Techniquest's WMDR, 22/02/2012

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Techniquest

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Hi all,

Time again for a trip report from me, been a while since the last one as I couldn't be bothered typing up the one from The Angel of Bedlam. So here we go:

22nd February 2012 - West Midlands Day Ranger

Ahh, I predict a nice relaxing day of bashing therapy! Was glad to be up and about today, need this day off like no tomorrow! The usual beans on toast and coffee for breakfast was followed before the usual stallion on the 0720 to Hereford, VA51 SAR. Arrival there is eventual at 0836, 14 down, and I get my WMDR for today's hectic plans, of which there were loads! Morrisons across the road is visited for a coffee move, alas the permanent marker I wanted for something to do with work couldn't be sourced. 170513 is on the 0940 to New Street, which a quick look on RailMiles showed it was on under 200 miles so a nice bit of a boost for that one. The Metro is dealt with, and the recurring headaches of the week is too. Getting sick of these...Time for some weather gen then, which is dull and a bit wet.

I considered alighting for the 150 on its booked diagram, but there's just too much to try and squeeze into the limited time available today. Adderley Park WILL be done today, I'm fed up of that gap and always saying "I'll do it next time" when I'm on a trip up t'Midlands. 150105 is noted on the diagram shortly before Droitwich Spa, required. Something else to try and red pen today out of the seemingly hundreds of available options! 172212+219 are noted at Droitwich Spa, both required for sight leaving just 172222 to get from the LM fleet for sight! As we pass Barnt Green, my current two favourite songs start playing on the MP3 player. They are Jessie J's Domino and Pixie Lott's Kiss The Stars. Got hooked on these last week and they had to be got! Still not worked out how you take down a domino mind, but dang ain't it catchy! <D

We arrive at New Street at 1108, 5 up into the usual p9b and I ponder the best move to do next. After some wondering about, I note the 1113 to Euston hasn't left yet, and as it calls at Stechford then I believe there's an option to get Adderley Park in nice and quick. The red pen is wielded for the first time today as 350121 is on it and we left 5 down. At Stetchford I hear an announcement telling us the earlier signalling problems at New Street had been fixed, first I heard of them! 323211 provides a yearly winner on the leap to Adderley Park, where 390039, 350129 and 158841+835 are filmed passing by. 323211 returns to take me onto Birmingham International's p3, meaning I've finally got that crossover in. Subway upstairs is visited for lunch, today formed of a turkey breast, ham, cheese and BBQ sauce 6" sub for £2.29. As I've never done a 158 between International and New Street, it had to be done especially as it was out of p1 which was another required micro-grice. Still need the eastern half of it and three crossovers at International, but every little helps! 158841+158835 take me onwards and I decide to bail at New Street, still unable to get on one of ATW's refurbished 158s. How much longer until that lot are finished?!

My nose was glad to be off the smelly 158s, and I see the next Liverpool is 350248, winner, but not due out until 1301. Strange, swear that's wrong. I popped outside and ended up determining a need for coffee. Coffee Lounge across the road was visited, which means that I've now got ANOTHER loyalty card for my wallet but the coffee is actually not bad. It's great because you get 20% off with a valid rail ticket, so my medium coffee, about the same size cup as Pumpkin's large cup, was £1.84 and the same price as Pumpkin when including Bite card discount but cheaper than Upper Class. A good way to attract extra business that discount for an independant chain, a lesson that surely could apply to businesses across the country. Back over the road at New Street, I see that 350 is on the 1236 to Liverpool, thought it was that time so I wonder how I didn't see it on the screen before. On I get for the red pen move and it's time to decide where to bail. Penkridge is a required shack, and as it turned out the plus was quite sociable at +10 or more.

I settled with a risky +3 at Crewe because I wanted to see what was on Basford Hall (as it turned out, no winners for me). Doubts are severe on that plus, since we were 1 down off New Street and had sat outside Wolverhampton for what felt like forever. My doubts were right, as even after bombing it along we arrived at 1332 and left me with no more than 30 seconds to get across the station. Fine in theory, but when guards shut doors so many seconds before departure, that's concerning. Sure enough, she had shut the local door just a couple of seconds before I got there. Curses! I went off in a huff, returning to just see a 325 leaving but couldn't ID it. Dang, so annoyed! I sat down to write this trip report up a bit more, but then 350252 rolled in from Liverpool and after a short amount of time thinking about it decided the red pen move to Stafford was a better move. Turned out I was right, as I saw 325004 and 390055 for all-time sights and even got 31190 on the camera on a random light engine move. So glad I missed the 1333 off Crewe! Stone, however, will be got today...

220034 is charged with taking me to Stoke-on-Trent for what turned out was a man of steel +/- 0! Fortunately, we're not held up and after a brief opportunity to charge my phone and update my RailMiles account a bit I bail at 1454. Fortunately the 350 is slightly late, although I still needed to bomb it along the subway! 350114 produces a welcome winner on the short leap to Stone, a winner shack. The return move to Stoke-on-Trent is delayed, so the plus was easier than I thought, and 350120 produces another winner! At Stoke-on-Trent (or Snog-on-Sofa, if anyone remembers that Virgin advert!) there's nothing south until 1544, grr. Luckily I noticed the 1534 to Crewe, a most welcome opportunity for a red pen move. 153311 turns up on the 1533 to Derby, flip it's been many a year since I first got that in the book! 153326 is on the Crewe, been a very long time since I first got that one with ATW when it came over from Anglia, on the Heart of Wales too. As we arrive into Crewe, I note a Grand Central HST on the LNWR depot. Rather the wrong part of the world for one of those! The NMT is also present, and I heard myself remark out lot "two HSTs in Crewe, what's going on?", what with them hardly being too common up there now.

One of my last 221s, 221108, was seen leading a pair of them out of Crewe to London. One day...350101 is a dud 'un on my next move to Stafford, but not before 43467+43465 headed north with 467 smoking away heavily and 465 doing nothing. Shame I didn't have my camcorder ready! Noting 92026 on Basford Hall, I should have got it out ready, but no. Neither did I for the NMT a bit later! 350123 takes me onwards on the leap to Penkridge for shack scratch number 3 today, and nothing interesting whatsoever nearby. With miserable weather, I was glad that 350130 showed up pretty much on time to take me back to Stafford. Nowt of interest to note here, and 350102 takes me back to New Street. I'll be glad to arrive as I'm rather hungry now! Everything's been dud since 350120, not good for the red pen! We arrive bang on time at 1817, and I'm RA past the crowds to Burger King for a large version of my usual meal. Couldn't be bothered carting around the stupidly huge cup, otherwise it would have been the largest meal as normal.

I considered seeing what was going on on the Snow Hill lines, but I settled with staying at New Street and getting onto winner 390037 on the 1830 to Euston. Makes a change for me to be on a train to Euston that isn't a 350! I was going to charge my phone, but I forgot that airline seats don't have the sockets, no wonder the tables had all gone! They managed to do it on the Voyagers, so this makes no sense! Off to International and I'm treated to another winner, 350119, on the return to New Street. Only 7 winners today, not even close to the amount I was after this morning. After the HST to Leeds finally gets out of the way, 153366 and 170502 roll in from Hereford to work the 1919 to the western extremity of London Midland's empire. The 153 is ripped off at Worcester Shrub Hill as usual, neither winners but needed the 153 for the year. We arrive into Hereford at 2053, 9 up, which seemed crazily early. Y876 PWT takes me home which was welcome for a top-up mileage move. So then, the day's review: Pretty good, not perfect but an enjoyable day out with progress in both my NREA and Baker. Should be a good bit of mileage too, well over 1,800 going by a quick look on RailMiles before I arrived home. Been nice to get it updated throughout the day, by cripes ain't my battery suffering though! Score for the day is 8/10. Finally then, stats:

Total mileage: 333 miles and 71 chains
Highest mileage on one train: 55 miles and 33 chains on 170502
Lowest mileage on one train: 1 mile and 71 chains on 323211
Best part: Finally getting that 325 in the book for sight, tied with finally getting Adderley Park visited.
Worst part: The festers at Crewe, it's just not the same anymore :(
Bargain of the day: The coffee from Coffee Lounge, lush stuff!
 
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