped onto briefly and I'm initially disappointed that 158818 is on the 2120 to Manchester Piccadilly, but a look on RailMiles tells me I've only had it from Newport to Hereford back on 6th February 2006! :shock: Still not got on a refurb 158, one day...Out comes the MP3 player and a new battery, then it's time to get out of my work shirt at last! After Ludlow this trip report gets written up and it's about time I got some food in me, it's been a long time since a combined breakfast/lunch at 1230! Ham sandwiches and some prawn cocktail crisps, followed by Worcester sauce crisps, is the order of the day. Over 9 hours have passed since the last food I ate, so more than earned it by now!

Shrewsbury produces a few sights for the year and it's about time to update my moves book with another 90 minutes to go. Annoyingly it's an all-shacks stopper to Crewe, although we do pass a couple of the request stops fortunately. Spending and commuting logs are updated and Keane's 'Everybody's Changing' is on the MP3 player. Still like the lyric 'try to make a move just to stay in the game' for some reason. I discover a journey itinerary from 2011's ALR in my wallet (the reverse of which had been used for some notes which I'd failed to find), fond memories came flooding back just reading that :) 66427 is noted on the DRS depot, winner! 3 more DRS 66s to find now according to my book, well chuffed! Why the journey planner didn't book me onto the Northern Starship to the airport I'm not sure, but this way via Piccadilly involves more mileage at least. Nice to feel some sort of speed now after all that slow crawling along between Shrewsbury and Crewe! With all the paperwork done by Holmes Chapel, it's time to prepare for alighting as Linkin Park's Meteora album starts. Platform 4 is used at Stockport, which I think is a required micro-grice. We also use the slow lines all the way to Piccadilly and arrive into platform 8 at 2343, 7 up. After getting a few required sights for the year, I jump on 185104 on the 2355 to Manchester Airport.

Typical, it's dud! I get a call from home to find out where I am, and we arrive at Manchester Airport's platform 2 at 0020. Not bothering with scoring the day or writing a review, as it would almost certainly all be about work! Only bothering with a couple of stats for this day:

Day 1 mileage: 125 miles and 37 chains
Highest mileage: 114 miles and 53 chains on 158818
Lowest mileage: 10 miles and 66 chains on 185104
Best bit: Getting to Manchester for the first time in months
Worst bit: Having to go to work :lol:

22nd April 2012 - Dublin Bash Day 2

After taking a couple of snaps on my phone and uploading them to Facebook, I also get my new camera used for the first time for a shot of Manchester's Terminal 3. It's currently 0059 and I'm bored. I've got Jeffrey Archer's new book to finish reading and just a couple of bits of paperwork to do, how I'll pass the time until I get to security and the flight's departure time at 0855 I have no idea! Fortunately there's a Spar open 24 hours, just as well as there is nothing else nearby open. I have problems with the RailUK app so try uninstalling it and re-downloading and installing it, but still get 'Unexpected server response'. Been having that problem for ages, dunno what's wrong but it's frustrating. If it had worked, I'd have uploaded at least part of this trip report before now. High time for a coffee, and a mocha and doughnut were got for £1.69. I'm now left with just 2p in change now, but that coffee was quite nice and the doughnut was most welcome 3 hours after I'd concluded my tea! By now it's 0153 and high time for some reading. Some progress is made and I decide it's time to do the reading in stages and have a wander every now and then. A ham sandwich, 2 cans of Monster, another mocha and a caramel shortcake slice is got from Spar for £5.43, then it dawns on me 15 minutes later that I can't take any liquids on board. Good thing then it's only 0346 at this time, got about 3.5 hours to devour that lot of Monster, dead easy then considering I love that stuff and need the energy.

The book is finally finished at 0511 and I can't wait for the next and final part of the trilogy! It's getting quite light outside now, can't be much longer until the check-in process begins. A change of clothes is deemed necessary and helps to revitalise this tired old basher. The food is started on at 0540 after the first can of Monster is devoured. Strange ol' breakfast I know, but I've had worse, including having a can of Stella Artois at 0730 in the morning on a trip long ago! I can hear planes leaving now, alas I can't see anything. Gone a bit nippy now the sun's up and the rain's returned. Time for some tunes now at 0630, the last few hours have actually gone by quite quickly. Tiredness is creeping up on me now though, which I dislike. Hopefully today is as productive as I expect it to be. I start planning in more detail my 2014 holiday to the USA, talk about advance planning! I celebrate getting Manchester as my 6th airport with some Monster (I've done other airports, like Stansted, before but not for flying in/out of). By 0715, I head to security and get through that process. Costa is visited at the other end of that for a massimo coffee for £2.40, and that went down brilliantly! Plenty of planes noted and photted, and it's quite handy to charge my phone whilst at Costa having used almost all of my battery overnight! Eventually boarding commences at gate 51 and I get on Ryanair's EI-EBC, a winner and my third 737-800 for fly-age :D

Seat 5A this time and we're in the air at 0900. 0914 and we're at 22,000 feet and only 20 minutes from Dublin! Barely had time to go through the AFQR and I've some sightings I need to look up. Sadly neither American Airlines craft I saw were ID-able, with such a massive fleet I need to start on them ASAP! We're back on the ground at 0930 and we arrive 19 up! A bus takes us to gate 217, there's hardly any walking time this time to passport checks, which was nice compared to last time. €3 is the closest I have to the bus fare to town, so overpaid by 35c. 00-D-70125 is a winner and I jump on a 16A to O'Connell Street. After a 31 minute journey I alight and walk the short distance (about 5 minutes tops) to Abbey Street on the Red Line. I fork out €6.30 for an all-day ticket on Luas, quite cheap when you consider that last time I came over, €3.10 only covered a day return in Central Zone 1. 4003 is the first winner of the day on a Tallaght service. Veolia's on fine form today, with the first and so far only ticket check I've seen on the Red Line. A couple of winners for sight are got and I note you have to change at Belgard for Saggart on Sundays, no problem.

3026 in Magnum Infinity livery takes me from Tallaght on the short distance to Belgard, where I swap to another winner for haulage onto 4011. Got plenty of winners for sight today, 5 more Red Line trams left to find. A swap of platforms at Saggart gives me yet another winner in the form of 3022 on a leap to Fortunestown, located next to Citywest Shopping Centre. I make a visit to Dunnes there and cram everything into my bag. Not a good idea as the poor thing's ready to give up on me now. This did mean however keeping a close eye on the bag all trip long though, as the zip was more than a bit stuffed. Back at Belgard, having red-penned 4010, I swap to yet another winner on 3014 for the mileage move to The Point. Time then to make some sandwiches and devour some Aero Mint. I can't say today's been the most rateable day, but that's almost certainly down to being super tired. I wasn't expecting today to be too hellfire mind, and I hope the walk to St Stephens Green later is an easy one. The rain's back with a vengence, great! Thankfully it doesn't last long, and the Red Line is finally done. Now it's time to get the Green Line sorted. Of course I may have to return one day to do the link from St Stephens Green to wherever they join it to the Red Line, but I see no evidence of that happening any time soon.

Yawning is becoming more frequent as I head to Jervis on 3014, so it's planned to go to the Travelodge once the track is done for a coffee and a de-rance before going back out. I see Connolly doesn't get any trams serving it today, hardly surprising considering Busaras is only 125 metres away. There's track linking Connolly to the eastern part of the Red Line, but that doesn't look like it's ever used. I pen in 3019 on a leap back to Abbey Street from where the walk to St Stephens Green looks easiest. Just made it there before the rain and hail kicked in! 5024 becomes my first Green Line tram for haulage, and I'm on it all the way to Brides Glen for a 37 minute journey. I head straight back on 5024 to Raneleigh, which according to my notes is the closest tram stop to the Rathmines Travelodge. A couple of stops are built but not yet open on this occasion, and now until any future extensions are opened that's the Luas network completed. My directions appeared to be a bit useless, but eventually find my way and note another stop is more convenient. This Travelodge is an older one, but it'll do for the purposes of getting some doss, showering and all that. De-rancification was most required at this time, having fallen asleep for a bit on 5024. During a coffee break, stuff gets charged and everything not required for the afternoon is left in the room. These Regatta bags are not as good as I would expect, they're not cut out for my bashing trips! I head back out at 1616 and find the other tram stop.

5022 takes me from Charlemont to Beechwood, the aim of the game now being to red pen as many trams as possible as well as stops today. The next one back north is 5024 again and I join it to Harcourt. The next tram south leaves shortly before we get there, so I have to wait for 5024 to return and I join it for a longer leap this time to Carrickmines. 5005 produces on the next northbound tram, thankfully a winner this time. From Ballyogan Wood, I get 5026 for a leap to Cherrywood and red pen it. 5026 returns shortly, the distance to Brides Glen is tiny! Up to The Gallops this time, and I haven't spent much time musing or writing notes apart from the moves, my mind's been on something completely different and worlds apart from bashing. 5004 in Northern Ireland 2012 livery produces next for a red pen move on an insect leap to Leopardstown Valley, from where I have a short wait for 5018 to Central Park, another red pen move. 5022 produces next for the leap up the hill to Glencairn, which clears Green Zone 4 for stops. 5004 returns eventually for the last move of the day to Charlemont. After finishing my ham sandwiches made from the supplies from Dunnes, I still need food so get some crisps from the little shop next to the Travelodge. After a long, long night and day, an early end to the day and an extended chillout time was the order of the night. After re-packing the bag for tomorrow, Frozen Planet is watched followed by 'The Nation's Favourite Abba Song' on ITV3, as you do. Day's review then:

Not bad, despite being worn out this morning. A fair amount of winners for haulage, plenty of required sights and all the track I came over for was got and a good few shacks too. Mileage won't be massive by my guess, but I never expected it to be. Overall, a score for the day of 8/10, so finally the usual stats cometh:

Day 2 mileage: 65 miles :shock: - worth pointing out the mileage has been rounded down to the nearest quarter-mile, hence the mileages. If I had been doing stuff to decimal mileage, it would have doubtlessly been different.
Highest mileage: 10 miles 0 chains on 5024
Lowest mileage: 0 miles and 20 chains on 5022
Best bit: Finally finishing the Luas network
Worst bit: The long fester at Manchester Airport, don't think I'll be doing that again!
Bargain of the day: The cans of Monster from Spar, £1 each
Rip-off of the day: I'm going with the caramel shortcake slice, not enough in that for the money.

Day 3 will be up later, I need a break from the laptop badly!

EDIT: OK, I'm back and armed with yet another coffee. Thinking of not bothering with doing trip reports for a while, it's all fine and well writing them at the time to pass the time on the trip, but it's the long amount of typing afterwards that's really annoying. Here we go then:

23rd April 2012 - Dublin Bash Day 3

After a fantastically good sleep, I wake at 0635. Stuff that, far too early yet! Back up at 0705 to make a coffee. Still tired so back to bed but then couldn't sleep. The coffee's devoured and it's time to de-rancify at 0810. All fueled up on two coffees in the end and everything's packed by 0910. Time to head into town for some food and a couple of moves before going home. A guy is handing out copies of the Metro on the street, I'll have that. A single from Charlemont to Central Zone 1 is got for €1.70, time for a phot of 5024 coming up the hill and I join 5009, winner for sight and haulage, on a St Stephens Green service. Quite full for the time of day I'd say, and two other trams are noted for sight this morning. My lists look a lot better today it has to be said. Off to George's Dock for the shack scratch (on the boundary of Central Zone 1) before a walk back to Connolly for food, doubtlessly from Subway. A bit of a fester is had at Abbey Street for a tram going my way, but I'm rewarded with a winner for haulage, 3004. The rain and hail has returned, just in time to annoy me as I get off the tram. A fester here for a few minutes is had to get away from the worst of it, then it's off on the few minutes walk to Connolly. Here, I see my penultimate 40xx tram for sight, 4007. Well chuffed at that, just 3 more Red Line trams to find. Subway is indeed visited for breakfast/lunch, the usual sub in 6" form and a large Coke gets bought for €4.50. Was supposed to have been coffee, but merr. After devouring that lot I walk to Lower Abbey Street and I've missed a 41 by a couple of minutes, with a 25 minute wait ahead. Well harsh! I then discover in my timetables there's a 1050 from O'Connell Street to the airport, so start making my way over to there. I end up getting wet for no reason though, as I end up turning back.

Why? I spot 99-D-10555 coming down from Swords and I expect it'll be the next 41 back out. So I rush back in the vain hope of getting it in. Alas, after waiting for some time I find I've got 05-D-10422 instead. I note to myself that it looks dud, and sure enough when I check my notebook it is indeed dud. Had it from Lower Abbey Street to Swords Pinnock Hill last time I was over here. And that Volvo decker, it did a 41C after all which I don't think goes to the airport sadly. A 31 minute journey is had on a bus far emptier than the last one I took to the airport earlier in April and considerably emptier than the one from the airport yesterday. Only 8 minutes to Drumcondra station, a lot quicker than I'd have thought! 29022 had been spied crossing the bridge in Dublin as we left, almost cleared the 29000 Class for sight :D Time for some more tunes today, as my phone refused to accept the Dublin Bus Wi-Fi and indeed, it had refused to turn on until I removed and re-inserted the battery. Bloody thing, if it don't work when I get back to England Orange can have it back! Several planes are photted and spotted at the airport, and I end up getting a coffee from Soho Coffee near my departure gate, 111, for €2.90. Another loyalty card for my wallet then, and with a fair amount of time remaining before departure, I start ticking off the planes I've seen. Can't find the SAS craft though, hopefully someone will have an idea on where they are in the AFQR. I need a drink for the plane and later, so a bottle of Diet Coke is got for €1.80, leaving me with 18c for a future trip. Better than going home with €9 like last time! A final trip to Eire is planned for the autumn, no dates set yet, and this time I will get a different airport in on Irish soil!

EI-EFC is my plane home, thus my fourth 737-800 for fly-age :D We leave a few minutes late but arrive on time, after spending ages taxi-ing behind several other planes. I manage to spot an Emirates craft as we take off, not got many of them. An A380 is noted in Manchester, sadly I couldn't see which one. Bloody huge things! Nice to be back on home soil again, although I've not missed Terminal 3! A 9 minute walk takes me back to Manchester Airport station, and I'm here an hour ahead of when I needed to be. Just as well, as I'm on a winner with 323226 on the 1511 to Crewe. I figure I'll ask if there's a chance I can get on the 1608 from Crewe vice 1708. 150223 is noted in the reversal siding at Alderley Edge, standing in for a 323? After getting a tenner out, it's high time for coffee from Upper Crust, and I ask about possibly getting on the 1608 vice 1708. Sadly, it's too busy so I'm resigned to waiting an hour. Oh well, I'll get my moves updated a bit on RailMiles. I end up on YouTube to play a tune I heard on Saturday, David Guetta's Titanium. Lost count of the amount of times I played that in the end! RailMiles got a bit of updating later on, and for the first time I capture a video of 390004 passing with either a Glasgow or Liverpool to Euston working and upload it there and then to YouTube. Another coffee from Upper Crust is deemed essential as I've not much Diet Coke left, then I join 175105 on the 1708 to Crewe to go home. I finish updating my moves book, spending log and the Baker, which is all done just after Church Stretton. I ponder what to do next, then decide to write up the review. We arrive at 1828, 4 up and I head to Mr Chips for a late lunch/on-time tea, chicken curry and chips for £2.50. I remember when that was only £1.80...Over 8 hours since my last food, no wonder I'm starving! I return to the bus stop to get Y877 PWT home, can't believe the trip's over already and that's I'm back at work for 5 days of 8 hour shifts...So then, the review and stats:

Pretty good day, with the only disappointment being the dud bus to the airport. Not a great deal of mileage I'd reckon, but I liked getting fairly close to finishing the trams for sight. A few winners for haulage, even one in the UK. The fester at Crewe went super fast and was actually enjoyable, something I'd have not expected and hasn't been the case for years. Chuffed to have got 4 737-800s in the book now and cleared the class for 736 miles (according to Flightdiary). All in all, a good day and worthy of a score of 9/10. Stats then:

Day 3 mileage: 108 miles and 14 chains
Highest mileage: 83 miles and 66 chains
Lowest mileage: 0 miles and 40 chains on both 5009 and 3004
Best bit: Getting the plane home (I'm slowly turning into quite the aviation ned!)
Worst bit: The awful weather!
Bargain of the day: I'm going with the meal from Subway, considering that was the only bit of food I'd had in a roughly 20 hour period that did well for €4.50!
Rip-off of the day: The papers from WHSmith, 79p! Got some McDonalds vouchers out of it mind.

Finally then, some videos from the trip that have finally got uploaded:

Ryanair's EI-EBC taking off from Manchester, 22nd April 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrgJaYDWnQ4&hd=1

5004 leaving Charlemont, 22nd April 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aiip9f-J3vQ&hd=1

3004 leaving George's Dock, 23rd April 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36mWF-eBhT4&hd=1

(Can't remember how to embed these properly!)
 
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