Techniquest's Oxfordshire Day Ranger, 27th February 2012

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Techniquest

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Hi all,

Yep, you read that right. I managed to do something other than a West Midlands Day Ranger for a change! Onwards and upwards with what turned out to be a mixed day, you'll soon see why I say that.

27th February 2012 - Oxfordshire Day Ranger

It was touch and go as for whether I'd actually make it out today, as these horrid recurring headaches have been getting worse and I'm on a lot of Cuprofen at the moment. Still, I was up at 0600 and had two toasted muffins and a coffee for breakfast. Even found time for a shave, those who know me well will know I don't often bother, indeed it's been over a week since I last bothered! Off for the first bus and it's the usual beast YJ05 WCW on the 0645 to Hereford. We leave 7 down and arrive at 0749, 2 down. I discover the TVM's card facility is down, just as well the ticket office is open since I have tickets to pick up! I meet a colleague from work unexpectedly who's waiting for the 0813 to Cardiff Central, so we have a chat before she joins 175108. Wish I was joining her, and not just because she was getting on a 175! ;) It's coffee time, and for a change I get a medium not large coffee from Pumpkin. Should have paid the extra 11p and got the large one, but merr.

I join Foursquare at last and checked in. 170631 is on the 0849 to Birmingham New Street, and RailMiles tells me I've only had 137 miles off it. Could have sworn it was on more than that, but a nice top up for the thing at least. Seems so strange not to be on a WMDR, but a welcome change! Need plenty of shacks in the Oxfordshire Day Ranger area and should have plenty of opportunity of mileage too. The day return to Moreton-in-Marsh (the closest boundary station to me) wasn't entirely cheap at £17, but then it's apparently 58 miles each way so not exactly bad. You certainly couldn't drive that distance for less! We leave bang on time at 0849 and the Metro is read. Liked the Nemi cartoon today, although I doubt I'd like to be woken up by someone dressed like Darth Vader! :lol: A lengthy wait at Ledbury turns into an opportunity to grab another Foursquare check-in, I reckon I'm going to be doing these a lot when I go to work! We reach Worcester Shrub Hill at 0936, 2 down and I see nothing going to Foregate Street for a while, so I get walking to Foregate Street. Hardly a long walk, and it gets me my first new Wetherspoon in ages at The Postal Order, almost right next to Foregate Street station.

£1.49 later and I walk away with a coffee that was most rateable, but unable to get FourSquare to recognise it. Really useful...I manage a check in with the Travel Centre and the station though. 166213 is on the 0954 Great Malvern to Paddington, dud so red pen move denied. I bag a table seat which seems strange on a Turbo! 66080 is noted on its own on Worcester Yard and I take the opportunity to update this report. I finally get the new formation on this route done after Evesham, it's been there for a while now but it's finally going to be done! As we arrive at Evesham, I recall a trip through this way some time years ago when two ex-GNER HST power cars were parked up on a siding here awaiting transfer to/from Long Marston. Going back some way now...My ranger is bought from the grippers on board, saves me having to bail at Moreton-in-Marsh and allows me to continue to Kingham to scoop that in and get one of those bizarre workings back to M-i-M that terminates there. Buying it on board was useful as it taught one of them the boundaries of the ranger. We arrive at 1056 and the train I want back is 8 down. At such a rural station, this is not much fun! I have to wonder how some of these stations get such a decent service all day when there's bugger all people getting on! The dud run continues with 166203 onwards and we reach platform 1 at Moreton-in-Marsh at 1130.

Rah, even here Foursquare's a load of uselessness! Can't even get any mobile internet signal, absolutely awful! I can't wait to get to somewhere that modern technology is supported...The 1151 to Paddington is out of p1, which means a required crossover is used to get us onto the right line! :D I study the map of the route I picked up earlier in a bid to decide which of the small stations to try and get in later. Most of them look more suitable for doing on a nice spring's day. Granted it's a dry but overcast day so it could be done now, but there's too much to do today for that. Arrival into civilisation at Oxford is at 1225, and I end up getting talked into signing up to donating every month to Cancer Research UK. Gullible ol' fool perhaps, but who knows if it'll prove useful to me or anyone else one day? I end up scooping another Wetherspoon, The Four Candles, and get another coffee move going on. I was going to do the other one nearby, but I am quickly running out of bashing time here! Back at the station, I just miss the fast train to Paddington which was 165117 and required. I wanted the stopper though, which continued the dud run on 165103. Off I go to Tilehurst then, and after we leave Didcot I wonder why so many people are out with cameras...

GRR! No flipping wonder! A 56 went west on a freight! So gutted that I didn't know about it :( More duddage to Pangbourne on 165102, and I wish I had brought my camcorder with me after all today, I could have killed a lot of fester time at these small stations especially since I've seen lots of freights today! Off to Reading next on 166221, dud. At Reading I pass up the opportunity to get food and opt to go to platform 3 for the 1441 to Edinburgh. Before it rolls in I see 150001 waiting to leave on a Basingstoke service, still looks odd to me! 220016 rolls in on the Edinburgh, and I grab a seat with a power socket as my phone was in desperate need of charging! I get on RailMiles and my moves to Reading are added, all the while with Jessie J singing in my ears. Perfect, although according to her nobody's perfect. She's close enough for me! :lol: I had planned to do some serious-ish mileage to Banbury, but changed my mind as we rolled into Oxford for some more shack scratching opportunities. It means 44 minutes at Culham, but it's required! 165102 was back out on the 1507 to Paddington, dud earlier so obviously continuing the dud run.

I get on with eating the first bit of food since breakfast whilst here, a Ginsters sausage roll. The leap to Radley was also dud on 165118, and although the fester here was less than 10 minutes it was super dull. 165109 carried me onwards to Appleford, where a 43 minute wait was in order. I don't think I need to comment on the status of 165109 and whether I needed it or not...At least next time I do one of these rangers I should be able to focus much more on mileage, although I still want to get Heyford and Tackley out of the way. They get an appaling service, to do both of those will require some hours! I update my trip report whilst festering here, and even after plenty of writing, updating my NREA and Goodness knows what else, I still have 17 minutes left...Eventually 66567 comes along and gets out of our way, probably the 15th freight I saw by that point! We leave Appleford at 1707, 7 down and arrive at Oxford off 165104 at 1721. It was dud, surprise surprise. I fear there will be no food anywhere for a while now, and I'm hungry, so go into Pumpkin for a medium coffee and a Ginsters ham and cheese slice for £4. That slice wasn't as hellfire as I remember them sadly, but a surprise lay in store...

165133 was on the 1732 Oxford to Great Malvern, which was a winner. Yes, I didn't type dud, I actually got a winner on the last train which would produce such! FINALLY! We leave 5 down due to our late arrival which caused the following HST to arrive late, which terminated and left for the sidings late. Good thing there's plenty of time for my next plan. I choose Combe due to its relative proximity to Hanborough for my choice of little station to do off the only northbound all-stations train of the day. I planned for a 20 minute easy walk, boy was I wrong! 27 minutes, in the rain and quite some effort required to ensure I got to Hanborough in time. If the station hadn't been on the east side of town it would have helped mind, but no I had to walk across the entire town to get there. When I got close I finally saw a sign pointing out the station and seeing it, I heard myself remark "I say, I say, that be a good sign!". Immediately I thought of how lousy a pun that was :roll::lol: Fortunately made it with several minutes to spare, but I wasn't sure at several points if it could be done! 43025 is leading the set north on the 1722 Paddington to Hereford, the same one I had leading last time I came up from Reading. I recall I was getting close to the grand on it then, maybe I will make it today. Can't tell until Hereford what's on the back, but merr. The buffet host announces that bacon baguettes are now reduced in price, so once my phone went on charge I was off, as I was still super hungry!

£8.70 lighter and I came away with two cans of Arkells 3B and a bacon baguette. I'd forgot how hellfire these things are, I might be investing in a lot of these on my ALR! I manage to get a bit of 3G signal for a while so get back onto RailMiles. It truely is a trek through Middle Earth, as I heard the TM on the last HST up this way say, with poor signal for almost all the way. Useful in an emergency...I get this trip report updated as far as Pershore, then crack open the second can of 3B. I'd forgot how hellfire this is too, something else I think I'll be having more of on my ALR! <D Best start earning a fair bit of money...The Combe leap is added at last to RM when we get to Worcester, and I was surprised to see nothing on the depot yet. I note too that I'm finally over 2,000 miles for the year, well on target to getting my 20,000 miles for the year then, particularly if my ALR produces 10,000 as I hope! With more tours, foreign trips and galas coming up later in the year, it should be easy enough to manage! I've enjoyed my trip away from Herefordshire today, such a shame it's almost over already :( Always the way on a bash though I reckon, indeed I doubt my fortnight on the rails in June will actually feel like that long! Still contemplating making it a First Class affair, not sure if it's worth the extra £300 or so.

Arrival into Hereford is just 1 minute late at 2028, and I storm to the back to check what was on it. 43053, ah yes fond memories of that one to Newquay in 2008...Onto RailMiles and enter that last move, I'm dying to know if I've cleared 43025. It's a tense moment after I enter it, as I think I have but it'll be close. Check then and you could cut the air with a knife whilst the page loads...

YES! Victory, I have cleared it for the magical thou, all by FOUR chains! Couldn't have been much closer! I think that's just the fifth HST power car I've cleared now. Day's review then, followed by stats as usual but with a couple of new 'uns:

Total mileage: 276 miles and 14 chains
Highest mileage on one train: 78 miles and 29 chains on 43025 and 43053
Lowest mileage on one train: 2 miles and 18 chains on 165118
Best bit: Clearing 43025 for the magical thou!
Worst bit: The fester at Kingham, tied with the incredibly long line of dud 'uns
Bargain of the day: The coffee move at each of the Wetherspoon, decent size cup for £1.49 and pretty decent stuff.
Rip-off of the day: That lousy ham and cheese slice from Pumpkin Oxford.
 
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anthony263

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Nice looks like you had an enjoyable day out.

I will have to do the line between Worcester & Oxford soon, maybe perhaps tommorow if I dont do my plan to get a farewell trip on stagecoach Volvo B10m's
 

heart-of-wessex

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Hi all,

Yep, you read that right. I managed to do something other than a West Midlands Day Ranger for a change!
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! (multiply by 10,000) :shock: :lol:

Wish I was joining her, and not just because she was getting on a 175! ;)
Ohh errr ;) :lol:

I join Foursquare at last and checked in.
I see a lot of references to this Foursquare that, at first, I thought read 'I join Forstersquare..' I thought what are you doing in Bradford :lol:!
What is Foursquare anyhow :?

Liked the Nemi cartoon today, although I doubt I'd like to be woken up by someone dressed like Darth Vader! :lol:
Shame I missed that one, sounds cracking! Missed the archive of that one too. Today's one is bloomin hilarious though, good old Nemi Montoya!


Rah, even here Foursquare's a load of uselessness! Can't even get any mobile internet signal, absolutely awful! I can't wait to get to somewhere that modern technology is supported..
a scenario that sounds like a normal bash on the Chilterns :lol:

I was going to do the other one nearby, but I am quickly running out of bashing time here! Back at the station, I just miss the fast train to Paddington which was 165117 and required. I wanted the stopper though, which continued the dud run on 165103. Off I go to Tilehurst then, and after we leave Didcot I wonder why so many people are out with cameras...

GRR! No flipping wonder! A 56 went west on a freight!
Last GWR mainline station to tick off, Tilehurst..one day I'll get it! As for time, doesn't it seem like the clock is on x4 speed, especially like when we were in London!

As for the 56, gutted miss! I know I'd be banging on the windows! Sounds like it was the day 56302 was on the Acton (?) to Canton turn, great video on YT of it hammering through West Ealing!

Before it rolls in I see 150001 waiting to leave on a Basingstoke service, still looks odd to me!
Saw that at Basingstoke too, looks more bizarre there!

I get on with eating the first bit of food since breakfast whilst here, a Ginsters sausage roll. The leap to Radley was also dud on 165118, and although the fester here was less than 10 minutes it was super dull. 165109 carried me onwards to Appleford, where a 43 minute wait was in order. I don't think I need to comment on the status of 165109 and whether I needed it or not...At least next time I do one of these rangers I should be able to focus much more on mileage, although I still want to get Heyford and Tackley out of the way. They get an appaling service, to do both of those will require some hours!
More class mileage at least! What's Appleford like for a fester? Culham and Appleford will be a pain for me, from what I remember, it's not easy to do as they have alternate calling patterns, unless its silly O'clock AM/PM.

Heyford/Tackley I assume are worst, not that many Banbury Turbos now are there?

165133 was on the 1732 Oxford to Great Malvern, which was a winner. Yes, I didn't type dud, I actually got a winner on the last train which would produce such! FINALLY! We leave 5 down due to our late arrival which caused the following HST to arrive late, which terminated and left for the sidings late. Good thing there's plenty of time for my next plan. I choose Combe due to its relative proximity to Hanborough for my choice of little station to do off the only northbound all-stations train of the day. I planned for a 20 minute easy walk, boy was I wrong! 27 minutes, in the rain and quite some effort required to ensure I got to Hanborough in time.
Is there many /1s to go then? Is nice to get a number you need when you end up with dud numbers. Same for me with 221s, the ones I need never seem to turn up, but when they do, I'm over the moon! Never got excited about sticky digits before :lol:

Combe is an odd shack, in that you need a bike or a lift there, no chance of parking a 4x4 there without blocking the road! +7 minutes wasn't too bad I guess, better than my over-estimate Arriva timings from Melksham to Chippenham! Shame about the rain you had though!

When I got close I finally saw a sign pointing out the station and seeing it, I heard myself remark "I say, I say, that be a good sign!".
:roll: :lol:

YES! Victory, I have cleared it for the magical thou, all by FOUR chains! Couldn't have been much closer! I think that's just the fifth HST power car I've cleared now.
Wow, flamin heck, very close!!

Total mileage: 276 miles and 14 chains
Highest mileage on one train: 78 miles and 29 chains on 43025 and 43053
Lowest mileage on one train: 2 miles and 18 chains on 165118
Best bit: Clearing 43025 for the magical thou!
Worst bit: The fester at Kingham, tied with the incredibly long line of dud 'uns
Bargain of the day: The coffee move at each of the Wetherspoon, decent size cup for £1.49 and pretty decent stuff.
Rip-off of the day: That lousy ham and cheese slice from Pumpkin Oxford.
Not bad miles for a local trip too, liking the new additions to the stats!
Want to do the TV again at some point, last time was in that FGWL (or was it TT then) turbo that we did from Hereford - Padd :shock:

Might get a return to Hereford and do a circular trip, since I believe it's valid via Oxford too.
 

Techniquest

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What is Foursquare anyhow :?
FourSquare works like the Check In thing on Facebook does, it basically logs where you've been and how many times. I must admit I've got bored of it now though and it's inability to find where I am most of the time!

Last GWR mainline station to tick off, Tilehurst..one day I'll get it! As for time, doesn't it seem like the clock is on x4 speed, especially like when we were in London!
Not particularly exciting it wasn't there, but better than Culham and Radley were. Appleford I expected to be uber dull, but surprisingly the time went by faster there than anywhere else. Helped that I had a fair bit of my trip report to write up mind! In London the time flew by for sure, but on your own it's not the same. Worth noting that Culham and Appleford do get easier to do on a weekday at least in the late afternoon, 1655 and 1725 off Didcot both call at all shacks to Oxford. Heyford and Tackley, they really are crap to do without some long festers!

Sounds like it was the day 56302 was on the Acton (?) to Canton turn, great video on YT of it hammering through West Ealing!
Shall have to have a look later, at least I know which one it was now.

Is there many /1s to go then? Is nice to get a number you need when you end up with dud numbers. Same for me with 221s, the ones I need never seem to turn up, but when they do, I'm over the moon! Never got excited about sticky digits before :lol:
Getting there, but still need a lot more than I thought. Next time I'll be able to do the fast runs and that, with less focus on shacks required, so easier to get the winners in. Know the feeling with the Voyagers, the amount of time I've spent festering for those things...!

Not bad miles for a local trip too, liking the new additions to the stats!
Want to do the TV again at some point, last time was in that FGWL (or was it TT then) turbo that we did from Hereford - Padd :shock:

Might get a return to Hereford and do a circular trip, since I believe it's valid via Oxford too.
For a local bash with a lot of time spent festering at places like Culham and Appleford, then yeah it was good. Could easily have hit more like 350 if I was just doing mileage. I need to do more on the Thames Valley myself, too much time spent on LM in recent months! A very long time since that Turbo bash, can't quite be sure if it was just before the end of TT but vaguely remember it being a NSE liveried 165 from Hereford to Oxford, where we decided we had a better chance of an HST from Reading so did the rail replacement coach to there for another Turbo on a non-stop run to Paddington. Which could well have been in FGWL livery, not sure!

A Trowbridge to Hereford fare is valid via Oxford, correct. I would check with the geniuses via PM or a thread in the Fares section of the forum mind, just in case it's changed.



 
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