The Great Adventure - Round 4 20/21/22 May 2016

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HMS Ark Royal

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Incorporating Big Joan's Big Day Out

Day 1

After convincing my 91 year old grandmother that it would be perfectly safe and valid, she decided that she'd quite like a trip to Liverpool. After obtaining a pair of weekday rangers using horded tokens from the recent newspaper offering (I'd purchased two of every day's issue) and obtaining myself a weekend ranger for the following two days, we were off to Doncaster with 158848 in command. Whilst waiting to set off from Hull, and after obtaining a set of four plus the table for our own use, I convinced my Gran to put her ranger inside her bus pass so that she could display it to the guard without having to keep rummaging through her handbag. During the trip, I had her write down the number of our unit so we could claim she was most likely to be the oldest female train spotter active that day! When asked, Northern certainly thought so...

Big Joan On The Move by N7242C

158848 at Doncaster by N7242C

After taking the above image, I indicated to my Gran how to work the camera mode on my tablet and she took this - not too bad I thought!

158848 and Me by N7242C.

Whilst waiting for our electric service to arrive, I made a tweet using the Hashtag #BigJoansBigDayOut. I also spotted:

Unknown Carriages at Doncaster by N7242C

and

Redundant Coaches at Doncaster by N7242C

And I would very much like to know what they were. Whilst waiting a few more minutes, i also happened to notice a all over blue 67 and half of a GWR 150 in GWR green

67003 and half a GWR Class 150 by N7242C

A moment later, and I saw our train pulling in. After explaining to Gran the art of what I call "Sitting in the Nose" in order to save valuable seconds at Leeds, we boarded an unknown 321 and headed off to Leeds. With nothing else to do, I introduced my Grandmother to the art of selfie taking... Your thoughts, people?

Me and the Gran by N7242C

After boarding 158759, we arrived at Manchester Victoria where Big Joan's camera skills suddenly failed her...!

Big Joan at Manchester Victoria by N7242C

Me at Manchester Victoria by N7242C

Arrival at Liverpool Lime Street with the somewhat lacking 319367 was about two minutes down but we still had more than enough time to go to the White Star and claim a table and display a small picture of the white rose and claim it for Yorkshire! After downing a tea and a pint, me having the beer, and using the pub's free wi-fi, it was back downstairs to the concourse to grab some baguettes for the leg to Manchester Piccadilly. After seeing all the different fillings, I got my Gran a tuna one and had it warmed for her. After sitting down next to our ride for the next segment, she then complained of it being too hot!

142027 at Liverpool Lime Street by N7242C

142087 became our next ride to Manchester Oxford Road... Or would have been if I had not noticed that the connection time was a little too close with an elderly lady with me. After consulting RTT, which Grandma thought was a "smashing little place with all the times neatly written" we decided to hop off at the stop before hand which was Deansgate. Performing the "Sitting in the Nose" trick again, we got off at Deansgate and boarded a 321 from there to Manchester Piccadilly. After Big Joan had visited the ladies room to powder her nose, we looked for somewhere that did tea and coffee that was not too pricey and found nothing. We were going to try our luck at Sheffield when I remembered the £1 tea cube which was quickly swamped and two coffees purchased. Before going on, I must highly recommend them for low cost, generous takeaway cup sizes and the fact they bumped me up a few places up the queue when they saw I was keeping a constant eye on my Gran.

We then boarded an unknown 142 which took us to Sheffield where we had a half hour wait for a direct train back to Hull in the hands of 158859.

#

Day 2

Day 2 started out a little wrong as I should have been catching the 0520 to Doncaster but, as a result of going back to Gran's house the day before and making sure she was warm, safe, had a tea, something to eat and the house secured for the night, I did not return home until just before midnight. After rushing down a breakfast and a cup of tea that was half drunk on the way to the station, I obtained a lift in my dad's van which got me to the station in reasonable time to resort to Plan B which was to go to Leeds via Selby. Waiting for my York train, I happened to notice the Hull Executive was being advertised by a TOC that no longer existed

East Coast Lives On! by N7242C

158859 at Hull by N7242C

150211 at Selby by N7242C

After the crew arrived, I boarded 158759 for a spirited run up to Selby where 150211 was ready and awaiting my arrival. This formed Plan B and got me to Leeds in plenty of time to catch the Manchester Victoria train as far as Bradford Interchange - 158905, a massive visitor to Hull, in charge.

158905 at Leeds by N7242C

After looking around what is, frankly, a somewhat grubby "interchange", I decided to return to Leeds onboard 144016

144016 at Bradford Interchange by N7242C.

Looking at what options were open to me, I decided to head up to Carlisle with 144023 forming a Leeds - Heysham Port service I took as far as Lancaster. I was beginning to wonder if I would clear the 144's this weekend!

144023 at Leeds by N7242C

144023 at Lancaster by N7242C.

After waiting for a train to Barrow in Furness, it came over the PA system that it was cancelled which caused the following all stops service to Carlisle, 156490 in command, to be full and standing. At one point I was asked to move out of my seat to make way for a mother and child - to which I refused and told the guard standing nearby that I was not going to move as I was not in a designated special place. I also, based on his look that he gave me, decided to be somewhat awkward and decided to inform him I would be alighting at Drigg... If he wanted to be silly sods, so could I!

156490 at Lancaster by N7242C

However, the huge delay in leaving Lancaster due to the amount of passengers trying to board that should have got on the cancelled Barrow service meant that my plans for Drigg were now upset and so, on arrival at Barrow in Furness, I got off the 156 and transferred to the 37 and the rake of MK2's it was hauling which i took all the way to Preston.

37409 at Preston by N7242C

Name plate of 37409 by N7242C

DBSO 9710 at Preston by N7242C

After visiting the Gents, I found out that the train I wanted had left already and I was stranded. Not wanting to trust my getting home safely to a very dodgy connection time, I paid for a Preston to Manchester Piccadilly service on TPE which meant my first ever trip on a Class 350

350410 at Manchester Piccadilly by N7242C.

After visiting the £1 tea and coffee bar for a hot chocolate, I headed with the help of an unknown pacer and then 144003

144003 at Sheffield by N7242C

I took the Goole train as far as Doncaster as I needed to stop off and buy some food. With help from a BTP Sgt, I was directed to a backstreet corner shop type of place where I stocked up on a packet of sandwiches, some Salt and Vinegar Pringles and a bottle of Irn Bru for under £3.50. After that, I returned to Doncaster station and caught 158907 back to Hull with an enthusiastic and cheerful young lady guard. I will not be rude and say things that may get me a suspension from the forum, but lets say that she was slim but almost out of uniform!

Day 3

I am afraid I did not take many notes, so images will have to serve as a partial clue as to what I did. This was because of the fact I was now three days of train spotting action with just ten hours sleep over three nights.

Meadowhall station sign by N7242C

142087 at Horsforth by N7242C

Station sign at Horsforth by N7242C

142087 at Horsforth by N7242C

155 and 150 at Bradford Interchange by N7242C

Todmorden station sign by N7242C

Sunset over York by N7242C

185 at York by N7242C

Well, your thoughts please, ladies and gentlemen...
 
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Kristofferson

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Enjoyable read, young man! Your nan looks like she had a great time :)

I was very impressed by the 350s when I moved to near the WCML a few years ago. Coming from the land of knackered 317s, the 350s made me realise that rail travel could be a pleasant experience. The rest is history! ;)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

HMS Ark Royal

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Enjoyable read, young man! Your nan looks like she had a great time :)

I was very impressed by the 350s when I moved to near the WCML a few years ago. Coming from the land of knackered 317s, the 350s made me realise that rail travel could be a pleasant experience. The rest is history! ;)

Yes, she certainly did have a good time... I'll put up the next trip report soon for Big Joan's Big Day Out 2.

Gran's favourite parts of the day were the trip to Liverpool followed by the "bonus" move where we aborted our return via Manchester Oxford Road and instead got off at Deansgate as I judged it a better connection for given her age and the moment when she woke up from having dozed off and was in a panic because she saw the hills between Manchester and Sheffield and assumed the driver had "taken the wrong turning and brought us to wales"... We had a great chuckle over that one later on. Maybe tomorrow I will post the trip report for Big Joan's Big Day Out 2 before we embark on the next day out for her via the ghost train from Goole
 

47403

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A good read skipper. Glad to hear Joan had a good time, she'll have told all and sundry she's been out n about with her grandson, top effort taking her out for the day.

Should've got up for the mother and bairn though, however that's your choice. 37409 was the best 37 I've had on the Cumbrian Coast so far, driver certainly wasn't scared to use the power handle.
 

HMS Ark Royal

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A good read skipper. Glad to hear Joan had a good time, she'll have told all and sundry she's been out n about with her grandson, top effort taking her out for the day.

The aim for the trip was to get her out for the maximum possible distance and still get her home with daylight... She's certainly told the neighbours about her day out and enjoyed herself on the next trip... Now we've got a plan to do the Goole - Leeds service

Should've got up for the mother and bairn though, however that's your choice. 37409 was the best 37 I've had on the Cumbrian Coast so far, driver certainly wasn't scared to use the power handle.

I would have stood, certainly, but the kid was not that young, about 13, and was perfectly capable of standing for the five stops they travelled for...

Anyway, thank you for the review
 

fishquinn

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Sounds like your Gran had a good time there and I'm sure she would have been the oldest trainspotter out that day, let alone oldest female one! If the mother and child had told me to move and neither was very old/very young (I'd probably make the limit 7ish and 60ish) then I certainly wouldn't move. 13 is ridiculous! I've been standing on trains solo from 12! With people I've been standing on trains for all my life!
 

HMS Ark Royal

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Sounds like your Gran had a good time there and I'm sure she would have been the oldest trainspotter out that day, let alone oldest female one! If the mother and child had told me to move and neither was very old/very young (I'd probably make the limit 7ish and 60ish) then I certainly wouldn't move. 13 is ridiculous! I've been standing on trains solo from 12! With people I've been standing on trains for all my life!

Yeah, she certainly did have a good time. It inspired her to do another trip two weeks later which I will type up at some point soon.

If the child had been someway unable to stand for a while, missing a leg for example, I would have moved...

Days 2 and 3, which were just for me, resulted in my clearing Class 142 completely twice over now. I just have to clear the last four 144s and then it is onwards to Wales, maybe, to get a couple of those 143s!

Anyway, thank you for your kind words
 

fishquinn

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I would also have moved if one of them couldn't stand for a while too. Good luck on the Welsh pacers (I can't believe I just said that!)
 

Kite159

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Sounded like a good couple days out making use of that excellent £10 northern day ranger deal :)

Glad your nan enjoyed the delights of an old 158
 

HMS Ark Royal

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Sounded like a good couple days out making use of that excellent £10 northern day ranger deal :)

Glad your nan enjoyed the delights of an old 158

It was two ten pounds for the Friday and a seventeen quid one for me for Saturday and Sunday.

Yes, she enjoyed the day out - so much so that, as you know, we went North this time and got the BIF - CAR train which she was delighted with and will be the subject of my next trip report. Mind you, she found the 158's alright, but liked the wi-fi on the 321 to Leeds. Poor Gran thought wi-fi was a setting for a remotely controlled washing machine
 

Techniquest

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I've finally had time to catch up on your trip report squire, certainly it helped make the work-bound commute more interesting!

There really can't be many people 90+ who travel by train as it is, let alone taking down numbers, so kudos to your gran for doing so. Good to see she had a good time, a shame there wasn't time for taking her on a bit of a tour of Liverpool mind, I'm sure she'd have liked to see some of the city. Getting back before dark was probably a good call mind, and she enjoyed the trip by the looks of it.

The 'Sitting in the Nose' thing is an interesting term, it may get adopted by some of your fellow trip reporters! I am confused though by your move from Deansgate to Piccadilly, it wouldn't have been a 321 over that side of the world. A 319, almost certainly which is an understandably mistake.

Surprised you didn't take note of the onward 142 though. BreadBox is the place you got the coffees from, and I agree on their stuff being good value. I need to go there next time I'm in Piccadilly, seeing as I shouldn't be in such a rush next time.

As for the giving up a seat for the mother and child, well I'm torn on that contentious issue. In one way, I consider it un-gentlemanly to not give up my seat for a lady or something in more need than myself. However, in the situation you were in, I would also have to take in consideration my own needs. If I've got a hot cup of coffee going on, or if I was exhausted and needed to rest the legs/feet, or indeed any number of situations, I would make a decision based on that. As a retail man, I'd probably have still just given her the seat mind, good customer service and all that being part and parcel of daily life.

I'm still amazed East Coast is/was advertised as the TOC for the Hull to Kings Cross HST, strictly speaking I guess it is as it's Virgin Trains East Coast after all. Still, it must be a little confusing to irregular travellers!

Poor you going to Bradford though, not exactly an exciting place! A good day out there though, clearly, and a 150/2 thrashing its guts out from Selby to York must have been entertaining. Mind you, thinking about it, Bradford has got to be better than Leominster and Gloucester, the only good thing about both places is getting on a train away from them!

Not wanting you to get banned from discussing the last bit on your way back to Hull on Day 2, all I'll say for now is the imagination is running away from me! Think we shall have to take that bit to the Twitter group conversation. Speaking of which, I will be back on it soon, I have been incredibly busy lately and anticipate getting back into it soon. Hopefully tonight, if not it will be by the weekend. Quite a bit to catch up on, based on the amount of beeping my phone's been making lately with notifications!

As for 37409, yeah it's a fine little beast but 37402 is better. MUCH better, end of argument. That thing can out-growl even 37408 (RIP) and 37425 would be out-shone by it too. That being said, 37203 (RIP) is the all-time favourite and I'll probably never have such a beasty 37 again. It's not far off 12 years since I had it and it is still the favourite, up there in fond memories with the likes of 43002!

Looking forward to your next trip report!
 

rg177

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Excellent reads and I'm glad your gran enjoyed the day out!

As for giving up the seat, I'm not up for too much of an argument so probably would have shuffled around a bit. I do relate though, had a woman come up to myself and my girlfriend on a cosy 185 from Huddersfield to Leeds and demanded we moved for her mother. She wasn't that old and certainly seemed physically fit but who were we to judge and just consigned ourselves to the the toilet area in Coach C without much questioning.
 

HMS Ark Royal

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I've finally had time to catch up on your trip report squire, certainly it helped make the work-bound commute more interesting!

There really can't be many people 90+ who travel by train as it is, let alone taking down numbers, so kudos to your gran for doing so. Good to see she had a good time, a shame there wasn't time for taking her on a bit of a tour of Liverpool mind, I'm sure she'd have liked to see some of the city. Getting back before dark was probably a good call mind, and she enjoyed the trip by the looks of it.

The 'Sitting in the Nose' thing is an interesting term, it may get adopted by some of your fellow trip reporters! I am confused though by your move from Deansgate to Piccadilly, it wouldn't have been a 321 over that side of the world. A 319, almost certainly which is an understandably mistake.

Surprised you didn't take note of the onward 142 though. BreadBox is the place you got the coffees from, and I agree on their stuff being good value. I need to go there next time I'm in Piccadilly, seeing as I shouldn't be in such a rush next time.

As for the giving up a seat for the mother and child, well I'm torn on that contentious issue. In one way, I consider it un-gentlemanly to not give up my seat for a lady or something in more need than myself. However, in the situation you were in, I would also have to take in consideration my own needs. If I've got a hot cup of coffee going on, or if I was exhausted and needed to rest the legs/feet, or indeed any number of situations, I would make a decision based on that. As a retail man, I'd probably have still just given her the seat mind, good customer service and all that being part and parcel of daily life.

I'm still amazed East Coast is/was advertised as the TOC for the Hull to Kings Cross HST, strictly speaking I guess it is as it's Virgin Trains East Coast after all. Still, it must be a little confusing to irregular travellers!

Poor you going to Bradford though, not exactly an exciting place! A good day out there though, clearly, and a 150/2 thrashing its guts out from Selby to York must have been entertaining. Mind you, thinking about it, Bradford has got to be better than Leominster and Gloucester, the only good thing about both places is getting on a train away from them!

Not wanting you to get banned from discussing the last bit on your way back to Hull on Day 2, all I'll say for now is the imagination is running away from me! Think we shall have to take that bit to the Twitter group conversation. Speaking of which, I will be back on it soon, I have been incredibly busy lately and anticipate getting back into it soon. Hopefully tonight, if not it will be by the weekend. Quite a bit to catch up on, based on the amount of beeping my phone's been making lately with notifications!

As for 37409, yeah it's a fine little beast but 37402 is better. MUCH better, end of argument. That thing can out-growl even 37408 (RIP) and 37425 would be out-shone by it too. That being said, 37203 (RIP) is the all-time favourite and I'll probably never have such a beasty 37 again. It's not far off 12 years since I had it and it is still the favourite, up there in fond memories with the likes of 43002!

Looking forward to your next trip report!

Many thanks for your kind words...

It was certainly a 321 that turned up which was a surprise as it should have been a 323 - maybe it fancied a day out or something. I did not take note of the 142 as I was more concerned about my Gran getting a seat on the train as it was filling up rather quickly and heavily.

Bradford I normally go in and out of on trains, but decided to have a look around and it is the most filth caked place I have ever been in. Aldwych underground station is cleaner!

The 150/2 thrashing from Selby to Leeds very nearly engaged auto destruct on the approach as it gave up the ghost and appeared to limp in on one engine only.

Regarding the seat, the kid was in his teens and perfectly capable of standing for the five stops they travelled. if, as I said before, the child was in someway disabled through loss of a lower limb or, and I say this nicely, mentally, I would have given up the seat for them.

Excellent reads and I'm glad your gran enjoyed the day out!

As for giving up the seat, I'm not up for too much of an argument so probably would have shuffled around a bit. I do relate though, had a woman come up to myself and my girlfriend on a cosy 185 from Huddersfield to Leeds and demanded we moved for her mother. She wasn't that old and certainly seemed physically fit but who were we to judge and just consigned ourselves to the the toilet area in Coach C without much questioning.

Many thanks for your kind words... Yes, she did rather enjoy it.
 

andyb2706

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What a great read, more of your gran please, she seems a grand elderly lady and by reading the other comments a bit of a forum star now.

I am surprised as to the 321 from Deansgate to Piccadilly as the only 321's in the North are the ones based at Leeds in the WYPTE livery and also surprised the drivers have unit/route knowledge.

Still needing a few of the 144's and the 37's you are giving me a few ideas for future trips.
 

HMS Ark Royal

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What a great read, more of your gran please, she seems a grand elderly lady and by reading the other comments a bit of a forum star now.

I am surprised as to the 321 from Deansgate to Piccadilly as the only 321's in the North are the ones based at Leeds in the WYPTE livery and also surprised the drivers have unit/route knowledge.

Still needing a few of the 144's and the 37's you are giving me a few ideas for future trips.

Thank you for your reply... Grandma is amused by the fact people were liking her big adventure
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
What a great read, more of your gran please, she seems a grand elderly lady and by reading the other comments a bit of a forum star now.

Your wish is my command

Big Joan Rides Again
 
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