Techniquest's Sticky Digits Chasing (Trip Reports)

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by Techniquest, 5 Jun 2014.

  1. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    Shame you missed out on the loco hauled (guess there is no "turn up and go" on that line with seats having to be reserved before boarding), but good to see you out and about on the rails in Spain :)
     
  2. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    Not quite fully TU&G but a TVM will happily give you a reservation for trains leaving very soon so ideally if you know what service you want to get and you can physically get to the platform that then there's nothing stopping you rocking up to a station 5 minutes prior.
     
  3. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Before I post Day 4's trip report, I should mention I tried to post photos to this trip report, but it seems the magical code to make them show up on Flickr can't be done through the app. I can copy URLs but that's about it.

    10/01/2018 - Tech's World Frenzy 2018, Day 4

    First of all, hope you've all enjoyed the read so far! Today started off nice and easy then it was time for a monster breakfast again. Why not, it's been paid for after all, and it doubles up as breakfast and lunch, and as I spread out the food intake over an hour it wasn't too taxing on the stomach!

    After which it was deciding how to spend the day. I had two full days of my holiday left to do stuff in, but no idea what! I noted there's modernisation works on Line 9, Benidorm to Denia, but it wasn't clear if trams went all the way through or not. Benidorm I was informed is rife for mugging/robbing, so unsurprisingly I no longer fancied going there! I was looking around for ages for a plan, then discovered Murcia. A look for trains revealed nothing after 0916 from Alicante until the evening, so that plan went out of the window! I ended up in the gym for a 20 minute heavy session on the bike, and I have to admit to being proud to hit 5.5 miles on some serious levels in that time, especially for my size and fitness levels!

    After which, it was a lengthy cool-down break in the room, when this day's trip report got dealt with. I was still without a plan even at half 10! Eventually I left the room and headed to the tram station at La Isleta, and having got confused as to the destination on line L4 I missed a winner but never mind, it was good weather for a fester. A change of plan occured when winner tram 4107 turned up heading into town, which I took to Marq-Castillo for a short fester on the semi-underground station for a tram along the green line, L2, to Sant Vicent del Raspeig. This produced winner tram 4241 and I stood almost all the way on the 31 minute journey.

    The journey wasn't without incident though, as at the Hospital stop a couple of passengers who had already needed help buying a ticket pulled the emergency alarm. The FGV guy had now had enough and booted the woman and daughter off the tram. I let 4241 go back to Luceros while I had a very brief look around, nothing of interest but the line does pass through a fair chunk of northern Alicante, in places some of the distant mountainous scenery can be viewed and it's not a bad run.

    Double winners 4238+4239 produced on the next tram to Luceros, and this time I had a seat all the way back to Marq-Castillo. It must be said that Metropolitan Zone single for €1,45 was good value and covers quite a significant area, and that fare would cover me all the way to Playa San Juan too, so this was certainly a cheap day out! The plan now was to visit the long San Juan beach, after all the weather had returned to being nice after a miserable looking morning. My first on-board check occured after the Hospital stop on the way to town, I'm surprised how few checks have been made on my journeys, and it took until the following stop for the PIS to be changed to show the correct time and destination!

    A quick cross-platform change on the island platform at Marq-Castillo got me onto dud from earlier 4241 on line 4 to Plaza La Coruna. Nice run this was too, and eventually I found somewhere open for a cold beverage and importantly a PNB. 100 Montaditos was found by the beach and I got a Cruzcampo Radler for €1,50. Not bad stuff to be fair, very lemon-y but in the sun it went down beautifully! The next beer tasted like a cross between red wine and beer, but for €1,50 it too tasted good.

    After a long walk down the beach and soaking up the sun, I walked over to the tram stop at Av. Benidorm and joined dud from earlier 4239+4238 back to La Isleta via the rest of the loop on line L4. I had considered going elsewhere, but the need for a PNB and to use WiFi to check in my drinks felt much more important, as did refilling my bottles with some water! After looking some stuff up, including places that do proper beer, I then had a 20 minute session in the gym before heading back out. As you do, all helps burn the beer off I suppose!

    Winner tram 4104 took me into town on the umpteenth €1,45 fare I've bought this week, if I had realised how much I'd use the trams when I arrived I'd have bought one of those 10 journey tickets for €8,70 which would have saved me a few Euro! The pub I was going to, Beershooter, didn't reopen until 6pm so I took 4104 to Luceros for a walk around town, getting food in before beer of course. I have now got both platforms at Luceros which was a nice bonus!

    Carrefour was visited again for some more beers to enjoy during my holiday. One of which was low alcohol, but all really cheap and I only spent €2,85 on 7 330ml cans, bargain! Finding food for reasonable prices was hard going, but eventually I settled on a place called Sala for a very generous slice of deep pan pizza, €2,50 and because I'm no longer used to such thick pizza it took some doing to eat it. However the stomach was very pleased to receive food!

    I still had a good while until Beershooter was due to open, and as the sun set on Alicante I had a sit on Playa del Postiguet beach and simply chilled out for a while. It was about a 12 minute walk from the beach, but as it turned out it was worth it. OK it cost me €9,80 for 3 330ml bottles of Alicante-based bottles of beers to drink in, but they were worth it. The variety of beer was incredible, stuff from all over the world and I could have spent so much longer and so much more money than I did! Turned out he had charged me accidentally for 4 beers not 3, so I had a bottle of the best one I tried to take home with me. Suits me!

    Back on the trams, after just under an hour in Beershooter, I joined winner tram 4103 back to La Isleta, and I was trying to figure out how I'd find the energy for the evening session in the gym I had promised myself. Even a 15 minute session would do! In the end, after a catch-up on WiFi and a rest, I managed a 10 mile bike ride along some decent gradients over a 35 minute session in the gym! It also occured to me there had been quite a bit of beer had in 4 days, something which needs changing next week, the "What Happens In Spain..." rule ceases to apply after tomorrow...
     
  4. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Glad you are having a good time. Hope you are enjoying the workouts, something I should do more of as I get older, try not to put too much pressure on yourself on your hols though. At the end of the day though if it makes you happy go for it. Have you tried the Tapas yet?
     
  5. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    The Radler would have tasted lemony, because Radler is shandy...
     
  6. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    11/01/2018 - Tech's World Frenzy 2018, Day 5

    The last full day in Spain, and even as I typed this after feeding my starved stomach I hadn't decided what I wanted to do! The plan was basically to head into town, go to the mainline station and decide once and for all if I fancied a trip to Murcia. Cartagena was also on the list of options, but despite being warned people in Murcia aren't amazing I still wanted to see it for myself! After a smaller breakfast than has been the norm in Alicante, I made my way to La Isleta and joined winner tram 4101 to Luceros, only a few of these tram-trains used on Benidorm services I've not had!

    A look for a TVM which took cash proved fruitless, so out came the card again. €15,20 for a return to Murcia del Carmen bought, and I joined winner 599-058 for a 1 hour and 27 minutes journey. I tried to book to Cartagena, but it seemingly couldn't allocate a space on the connecting train off this one, and I couldn't book the lunch time train back so settled with an early evening departure. What would I do with 7 hours in Murcia? That remained to be found out!

    I was wishing I had my European atlas with me, as it would have been easier to keep track of these journeys! Sant Gabriel and we reversed to continue west. I've also revised my opinion on the 599s, they're similar in noise and vibrating panels to Voyagers! Must have been lucky with 599-030 as it wasn't this bad on that one! I believe I am on a 599 back to Alicante later too, as it's a Renfe Media Distancia service again. Boo! This line is all single track with loops at a few of the stations. The line through Eix is mostly underground, and just before Albatera-Catral a new high speed line, from Madrid to Levante according to a sign, under construction was noted. That's one thing Spain does well, high speed lines, and I'm gutted I won't get to try them out.

    It was just outside the same station a 334-hauled train went past me, the closest thing to a 67 Spain offers but with more noise. Gutted I haven't been able to sample one of them is not the word! Orihuela is also mostly underground, and I was surprised how mountainous the scenery on this part of the line is. It has been asked if I have tried tapas, and I was given some in Valencia but it looked unappealing so I left it. So the answer is yes and no to the question of trying it!

    Arrival at Murcia del Carmen was at 1045, 2 minutes late, and I was glad to be alighting from Renfe's answer to the UK's Voyagers. At least the lavatories on the 599s don't smell! It took me 25 minutes to find Plaza Circular, the nearest tram stop to the mainline station, and €1,40 got me a Zone 2 single to the eastern end of the green tram line, Line 1, at Nueva Condomina on winner tram 152. There's a big shopping centre there, and after a wander around and a PNB I stopped off at Lizarran for a large glass of Mahou Sin for €1,90 and sat outside in the sun. Very good value that was and a most enjoyable break, although even then I still had 5 hours to kill before my train back to Alicante! I found a supermarket at the back of the shopping centre and sourced a 1.5 litre bottle of water for just €0,25 which is amazing value. Some Spanish chocolate sourced too as something to take home for my brother, this would have to do!

    Winner tram 152 took me on a mileage move next, after the hour in Neuva Condomina, this time exploring the other side of the city and bailing at Centro Social. 10 minutes later, I joined winner tram 164 around the rest of the loop to Los Rectores-Terra Natura, with a 16 minute wait for the next train on line L. Winner tram 151 took me to UCAM - Los Jeronimos, and there was nothing worth waiting for it to come back for, so I immediately re-joined 151 to head back to Los Rectores - Terra Natura. That's all the tram lines covered now, and along with a nasty breeze the sky was becoming very grey and the rain began before I got off the tram! Just getting me ready for the UK again...At this point, it was a little over 3 hours to fill, but I have had a thorough explore and won't have to do that again. I do like these trams mind, similar to the new lot in Nottingham.

    My final tram in Murcia fell to winner tram 161 to Plaza Circular, the wait for which I had had to get my winter hat out for, a sudden change from the nice weather I've been enjoying! I then spent around an hour walking around more of the city I didn't see earlier, to be fair the cathedral was quite impressive. More rain threatened to soak me through but thankfully stopped shortly afterwards, and a visit to Carrefour Express got me some budget ham, bread and a big bag of crisps for my evening meal.

    I made it back to the station for the 1600 to Alicante, however I could not travel on it. A shame as the 592s sound insanely hellfire, the best UK comparison I could make was a cross between a 150 and 185, also a close comparison to Ireland's 29000 Class. With 95 minutes to fill, I found a waiting room and cracked open one of the beers from Day 4's supply raid. Despite being warm it was incredibly nice and well earnt after all the exploring. I finished reading that Jeffrey Archer book I started on Day 1, and two small beers later it was almost 1700. By now it had been 8.5 hours since breakfast so definitely time for tea. Those first two sandwiches went down a right treat!

    Soon enough it was time to board the 1735 to Valencia, formed of 599-058, dud from the trip to Murcia. Not before seeing Renfe's version of the UK Class 153, single car 596-017! Two more sandwiches had after finally leaving 8 down and I even had the same seat as on the westbound journey! This train called at a few less stations which was most welcome, and by Albatera-Catral I had opened my next beer, Estrella De Levante. Not a bad one but would no doubt be better if chilled, not a luxury I had today. Sadly the can of Voll-Damm was not great, all I could taste was the alcohol and not any actual flavour. Never mind, I won't have it again for sure!

    You're probably all wondering where I'm going next. I can't answer that one myself, as I have no holiday time booked whatsoever for the rest of 2018 yet. Once a trip is booked, then details will be revealed. It might not be within Europe...

    After the reversal at Sant Gabriel, I arrived back at Alicante at 1857, 14 minutes late. Double winning trams 4210+4244 took me on a leap to Marq-Castillo before winner tram 4102 took me to La Isleta for the last time. Back to the room for a catch-up on WiFi before much else, packing would be completed in the morning. A 30 minute session at an average of 22.5km/h was had on the bike in the gym, and I'm impressed with myself for managing 11.7km (7 and a bit miles) in that time!

    Tomorrow is just the morning in Alicante before heading to the airport!
     
  7. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Very nice. I’ve never been to somewhere like that in winter but imagine it’s quite peaceful.
    Good to hear that you’re getting fresh air and exercise out there (not that looked unhealthy when I met you).
    Thanks for the write up Tech.
     
  8. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Great read Tech, glad it sounds like you a good time. Am sure you will make it to Spain again and bag some loco hauled stuff. Sorry you didn't fancy the Tapas, what ones were you offered? From my experience you normally get offered a selection and can order a small plate of each, however many plates of whatever as you want.
     
  9. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    To be honest she didn't speak English so I had no idea!

    12/01/2018 - Tech's World Frenzy, Day 6

    This morning was no different to the other days in Spain, except that I was flying home in the afternoon! Breakfast was had, of course, but there were no baked beans today, just as well really! A short session in the gym, just on weights this time then it was time to check-out. My last walk to La Isleta also done, and it was down to dud tram 4103 to take me to Luceros, then to the bus on route C6 from the mainline station to the airport.

    I had a fair bit of time until I had to leave for the airport, but walking around town with a bag and case wouldn't have been much fun! I just missed an Airport bus so took advantage of the station facilities in the meantime before soaking up a bit more sun. TAM's 579 took me on a 18 minute journey, full and standing, to Alicante Airport. These are Merecedes Citaro buses, which make a brilliant noise.

    Bag drop and security was cleared in about 13 minutes, and a wander around the airport filled not much time. I did have free WiFi thankfully, obviously I took advantage of that to play my Favourite Flying Tunes playlist as well as do a little planespotting. A Lavazza americano for €2,04 was sourced and took forever to cool down, even after that I had about an hour to fill before boarding commenced! Much walking around and resisting the likes of Burger King occured, as I was adament the €20 note I had was coming home with me, ready for the next trip!

    The gate was announced at 1316 and it was off to B27 for Jet2's LS1216 1410 Alicante to Birmingham. Boarding started at 1340, queuing down the airbridge of course. Doors closed at 1407, pushback on time at 1410 and I was up in the air at 1419 on board winner G-JZHL, the identify of I had to ask the cabin crew for. She was happy to help though! It had taken forever to get everyone on, not helped by people putting small bags and jackets in the overhead lockers, not a good thing on a 737-800 with only 1 empty seat!

    My notebook finally got updated with all the Spanish action, which took a while. I know it's Starbucks, but I felt the need for a coffee and a Twirl. At least I could pay in sterling AND by card which was welcome. By 1434, and now I was back to using GMT+0, I still had my moves book update to do, but it was a little rough today so I decided to put the books away. It did get better later on, but I got busy talking to a fellow enthusiast.

    Descent for landing began at 1539, landing at 1603, with arrival at the terminal at 1607, 3 up. Case collected at 1638 and it was into town, as I had word some Chiltern stuff I need was out...After sourcing my Daytripper, I joined 390123 to New Street, following a 350 that had left only a couple of minutes before us. Only thing is, I cleared all the Standard Class coaches on it on Day 1 of this trip! Even so, it was off to base camp, easyHotel Birmingham again, to quickly drop stuff off then get to Moor Street and onwards to meet Kite. That was done nice and quick, room 306 this time and apparently my complaint from Sunday was taken notice of. I was offered complimentary TV but I declined as I wasn't going to use it. Back out I went, stopping at Subway for a spicy salami and cheese 6 inch sub for £1.99, a special promo at the moment. The girl there revived my faith in Subway, as my local one is rubbish. I even got a voucher booklet which may come in handy!

    168003 was taken to Dorridge to meet Kite, and I had YouTube on nearly all the way to drown out the droning. I joined Kite on his move, which was triple duds 168327+168322+168328, and we took them to Solihull so he could get his Daytripper. With that swiftly done, we went back upstairs to join 172337 for a time-killing move to Small Heath. A 7 minute fester put us onto 172334 back to Dorridge, and about 12 minutes later we joined dud 168329, winner 168326 and dud 168004 to Birmingham Snow Hill. 3 more 168/3s to go!

    Kite needed food, so we popped into Tesco Express before returning for a move to Solihull on 172339+172213. This was slightly special as it gave me my first proper look at the new livery for West Midlands Railway. Another short-ish fester got us onto the highlight of the evening to Birmingham Snow Hill, winner 172101, dud 172103 and dud 168005. 172101 was special as it finally cleared the class, the Air Horns of Victory were finally sounded!

    Obviously a photo was needed, and I still say it came out beautifully. We then walked to New Street as we fancied seeing what did the 2059 to Hereford. If I hadn't pre-booked my hotel months ago I would have been on it all the way home! 153356+170512 got a mileage top-up on a leap to University, and eventually 323241+323205 turned up to take us back to New Street, with me Super Dudding 323205 at last.

    Over to Moor Street we went, just in case the next Snow Hill produced anything required. Sadly not, so we walked to easyHotel as we were both booked there. Once in, I checked off the evening's scores as well as the planes I saw in Birmingham, then caught up on Twitter and finished off the trip report. An 0515 alarm was set as I had plans for the morning...
     
  10. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Congrats mate. Another great read.
     
  11. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    I’ve enjoyed it too. Thanks Tech.
     
  12. 507021

    507021 Established Member

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    Great to see you on your travels again, mate.

    My partner (not the one I had when we last met) and I are thinking of travelling abroad this year in either Easter or July/August, although the place that is top of the list doesn't have any railways, which is just my luck! Still, Malta looks lovely and I'm sure we'll have a nice time if we do end up going.
     
  13. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Malta is on my list of places to visit too, it does look nice!

    Glad you've all enjoyed the read and thanks for the positive comments. I'm doing some Midlands moves today before heading home, so the final day of the trip report will be up later!
     
  14. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    13/01/2018 - Tech's World Frenzy 2018, Day 7

    0506 and after not getting to sleep until 2300 last night I was not entirely awake! 0514 and it was time to get ready to go, including a de-rance, and I was checked out 20 minutes later. After purchasing my Daytripper, and the weather reminding me it was January, I joined 350241 for a leap to Wolverhampton, having had to wait a while in the cold for it to be unlocked. There was a reason for being out so damn early...Annoyingly I've lost my earphones somewhere, boo!

    Pumpkin was open here, so a large coffee was well worth £2.38! 323212 was on the 0638 to Walsall, currently this is a PSUL working via Soho North Curve, not normally served by passenger trains, and in use due to the direct route having engineering works on it. Clearly today there wasn't then, as it was a 10 minute journey via the direct route to Walsall, gutted! Silver lining is that when I last did that route it was 170s, so my first electric train on the route. Not much of a consolation prize, granted!

    170504 was taken on an all-shacks to Birmingham New Street next, and I discovered some moves to have some 68 bashing so it's not all lost yet. After a badly needed PNB it was onto my first 68 in many moons, 68010 for a leap to Solihull. Most enjoyable that was! Having not eaten since 1735 yesterday, and at the time of typing it was 0819, I was famished and looking forward to a breakfast move in the near future! Winner for sight 168323 and dud 168106 produced for a leap to Dorridge, so I was very glad Kite told me about this working. 2 more 168s to go to reclear the class!

    Espresso cafe on Dorridge station took cards, so an americano was sourced for £2.25 and it was to the waiting room. Next Snow Hill was dud, so I decided to wait for the Leamington to Moor Street stopper on the off-chance it was a required 165. Good thing I did too, as it was winner 165027 for the ride back to Birmingham, happy days! 172332 was up next, and a check on RTT confirms I can make it to Galton Bridge for a +8 onto the 0910 Kidderminster to Marylebone, so even with my case that is makeable. The reason for aiming for that train was it is booked for a 68 and it would be nice to have a 68 west of Moor Street!

    68014 pushed what was a rather busy train, and I now only need 1 buffet car and 1 Standard MK3 on Chiltern to have had the lot. I took the 68 through to Solihull, and from there I had nothing of interest to look out for, so I needed to make a plan. I chose to go to the town centre for a supply raid, eventually finding Sainsburys. Back at the station, I finally had my bacon sandwich 17 and a bit hours after my last food! I was even being a little healthy by getting a fruit bag with my meal, but less so with a bottle of Pepsi Max.

    There was the 1112 from Snow Hill I wanted to investigate next, after which I decided I would start making my way back to Hereford. It was too cold and, let's be honest, too boring to hang around for several hours to see what 168/3s were booked on the 1755 from Moor Street! Nothing of interest produced, so I was prepared to do the 1154 to Great Malvern and onwards to Hereford. However, 68010 turned up on the 1010 from London an hour ahead of what it's meant to be on, so no complaints from me for the journey back to Moor Street!

    I was going to head home, but after redeeming my full McDonalds coffee card I had a second wind and was determined to go after that working booked for a pair of 168/3s. Whether it would produce anything I wanted or not would be found out...I then joined 390118 to get it closer to Super Dud status, although I then saw an ATW 158 I needed to Super Dud, but that can wait for a Welsh trip. A check on RTT confirmed there was a Manchester-bound Voyager which was booked to use platform 1, which I still need at the eastern end, so I hung around for it. I redeemed my full Pumpkin card for a mocha too, which certainly made me feel better.

    220021, a Super Dud, finally arrived after 43 minutes of waiting for it to take me to Birmingham International. I had an idea for my time here...No I can't be bothered to try and do any plane spotting, and joined 390005 in the new Virgin livery. I have never recorded which coach I did on this one, so that error had to be fixed. It was full and standing which was unwelcome, but the alternative was freeze up in the viewing area! And yes, platform 1 did get done from the east, all available passenger moves at International now done. It was a very slow journey on the 390, and after 19 minutes crawling all the way it was into platform 3. Yes I am definitely staying on to Wolverhampton then to score the crossover back to the Down Main, required microgrice!

    Still a slow journey to Wolverhampton, where I finally arrived at 1439. I left International at 1356! I noted my former enemy 390 waiting to go, so I rushed over to get it back to Birmingham. Once there, it was time to do a supply raid ahead of the evening moves, as I had time to spare. Or at least that was the plan, I ended up popping into Brewdog for a quick half yo celebrate an epic week. A shame I didn't check the beer as I had Strawberry Blitz in Cardiff!

    Over to Moor Street I went after slowly enjoying the sour beer, and after a leap up the hill on 172337, the 1612 Snow Hill to London produced 168002, now a Super Dud, for the leap to Solihull. Would I score a 168 I needed after the +21? No, 168113 on the 1510 from London today. Maybe the 168/3s are being kept in London due to an event at Wembley, this 168 is now a Super Dud and it was time to head home. 168322+168328 on the 1712 from Snow Hill declined for their dudness, a supply raid in Sainsburys for a meal deal became a loaf of wholemeal bread, some slices of ham and my bottle of milk. Saves a job for tonight on the walk home at least! I also popped into Little Waitrose for two winner beers for the journey home.

    172216 produced to take me to Worcester Shrub Hill, where I would have a +19 onto an HST home. Titanic's White Star was the first of the two beers, sadly off-the-shelf warm and for a golden ale I found it too bitter for my taste, but it was worth a shot. A very annoying rattling panel on 172216 had already got on my wick by Smethwick Galton Bridge, this was not going to be a fun journey! Stourbridge Junction and I got started on my healthy tea, I must do this sort of meal again as it's far healthier than the ready made sandwiches. Quite, two sandwiches were less calorific than one of those bacon sandwiches!

    Arrival at Worcester Shrub Hill was at 1834, 1 minute early, and I was soon over the bridge for the HST. 43191+43151 formed the last move of a 7 day trip, and I won't lie to you all, I was looking forward to getting home by now. All that remained was to walk home, and once there it was basically a case of putting the milk in the fridge, getting everything in the room and crashing out. The bookwork, which was essentially the notebook, moves book, Flightdiary and RailMiles updates. A fair bit of work but at least I had the whole day to get it done before returning to reality on Monday!

    Hope you've all enjoyed the read, photos will hopefully get added at some point tomorrow! Until the next time, which will hopefully be next month, take care! Any comments will get replied to as and when possible.
     
  15. noddy1878

    noddy1878 Established Member

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    Great reads! I didn’t notice your sour check in but did I read that right? You enjoyed it? Good on ya! Please do one thing for me though, stop drinking warm beers! :|

    At least you had a few winners during the course of your week. Where’s the next adventure planned for? Also has any of the rail bug bitten back?
     
  16. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Yes and no for the bug, I haven't decided how I feel yet on that one. Mind you I haven't yet had my coffee today, so later on I'll be able to work it out. Especially if I end up going for random little spins, I'll know it's back then!

    Next adventure is unknown although, as is often the case within a few days of returning, I am already looking into it. I really do fancy getting Denmark done, although I'm not going for long as it's expensive. Indeed, I may have that one planned very quickly...
     
  17. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    It was nice to see you again, with a bonus of finally getting those Chiltern 172s cleared :)

    Sounded like a nice trip out to Spain, certainly warmer out there than it was out here
     
  18. barrowjack

    barrowjack Member

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    Enjoyed those reports, sounds like you had a good trip out to Spain!
     
  19. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    19/01/2018 - "If you have a pushchair..."

    Even as I started typing this up, I hadn't decided on a report title! Hopefully by the time I've posted this there will be one there.

    Some of you will already be aware that things have been a bit tough emotionally and physically lately, but thankfully things have now turned around. A new wave of enthusiasm came from somewhere to keep going with the excess mass, and I made a decision the day before this trip that something had to give. I had a day off and I made the decision to bust out the magic plastic, I NEEDED a good day out on the rails!

    Yes, I know you nearly all fell off your seats/beds/other reading locations reading that. It was decided during Tech's World Frenzy earlier in the month that I needed a good trip in somewhere like London to truely test whether my UK rail interest had died. After deciding between London, Manchester and Sheffield, I eventually settled on London having found a surprisingly good deal to go via GWR outward, LNWR/WMT return. Off to the station I went to book those tickets, and yes it would mean only 6 hours in London but it saved me around £25 on doing GWR both ways. That would have allowed a lot more time in London, at least another 2.5 hours, but this would do.

    Unsurprisingly I didn't sleep well during the night, and by 0520 I was up and getting ready. I was grateful for packing and de-rancifying the night before, and by 0603 I was off for a 15 minute fast march to the station. 43124+43094 were on the 0642 to London Paddington, and I got my moves book update done at last, finally finishing it by Worcester Foregate Street. A coffee was naturally sourced after Colwall, and there was complimentary fruit available today so I took advantage with a couple of small oranges. The bacon baguettes were mighty tempting, but I told my stomach to be quiet. I resisted Burger King at Alicante airport recently for 3 hours, I can do this! I got my last GWR HST buffet car for haulage on this trip much to my surprise, as well as a renumbered Standard Class trailer, but I am aware there are some renumberings again coming up!

    Another coffee was sourced after Charlbury, as well as a complimentary apple for later on. By Oxford I was looking forward to getting to London and to the best station in the world, Paddington. Yes, better than Grand Central in New York! Several minutes were lost to being held on the Didcot avoider, which admittedly did score me 800018 for sight. 3 387s in the Reading also scored for sight, and as this service doesn't call at Slough it was time for a flying run! Absolutely stormed through there, which did make me smile and brought back memories of trips in years gone by when it was always the case of storming through. Arrival into Paddington was at 0948, 2 minutes late, and after sourcing a travelcard and a Pret coffee I joined winner 387151 for a leap to Ealing Broadway.

    A few minutes later I joined double winners 387166+387153 on a leap to West Ealing with the intention of seeing what was on the Greenford branch. However I made it in time to join double winners 387158+387159 back to Ealing Broadway so I did that instead! Back over the bridge and I joined double winners 387147+387136 to Hayes & Harlington instead. It took 29 minutes for another winner to appear, but I got double winners 387172+387169 back to Ealing Broadway.

    It was now time to get going on LU, and triple duds 91063+92020+92152 led winner 91205 on a leap to North Acton. A good few minutes passed before triple duds 91103+92462+92078 led 91233 for a leap to East Acton. Hardly any time, and not a bad thing as despite sunshine it was breezy, I joined winner 91293 with triple duds 92234+92200+91261 to White City. Here my luck changed with a White City starter, and I joined winner 91163, dud 92218 and double winners 92220+91269 to Shepherd's Bush. Before I knew it, I was off again on winner 91091, dud 92232 and double winners 92248+91041 to Holland Park! Next up to Notting Hill Gate was 91229+92184, winner 92438 and dud 91109. Onwards to Queensway 2 trains later and double duds 91071+92030, winner 92168 and dud 91005. Double duds 91171+92124 and double winners 92010+91099 took me to Lancaster Gate, and due to a big gap in trains I ended my Central line session with a leap to Bond Street on double duds 91337+92188 and double winners 92454+91081. That cleared the de-icing 924xx sets!

    Off to the Jubilee line next, or as Kite referred to it recently Dr J, and after a handful of trains I was getting bored. Thankfully after 8 minutes of festering I scored winner 96100 and dud 96073 to Finchley Road. 3 more Jubilee sets to go! I festered for quite some time observing S8 sets and Jubilee sets, and eventually a winner turned up in the form of double winners 21057+21058 on a last-minute change from a semi-fast to a fast Amersham train. A fast run to Harrow-on-the-Hill then! A break was needed by now, and originally I planned to get a Chiltern back into town, instead I ended up on double winners 21077+21078 to Rayners Lane. The insoles in the trainers had pretty much given up by now, after a lot of use, so out they came before I ended up on double winners 199+150 to Acton Town. A train from the Heathrow branch was going first, so I jumped out to join what turned out to be dud 171 and winner 144 to Hammersmith.

    There was a long wait for a District line train, and I joined double winners 133+116 to Barons Court instead. A few minutes later, and please note I tried hard to make all these LU moves interesting, I joined winner 230 and dud 161 to Earls Court. I then had a winner S7 arrive, which was frustrating, and I made it my mission to race upstairs and try for that S7. I made it in plenty of time to join double winners 21413+21414 for a leap to Gloucester Road. Following that was my penultimate S7 pair for sight, no way I could turn that down! Double winners 21476+21475 took me to what turned out to be a quick leap to South Kensington, as on the other side of the island platform were double winners 21559+21560 so I ran over and joined them for a leap back to Gloucester Road.

    By now it was 1437 and my train to Birmingham was at 1549. You may think that's fine, plenty of time, but I hadn't eaten since those clementines and it can get busy on what used to be LM 350s, so you have to get there early for a seat! Eventually, after 12 minutes of pacing, double winners 21467+21468 took me to Victoria for a quick change to the Victoria line to Euston, with 11022+11021 in charge of getting me there sharpish. A big bottle of water was sourced from Sainsburys, then a really unhealthy move with a visit to Burger King. I might be on a diet, but nothing appealed in Sainsburys and, to my surprise, I consumed less protein in my BK meal than a ham and cheese sandwich! I wanted my Bacon Double Cheese XL burger, but that was over 550 calories worse off than the regular one, so I went for the better of the two.

    The 1549 was, by 1520, already on the screens and by the time I got there at 1525 there was already a significant amount of people queuing. I devoured my meal and drink during the wait, with the doors finally opened at 1546 and I got myself a table seat on 350123 to my surprise. More shocking was we left on time! 345019 was noted on Wembley behind a 37, and my notebook update was done by Milton Keynes Central. 32 required sights and 42 required haulages, not bad for less than 6 hours! The moves book update was to follow the report update at Northampton, but I didn't have enough room at the table to do so. I still needed a report title...

    I used the fester time at Northampton and the journey until a little after Rugby wisely, and got my RM update done. The moves book could wait for either later or another day, as I had bookwork to do once home anyway. I decided on the trip report title by Canley, not the best one no doubt and it was still subject to change, but it would do! A late running Voyager got pathed in front of us at Birmingham International, so we lost 8 minutes. I would probably still make the 1819 to Worcester but it was looking tight...

    Arrival was finally at 1810, 9 minutes late, and I made it comfortably to the 1819 which was a few minutes late arriving from Hereford and took a while to tip out the very full train. 150109 took me to Worcester Shrub Hill with some welcome racket, or at least that was the hope. Crammed in a middle seat on a 3+2 150 is not fun, and my coach was very quiet for thrash. All that being said, it wasn't a 170 so I can't complain about that!

    So what's this trip title about? I got sick of hearing the announcement on the approach to every stop about how to get off the train with a pushchair on the 350, it was getting as annoying as the announcements about card clash used to be on the Tube! I did have a different title in place but this felt more appropriate! Arrival at Shrub Hill was at 1910, and due to additional stops being put onto the 1722 Paddington to Hereford, following a train cancellation, I now had 35 minutes to play with. I took advantage and charged to Asda, handy for upping the calories burnt total at least, and saved me doing a supply raid when I got back! I was also adament I'd stick within my 1,500 calorie intake as much as possible today, so as much as I wanted nice food I was being strict and got some ham and a roll.

    43093+43097 finally arrived to take me home, no bonus HST trailer scores this time, and I was now looking forward to getting home. All that was left to discuss is the fast-paced march home, I was already dreading the 0630 alarm for a full day of graft! Brilliant day out had, and I felt somewhat more human again after it. Note, by the way, the significant lack of coffee after that one in Paddington, I'm getting better for it! When will be the next trip? Not a clue to be honest, I have nothing lined up. When's the next Tech's World Frenzy? Still awaiting confirmation but it would appear to not be for a good while yet.
     
  20. noddy1878

    noddy1878 Established Member

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    Great to see you back on the rails and you enjoyed it!
     
  21. Dhassell

    Dhassell Member

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    Sounded like a great trip to London! Hope you enjoyed yourself back on the rails!
     
  22. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    A productive day for your red pen in London :)
     
  23. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Looked like good day out Tech. You packed a lot in.
     
  24. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Looks like quite a productive day. Glad you had a good time Tech. Boss read as always.
     
  25. alexf380

    alexf380 Member

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    Good to see you're back on the rails in the UK with a nice wee day out. A few scores as well to add to the mix :)
     
  26. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    02/02/2018 - Tech's Red Pen Alert

    In a loving tribute to Command & Conquer - Red Alert I chose this title. I had an idea to have a look at National Express fares for this day off 3 days prior to the event, thinking it was bound to be too expensive to book. As it turned out, I could have 8 hours in London and ripped out the magic plastic to book the travel for just £24.90, I was off to London! It meant it would be a very long day, but it would be worth it.

    The bag prep and de-rance done the night before, I was up with the alarm at 0330 and got a light breakfast going on. I was ready before my target time, and by 0420 I was at the bus station in some rather cold weather. 0449 and BK15 AKJ, which I believe I've now had 3 times, arrived and I was on the coach. Right time departure at 0505 and with the trip report started I got out my book, Chris Tarrant's Extreme Railway Journeys which I had for Christmas. With the best part of 5 hours on this coach, it was the ideal time to begin reading it!

    After Gloucester our next stop was Heathrow Central Bus Station, and I thoroughly enjoyed the chapters on Canada and Australia in that book. Also, those works by Gloucester Bus Station are STILL ongoing! It was now time for Tech's Mobile Disco for a while, as I was already wanting more coffee and I'd had two in 90 minutes this morning. I was so bored on my coach, especially through so many miles of roadworks, and after 2 hours of cheesy tunes and thumping tracks, I arrived at Heathrow Central Bus Station. 3 hours and 16 minutes that took, and I have to take the coach home yet too. Oh this will not be fun...

    After a PNB I walked over to the Heathrow Express platforms, I joined dud 332013 and winner 332002 to Terminal 5. Upstairs I eventually got and a coffee was sourced from Nero. Black and no sugar, as per the current health plan, and after noting BA's G-EUYP, I eventually found my walking route down to the platform and joined winner 332012 to Terminal 2. A quick walk over to the other platform got me onto winner 332011 to Terminal 4, 7 332s to go. The long walk to the Piccadilly line station followed, and after buying my travelcard I eventually got through the barriers and onto double winners 157+196 for the long ride into town. Needed both of these for sight too so that was a nice surprise!

    Acton Town eventually arrived, and I rejected a number of duds before double winners 130+225 turned up. These were taken to Hammersmith, and I decided a break and change of line was needed. Over the road then to the Hammersmith & City line, where I was soon onto double winners 21371+21372 to Paddington. An early lunch was going to be had here, but I changed tactics and joined dud 387135 and winner 387154 to Ealing Broadway. I had seen another winner out, but after rejecting some Central line sets I ended up on different 387s, as double winners 387170+387144 rolled in from the west. Back to Paddington then, spotting 800101 on North Pole.

    It was then back to the Hammersmith & City line, falling straight onto double winners 21377+21378 for a leap to Royal Oak. I ended up staying here on the island platform for a winner, which after nearly an hour didn't produce but I did get lots of photos. They included 800302 on test! I got cold so jumped on double duds 21488+21487 to Baker Street, the idea being to try my luck with S8s instead. That didn't last long before I got fed up of duds and a coffee was sorely needed, so at Kings Cross St Pancras I bailed from double duds 21077+21078 for a Pret coffee and another break.

    Nothing of interest on GN, so I went to St Pancras' Thameslink platforms and immediately landed winner 700029. This was taken to Farringdon, and while waiting for the next one to arrive I did some S stock hunting. The S8s I missed earlier were back, so off to Finchley Road I went on double winners 21037+21038. Yes, you've guessed it, I wanted to try and find my last 3 Jubilee line sets! About 10 minutes after arriving, I jumped on double winners 21010+21009 to Wembley Park, having seen no sign of the 96ers I wanted.

    After 45 minutes here, if not a little more or less, I scored my final S8s for sight! Double winners 21045+21046 were taken to Baker Street, as I was freezing at Wembley Park. Off to the Bakerloo and missed one thankfully dud pair. The next one was better though, dud 3265 and winner 3443! 8 more Bakerloo sets to go now...Waterloo was my next port of call, and after being fussy with my choice of food outlets I ended up in Sainsburys for a bacon sandwich meal deal.

    With that done, I found what turned out to be double winners 450557+450007 for a leap to Clapham Junction. I was now on SWR metals and hunting winners, which I ended up getting with double winners 707002+707025 for a Putney leap. Coming back and this time through to Waterloo, as Kite had arrived, was dud 458505 and winner 458509. To my surprise, and Kite's lookup, we arrived into platform 22 in the former Waterloo International part of the station!

    We were going to do a pair of 458s to Clapham to meet up with a 707 I'd seen that Kite needed, but our next move was 707s so we went for that. Double winners 707018+707026 took us to Clapham Junction and we had only a short wait for winner 707020 back to Vauxhall. After a quick break, it was onto dud 707006 and winner 707023 to Queenstown Road, as due to a short delay we'd have not made our next one at Clapham. 707019 and 707015 were double winners for the leap back up the road to Vauxhall. Winner 450030 and dud 450544 were taken to Clapham Junction, where a surprise winner 456001 was rushed over for. It had double duds 455914+455710 for company as we leapt to Putney.

    Not long later, we had another surprise score, with winners 456006+455722 and dud 455742 to Clapham Junction. We were running very low on time now, but we ended up waiting for one last chance to score. Much to our pleasant surprise, double winners 707017+707005 took us to Vauxhall. Kite now only needs the last 4 to be delivered to re-clear SWR! A quick supply raid at Sainsburys and it was a march to the Victoria line. That 2 minute wait for 11078+11077 was a killer, bearing in mind it was then 1802 and my coach was leaving at 1830...

    I got out of there as fast as I could, rushing my farewell to Kite as I fought through the crowds. Much to my surprise, I made it with a few minutes to spare! Winner coach BV67 JYG was on the 1830 route 445 to Hereford, and we left a few minutes late but once we got through the busy streets we were fine. I got a crazy idea on the way home too, details to be announced but they may not be. I might have thrown £16.99 away yet, but if I go through with the plan I'll spend far more than that. Should have checked these things better, and not relied on impulse...

    I was stiff all over before we came off the M4, and by Gloucester I was re-evaluating how I make life decisions. We finally left there and I started preparations for Hereford. Bookwork was also started in the form of updating my LU book, but quite frankly the rest of it can wait. At this point, 2155, all I cared about was getting home, nothing else and almost no-one else mattered! I did have to add the 'almost' there when a couple of certain people came to mind.

    Arrival back at The Ford was at 2240 and I summoned up all the energy from deep inside to march me home. I did conquer Day 6 of my 7 day 100% Sober Spree though, so I was very pleased about that. Just one more day to go, and Sunday's weigh-in was being looked forward to after a much better week than expected. Long gone are the days I'd have an XL meal from Burger King on a London bash! I know it sounds insane but I was looking forward to going back to work for a rest!
     
  27. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    West of Andover
    It was nice to meet up with you again, plus to make a big dent into your 707s plus other SWR units.

    I take it you did the Acton dive under on the way back into Paddington on that 387? :)
     
  28. noddy1878

    noddy1878 Established Member

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    Your day was pretty productive there. I know you were disappointed but you still made a dent!
     
  29. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Aye a dent is better than nothing!

    Kite, no I was expecting to do the Acton dive-under but it didn't happen
     
  30. cockneyviking

    cockneyviking Member

    Messages:
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    Sorry to say but the Acton Dive Under has been closed for well over a week and looking like it will be closed for some time as it is caving in
     

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