The Various Random Mutterings of Kite

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by Kite159, 26 May 2014.

  1. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

    Messages:
    3,242
    Joined:
    15 Apr 2016
    Location:
    Devon
    It's a brilliant railway with a fascinating history.
    The other similar one being the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway which I'd love to go on at some point.
     
  2. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,565
    Joined:
    27 Jan 2014
    Location:
    West of Andover
    And Jamie has even harder rules in that he needs to board and alight before he counts a station done ;)

    I.e no bus moves between stations, no walking between close by stations
     
  3. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

    Messages:
    7,676
    Joined:
    28 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
    The R and ER is well woth it, done it as a kid and then twice in more recent times, 2011 and 2016 to be precise, last years visit being with @Techniquest on a day which for me involved and early start, a voyager, a Pendo and a lot of 37 haulage on the coast as well as the main event. We didnt plan the entire day around the 37 hauled services on the mainline or anything!
     
  4. 87electric

    87electric Member

    Messages:
    280
    Joined:
    27 Jan 2010
    Well done Mr Kite. Amazing feat. :D Take a deserved rest.
     
  5. 185143

    185143 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,321
    Joined:
    3 Mar 2013
    I still need 1145 National Rail shacks-so it's not me...
     
  6. 185143

    185143 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,321
    Joined:
    3 Mar 2013
    I've walked between stations and done bus moves before-but I have to do it in both directions for it to count...
     
  7. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

    Messages:
    16,647
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Nowhere Heath
    I will never understand the logic behind your rule Mr. Merseyrail!

    So if it's not you, I do wonder who it is. 773 mainline shacks in England, Wales and Scotland to go for me, having just checked. 28 light rail shacks (which I should have gone and started dealing with today, but no patience for that) on top of that. There's bound to be someone who regularly posts on the Shack Attack thread that is closer than that, as I fail to believe I'm the closest to catching up with Kite! Maybe I should have forced myself to get up earlier today, but then I'd have had no charge in my phone. No, I made the right decision to stay at home and watch some movies later. He says, trying to convince himself of that...

    The line from Ravenglass is nice, definitely, and is probably much better on a sunny day than the wet one me and Blindtraveller had. Mind you, the highlight of that day was, in my eyes, scoring 37403 all the way back to Carlisle!
     
  8. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,565
    Joined:
    27 Jan 2014
    Location:
    West of Andover
    Everybody has their own definition at what counts, when you finish your achievement will be greater than mine :)

    I can't remember who it is who only counts a station as done when they have used every (usable) platform.

    Needless to say I will probably still be heading out and about next year, just not as often as I have done this year.
     
  9. 37038

    37038 Member

    Messages:
    636
    Joined:
    11 Apr 2014
    BLS produce a small booklet which lists every single pres/narrow/miniature railway in the country.

    With many years ahead, I should imagine it shouldn't be difficult to rattle through them after a bit of research?
     
  10. D841 Roebuck

    D841 Roebuck Established Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Joined:
    16 Mar 2012
    Location:
    Rochdale
    Belated congratulations on your feat. It must have taken considerable effort, organization and dedication to achieve in such short a time - three attributes that I'm not famous for, hence my current shack total being 954 (NR).

    I can, however, heartily endorse the favourable comments on the Romney and Ravenglass Railways. Two contrasting lines, scenery-wise, but both friendly and great fun.

    Must do a required local shack soon. Interestingly, this can be achieved at all four compass points for me at roughly the same distance, West being Moses Gate, North is Hapton, Marsden to the East and Fairfield to the South... :)

    Good luck for the future, whether that be in euroshacks or clearing your 159s for a light year each...
     
  11. palmersears

    palmersears Member

    Messages:
    533
    Joined:
    20 Sep 2011
    My hearty congratulations Kite on an achievement I cannot even begin to get my head around fully, particularly in terms of the time it has taken you! Enjoyed reading about it enormously.

    We've had your favourite stations, but what were your least favourite ones?
     
  12. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

    Messages:
    3,242
    Joined:
    15 Apr 2016
    Location:
    Devon
    That's a great question :D.
     
  13. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,565
    Joined:
    27 Jan 2014
    Location:
    West of Andover
    That is a good question indeed, one which requires a good think to see which ones will join Hope (Flintshire) on the list of least favourite.

    Hope springs to mind as being in a rough looking area, having no seating, a smashed up shelter with passenger information screens which kept on repeating the security announcements on both platforms.

    Give me a few days to have a dig in my memory for other examples which I've probably pushed to the back of my mind
     
  14. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

    Messages:
    3,242
    Joined:
    15 Apr 2016
    Location:
    Devon
    I'm sure I remember you saying that there was somewhere in the Welsh Valleys that made you feel uncomfortable due to sketchy looking youths hanging around?
     
  15. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

    Messages:
    16,647
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Nowhere Heath
    Thing is, even nice stations can be ruined by experiencing youths of a bad nature. Not that Warwick is on the good list for me anyway. Plus it depends how you define worst stations! I can't immediately remember the name of it but there's one in Glasgow I didn't think much of whatsoever.

    Mind you, some of the heavily graffitied tram stops in Prague made me wonder what depths of hell I was going to...
     
  16. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,565
    Joined:
    27 Jan 2014
    Location:
    West of Andover
    True that, but which one it was I can't remember of the top of my head.

    I don't like Argyle Street that much, although that is mainly due to it being underground with no phone signal nor any handy WiFi signal, with platform displays which seem to rush past page 1 and hang around on page 6.

    Edit - Just remembered one, Telford Central, no redeeming features
     
    Last edited: 13 Oct 2017
  17. Gathursty

    Gathursty Established Member

    Messages:
    1,416
    Joined:
    31 May 2011
    Location:
    Wigan
    You definitely need a good rest after this fantastic adventure! To do what you've done in such a short time is incredible. I think we can relax for a while until Kenilworth and Maghull North opens! :D
     
  18. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

    Messages:
    7,676
    Joined:
    28 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
    I genuinely think it is
    @Techniquest who is now closest with his station requirements
    The pressure is on mate
     
  19. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

    Messages:
    16,647
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Nowhere Heath
    Nah, I'm not taking that pressure. I'm not rushing to do them all, I've said for a long time I don't care if it takes me an entire lifetime to do them all, it will keep me busy for years!
     
  20. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,565
    Joined:
    27 Jan 2014
    Location:
    West of Andover
    I forgot about Maghull North, a job for when it opens next year. I've already got plans for the rebuilt Forres station

    ----

    My luck strikes again as the Conwy Valley line has been closed south of North Llanrwst due to flooding!
    http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/173857.aspx

    ----

    I randomly looked up the PSUL website this evening and noticed that from next week it seems the direct Wolverhampton - Walsall service is going via Soho junctions rather than the usual route. Time to look up hotel rooms in Birmingham (or Wolverhampton) to finally get that side of the triangle :)
     
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2017
  21. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

    Messages:
    16,647
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Nowhere Heath
    I need that side of the triangle too Kite, it's been a pain in the derriere for way too long. I need to look into this...
     
  22. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,565
    Joined:
    27 Jan 2014
    Location:
    West of Andover
    Aye, sadly the timings with a railtour in January don't quite sit well so I will probably look into a hotel in Wolverhampton or Birmingham for a Friday night to get that move out of the way.
     
  23. djpontrack

    djpontrack Member

    Messages:
    301
    Joined:
    18 Jan 2011
    Location:
    Morecambe
    Well done on your achievement of visiting every station mate. I don't think I will ever be able to do that. I've just had a count of the stations I've done and my current total is 1,121.
     
    Last edited: 15 Oct 2017
  24. 55013

    55013 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,184
    Joined:
    4 Sep 2005
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Congratulation, an impressive feat by anyone's standards.
     
  25. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,565
    Joined:
    27 Jan 2014
    Location:
    West of Andover
    13th October – Return to Chester

    This is what happens when you book a non-refundable hotel room in Chester before the plans change, basically for my masterplan this weekend was going to be the Borderlands Line, starting off nice and early to do the connection from Wrexham General platform 3 towards Bidston. Anyhow after some playing with RTT I worked out a rough plan to do the PSUL move on the final train of the day which gave a nice connection at Wrexham for the final Chester service, hence freeing me up for the Saturday and making use of the 4th day on my “North Wales Rover”.

    It was an earlier start (the reason will become clear later), with the 13:59 from Grateley for the short hop to Basingstoke on 159014 (which continues to march up my list of 159 mileage board now sitting at 4th for most travelled 159), one slight drama was the TVM was out of action so I couldn’t pick up my tickets (after I had a short walk the night before to find it out of service), so at Basingstoke it was past the RPI who watched me head to the TVM to pick up the tickets before returning giving me a smile (at dealing with someone who was honest). A short trip to Reading was up next on 166214 which allowed me to swing via the WH Smiths to purchase a newspaper & the latest issue of Today Railways (I really must set up a subscription for this magazine).

    Next move was another unit which ended with a 4, this time 221134 for the busy run towards Banbury (I did have a reserve seat but it was one with gave a view of plastic so I got lucky and found an empty table seat in coach C which was “reserved from Southampton to Leamington” so happy days as I got comfortable for the fast trip, alighting at Banbury for a short wait before 168106 rolled in. Earplugs in to drown out the drone from the underpowered engines for the run to Birmingham Moor Street which surprisingly had the ticket barriers in operation (so it took extra time to get out of the station), but I had time on my hand as I walked to Tesco to pick up some items for dinner later on.

    Onwards to New Street, where after making use of a 390 for a PNB, I messed up the location where the next ATW service would end up, meaning it was standing room only (a bit like on a 323 I saw on the opposite platform), I managed to get a seat after Wolverhampton thankfully [no seat reservation labels were put out]. It was another service which was an unadvertised Cambrian service, with 158839 continuing up towards Llandudno with 158825 forming a Shrewsbury – Aberystwyth service. Good news in a way as it means 158825 joins my list of ATW 158s which are cleared for 10 miles.

    I now had 45 minutes to fester at Shrewsbury for the next Holyhead service, so I took up a seat on platform 4 to watch the comings & goings when reading my newspaper before having an internet catch-up session using the free WiFi from the coffee shop. The time flew by as the outline of a 67 was spotted in the distance with required 67015 rolling in on the Cardiff - Holyhead “WAG” service (it be on my wish list to do this service next year in 1st class to sample the meal), required DVT 82306 was on the rear which clears all 3 ATW DVTs. Anyhow it was easy to grab a table seat in the leading coach for the fast run to Chester, calling only at Wrexham General (giving me my first non-stop run via Gobowen as the previous times I’ve been on a charter along this route it has stopped at Gobowen due to the level crossing). A good run although as it was dark there was nothing to look out at (so back to read more of my magazine).

    Once at Chester, I left the station to check into my lodgings for the night, scoring lucky with the location being a short walk from the station, checked in without issues, dropped off some stuff from my bag before returning the key to the front desk and heading out, with a crazy idea to change my plan. Basically my original revised plan for this evening was to intercept the North Wales loco hauled set to take me to Crewe for a 45 minute wait before the next Holyhead service to Shotton for a ride to Bidston, however with 67016 still on the North Wales set I decided to do something a little bit unusual (and something I had a silly idea of doing in January time when I’m staying in Birmingham overnight due to a railtour on the Saturday).

    [​IMG]67015 at Chester-Le-Skip

    I turned down the 67 to board a Voyager! (Can someone quickly check on Quinn in case he has collapsed in shock? ;)), mainly the daily voyager which turns left at Saltney Junction to head to Wrexham General (just to clear another short section of the Virgin WC network map on a Virgin service]. It was a poorly sounding 221104 for the short run, as I joined several other passengers in crossing over the footbridge to reach platform 3 to board 150213 which was heading to Shrewsbury (and was held back to allow passengers to make the connection). Microgrice of the southern end of platform 3 at Wrexham General to the main-line complete for a very vocal 150 to Shrewsbury where it terminated in platform 7 (I did have the outside chance of being able to pull off a connection at Ruabon but that was lost due to the late start from Wrexham).

    [​IMG]221104 at Wrexham General

    Another fester at Shrewsbury, although this one was only for 15 minutes before 175109 rolled in on a Holyhead service for a fast run back to Chester where it was due to sit for 25 minutes before continuing along the coast. However once at Chester we were told to get off as this unit was going out of service and to wait on platform 3 for another unit to come in with 175112 rolling in on a service from Manchester to take over for the busy run westwards. I alighted at the first station call at Shotton and walked up the stairs, along the path, over the Bidston bound platform, down the stairs, underneath the bridge and up a ramp to access the Wrexham bound platform. It isn’t the easiest of connections at Shotton [and I guess looking at the track it once had a barrow crossing?].

    10 minutes later and a lightly loaded 150242 rolled in for the slow trip south terminating into platform 3 at Wrexham General, connection between the two lines, tick. I would say my final PSUL move as defined by the “PSUL” website but I noticed an entry for Soho North – Soho East with the once a week Wolverhampton – Walsall service which has been diverted via Soho rather than via Portabello (a job for November!). However for now another tiny section of passenger track covered, and with a short wait as 175102 rolled in which took me back to Chester for the final time of the day, terminating into platform 7 where it sounded like the driver was a bit keen and had a controlled collision with another 175 before the guard could open the doors so the few passengers on board could alight. A few minutes after leaving the station I was back at the hotel, to rest. Another 67 into the book was a bonus, the main treat was doing platform 3 at Wrexham General in both directions and the oddity of a Voyager to Wrexham.

    [​IMG]150242 at Wrexham General
     
  26. fishquinn

    fishquinn Established Member Quizmaster

    Messages:
    5,479
    Joined:
    4 Oct 2013
    You took a voyager instead of a shovel *gasps for breath* ;)

    Nicely done on getting those PSUL moves in the book and well done on getting the shovel from Shrewsbury north. 1st class on the WAG is well worth doing - the food is superb.
     
  27. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

    Messages:
    7,676
    Joined:
    28 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
    Sounds like a very pleasant weekend so far Mr kite
     
  28. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

    Messages:
    16,647
    Joined:
    19 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Nowhere Heath
    I keep forgetting about those moves at Wrexham, I must deal with them eventually. Nice work on getting them out of the way!
     
  29. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

    Messages:
    3,242
    Joined:
    15 Apr 2016
    Location:
    Devon
    Looks like another interesting trip is happening. I shall following your exploits.
     
  30. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,565
    Joined:
    27 Jan 2014
    Location:
    West of Andover
    14th October – A Day on the Wirral

    Following on from the late finish on Friday I decided to have a nice lazy day with a later start than normal, with the aim of having some 507/508 based action for probably the last time until Maghull North opens. So I decided to have a short walk to the station after checking out, purchasing my heavily subsidisedSaveaway ticket without any issues from the station ticket office and made my way over to platform 7, turning down the 08:30 service which looked busy (a 221 rolled in from Holyhead with a lot of football fans crossing over to continue their journey to Liverpool). The 08:45 service to Liverpool Central was formed of 507018 which I took to Hooton for some decent motor noise (the PEPs always sound better on AC rather than DC).

    It was over to bay platform 1 to score that bay platform which normally doesn’t get to see a service, apart from now when the Ellesmere Port services are run as a shuttle to release more units to double up the Southport services from South Parkway. Anyhow the shuttle today was in the hands of 508112 which I took for the 3 mile and 62 chain journey to the limit of 3rd rail land, and after a quick photo returned on the same unit back to Hooton where with 10 minutes to kill decided to pop to the local “M to Go” shop for something to munch on before heading back over to platform 3 for the next Liverpool service.

    507001 & 507007 was up next for the slow trip to Hamilton Square, where I crossed over to the “Birkenhead North” lines with New Brighton bound 508110 taking me to Birkenhead North for a short wait before 508143 took me to West Kirby where I stepped back a train by visiting the nearby Morrisons to purchase something for lunch later on but more importantly to visit the toilet. I returned to the station to board 507015 back to Birkenhead North to change onto 507031 to take me to New Brighton where after a few minutes I decided to hop back onto 507031 to take me to Moorfields.

    After a longer walk than I remembered, it was up to the Northern Line platforms to board a Kirkby bound 508131 to take me to Kirkby, returning on the same unit as far as Kirkdale where I had a silly idea to risk life & limp by walking to Bank Hall, this isn’t the nicest of areas to walk, and Bank Hall isn’t the nicest of stations to hang around. Anyhow my wait wasn’t for long as 507021 & 507014 took me to Liverpool South Parkway where it terminated, and once more I stepped back a service by heading upstairs to use the posh self-cleaning toilet unit just to break the time up before heading back down onto platform 5 (noting the track on platform 6 going rusty due to lack of use after a couple weeks).

    I managed to easily get a seat on 508123 & 507010 for the run back to Moorfield where I was lucky enough to make a +1 onto a Chester bound service due to it running late, and in true Merseyrail style it ran fast from Birkenhead Central to Hooton, with 507023 & 508136 making a good noise after Rock Ferry on a fast run regaining the 5 minutes it had lost (due to a rubbish timetable where the Chester services only have a few minutes to turnaround at Chester). To give me something to do I jumped onto 508103 & 507030 to take me 60 chains back up the line to Liverpool before boarding 507004 on the fast run to Chester. The best part of the Merseyrail network is Bache to Hooton on a service which doesn’t call at Capenhurst, mainly as you actually get some speed.

    The next Birmingham service from Holyhead was due to start its journey from Chester due to the Holyhead bound service breaking down earlier in the day, with 175005 rolling in from the depot at 15:32 for a fast loading before it departed heading southbound with me wondering what was going to happen at Chester as this service normally attaches to another 158 at Shrewsbury which detaches from a Holyhead bound service, and if I remember correctly 175s can’t work with 158s. My answer was given when the 175 rolled into Shrewsbury and for the 2nd time we were ordered off the 175 to wait for the pair of 158s which were rolling into the station on platform 4 for a complete set swap. The 175 was heading back up north with both 158s heading back towards Birmingham, a suitable solution for the issue (better than sending the 175 down to Birmingham on its own which I was secretly hoping to do to make a certain Hereford based basher jealous ;)). I managed to get a seat on 158838 & 158834 for the 42 and a half mile run to Birmingham New Street, before heading over to Moor Street for the 17:55 departure to Marylebone.

    Annoyingly this service is normally booked to be a pair of 168/3s, so a small chance of the blue pen coming out to play if 326 or 327 rocked up, sadly tonight it was 168107 for the unremarkable journey to Banbury, where I alighted to wait for the following Voyager to take me to Didcot Parkway. Yes an unusual destination for 220032 but sadly due to the Reading blockade it was where it was terminating (and I did look into options of avoiding the bus but decided to be cheap). After a quick photo of the 220 at Didcot, I headed down to the bus stop outside, waiting for a few minutes for the Basingstoke bus, a really posh looking coach rolled in for those Reading passengers, but for us going to Basingstoke it was a Mercedes Benz Minibus (DK03 JCV), for a fun trip down the A34 turning left onto the A339 via Newbury to reach Basingstoke.

    I had time for a quick pizza before heading up stairs at the station to await 159011 & 159007 to appear to take me back home to Grateley, a nice relaxing day with some decent motor noise. Like I said earlier in the report I probably won’t be back to Merseyrail until next year when Maghull North is due to open, but here are some pictures, mainly of 507/508 units

    [​IMG]507018 departs Hooton - [​IMG]508112 at Hooton - [​IMG]508112 at Ellesmere Port

    [​IMG]508112 at Hooton [​IMG]507015 at West Kirby - [​IMG]507031 at New Brighton

    [​IMG]507030 departs Eastham Rake - [​IMG]220032 at Didcot Parkway
     

Share This Page