The Various Random Mutterings of Kite

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

  1. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    Very good question, probably do more with scoring London buses, as it is interesting seeing parts of London from another angle
     
  2. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    1st April – A small day trip across the border (pt 1)

    [​IMG]

    So yeah, last year I kinda booked onto the sleeper to Glasgow Queen Street high level as “it will be unusual”, also I would score a little bit of track in the London area (the connection between the WCML & the Primrose Hill link (having scored the link from the DC lines on a couple 378s a couple years ago). I was a bit mad at the time, but hey ho.

    Anyhow the sleeper would depart at 21:39 so I had the day to think what to do, so I decided to do something which I’ve been putting off for a while, mainly a good Piccadilly Line hunting session, I was down to 5 sets so with a target of getting at least 2 of those 5, however first I had a late start, with some bits & pieces to do at home before heading for the 11:37 service to Waterloo, formed of a busy 159008 & 159003 (I believe this is the first Exeter – Waterloo service of the day). Once at Waterloo I popped via Tesco for a meal-deal for lunch before heading onto LU, my moves detailed below:

    96080/96115 to Green Park
    136/243 to Acton Town (crossing over to the eastbound platforms, taking up a seat and keeping my eyes peeled)
    220/195 to Hammersmith (where I noticed a required set heading westbound, sadly not being able to grab the destination)
    229/854 to Barons Court
    199/108 to Earl’s Court (this being the set I saw earlier heading towards Heathrow)
    212/147 to Northfields
    149/882 to Acton Town
    21313/21314 to Ealing Broadway, mainly for a PNB but with no Paddington bound services, I leapt back on, after knowing the new footbridge is open as it looks like the current bridge at the western end will be taken out of use for rebuilding)
    21313/21314 to Acton Town
    218/109 to Holborn
    91033/92074/91311/91263 to Bank, transferring to the DLR platforms
    143/132/128 to Shadwell.

    [​IMG] Plane meets Train.

    I lasted around 15 minutes at Shadwell, for the wind was bitterly cold, so I called it a day with 26/57/74 to Lewisham to go play on some buses, the idea was to take a bus to Croydon but things change, as a route 185 service rolled in first bound for Victoria (bus MHV68), I bailed an hour later at Vauxhall (an interesting route it takes). Bus PVL412 on a route 77 took me to Waterloo where I grabbed a bottle of pop from Tesco before a Borismaster LT745 on a route 168 took me to Euston. Bus WVL461 took me to Kings Cross on a route 476 to visit McDonalds (the one on the opposite side of the road as it was quieter). My final bus move was DN33616 on a route 30 back 2 stops to Euston, where I headed towards platform 1, which was blocked off (Euston otherwise was quiet, with the only other services running were delayed London Overground services).

    Eventually the platform was announced and we were allowed down to be checked in (a new process where the tickets are checked before you can board the train). Winner 90046 was on the blocks, and dud 90043 was leading as far as the Wembley sidings, where 90046 would take over to haul the set towards Glasgow via the ECML. I was surprised at the level of loading in the Glasgow seats, seeing as it had “sold out”, but only a third had reservation labels and on departure there was around 8 passengers, allowing people to spread out (I believe it was originally planned to be a 86 or 87 getting attached at Edinburgh to haul the set into Glasgow but that fell down).

    A fast reversal at Wembley and 90043 hauled the set to the south, turning left onto the Primrose Hill link, joining the NLL for a short section before heading down the slope towards the ECML, a fast run on the ECML where I believe we paused at Doncaster and south of Newcastle due to there being no platforms available (as all 4 sleepers were in Newcastle around the same time due to delays caused by a 47 deciding to do what a 47 does best and break down (they really are useless locos which should be scrapped or fitted with new engines to create more 57s ;)).

    I shall leave you with this picture of 90046 at Euston
    [​IMG]

    ------------

    2nd April – A small day trip across the border, pt 2

    The sleeper had reached Edinburgh, the rear 9 coaches were detached and 73971 was attached to the rear (which gets a small tick in my book as being part of the train), eventually 90046 got going, around 20 minutes down for a speedy run via Falkirk High (another station I can tick off at going non-stop through), and eventually the train arrived into Glasgow Queen Street, probably the first time an electric loco has hauled a passenger train into the high level station (when running on electric). Needless to say there was quite a few people taking pictures so why not join in

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Easter Monday is a bit of an odd day in Scotland as it isn’t classed as a bank holiday, so normal peak-time fares apply and Scotrail runs a mostly unchanged timetable (all be it with less trains on some routes, and modified due to an engineering block), however it did mean a certain train to Springburn was running. So swinging via Sainsburys for a bacon sandwich I headed to a quiet Glasgow Central, buying my single to Springburn and jumping on 318253 to Partick, meeting up with BT who was joining me on my little trip for a little social.

    334033/334008 took us out of the wind to Queen Street Low Level, for a short wait before 334034 rolled in, which calls at High Street then runs fast to Springburn and after High Street me and Dan would have been the only passengers on board, but there was a couple who had missed the “Glasgow Queen Street” signs. A pause around Bellgrove for 73971 to get out of the way with the empties before a speedy run giving Adam a quick wave to terminate into the lesser used platform 4 at Springburn (this being the only service of the day to use this platform, platform 3 is the same at the moment but come May comes back into half hourly service when the services are cut back).

    [​IMG]334034 in platform 4 at Springburn

    I purchased my day return to Edinburgh, and headed over to platform 1 for 344013 to Bellgrove making a tight +3 onto 334035 which was bound for Airdrie, the first time I admit to seeing a 334 on Airdrie – Balloch workings, as they have always been solid 318/320s when I’ve previously been in this area. Anyhow it meant another bay could be ticked off, this time being the half hourly used bay at Airdrie, and crossing over to the Edinburgh bound platform it was time for more 334 based fun with 334001/334007 to Edinburgh. I do like a nice fast run on a 334 as they make a nice noise. Anyhow because my rail requirements currently in Scotland can be counted on one hand and still have enough fingers left to work out 2+2, Dan decided to treat me on something which I’ve wanted to do for a while, a bus across the Forth, so it was to the bus station (via getting a cup of coffee), with an empty (1 other passenger) Stagecoach X59 coach (54332) to Ferrytoll Park & Ride (you can see it from the train), noting that the old bridge has reopened for pedestrians, cyclists & buses, a short break at the waiting room before a slightly busier Stagecoach X60 coach (53807) took us back to Edinburgh, where we walked back to the station, saying farewell as I headed down to board a cheap move...

    ... A pair of Voyagers to Sheffield (yes I can head the screams from a certain Leamington Spa based person). 220003 was leading 220025 on this busy service, I was in coach F on 220025 and booked my seat carefully to get one with a good view, mainly of the rain, others on the table was a family heading back to Birmingham. A speedy run (I forget how long the gaps between stations are on the northern end of the ECML, felt like aged between Chathill & Berwick), eventually the train reached a snowy Sheffield where I bailed for a 80 minute break, and a few minutes later I had reached the city centre for a spot of tram hunting, sadly it appeared neither 399201 or 399207 were out today (both will have to wait until probably September time when I’m next up in Sheffield). So after swinging via Tesco I walked back to the station, and waited for a slightly late running Reading service formed of 221136 on a semi-fast service (Derby, Birmingham, Leamington) so the speed was nice as darkness started to fall.

    Arrival into Reading was a few minutes early (no idea with the timetable but it did feel like the train had a good 5 minute wait at Banbury & a similar wait at Oxford), noting that the e-ticket readers work, I headed out of the station for a short walk before returning to grab a mostly empty 166201 to Basingstoke, noting the new advertising “home of Festival Place” signs below the name boards, it wasn’t long before a 220 rolled in from Manchester a good couple minutes early (due out at 22:10, it arrived at 22:04), which allowed the 22:14 to arrive early as well. 159108/159007/159022 was taking me back home to Grateley, where alighting in a monsoon I called up for a quick lift home.

    [​IMG]

    Overall an enjoyable couple days, before anybody asks XC was ~ £41 to Reading, VTEC wanted at least £70.50 to London. A couple more bays into my book (one from the ‘hard’ list and one from the ‘easy’ list), down to only needing 3 more LU units to clear LU (91177 on the Central Line which is long term out of use, 167 & 221 on the Piccadilly line), but the main event was the randomness of a class 90 into Queen Street
     
  3. Keith Jarrett

    Keith Jarrett Established Member

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    Well done on clearing the 387/1s and 707s as well as putting a big dent into the 700s. So you scored both of the 66s on the foray into South Wales? Well done as for me it was only 230. I only have a handful of 66s and 150 was dud .... Typical of my luck.
    That's a dangerous road to be going on though when you are into London bus routes - I am wondering how long it will take to clear up all the bus "track" in London?
     
  4. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    The sheds on the South Wales trip were both dud. 230 from earlier in the year and the other one (177?) from a tour a couple years ago to Buxton.

    My rough 'rules' are two stops for a bus route to count (so expect a few more routes getting scored by doing Euston - Kings Cross leaps as due to the stop at the British Library it counts).
     
  5. Keith Jarrett

    Keith Jarrett Established Member

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    Hence the term "bus stop bash". So in due course you will be venturing down to my part of the world to enjoy the delights of routes such as the 80, 163 and 413. All easily combined with revisiting the Wimbledon loop!
     
  6. fishquinn

    fishquinn Established Member Quizmaster

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    A voyager all the way from Edinburgh to Reading (even with a short stop in Sheffield) can't have been fun... I must disagree with your comment on 47s though. When a loco doesn't get too much use (like 749) then it obviously isn't going to be as reliable as one that has frequent use. They are obviously getting old now so won't be as reliable as younger locos but seem to do fairly well most of the time. Look at the Cumbrian Coast 37s if you want to find something hideously unreliable ;)
     
  7. D841 Roebuck

    D841 Roebuck Established Member

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    A nice, suitably random sort of trip.

    Most impressed by how little you need on LU - far too much dedication there for me to hope to emulate!
     
  8. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    Better than having a 91 banging into the rear on a busy VTEC service, some which were busy judging by the seat reservation displays

    (This is when VTEC should run additional fast services to London, maybe calling only at Newcastle to encourage London passengers to use those freeing up the other services for passengers for other stations.)
     
  9. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    It definitely was the first AC into QS as a result of 90047 not being able to work the southbound lowlander the previous evening. You can consider yourself to have been part of history there! :)
     
  10. xotGD

    xotGD Established Member

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    I am puzzled by this 'tick' for a dead 73 on the back of the train?!?
     
  11. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    It was running providing hotel power, certainly the temperature of the seated coach got a lot warmer after Edinburgh.

    Gets half a tick as being part of the train, doesn't get any mileage listed against it (I've got another 73/9 like that for when a 66 was hauling the coaches to Inverness with the 73/9 providing power to the coaches)
     
  12. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    Mini-report to follow, but I happened to visit Woodford on Sunday night ;)
     

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  13. 87electric

    87electric Member

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    Central line stock cleared at last?
     
  14. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    Alas 91177 still is broken (it's been out of traffic since Feb 16).

    My visit was on the only booked use of that bay at Woodford
     
  15. 87electric

    87electric Member

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    I need 7 Central Line stocks and 91177 is among them. So you're not alone
     
  16. xotGD

    xotGD Established Member

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    On that basis you would have counted an ETHEL on the Fort William Sleepers!
     
  17. Kristofferson

    Kristofferson Established Member

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    Prolific as ever Kite, I very much enjoyed the railtour reports!
     
  18. 47403

    47403 Established Member

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    I'm just catching up with this fascinating thread/novel when I saw this. Gotta say kite, its a cracking read. Im doing it in the time machine way. Started at your last post and going back through time till I reach my last, last reply on the thread. Even though i know you've got all the stations done. I haven't reached that pinnacle yet.

    Now kite, you really must behave. Yes those 47s may have terrible clothes on, I'm not a fan of West Coasts livery, it's as dull as dish water but to say the souped up voyagers, that's what the 800s are in my eyes, are better than 47s:o. I also believe if the 47s were in that GWR Green they'd look phenominal, 47484 being a prime example. That's not my photo but what a splendid looking beast that was.
    Colour-slide-of-Green-47484-BR-class-47-1.jpg
    However I believe kite was saying this with his tongue firmly in his cheek to provoke a response. :D

    I'm jealous as sin of those miles behind them two classics. I believe 47760 would be a winner now but in its old guise as 47562 it would be dud as is 47245's a dud but itd be nice to get reaquainted again. Nice of them to give you an NB example though in December. If 47760 had gone pop, youd have frozen pretty quickly.
     
    Last edited: 17 Apr 2018
  19. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    The Crazy 10 days

    A semi-enforced (senior management demands) week off work, meant my head was full of ideas, a good chance to knock off some more bay platforms alongside other things (such as 800 hunting), a rough idea was formed for the days ahead and accommodation booked. Although before hand I had treated my parents on a little trip to Newcastle on the Geordie Go Round tour as a Christmas present.

    And so it begins

    Day 1 – 6th April

    I finished work and after picking up the luggage & parents I drove to Andover for the 15:05 service which the platform displays had down as being formed of 4 coaches, but in fact it was 159019 leading 158888 for the hop to Basingstoke for a busy 165116 (first experience of a 165/1 which has been modified to have air cooling fitted and plug/USB sockets) to Reading (they have been watching the Paddington program and wanted to try out one of the new 800s, which was good news for me as it meant I had a chance of a score). Thankfully we didn’t have long to wait before winner 800025 rolled in with 800006 to take us to Paddington on a speedy run, my first real experience of a 800 on electric out of Reading (and they fly).

    3237/3565 took us onwards to Oxford Circus before 11003/11004 onwards to Victoria, locating the next East Croydon bound Southern service turning down the 1st available for the 2nd service (departing a couple minutes later, with the theory that the 1st would soak up more passengers), with 377427 & 377104 for the run to Croydon, the leading coach on 377427 getting quite busy after Clapham (no doubt because it was closest to the exit at Croydon). We checked into the Travelodge getting rooms on the 2nd floor and headed for some food at the George.

    After dinner, my plan of heading on the tram failed as I didn’t notice that it was closed from Croydon towards Sandilands, but never mind, as a change of plan came into mind with tram 2544 taken from the centre platform at East Croydon tram stop (little bit of microgricing action) for the run to Wimbledon, with 700003 taken on the Sutton loop (sadly the flag of Keith’s Mansion was at half mast so he must have been out) to Sutton, with 455815 taken onwards to West Croydon for a short wait for tram 2552 to Wellesley Road where I said farewell and headed back out to the tram stop where 2563 eventually tipped up for the tiny leap around the corner to East Croydon tram stop, for the sole reason to score the microgrice into the centre platform (which means I’ve entered & exited that platform both directions).

    [​IMG]Tram 2563 terminates in the centre platform at East Croydon

    Day 2 – 7th April

    Today was the day of “The Geordie Go Round” tour from UK Railtours, interesting for me as it would score the required two bits of Baker Track (mainly the curve from Morpeth towards the Blyth & Tyne route to complete that triangle, and the spur towards North Blyth). An early start from East Croydon with 700009 doing the honours for my first Thameslink South London tour for some time (and who knows might be one of the last times of heading via Crystal Palace on a 700).

    Time to grab supplies & breakfast from Tesco Metro (although I have found out there is also a Sainsburys Local nearby, opposite the “Kings Cross Thameslink” station entrance (used by the Victoria Line during the day). The train was mostly First Class coaches with some standard class coaches bolted on for what was a “2 tours in 1” day [there was a tour to Beamish Museum as well]. We were near the rear with 67018 attached, up front was winner 90035, and so for the 2nd time in less than a week I was heading down the ECML behind a winning 90!.

    [​IMG]90035 at Kings Cross

    Due to the 90 on the front, the routing towards Tyne Yard couldn’t really be anything really exciting, picking up at Potters Bar, Stevenage & Peterborough, and slow lines after Peterborough and with a couple pathing stops, but overall a fast run. Unusually the train kept to the main lines around Doncaster where it was booked to change driver (I was expecting it to come off before the flyover from Lincoln and head around the freight area for pathing reasons). Onwards towards York where the train took a left turn to use the York avoiding lines before carrying on via the mainline at Darlington (finally I do it during the hours of daylight!), pausing briefly at Durham for those folk heading to Beamish to make their way to a fleet of buses.

    Into Tyne yard, where the 90 detached and was replaced by an unknown 67, which was found out to be 67018 based on the large Canadian maple leaf on the side. Picking up the “short-tour” passengers at Newcastle for the trip northbound towards Morpeth, crossing over before the station and going around the tight curve onto the Bylth & Tyne tour (I did the north side of the triangle last March on the HST tour to Edinburgh). The train came to a stop around the Newsham Level Crossing area where it could reverse with 67008 becoming the 15th member of the class into my book doing the hauling towards North Blyth and the coastline. Sadly the sun which was with us early on in the day had vanished replaced by rain. 67018 took back control and hauled us back towards Newcastle, a pleasant little spin on the freight only Blyth & Tyne route.

    [​IMG]The coast at North Blyth

    The couple hours in Newcastle was spent heading to the local Spoons for a meal, before returning to the station, regaining the seats and with 90035 back up front, for a fast run on the ECML, certainly didn’t slow down for Darlington as it sped past, only to get held up outside York where there was a guard change, and another driver change at Doncaster, but other than that it was full speed ahead towards the capital, setting down at the usual stations and arriving into Kings Cross roughly on time, maybe a minute or two early. A fast walk over to St Pancras for a nice +5 onto 700029 for the trip back to Croydon, and back towards the hotel to relax and recover.

    2 more locos into my book, plus a couple more pieces of track ticked off, a good little tour, which my parents did enjoy (well other than the boring part of the ECML south of Peterborough).

    Day 3 – 8th April

    Today will be in two parts, the 1st was with my parents, the 2nd was later on in the day where I returned with the aim of a certain Central Line service.

    After a quick visit to East Croydon station to pick up my weekly outer boundary travelcard (and after breakfast in the George), it was to the Fairfields Hall bus stop for a route 75 double decker for the hour trip towards Lewisham (bus 12276), sadly it was wet outside so the windows kept on steaming up (sadly I didn’t have an handy bar of soap with me either). An enjoyable trip across South London though (best seat in the bus), after the bus trip it was over to the DLR platforms with a late platform swap for 128/141/147 towards Canary Wharf, with 138/119 to Poplar & 97/49 taken to Beckton (again it was something my parents wanted to experience).

    Crossing the road at Beckton towards the bus station, and it was a short wait for a route 474 to take us towards Manor Park via East Ham (which is larger than I had imagined it would be) (Bus WVL421 in case anybody was wondering). A short wait before 315830 & 315818 rolled in to take use to Stratford before 360121/360120 followed a few minutes later for a quick PNB on the run to Liverpool Street. Down to LU with 91009/92176/92042/91125 to Tottenham Court Road with 51513/51514 leapt on for the run to Waterloo, with 159019 & 159013 taken for the spin back to Andover, picking up the car and heading towards a local pub for Sunday lunch.

    Afterwards, we headed home, and with time before the next train towards London which called at Grateley (I am so much looking forward to December when the Sunday frequency improves), I sorted out my backpack before making my slow way to the station for a busy 159002/158883/159016 for the fast run to Waterloo. Along the way I found out the location of one of my last 2 1973 stocks and it was gettable without too much of a time penalty so to LU with 3267/3559 taken for a time wasting leap to Lambeth North & 3563/3259 taken to Piccadilly Circus. 139/248 was taken to Hyde Park Corner as another time wasting move for a short 4 minute fester before 884 rolled in along with 167, which means it is just 221 left to locate (and sadly it appears to be currently out of traffic after the 1st April, so I need to ask if it has returned, but knowing my luck it will be the latest set to go for a refresh with new seat cushions etc).

    I alighted at Kings Cross St Pancras, and headed upstairs to take a seat (via the toilet) on 365537 & 365507 for the short run to Finsbury Park before a route 236 bus (WV46209) took me from the bus station all the way towards Hackney, as I alighted at the bus stop on King Edward’s Road, swinging via an ATM to take some money out before checking into the “Hackney Hostel”, one of those cheap hostels, but for £11 for a bed I wasn’t complaining (considering my options were limited due to being on LU until late). I checked in, dropped off some clothes from my bag and headed back out towards the bus stop on the opposite side. Yes it was close to London Fields station but there were no trains there today, it was a case of flagging down the first bus towards the centre of London with a route 254 bus towards Aldgate fitting the bill (LT326). Although due to roadworks it terminated at Aldgate East, which meant a short walk to a nearby Tesco for dinner, eventually reaching Aldgate East station with a short 5 minute wait for the next Hammersmith train, 21523/21524 to Liverpool Street.

    With around 45 minutes to kill before that Central Line service, I leapt onto the first train towards Stratford, 315834 & 315848, along the way we passed an unknown 345 so it was a case of waiting for the next Liverpool Street service to roll in, which was dud 345012, the 345 was also not required so I headed over towards platform 18 to take a seat on 321338/321334 for the return to Stratford, where I had around 10 minutes to sit on the eastbound Central Line bound service, tracking the location of train 24:

    [​IMG]

    Train 24 rolled in, Woodford on the destination bound and formed of a very quiet 91015/92194/92420/91325, my fingers were crossed after departing South Woodford as I felt the train take the crossovers for the little trip via a siding to reach the little used platform 1 at Woodford (basically this is the only train booked to use that bay during the entire week), so to get it into my book was a happy moment. Although there was a couple confused passengers wanting to carry on towards Epping, having to cross over the footbridge to reach platform 3, I would have imagined it would have been better for the driver to mention that for passengers beyond Woodford to change at South Woodford to avoid having to change platforms, like I’ve heard a couple times when trains have gone into Moorgate bays.

    [​IMG]Train at Woodford platform 1

    Anyhow I wasn’t quite finished with my LU microgricing tonight, as it was a trip back to Stratford on 91035/92014/92098/91335, with a walk over to the Jubilee line platforms with 96052/96001 taken for the short run to West Ham, where another short walk took me to the H&C/District line platforms, the first chance I had was gone and it was a 15 minute fester (at least West Ham has free WiFi from C2C), thinking that the 2nd train had vanished before “Plaistow” appeared on the destination board and a Hammersmith & City line train rolled in with “Plaistow” on that destination screen on 21525/21526 for the half mile trip east to terminate into the bay at Plaistow, my final LU operational bay platform [so discounting the Chesham bay at Chalfont which is effectively disused due to being too short for a S8].

    I remained on 21525/21526 (although that might be down to it being the next westbound departure), for the trip to Whitechapel, exiting the station and eventually locating the bus stop with another route 254 “Boris Master LT329” service to King Edward’s Road, for a walk back to the hostel for not really the best of sleeps (bit hard sleeping pretty much next door to the railway line, where the room would shake when a 379 sped past).

    [​IMG]

    Although this is where I missed a big trick in not being up early to catch the 06:00 Liverpool Street – Enfield Town service, which I believe is the only service booked to use platform 3 at Enfield Town, a job for another time I suspect as I turn my focus towards London terminal platforms. Anyhow day 4 of my 10 chaotic days (I did say April would be busier than March!) will follow, in which it may or may not feature some Iron action
     
  20. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    10 Days of Crazyness, day 4, 9th April

    After an average sleep in the hostel, I headed out without much of a plan for the first couple hours, so a quick search on RTT I made up my mind for a little trip to Enfield Town to grab platform 1 (which only tends to get used during peak times). The first service from London Fields was heading towards Cheshunt with a semi-fast Enfield service behind, so it was onto 317729 & 317732 to take me to White Hart Lane (as I had only previously boarded here). Thankfully my time at the rough looking area (wouldn’t like to be around here after hours) before 317891 & 317890 rolled in to take me to the end of the little branch at Enfield Town (arriving into the more usual platform 2), I couldn’t help noticing that there appears to be a manually controlled level crossing after Bush Hill Park, bit odd seeing something low tech like that in London to be honest.

    Anyhow after a quick PNB the next service arrived as booked into platform 1 (like I said earlier I missed a big trick in not getting up for the first Enfield service to grab the little used platform 3), and thankfully it was a pair of 317s, with 317723 leading 317892. I took a seat in the former 1st class area of 317723 on a single seat and it got busy on the way into Liverpool Street, emptying out a bit at Seven Sisters, but arrival was on time, giving me time to head across to the TfL Rail platforms to ID the next couple departures were 315s, so time to pop to Tesco for breakfast. I returned to the station and jumped on the next Stratford departure which was 345008. I had spotted an unknown 345 on route towards Liverpool Street (345s are awful to try and ID when on the move) so decided to intercept that one.

    Dud 345007 took me to Forest Gate, with dud 345009 back to Maryland, for a tight connection onto winner 345016 for the tiny leap to Forest Gate, making my way over the temporary footbridge once more to jump onto winner 345015 back to Maryland. Next Shenfield was in the hands of dud 345011 which I was on all the way to the end of the line at Shenfield (with a RPI sweep after Romford), mainly so I could score the new platform 6 at Shenfield (the first of 4 planned bay moves of the day). My time at Shenfield wasn’t for long before the next Southend Victoria service rolled in to take me to Wickford with 321410 & 321354 doing the honours. It was over the footbridge for the next Southminster service which went from platform 4 (seems in the morning platform 4 is used, with the services swapping over to platform 1 in the afternoons), but it means another bay platform could be ticked off with a short run on 321345 to Battlesbridge.

    [​IMG]345011 & 345016 line up at Shenfield

    The First Great Eastern signage had gone, so had one of the parking places, leaving 3 parking places at a cost of 50p per day (payable only via phone parking with no doubt adding a nice admin fee to the cost, seriously is it even worth having a meter for such a tiny car park?), the main thing was a newish looking waiting shelter which is where I took a seat for the 15 minutes it took for 321302 to roll in for the short leap back to Wickford, arriving into platform 4. Over the footbridge and onto 321447 & 321308 for the run to Southend Victoria, a station I had previously visited in 2014 so I wanted to get a platform used number for my book, it went into platform 3 (with another RPI check on the route).

    I risked my life in crossing over the town centre area, a few curlies on scooters speeding around mixed up with gangs of youths on bikes, but I made it to Southend Central for a short wait before low mileage 357315 rolled up to take me to West Ham via the main-line. With nothing on my plan until 17:12 I decided to pay a quick visit to Stratford on 96029/96114 to ID another TfL Rail service I missed earlier in the day, but that turned out to be a pair of 315s, so back to the Jubilee Line with 96064 & 96037 doing the honours of the speedy run to London Bridge, where I decided to jump onto 376030 & 376035 for the short run to Lewisham from the Charing Cross platforms, where I intercepted the next Hayes service from Cannon Street. 465171, 466014 & 466035 was taken for the spin down to the end of the line, to score me platform 1, and I made the nice connection onto 376012 & 376009 waiting time on platform 2 to head to Catford Bridge, where I exited the station to walk the tiny distance to Catford to have a short 700 hunting session. My luck was in with winner 700048 to London Blackfriars where after a lunch break it was to platform 1 with winner 700127 taken to London Bridge followed by dud 700119 to East Croydon (noting that the Bedford – Three Bridges are now getting advertised at London Bridge when they are due to run this way).

    A short wait at East Croydon before dud 700129 took me back to Blackfriars (via London Bridge), for a short fester for a mistaken identity unit from the Loop de Sutton, however my disappointed didn’t last for long as winner 700051 rolled in for the hop to Farringdon. A brief 10 minute fester on the footbridge before 700116 entered my book for a leap to City Thameslink, swiftly followed by 700055 to Farringdon and swiftier followed by winner 700135 to St Pancras. With one eye on the clock (and knowing I still had to buy my Boundary Zone ticket) I exited Thameslink, to try my luck with the EMT TVMs, and was in luck as the “buy from other station” feature was working, sadly there wasn’t an option for a Gold Card so I had to select 16-25 railcard. Anyhow with those tickets in my wallet it was to the Victoria line with 11035/11036 taken to Victoria, where I headed over towards the South Eastern side of the station, noting a cosy looking 377/5 on an Ashford service, allowing me to grab a seat on the Maidstone East service, formed of 465001 & 466027, no guesses which unit I sat in ;)

    It was a nice run via Catford, and onto the Maidstone East line (although the fog had arrived), calling at all the stations before arriving at Maidstone East, my fingers were crossed as the last time I attempted this move the service crossed over to terminate in platform 1, but thankfully this time history didn’t repeat and it rolled into the bay platform (woohoo)!
    [​IMG]466027 at Maidstone East

    I had around 20 minutes to get across to Maidstone West, which was easily done with a leap on 375310 to Maidstone Barracks, watching as the 395 ran past ECS before 375301 rolled in to take me towards Paddock Wood, terminating into the bay platform there (afterall if I was in the area I might as well take a trip on the Medway Valley line). I had around 20 minutes to wait at Paddock Wood so I popped to a nearby Tesco Express to grab dinner, before returning to the station with 375711 & 375605 rolling in to take me to Waterloo East, a nice nonstop run after Sevenoaks. I was feeling tired so I was grateful when 159107 rolled in to attach with 158881 to form the 21:20 service, arriving at Grateley and walking home after a busy couple days. However I could now tick some more bays of my ever decreasing list plus 6 more 700s could be entered into my book (as well as 2 more 345s)

    Thankfully day 5 was a bit less busy owing to having to be home by a certain time.
     
  21. D841 Roebuck

    D841 Roebuck Established Member

    Messages:
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    Some interesting days out there. I smiled at 11003/004 turning up on the Victoria line - that set seems to haunt me whenever I venture capitalwards. Likewise at "Breakfast at the George", which reminded me of similar on my last trip to London - very nice, and unlike Spoons in Rochdale they manage to source decent bacon and cook it properly!

    Also a pertinent reminder that I have yet to cover either route through Maidstone - something for the summer, methinks!

    Looking forward to reading the rest idc... :)
     
  22. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    Looking at my mileage log, my most used Victoria line stock is 11031/11032 with 8 journeys logged (although only a total of 12.9 miles, which is beaten by a few other sets, the leader of the pack being 11009/11010 at 20.6 miles.

    The George is a nice pub, they do a good burger as well :)
     
  23. Andrewh32

    Andrewh32 Member

    Messages:
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    11 Dec 2017
    Over the last few evenings I have sat & read every word right from the beginning. It really does seem you have been on an incredible journey.It really has been a truly interesting read so thank you for sharing.
     
  24. 55013

    55013 Established Member

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    As usual, very interesting stuff.
    I look forward to reading about the following few days :)
     
  25. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    Thanks Mr 13 :)

    Thanks Andrew, sometimes I like to flick back in time myself to bring back memories of trips from 2/3 years ago.
     
  26. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

    Messages:
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    10th April - 10 Days of Crazyness, Day 5

    After a couple long days I was on a quieter day, my return time was semi-fixed by meeting up with my brother to attend a comedy show, so it would be a 800 hunting day, making use of the excellent “Tiger Rail” website (brings up the ‘staff view’ Customer Information Display which for GWR shows “This train has 10 coaches, First Class is in the Middle” for 800 operated services, allowing me to make a rough plan for those services). Anyhow it was a short walk to the station for the 09:59 service towards Waterloo which eventually rolled in 10 minutes late and formed of 159107 & 159019, the sprinters managed to make up a couple minutes but it would mean no Turbo based action for me this morning.

    At Basingstoke it was a short walk across to platform 4 to wait for the voyager, 221134 to rumble in, noting that unusually both services from the Southampton direction were also using platform 4 rather than the more common 3 (platform 4 has a massive step so isn’t that customer friendly, also I think it is slightly shorter than the others). Once at Reading, I had Tiger up and it highlighted a “formed of 10” service due towards Paddington from Bristol (I think) in around 10 minutes. Noting a required set heading west to Swansea (annoyingly wouldn’t be able to get that one today as it would push me beyond my deadline). My fester was short live as dud 800013 rolled in with winner 800032 on the rear, and like on Friday they are quite nippy on the electric.

    Along the way I had Tiger up for Paddington services knowing I had a rough hour wait for the next ‘unknown’ service to roll in, so once at Paddington I decided for a time wasting hop to Ealing Broadway on 387136/387135, returning on 387139 & 387158, noting that the new footbridge had opened at the eastern end of the platform (for a quick change be rear doors of coach 7), I believe it is open due to part of the old exit being closed for the installation of a lift.

    [​IMG]

    I rolled in alongside the next departure I had highlighted as being 800 operated and it was winner 800034 on the front with 800018 on the rear, so after a quick visit to Sainsburys for some lunch I boarded a quiet 034, the assistant ticket examiner (or whatever GWR are calling the member of staff in the front unit) was quick to check tickets but a nice speedy trip back to Reading, where I exited the station for a short while as there was a 25 minute wait before the next IET service (Reading buses certainly are very multi-coloured). Returning to the station my wait was rewarded with winner 800030 running solo from the Worcester direction, for a leap to Slough, sadly it lost time due to a late running HST in front so the connection to a pair of 387s was missed as I crossed over to platform 2 (seriously how dangerous is this platform at Slough with services rushing past at a fair bit of speed with tourists waiting for the Windsor shuttle on P1).

    Anyhow 25 minutes of reading my magazine later, dud 800014 rolled in to take me back to Reading where I purchased a day return to Didcot, jumping onto 43131/43041 for the spin to Didcot, and after spending a few hours on the 800s I had forgotten how awful the interior of a GWR HST is in comparison. Once at Didcot I had a few minutes to wait before sampling 800025 & 800006 out on electric back to Reading where I noticed the screens shouting out “services may be delayed due to signalling issues in the Hayes area”, so I was going to call it a day but the appearance of winners 800027 & 800029 had other ideas so back to Paddington where the issues must have been resolved as it was fast all the way.

    [​IMG]43041 departs Didcot Parkway

    It was straight down to the London Underground platforms with 3247/3538 for the mile leap to Baker Street crossing over to the Jubilee platform for 96027/96032 to Waterloo (as it be a bit quicker), making it to Waterloo for around 16:43 giving me a few minutes to make it to the 16:50 service (half an hour earlier than expected) formed of 159107 & 159022 for the trip back to Grateley, walking home to sort out my bag before heading out to meet up with my brother.

    Overall a good little day, 5 more 800s into my book of haulage :)

    ----

    11th April – 10 days of Crazyness day 6

    Day 6 like day 5 would be focused on the 800s, but unlike day 5 I didn’t have a deadline as such, but I decided to make use of my weekly ticket to travel earlier than I would usually do, deciding on the 07:59 service, and it was a bit on the damp side this morning as this picture of the 07:51 service from Basingstoke departing would show (also known as the first westbound train)
    [​IMG]

    As I had expected the 07:59 wasn’t as busy as earlier trains (I guess arriving into Waterloo at 09:20 is a bit late for some workers, but busy for Basingstoke commuters who start at 09:00), my stalking 159 gave its stalking a rest with 159103 & 159009 taking me the near 25 mile hop to Basingstoke where I made a tight connection onto a rather busy 220012 (the XC ‘oddity’ which starts from Winchester), although it was a seat in the luggage rack (couldn’t see any spare seats in coach D and the vestibules had other passengers in), but it put me around 15 minutes ahead of myself.

    That came in helpful as the first Paddington service was a pair of dud 800s, so it gave me a short wait before the next IET service (keeping an eye on any departures to the west), winners 800024 & 800035 rolled in on the next Paddington service where I managed to get a seat for the speedy run to Paddington, and like on Tuesday I decided on a time wasting move to Ealing & back, 387136 & 387135 working a stopping service for a short wait onto a late running 360203 back (also a mileage requirement). I had the choice of a couple services, the first was a solo 800 heading towards Worcester which was required, but I picked winner 800022 & 800008 with a note at what time that 800 would return from the Worcester direction.

    I didn’t have long at Reading indeed, as it was a short hop over to platform 10/11 with 800011 rolling in with winner 800033 attached to the rear, back to Paddington then, and another time wasting Ealing hop on 387166/387162 & back on 387135/387136, running in alongside a pair of winners which would be forming a service back in around 25 minutes time, so time for some food. This is when my weekly season ticket stopped working any barriers (much to my annoyance as it meant manual barriers all the time for the rest of the week). Anyhow it was onto winners 800026 & 800021 for the run back out to Reading, returning on mileage requirement 165102 on a semi-fast from Oxford (mainly because the inbound services were all known and I fancied some 165 based action, also I saw a required 800 sitting on the depot so wanted to see if it got thrown out on a service which appears to come from the depot. Alas it was one I saw earlier, so back to Reading on 165105 for some more mainline 165 action (on a Bedwyn service for extra noise).

    20 (or so) minutes later, required 800028 returned from the Worcester direction for the run back to Paddington, where after confirming a pair of unknown units were dud I decided to head across to Liverpool Street for a spot of 345 hunting, so it was to platform 16 for a short wait for 21419/21420 on a circle line service to take me the slow route to Liverpool Street (I do wonder if it be quicker to head to Baker Street on the Bakerloo and change to the first Liverpool Street bound service there). Anyhow I hit Liverpool Street at a good time when the high peak 4 minute frequency was kicking into gear and the 2nd departure was required 345003, so a quick hop to Stratford which was chaotic as ever, but I managed to find a bench near the lift (funny seeing services running into Stratford rammed with young families still trying to force their way on board with the world’s largest pushchairs). I kept my eye on any inbound workings, knowing that there was an unknown 345 heading inbound as I was heading out, so once that had cleared I transferred to the quieter inbound platform. Noting that the Central Line appeared to have collapsed meaning that platform 7 & 8 would soon be closed due to large crowding of folk heading home.

    A required 345 was spotted heading into Liverpool Street as ECS (just my luck!), so it was a case of jumping onto 315849 & 315841 to follow that 345 into Liverpool Street, changing platforms to jump onto 345014 for a short fester before it departed, back to Stratford for another short fester before the first Shenfield service returned, so I headed towards platform 11 for a spin on 317656/317655 towards Tottenham Hale, before 11017/11018 took me for the long spin to Oxford Circus & finally 3264/3561 to Waterloo, with 159103 working the 19:50 service to take me back home.

    A quick total up of my requirements of 800s highlighted only 031 as being needed of the ones currently in service, with 345013 & 345022 required from the 345s which have entered traffic as 7 coach units so my requirements are slowly coming down.

    12th April – 10 days of Crazyness, Day 7

    Today was a trip to the West Midlands, with a couple oddity movements on my radar before a couple visits to Northampton to sort out something which I missed at the start of March due to the snow, mainly platforms 4 & 5. Once more it was to Grateley station for the 07:59 service bag packed for a couple nights away from home (staying overnight in the Rugby Travelodge before a couple nights in a hostel near Kings Cross). Anyhow it was onto 159105 & 159001 for the run to Waterloo, noting that 159105 now featured “SWR” branding with the SWT part scrubbed out.

    Anyhow for a time wasting move I jumped onto 707024/707015 for the short hop to Vauxhall, with 11065/11066 taking me onwards to Euston (which made a nice change from just using the Northern line), for I had a small annoyance at Euston, mainly platform 17 which remained required, and where it gets used during the day by the odd service, most of those are first stop Watford, apart from the 10:04 Tring service. Annoyingly there is a Liverpool bound 390 from platform 16 so it took a bit longer than expected to gain access to the platform (due to the manual checking of tickets for Virgin passengers) but never the less I boarded a reasonably loaded 350123 for the short run to Harrow & Wealdstone, but finally a little annoyance can be ticked off.

    [​IMG]

    It was a short fester before the next Euston bound service, and to be honest I had completely forgotten about the 319s still being used at this time of the day, so it was a smile as 319429 & 319013 rolled in, my first example of a London North Western 319 since the first day of operations a couple years ago when a 319/2 arrived onto the Abbey Line. They certainly made a good noise on the fast run back to Euston, and with time to kill I decided to head over to Kings Cross, with 51709/51553 getting the tiny leap to Kings Cross St Pancras. 365522 took me on a Finsbury Park leap with 387113/387129 back to Kings Cross, merely as a time wasting move to see if any 700s were out and about. I did spot a XC HST in Kings Cross, as a hire-in for VTEC which certainly was unusual to say the least. Anyhow it was back to Euston on 11089/11090 just as a “couldn’t be bothered walking” move.

    [​IMG]XC 43357 at London Kings Cross

    I was booked on the 12:03 Virgin service as far as Rugby, and that wasn’t ready to board so I popped via Sainsburys for some lunch, coming away empty handed due to a severe lack of decent sandwiches, anyhow it was onto a moderately busy 390131 for the speedy trip to Rugby (kicking someone out of my reserved seat as they can’t read the word “Reserved”, tough luck you got a rubbish seat matey boy, go find a seat in one of the unreserved coaches. Mild annoyance over with, as I purchased my West Midlands Day Ranger (twice, the first time because the gentlemen in the ticket office had it for the wrong date based on his previous customer, and yes he noticed it was incorrect before he gave it over). Back to the platforms for a rare Chester bound service which calls at Rugby, my fingers crossed for one of the 5 Virgin 221s I need for 10 miles (only previously having them for Haymarket leaps), but alas it was 221113 for the fast run to Crewe.

    My time in Crewe wasn’t very long before waiting for the next Euston via Birmingham service to roll in from Edinburgh and it was my old foe 390128. Arrival into Wolverhampton was a few minutes early with the guard suggesting that anybody wanting a quicker journey to Birmingham should change over to the Bournemouth XC service as that would depart before us, but I didn’t do that, oh no I crossed over to platform 4 to await the service from Shrewsbury. 170513 took me into Birmingham New Street where I wanted to give myself a bit extra time to grab food (for I was getting a bit hungry, so onwards to Boots). After grabbing a meal-deal I headed back underground to await the next London North Western stopping service to arrive, 350377 was on the platform (previously working a service from Liverpool) as 350103 arrived to attach to it. I was sensible and waited for the attachment to take place in order to secure a prime table seat on 350377 for the run to Rugby where I had a fast walk outside the station to the Travelodge to check in, getting lucky with a room on the car-park side (for this hotel comes with an en-suite railway station).

    With weight gone from my bag, I headed back to the station arriving earlier than expected which allowed me to bail from the next Birmingham service (formed of 350370) at Birmingham International, not the best of moves as Birmingham International was busy (looked like a conference had finished due to the number of people in suits with security badges around their necks), so turning down a busy 390 it was onto a full & standing 350112 for the run to Birmingham New Street, but that would get me ready for the 17:30 service towards Cardiff Central, where in all of Cross Country’s wisdom they put a single 2-coach 170 on this high-peak service, as 170115 rolled in. I was lucky enough to grab a table seat on this overcrowded service for the novelty of getting a Cross Country service calling at Bromsgrove.

    [​IMG]

    I only had a short wait at Bromsgrove before 170510 & 170516 rolled in heading towards Hereford, the train emptying out at Bromsgrove allowing myself to grab a seat for the short hop to Droitwich Spa, where I had a roughly 15 minute fester for 153354 to roll in attached with 170503 (no guesses which unit I sat in, but it had windows you could open), mainly for the novelty of both a dogbox up the hill and also calling at Barnt Green on the “mainline” side of the station. I still wouldn’t mind trying to get a 150 up the hill, but I suspect that won’t happen before the 150s go to Northern. I remained on board to Birmingham New Street, where I had the usual fight to get off the train (as it has a tight turnaround, bit of a shame it doesn’t cut out the University call “any passengers for University should change at Barnt Green” and go via the Camp Hills line into New Street to allow for a faster getaway [like the Rugeley services].

    It was time to grab some food for dinner, including something for breakfast, from Tesco, before I headed back to New Street. I had a choice of an extra Virgin service before the Northampton terminator, and as this was low mileage 390001 the run to Rugby would safety put it over 10 miles (previously had it on a Stockport leap, I blame Keith ;)). Alighting at Rugby there was a delayed service from Crewe on the opposite platform (unlucky people getting a 350/2!). A short fester later and 350104 rolled in, this being one of the 2 services which are booked to terminate into platform 5 at Northampton (where they remain for the remainder of the day, coming back into use in the morning). Unsurprisingly it wasn’t that busy, and it wasn’t long passing Daventry & Long Buckley before terminating into platform 5 as booked (tick). (The other booked service is one from Crewe arriving ~15 minutes later).

    I crossed over to platform 3 to await the next Birmingham bound service, with 350370 rolling in quite busy (thankfully it emptied out), for another few miles back to Tile Hill, crossing over to board a Coventry terminator which tonight was in the hands of 323202, certainly unusual to get a 323 beyond Birmingham International in my experience, but this could be a booked 323 service, but still better than a 350/2! That was merely a time wasting move before the next Northampton service was due.
    [​IMG]323202 at Coventry

    350121 & 350369 rolled in from New Street, and this is the only service on a weekday which is booked to terminate into platform 4 (on a weekend there is a couple more services). I took a seat in the 350/3 thinking to myself that I’ve been lucky so far today with my 350s to avoid the 2s and at least the 350s have decent WiFi for the long section after Long Buckby, and with my fingers crossed the train slowed and headed left and terminated as booked into platform 4 to clear both bays (oh happy days, that means I can do Wolverhampton in May instead of Northampton)

    [​IMG]350121 & 350104 in the bays at Northampton

    Over to platform 2 this time for the next and final northbound departure, with my luck finding coming to an end with the appearance of 350241 for the trip to Rugby, where I walked back to the hotel, sorting my bags out for an early start the following morning (for I was booked on the 05:16 Rugby – Euston service for one particular reason...)
     
  27. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

    Messages:
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    Great reviews as usual Mr Kite and jealous of the variety and luck with the 800s! I’ve managed to ride about half of them now, but I never seem to get more than two or three in a day :(

    The XC did look unusual in Kings Cross! I’d be annoyed if I’d book VTEC First on it though...
     
  28. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

    Messages:
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    13th April - 10 Days of Crazyness, Day 8

    There were a couple reasons why I was booked onto the 05:16 service from Rugby to Euston, mainly because it was only £6, secondary because this service has a habit of departing from platform 3 at Rugby, which is the south facing bay which doesn’t really see much use these days. This is an odd service where some weeks will depart from platform 5 or 6, but for me on Friday 13th it was departing from platform 3.

    [​IMG]

    The sleeper thundered past, as needless to say I was a bit on the tired side, even though I was on the car-park side of the hotel I could still hear train movements, I saw the half yellow door as I walked along the platform but let out a sigh of relief when it wasn’t a 350/2 but 350372, it wasn’t the warmest of mornings so I was glad when the guard arrived to unlock the unit as I grabbed a table seat at the front of the unit for the trip to Euston, running into 350252 at Northampton (I keep running into this unit) for the speedy run after Milton Keynes, the train only really getting busy after Watford Junction (but I guess at a ~ 06:51 arrival it isn’t a high peak arrival).

    Time to grab something for breakfast, before I headed towards the 07:05 service to Tring, mainly because it was a pair of 319s and I needed to be woken up by some classical motor thrash. 319457 was leading 319460 for the fast to Harrow & Wealdstone trip, which was very much welcome in my eyes, as I made my way across to platform 6 turning down a busy 350/2 as a pair of 350s crawled past (350264 looked all nice and shiny it must be said), my next move was on 377702 which started from Watford Junction (so wasn’t that busy) for the trip to Shepherd’s Bush, where I transferred over to the Central Line station expecting a fight to board something heading east, but it was straight onto an Epping service (might have started at White City mind), I even got a seat after Bond Street. 91225/92434/92146/91325 did the honours to Liverpool Street, where I headed to the main concourse for a spot of 345 hunting (mainly as a time wasting move).

    Alas my luck had run out, as it was dud 345011 topping up its mileage on a leap to Stratford, followed by 315820/315857 for some PEP thrash to Forest Gate, sadly the next couple departures were dud so it was onto 345017 for the run to Romford, crossing over towards platform 1 for a trip to Upminster on 315812. I found out the location of a required 800 so that was built into my plan, but first a PNB at an empty Upminster station, it was very strange seeing no S7s on the LU platforms (there was a strike by one of the drivers depots reducing services). Anyhow I had time to relax as a low mileage 357 rolled in first, followed by a triple 387 service, 387305/387301/387303 were getting topped up (as like most bashers they were only in my book on a Fenchurch Street – Limehouse leap), also a nice speedy run to West Ham. A quick DLR leap on 146/118 took me to Stratford High Street before returning to West Ham on 139/136, mainly because I haven’t got a unit logged against that station (previously visited for work reasons back in January 2014). 96096/96079 gave me some Jubilee line motor thrash to Baker Street, followed by 3559/3267 for the mile leap to Paddington.

    [​IMG]

    A reasonably busy 800020 was on the next Worcester bound service, but it soon emptied out at Slough with tourists heading towards Windsor, and I had a reasonable connection at Reading so I relaxed for a short period, noting that the platform was getting quite busy (a pervious HST from Westbury had terminated due to running late due to being diverted via Swindon, with a sizeable gap in service), but thankfully winner 800031 was on the front with 800017 on the rear to tick off another 800, I even managed to get a seat in the leading coach of the 800 where it was quieter than the rest of the train (and not because it was the quiet coach!).

    I had a few options for potential moves, not really having any sort of plan for the rest of the day; I fancied a trip to Caterham to pick up platform 1, before I noticed an unusual move at Tattenham Corner which would clear my remaining 2 platforms at that terminus. So with a rough plan in my head it was down to the underground with 3252/3564 to Baker Street before 96093/96034 took me to London Bridge, where I had a couple options to reach East Croydon, deciding to pick 171201 (as the 700 wasn’t required and I hadn’t had a 171 for 2018 yet). I sat in the former first class end of the 170/4 (although it is a bit odd as there is no outside yellow markings/stickers on the doors but the seats had the napkins on, but after a question with the guard he confirmed it was declassified which gave me a nicer area to relax for the spin to East Croydon giving me roughly 20 minutes before the next Tattenham Corner bound service.

    Like on previous trips I kept my eyes peeled for required 700s floating around, noting a couple required units (and then looking ahead to see where I could intercept later), but beforehand it was a trip in the motor coach of 455823 for the trip all the way to the end of the rural line at Tattenham Corner, terminating into platform 3. I departed from the 455 and made my way over to platform 1 where 377620 was sat ready to work the next London Bridge service (for there be a set swap, with the 455 returning to London Victoria later on in the day). The AC of the 377 felt so nice for the trip back to Purley (it was a warm day).

    [​IMG]
    A short wait at Purley before the first required 700 of the day fell to my big red pen with 700138 for the trip to Coulsdon South which is an awful station to change platforms as both platforms have separate gate lines, I nearly missed 700101 to return to East Croydon (however I did have a back-up plan of the service 15 minutes later). Once more I took out the deckchair to note any required 700s floating around (sadly this time there wasn’t any), as the time ticked down before required 700133 returned from Brighton to take me back to London Bridge, crossing over to platform 5 for 700007 to take me to City Thameslink for a tight connection onto 700130 for the tiny leap to Blackfriars. If this service went via London Bridge I would have stayed on to get at least a mile but as it went via Crystal Palace I couldn’t be bothered. I crossed over to platform 2, locating a nice bench and took a seat, looking out over the river in between services. 30 minutes (or so) later winner 700058 rolled in to take me to Farringdon, returning to my bench at Blackfriars with 700033 doing the honours.

    I spotted a required 700/1 on the Brighton bound, so that went into my ideas file to intercept when it returned, before I was rewarded with 700053 to Farringdon. Crossing over to the LU platforms it was a leap to Liverpool Street on 21083/21084, grabbing something to eat for dinner from the Tesco, before heading over towards the low numbered platforms for 317709 & 317889 to roll in to take me on the run to Chingford (needless to say I sat in the motor coach of 317709 making use of the tables to eat my dinner). This service arrived into platform 3, with the next departure back to London going from platform 1, formed of a low mileage 315807, but it meant Chingford could be ticked off my list as all 3 platforms had been covered. I also noted the carriage sidings seem to be getting rebuilt, which I assume will be for the new stock when it eventually arrives.

    [​IMG]

    Once back at Liverpool Street, it was to the sub surface lines with 21339/21340 for the tiny leap to Moorgate (working a Hammersmith & City line service), heading to the Northern line platforms for 51596/51597 for the move to London Bridge. I leapt onto 700136 to take me to Blackfriars (mainly because the next service wasn’t getting advertised), so I returned to my bench for around a 10 minute fester before 700131 returned from Brighton to enter itself into my book. I remained on this service to St Pancras, where I was tired and called it a night, heading over to the bus stop for a route 63 bus for the short leap to Acton Street (bus MHV33) where the Clink78 hostel was located. Checked in and headed to the dorm room to relax & unwind before heading to grab some sleep for it was another early start on the Saturday.

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    14th April – 10 days of Crazyness, Day 9

    One of the main reasons for staying in London overnight on the Friday was to catch the boat train from Liverpool Street to Harwich International, scoring platform 1, as well as platform 6 at Colchester. Platform 1 might have track beyond it, but it is a disused siding with no access from the siding back onto the other line so effective it be a bay, whereas platform 6 at Colchester comes into use more on Saturday mornings for the additional services introduced a timetable change back where some Norwich – Liverpool Street services would skip Colchester & Chelmsford, running fast from Manningtree to Stratford

    I woke up in time, tried to make as little noise as possible when leaving the room before heading outside, up a hilly side street to reach the main road, deciding against heading towards Kings Cross because that would be far too sensible, instead it was a short wait for a route 214 bus heading towards Moorgate Finsbury Square (which would normally terminate at Liverpool Street bus station had that been open). Fleet number was DE1355 and it was a fast journey, eventually I found Liverpool Street station (not helped by signage pointing you towards areas which are blocked off for various rebuilding works). I decided on a little linear hop to Colchester on the 06:30 Norwich service, which had 82152 up front and 90008 at the rear giving it a good push, I had a nice private carriage which was also a nice bonus.

    At Colchester I had a short fester so I remained on the platform for the Harwich International boat train to arrive, formed of 321338 & 321418, I took a seat in a mostly empty motor coach of the former Great Northern 418 for the run towards the port, pausing briefly at Manningtree before scoring the microgrice of the mainline connection towards the branch, before the train terminated a few minutes early into platform 1 (where it shall remain for pretty much the entire day, coming back into service to form a London bound service later that day).

    [​IMG]

    As a time wasting move after crossing over to the main platform (2), it was a short wait for 360101 to roll into the station to take me to Harwich Town for a short turnaround (I managed to pop outside the station for a picture of a bus) before returning for the run back to Manningtree, ignoring 90005 as that one ran fast to Stratford, instead waiting 10 minutes before 321321/321407 rolled in for the run to Colchester, and faced with around a 50 minute wait, I decided on a cheap day return to Colchester Town merely as a time wasting move, getting gripped both ways. 321364/321320 was working a shuttle to Colchester Town (before forming a London train), and a few minutes after looking around the area I boarded 321313 working a Walton on the Maze stopping service, which terminated into platform 4 (instead of the more common platform 5).

    A short walk along platform 3, ignoring the mileage requirement of 321304 it was onto 321313 forming the next ‘relief’ service as a 90 thundered past, as I took a seat in the motor coach of this refurbished unit (GA have done a good job, other than installing the PIS unit upside down!), but it meant platform 6 at Colchester could be ticked off my list (a useful spot these services, as the only other booked use seems to be early morning services towards London and Colchester isn’t the cheapest place to stay due to the location of the north station). 321313 took me to Stratford calling only at Chelmsford and it did feel odd thundering through Shenfield on a 321, sadly the motor noise doesn’t seem to be as loud with the air cooling sealed windows, but ah well.

    [​IMG]

    I formed a rough plan in my head and once I had reached Stratford it was a short walk to the jubilee line platforms for 96054/96017 to London Bridge, which part of the new concourse had been closed so it was a confusing maze of having to go via the high level Southern concourse to reach 700104, reaching it with a minute to spare, but onwards to East Croydon where once more I had a short 700 spotting session before 377617 rolled in from Victoria to take me to Caterham to score platform 1, and also lunch from a nearby Morrisons. I was thankful for the AC as it was quite warm today, as the 377 returned me to a busy East Croydon (football was on at Crystal Palace) so I made a quick getaway after spotting a required 700 on a Brighton service from London Bridge.

    Onwards to the tram stop (and did I mention having to go via the manual gates was annoying with my failed magnetic strip?), and onto a New Addington bound tram (2541) for something more unusual, anyhow it used the platform on the left hand side when viewing from the exit, not sure if the platform on the right hand side is used but I didn’t have long as I had a bus to catch, mainly bus 36374 working a route 314 service towards Bromley Town Hall, which kept getting later and later, but an enjoyable run as it gets up to some speed on a couple sections of the A2022. Anyhow passing Hayes & Bromley South I kept looking at my watch but thankfully I made it to Bromley North (after a fast walk from the Town Hall) for 466011 on the Grove Park shuttle service, departing from platform 2.

    [​IMG]

    Bromley North is one of those stations I have only arrived by train on, back in 2014 when doing route coverage so it is nice to get a departure into my book from the grand looking building. Anyhow at Grove Park it was a short wait for 465170 to take me to London Bridge (via Lewisham), where I had a comfortable 8 minute to get across to the bay platforms to meet up with 700140 for the run to East Croydon. Another FLU 700 into my book (leaving just 121 and everything above 146 to get). Once at East Croydon I jumped on the next fast Victoria service formed of 377411 (it being a mileage requirement) to Clapham Junction, then into Waterloo on 456007 & 455736, jumping onto 159015 to pop home for an hour and a bit (my original plan was to take home some dirty clothes but that 700 messed up my plans!).

    I returned to Grateley station for the 18:59 service formed of 159108 and I got quite lucky here as it was one of the last London bound trains to pass Weybridge before someone tragically got hit by a train. Anyhow I escaped Waterloo and headed to Tesco for a brief bite to eat before 96079/96096 took me to Stratford for a short 345 hunt, before 91139/92460/92186/91119 took me to Holborn where I transferred onto the Piccadilly line platforms, jumping on the first departure westbound which was 237/886 to take me to Barons Court, I fired up the LU locator app for the service I required, no it wasn’t set 221 but for one of the tiny handful of services which are booked to use the local lines from Northfields towards Acton Town (basically 5 services a week). 191/190 took me to Hammersmith, with 201/892 to Acton Town, followed by 864/222 to Northfields, merely as time wasting linear hops in the hope of clearing some more 1973 stock for a mile (which is my milestone for light rail stuff, 5 miles for units which operated mostly within the London zones).

    Unusually Heathrow bound 251/230 departed from the local line platform at Northfields towards Heathrow which scored me a little unexpected microgrice, taking these all the way to Hatton Cross (which is another station I visited ages ago but had no record of what took me there), next terminal 4 was the train which I wanted so I took a seat on a quiet 172/127 pausing for around 4 minutes at Terminal 4 before the fast run towards Terminals 1,2&3 (nice bit of noise from the motors) before heading back towards Central London, after Boston Manor my fingers were crossed as the train came to a stop before I felt it bearing left and onto the local line at Northfields and onwards to South Ealing, using another dive under around the Acton Town area before I alighted at Turnham Green for the sake of saying that I’ve alighted from a Piccadilly Line service at Turnham Green!

    [​IMG]South Acton station

    My final rail move with my weekly season ticket was with 140/137 to Kings Cross St Pancras, where a short wait for a route 46 bus took me to Acton Street (fleet DE1155), using my loose “2 stops” rule. Back to the hostel where it wasn’t long before I collapsed into sleep, the end of a busy day, with my large major part of London Underground microgricing completed.

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    15th April – 10 days of Crazyness, Day 10

    The final day of my long week on the rails, and it was another railtour, a tour which has been pushed back a couple times, with route changes & loco changes, originally it was going to be the steam engine “Mayflower” before that was replaced by a Black Five, before that as well got replaced by a 37. A later than usual start for me on the Sunday as I headed to the bus stop, via Tesco Express for a spot of breakfast, before a route 30 bus (DN33627) took me to Highbury Corner, as the tour was starting from Highbury & Islington, having to show my ticket to gain access to the platform due to there being no 378s towards Stratford at the time of the day, which meant a speedy run on the North London Line for a change.

    [​IMG]37669 arrives at Highbury & Islington

    Winner 37669 rolled in with the usual coaches, however this time it was Mk2 coaches with comfortable seating (which meant I didn’t need my cushion!), a speedy run to Stratford where the train had a short fester for a photograph stop allowing me to ID the loco on the rear which would be coming into play later on that day, for it was 47580, formally a staple on the Great Eastern.

    [​IMG]47580 at Stratford

    Next stop after Stratford was Colchester, with a little microgrice scored with the connection from the mains to the electrics around Ilford flyover for a slow trip towards Shenfield, before the 37 could open up for the trip towards Colchester picking up the final passengers, flying through Manningtree and crawling past Ipswich meant another couple stations into my “passed” list can be added, as the train turned right onto the Lowestoft branch to slowly head towards Saxmundham pausing at the stations due to level crossings, after Saxmundham it turned right onto the Sizewell branch to reach the NR limit, quite a few stops & starts with manual level crossings, it certainly wasn’t the fastest journey!

    47580 was fired up for the trip back towards the mainline pausing for a photo stop at Saxmundham before carrying on towards Ipswich, this time pausing in the through line for a 90 to depart beforehand (it was a 90 sandwich with a Norwich service on the right hand side as well). The train paused after Halifax Junction, and the 37 hauled us down into the Ipswich Griffin Wharf area for another bit of Baker coverage into my map. 47580 was back in control to rejoin the mainline and head south, turning left to take the Manningtree north curve for the run to Harwich Town, running ahead of schedule as we were stood around outside Harwich International for 15 minutes for the 321 to clear the single track section ahead. Arrival into Harwich Town was roughly on time, which gave us roughly 2 hours to fester in a town where there really isn’t much going on.

    [​IMG]Boats at Felixstowe

    Other than pubs (which appeared to be doing a roaring trade) there was a Fish & Chip shop (also doing a roaring trade) and a couple little shops, but nothing else, most of the retail are is at Dovercourt it appears, but sadly the rain felt like it was coming so I didn’t fancy the walk, staying away from the station to restrict the urge to jumping on that 321 for a time wasting spin to Manningtree & back. After walking around some more, I returned to the station and relaxed waiting for when the stock was due back in before heading back towards London, heading into Liverpool Street, via the flyover at Ilford. 37669 had finished its work for the day, as 47580 waited for 45 minutes for the path to return towards Highbury & Islington via a bit of required rare track, the Graham Road Curve (the single track chord which comes off the Lea Valley line before Hackney Downs to join the North London Line). A big bit of track highlighted in my London atlas, I alighted at Highbury & Islington as the 47 hauled the stock away, the end of an enjoyable tour

    When I saw that the finish time of the tour was now 21:36 I was happy as it meant it was a good chance of making the 22:15 Salisbury service from Waterloo, that lasted until I found out the line via Wimbledon was closed which meant the 22:15 was departing around 21:40, with no options available for a “Staines avoidance move” via Reading (as due to the timetable, the 159s departed Basingstoke just as the 165 arrived from Reading, nice joined up thinking). I was resigned to catching the 23:38(ish) service, an idea of driving to Basingstoke on the Saturday was discounted as at best I would get home 15 minutes earlier (as the next couple Basingstoke services were stoppers). Ah well, if I didn’t need Graham Road curve I would have bailed at Liverpool Street. Walking outside the station it was a short walk to the Upper Street (Laycock Street) bus stop for a route 4 bus all the way to Waterloo (VWH2089), certainly interesting seeing parts of central London lit up at night (St Pauls Cathedral being a highlight). I popped via McDonalds for something to eat before wasting time on the concourse before the 159s were due to arrive. Eventually 159108 arrived with 159004 on the Salisbury end, which would mean the 159 3000 mile club would gain its first member.

    It was the usual slow trip via Richmond & Staines; eventually getting home on a pretty much empty train (looked like there was one other passenger on board after the service departed Grateley, even the guard looked bored). A short walk home and I was ready to collapse (it says something when I had an alarm set on my phone for 01:15 in case I fell asleep and ended up unexpectedly in Salisbury for I didn’t have my gas mask with me ;) it’s been a manic 10 days full of variety, a few more bays into my book along with a good number of 700s & 800s plus the odd 345

    [​IMG]159004 at London Waterloo
     
  29. 185143

    185143 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,798
    Joined:
    3 Mar 2013
    So much for you telling me you would be going into "Semi Retirement" once you'd done all the shacks...

    Couldn't resist mentioning THAT 350 though could you<(
     
  30. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

    Messages:
    10,775
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    Location:
    West of Andover
    I did say I would keep an eye out for it for you :p
     

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