The Various Random Mutterings of Kite

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

  1. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    19th April – A Glaswegian long weekend

    In December time, there was a change to the routing of a Manchester Airport – Glasgow Central TPE service to make use of the Mossend East to North curve, which remained uncovered (Allows trains to go from Whifflet towards Holytown, and has been used in the past for engineering works when the main-route via Bellshill has been closed), this gave me an excuse to use up a “reward” day at work (basically an additional day off if we meet certain targets), and accidently booked the sleeper to Edinburgh rather than Glasgow on the Thursday night ;)

    Day 0 on the Thursday was a basic day, nothing of interest other than 158886 working the 18:59 service to Waterloo, where I had a few hours of “what on earth to do” time to waste, so it was a walk across to Waterloo East for 376026 & 376034 for the short leap to London Bridge before timing it right with 700119 across the curve to Blackfriars to find Thameslink in a bit of a pickle due to various issues, so I decided to pop outside the station (as I needed to change over to my Oyster card here anyhow), and have a bus trip to the Stratford City bus station on a route 388 service (fleet number 2528) and it was interesting seeing parts of East London, however options at Stratford City were limited (a lot of services heading further east), but I came up with an idea with Google Maps so it was onto bus MEC46 working a route 108 service to Bow Church, then eventually onto bus 12321 working a route 205 short service (normally would carry on to Paddington but was coming out of service at Warren Street).

    This bus was fine until it reached the Liverpool Street area, where it hit severe traffic due to a road traffic incident closing the A501 forcing a divert via the A10 to the A2108 junction, where the bus regained its original route, and I alighted at Euston (with one eye on the clock), walked over towards the station to check into the sleeper, I already knew that dud 90046 was on the front so didn’t go up to check as my legs were hurting. The Edinburgh seats tonight was reasonably busy, at a guess 80% full (there was no spare double seats), but it was a speedy run northbound, going via Northampton according to RTT.

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    20th April – Day 1

    I slept alright, bit cold at times, as the train arrived at Carstairs for the split, 90043 attached to the rear to haul the Edinburgh portion towards Edinburgh arriving pretty much bang on time, and at the far end of platform 7. It was time for plan C as I headed over to buy an Anytime day return to Inverkeithing and headed over towards platform 19, turning down a busy looking grotty 158 on a Perth service (one of the ones soon to be heading to Scotland), in flavour of a 158 from Tweedbank towards the Fife Circle, sadly it wasn’t a mileage requirement as 158732 took me to Inverkeithing, the train emptying out at South Gyle.

    I wonder if anybody could guess the reason why I have travelled to Inverkeithing during the morning peak. Yes you have got it in one, it was for some Cat Thrash with dud 68006 working the short set before winner 68016 purred in for the trip back to Edinburgh, a nice speedy run (and once more emptied out at South Gyle, which has some awful connections these days to the Cats), but another non TPE bound 68 into my book (leaving just 001, 002 & 017 of that batch). Here they are rolling into the station:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Once back at Edinburgh I grabbed some breakfast, purchased my single to Glasgow & met up with Dan (BlindTraveller) for some tasty voyager action via Carstairs, 221129 would be in charge for the trip to Glasgow Central and I was clever enough to pre-reserve a seat just in case it was busy, however it wasn’t that busy in coach D, plenty of seats and an excuse to give my phone a good charge for new route coverage by XC (Haymarket to Slateford Junction, and Motherwell to Glasgow Central, which leaves Dundee – Aberdeen & Par – Newquay as my main XC uncovered routes).

    [​IMG]

    An enjoyable speedy run, and soon we had arrived at Glasgow Central, flipping a coin in my head at which ticket office would have the shortest queue, and headed to the one at the low level concourse (sadly that had a large queue), eventually buying my Roundabout ticket, and heading downstairs to the platforms to jump on 320322 to Rutherglen, giving a nice connection onto 320303 for the run to Milngavie arriving into platform 1. With half an hour to kill we headed to a nearby Tesco for a lunch supply raid before returning to the station where the next departure was going from the lesser used platform 2 (it would attach to a 318 currently enjoying the sunshine)

    [​IMG]

    Anyhow 320306 rolled into the station, emptied out as the driver closed the doors to do a single man attachment onto 318259 before releasing the doors to allow passengers to board, but it meant both platforms at Milngavie were safety into my book. Me & Dan alighted from the 320 at Westerton, and headed across to the opposite platform for 320304 to Dalmuir, followed by a trio of 156s heading towards the West Highlands for a tiny leap to Dumbarton Central 156477, 156449 & 156496 doing that run (and at Dalmuir it be a case of spotting which door the guard opens as it be local door only for triple 156s as the rear door just hangs over the end of the platform).

    A cross platform interchange put us onto a tasty 320314 for the long trip to Cumbernauld, motor coach action on the fast run from Springburn towards Cumbernauld, probably for the last time on a 320 on this part of line as it is due to be cut back to Springburn come the new timetable (and quite frankly the train was pretty dead). Once at Cumbernauld we crossed over to board 320322 for the second time of the day for the run to Motherwell, before 320317 took us back to Glasgow Central via Bellshill. A short connection at Glasgow Central saw us onto 318250 to Mount Florida for a nice connection onto my first 314 of the year in the shape of 314215 back to Glasgow Central once more, just for some PEP thrash. Mmm Pep thrash.

    I left Dan in the pub to do some work as I walked to Buchanan Street on the subway for a single stop to Cowcaddens (I was aiming for St Enoch but turned the wrong way), formed of 118/124/102, in order to check into the Easy Hotel, dropping some weight and saving a job for later in the day. Back to Cowcaddens subway station and a short hop to St Enoch on 105/128/119 as I headed back towards Central station via a Poundland for a couple bottles of pop for a £1, and dodging the out of control cyclists who thinks red lights are simply beyond them (self-regulation has clearly failed, a number plate system needs to be introduced to crack down on the dodgy cyclists). Anyhow it was a short wait before 156446 & 156430 rolled in to form the next East Kilbride service for a gentle slow potter to the end of the line, swapping units onto my first refurbished 156 and I do say that Scotrail have done a good job, the seats are ironing boards but they seem more comfortable, plug/USB sockets and decent leg room in the airline seats (better than in a table seat). The main reason for heading out to East Kilbride is to score the Hairmyres Loop which mainly comes into play during the peaks, so it was another loop ticked off (because after All the Stations and All the Bays, comes “All the Loops” (probably not!).

    With some time to kill before the TPE service, it was a quick hop to Queens Park on 314216 & 314201 returning on 314210 & 314209, mainly as a time wasting move. Once back at Glasgow Central, after grabbing some dinner I saw Dan off on his XC service towards Edinburgh as I began the waiting game for when the 185 will eventually reach Glasgow (for it had been delayed earlier in the day due to issues in the Preston area). Low mileage 185111 eventually rolled in with a short turnaround it was away around 29 minutes late, no seat reservations but I found a table seat in the coach with 1st class in, it was an un-refurbished unit so the seats were a tad tired (and collapsed) and as expected it went mainline rather than the booked route via Bellshill & Holytown to bypass Motherwell, although this only saved a couple minutes (having a signal check around Shieldmuir for a unit from Lanark to cross in front, plus a slowdown around Carstairs for the unit to pass a freight hauled by an Electrocat, but after Carstairs the driver opened up to roar back towards England, by Lockerbie the delay was down to 15 minutes, cut to 10 minutes by Carlisle, this 185 was flying (and no doubt drinking Adwick depot’s diesel tank dry!), however it wasn’t the most comfortable of services as it was a bit on the bouncy side. But fair play to the driver for pushing the unit hard, certainly was a vocal machine.

    I alighted at Lancaster, crossed over to the opposite platform, turned down a delayed 350 heading towards Edinburgh (my most wanted 350/4 is 402 as it is my only member of the subclass below 10 miles), enjoying the fresh air before a lightly loaded 350401 rolled in from Manchester Airport to take me back towards Glasgow. The reason for my trip to Lancaster is mainly due to timings and that a TPE only day return to Lancaster wasn’t that much more expensive than an any permitted Glasgow – Carlisle ticket). The train emptied out as time went on; certainly after Carlisle there was only a handful of passengers left on what would have been the final northbound service had the final Virgin service to Glasgow had not been running with around 35 minutes of delay. As always my fingers were crossed as after Carluke I felt the unit bearing right onto the Wishaw loop, my fingers were still crossed as the unit went straight on towards Holytown, and bearing right after Holytown onto the Mossend chord, another PSUL move into my book. The unit slowed down at Whifflet before turning left to head towards Glasgow Central arriving a minute or two early, but I was happy as it meant the trip hadn’t been a waste (cue the routing of the BLS tour this coming weekend getting changed to go that same route!).

    [​IMG]350401 at Glasgow Central

    Glasgow Central was a bit on the quiet side, with the only other arrival being that 390 which had now clocked over to being 50-odd minutes late, so I got let out of a side entrance by the security guard and began my walk up the hill towards the Easy Hotel, very stop start due to the many road crossings and avoidance of jolly drunks, anyhow I soon collapsed as it had been a long day, and part of me was grateful I had changed my plans.

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    21st April – The Forth Circle

    In Scotland there is a few little bits of freight only track which I need, the longest by far is the Kincardine Line from Alloa towards Dunfermline, re-opened this century to mainly serve the now closed Longannet & Kincardine power stations, however when I noticed that the SRPS was running a Steam Special over this line on a day I happened to be already in Glasgow it was too good of a chance to turn down (this was before they announced the 2-day tour in early June, but hey-ho).

    I woke up, and checked out of the hotel, swinging via Tesco to purchase both breakfast & lunch for later in the day and I walked to Queen Street for the 08:45 service to Edinburgh, formed of 170458 for the quick run, first stop being Falkirk High and I alighted at a busy Linlithgow station with 40 minutes to kill. I met up once more with Dan who alighted from a Dunblane bound service, and we chatted as trains passed and stopped, the platform getting busier before the noise of a steam engine was heard as 45690 Leander rolled in with the SRPS Railtours rake of MK1 coaches. The passengers on the opposite platform very lucky as they could have been bowled out by a 170 had the steam engine arrived a minute later!

    [​IMG]

    We took our seats near the rear (first class at the front for the extra sound effects), as the steam engine gave a good performance turning left onto the Dalmeny chord, across the Forth Bridge, a brief pause at Inverkeithing before carrying on along the Fife coast, turning left at Glenrothes junction to swing back inland, pausing for a good 10 minutes at Lochgelly to wait time, it took a couple attempts for the LMS Jubilee Class 5690 to get going again before gaining speed passing the Dunfermline stations, turning right at the junction onto the freight only branch for a pleasant spin towards the north bank of the Forth.

    The train stopped around Low Torry to take on water, giving a nice view of the river & the south bank, although it did get quite warm due to the sun, eventually we got going again, passing the closed power stations and the fantastic looking road bridges, but we were running late so by the time we reached Alloa the 170 was already in the platform so the loop was lost, the engine paused at Stirling for a photo taking moment before carrying on back towards Linlithgow where the morning session got off (with a large party of tourists joining the train it looked like) and the train pulled away as it was due to run another loop this time starting from Inverkeithing.

    [​IMG]Forth Bank around Low Torry

    I and Dan decided to allow the first Edinburgh train to depart to soak up most of the passengers heading back towards Edinburgh, and wait for the unit from Glasgow. Unexpectedly this turned out to be 380113 for the run to Haymarket, where I needed a PNB (and the toilets are free at Haymarket), we stepped back a couple trains to wait for 380109 to arrive from Ayr to take us to Edinburgh, arriving into the new extended bay platform. Saying my farewells to Dan (for it won’t be long until I see him again), I did a spot of shopping before returning to the station to find the 17:00 Edinburgh – Kings Cross service. Basically when I was planning this trip accommodation in the Glasgow area for the Saturday was quite expensive so I decided to come back home, only to get bowled out by engineering works around Carstairs so it was a ECML move.

    DVT 82230 was leading, with low mileage 91101 (all the 91s have been cleared for 10 miles as it is quite hard to get a sub-10 mile leap on a 91, but this one was only in my book on a Leeds – Wakefield move). I was meant to be in coach C but that seat was a bit rubbish (view of a pillar), so I shifted past a warm coach E into a mostly unreserved coach F, finding an unreserved table on the left hand side in order to relax and look out at the pretty part of the ECML. Sadly this coach had a large group of youngsters heading out to Newcastle to celebrate a 21st birthday party and they were pre-loading on drinks and didn’t like it one bit when another passenger asked them to turn down their loud music. On a bright side the lady sat opposite did look nice (but from what I gathered had a rubbish personality), and I preferred her to Macbook man who came on after Newcastle and attempted to take over the entire table with his Macbook, even attempted to take both plug sockets so he could charge his iPhone. Anyhow this service was a semi-fast after Newcastle, and lost a few minutes so arrival into Kings Cross was at 21:48 so the race was on for the 22:20 service.

    The race was more important because the 23:40 service was only running as far as Basingstoke before a magical bus took over due to a line block around Salisbury and I didn’t fancy getting home around 01:30, or however long it took for the bus (in previous cases it can take less time if there are no passengers for Overton or Whitchurch as these are set-down only stations on the final service, I think the best time was a non-stop run to Andover via the M3/A303 due to there being no passengers for those two stations. Anyhow I already had a backup option with options at Victoria to intercept the unit at Clapham in case the Bakerloo had a delay on, but it was a fast walk to the Victoria Line platforms to leap onto 11071/11072 to Oxford Circus (jumping back a coach at Euston & Warren Street), crossing over the platform with a mini yip a Bakerloo service rolled in just as I arrived, 3234/3556 taking me to Waterloo, where I exited a mere 14 minutes after entering the system.

    The 22:20 service was as usual formed of only a single unit, this being 159015, and as usual departed rather cosy looking, that was before a mild fight broke out between two groups of drunken football fans, but the train soon emptied out at Woking & Basingstoke for the trip back into the thunderstorm of Hampshire. I suspect the guard wanted to get home as the train was actually early for a change, and I was lucky with the weather as I got home during a pause in the heavy rains. Once home I gave myself time to reflect and relax on a good weekend, and I shall leave you with this picture of Leander at Stirling

    [​IMG]45690 Leander at Stirling

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    Needless to say I had a nice relaxing day on the Sunday, well it would have been relaxing had it not been for the gardening. Next weekend sees a return to Scotland as my Railtour month continues with a BLS tour towards Ayrshire with a certain bay platform at Stockport on my radar on the Sunday
     
  2. noddy1878

    noddy1878 Established Member

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    That was immense! I for one will definitely not want to do all bays and platforms at stations! Hard enough doing all the stations! :lol: Fair play though!
     
  3. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    I've been bored today and was playing with my log data with stations, there are 5 stations I need to revisit as I visited them before I started to log unit numbers (all around the Thames Valley/London so shouldn't be that hard to do).

    I have boarded a train at 2327 stations (out of 2563)
    I have alighted from a train at 2357 stations
    If using Jamie's rules of only counting a station as visited if you both alight & board I will be on 2126 stations

    The station in which I have boarded a train the most at is London Waterloo with 302 entries, with Grateley being the most used for alighting from a train at (289 entries)

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    Why do I get a feeling that later this year/next year I will be revisiting those stations which I only have either a board or alight against, some will be easier than others *ponders* ;)
     
    Last edited: 26 Apr 2018
  4. 55013

    55013 Established Member

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    Well, you've been busy!
    Some interesting stuff there, especially 68016 which is required by me.
     
  5. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    27th April – Another week, another Railtour

    It was another weekend, and onto another railtour, this time being a BLS tour towards Scotland where due to a couple bits of track required at Baker level I was fast to book up on what promised to be an interesting day. The tour was starting from Crewe and after changing my booking to the Best Western (I think it was Gazr which mentioned it) as it was cheaper, I set about thinking on how to reach Crewe. Buses on the Sunday between Banbury & Oxford meant my original plan went into the bin so I looked up options going from London, finding a 1st class single for £20, sadly on a LNWR stopping/semi-fast service but when standard cost more and I wanted a half decent arrival time due to an early start on the Saturday I booked up.

    My bag was packed on the Thursday which meant by the time I got home on Friday I could do the basics for a fast getaway and onwards to Grateley station for the 14:59 service, which unusually was formed of a triple 159 (normally this is a solid 6-coach unit on Fridays), 159105, 159007 & 159017 were the triple to Basingstoke, with a busy 444003 giving me my first fast 444 run for a fair while, arriving into Clapham Junction to allow me to touch in at the readers at the bottom of platform 17, before walking back over to platform 2 to await the next East London Line service, formed of 378139 for the slow crawl (I had forgotten how slow this route is) to Clapham High Street which was a required station to alight from a train from. My latest challenge is to go back over all the stations to tidy up, alighting when I’ve only previously boarded, and boarding when I’ve only previously alighted, it’s given me a few headaches putting together rough ideas but the draft plan side is mostly done.

    [​IMG]378139 departs Clapham High Street

    Anyhow I departed Clapham High Street, and walked the short distance back to Clapham North, thinking “had it really been 4 years since I did this walk before?”, down the pretty escalator and onto the narrow platform, timing it right as 51602/51716 took me to Balham (which was needed for alighting, as I’ve only ever previously boarded here). 51647/51648 took me back to Clapham North before 51576/51575 took me to Stockwell, transferring over onto 11073/11074 for the run to Euston. It was high-peak so the train & station was a tad rammed, and the platform for the 17:49 to Crewe was already announced, but no train was in sight. Eventually former foe 350105 & 350102 rolled in for this was the 8-coach Trent Valley service, I took a seat at the table in the First Class area on 350105 and watched it fill up, with a dodgy looking character sitting by me (kept shifting around so I suspect he was a chancer with a standard class ticket wanting a seat).

    I made a small prediction that the first class area would empty out at Milton Keynes, and it did, with several other passengers joining but soon alighting at Rugby, and that was the end of the fast running as I made use of the WiFi to generate ideas on the stopping service towards Crewe, although due to the length it skipped Stone, Kidsgrove & Alsager (there was another 350 from Birmingham running a few minutes behind which called at those stations), but eventually the 350s arrived into Crewe, as I crossed the road to check into the hotel dropping off my rucksack before heading back out and for the short walk to the Tesco Extra for a supply raid for the tour tomorrow and for something to munch on. Returning to the hotel, and having a general flick through the “information booklet” and I noticed that you could order an “express breakfast” to takeaway, so that is what I did (after-all I was paying for breakfast so might as well make the most of it).

    This leads me nicely onto…

    28th April - The Inverclyde First Aider

    Alarm was set for 04:45, as I headed to pick up my breakfast bag before heading across the road to head towards platform 5 where the West Coast Railways rolling stock was waiting, 37685 grumbling away at the north end (I felt sorry for those in the rooms overlooking the station as it would have been a nice alarm clock), with 47772 on the southern end. I was sat in the coach behind the 37, on a private table for 4 and it was the 47 which became the day with the short trip into the Crewe down Refuge Siding (it was a BLS trip after-all!). The sleeper departed with a healthy sounding 90 on the front as the 37 took over for the trip north, calling at Warrington Bank Quay to pick up some passengers before heading into the Royal Mail terminal at Dallam via the centre crossover running all the way to the end of platform 2, before the 47 took over reversing down the full length of the platform onto platform 1 (little bit of required track for me), with the 37 resuming duties and heading out of the centre crossover and back onto the mainline

    [​IMG]47772 at Crewe [​IMG]37685 at Crewe

    A little weave just before Wigan North Western to pick up some more passengers from platform 5, before some more little weaving at the south of Preston to pick some more passengers up from platform 7 (losing some time due to having to cross from the goods lines to the opposite side), a little bonus loop was scored at the Barton & Broughton loop where we were held for some faster trains to pass, before a nice fast run on the WCML (for the 37 was sounding very nice). Little bit of weaving at Penrith to go via platform 3 with another little weave south of Carlisle via the goods line at Upperby Junction, for the final pick up at Carlisle. After Carlisle it was a long fester in the Quintinshill loop to allow the next trio of units to pass before carrying on via Lockerbie, heading via the loop at Abington and via the platform at Carstairs.

    Another couple loops along the way to Coatbridge with the Law loop & Braidhurst Down Loop after the tour missed out visiting the Shieldmuir Mail Terminal. A visit via Mossend and a photographic stop at Coatbridge Central, I doubt that station hasn’t seen so many passengers in a long while. Another little bit of weaving after Coatbridge before turning left onto the first little Baker score for me, the chord leading towards Gartcosh, then onwards to the Eastfield Passenger Loop where the 37 could rest as the 47 would be in charge from now on (much to the hatred of a couple passengers who couldn’t shut up about it).

    [​IMG]WCML in Glasgow

    The 47 took me back towards Springburn, and then via Duke Street and onto the City Union line (which is one of the big track scores for me from this tour), for a gentle potter among the rooftops of Glasgow (for this connection line is mostly on viaducts), noting old evidence of former lines from days of old, crossing the WCML and then onwards towards Shields Junction. Due to the high frequency service on the Ayrshire line, it was very stop/start with loops visited along the way (Paisley Down, Elderslie Up Loop, Brownhill Down Loop & Falkland Down loop), with the only one being missed being the loop after Barassie. The train turned left after Newton on Ayr as the rain arrived for the slow trip on the Mauchline freight line, once onto the Glasgow & South Western line towards Dumfries the train used the goods loop behind New Cumnock station (which it might have broken it in the process, oops) and the loop at Thornhill before a 25 minute break at Dumfries.

    I made use of this time to have a fast walk to a nearby Morrisons to grab both a late lunch & an early dinner, before making my way back to the train and back to coach A. After Dumfries the train used the goods line around Kingmoor yard (including the flyover), before the first set down at Carlisle and then onwards for a speedy run on the WCML, the 47 putting in a good performance. The loop at Tebay was visited, as well as a loop in the Carnforth area, before setting down once more at Preston, by this time it was dark so I made the most of the time reading my magazines. After further pauses to set down passengers at Wigan & Warrington it was a short wait around Hartford Junction for pathing before heading towards Crewe, terminating into platform 5.

    [​IMG]47772 at Dumfries

    Needless to say I wasn’t the only person from that tour walking across the road to reach the hotel, the end of a good little tour with a couple more bits of track into my book, and after a nice shower it was time to sleep.

    29th April – A brief Greater Manchester Wayfarer

    When planning my weekend away at Crewe I was looking at things to do on the Sunday, eventually deciding to do a brief Greater Manchester Wayfarer, before deciding on my latest challenge so I rejig the plan to revisit a couple stations as well as a bay platform. I had pre-purchased my GM Wayfarer from the ticket office at Andover earlier in the week (more of a ‘hedge my bets’ in case the ticket office at Crewe refused to sell it as I had purchased a day return to Holmes Chapel to avoid the “any permitted” premium on the Crewe – Manchester route.

    After a nice breakfast, it was a case of checking out of the hotel and walking across the road to the station, and taking a seat on a nice quiet 175115 working the 09:28 Crewe – Manchester service, the guard nodded at my tickets before carrying on with his check & putting seat reservations in for the following service. This is one of those services which went via Styal rather than via Stockport just for the added novelty. Once at Piccadilly I crossed over to platforms 13/14 with the idea of a little mileage move to Oxford Road but the 185 was both late and massively overcrowded so I turned that down, noting also there was also some signalling problems as a 319 bound for the airport and 156466 & 156459 bound for Stockport stopped and released doors on platform 13b, before having to be authorised to pass the signal protecting 13a at danger.

    A slow run to Stockport before the train terminated into platform 3a, the bay platform. Due to the late running my original option had disappeared so I had the option of either a late running 390 from London or a 175 from Shrewsbury, 175001 arrived first but it was a slow crawl back to Piccadilly, the train getting overtaken by that 390 but in face both services arrived at Piccadilly at roughly the same time, but sadly 30 seconds to late as the Hadfield 323 had already gone, it was onto plan B. But first a quick trip I headed underground and went to Piccadilly Gardens on 3020 before returning to Piccadilly on 3054/3052 mainly for a lunch grabbing move. Back to the main concourse for a short wait before 323238 rolled in on the next Hadfield to take me to Flowery Field where I had a 24 minute wait in the cold for 323232 to return from Hadfield and back to Piccadilly (I had only alighted at Flowery Field before walking to Hyde Central so it was a required shack for boarding at).

    [​IMG]156466 at Stockport
    [​IMG]323238 departs Flowery Field

    I had two options at Piccadilly, and made a tight connection onto the hourly Sheffield stopper formed of 150211 for the run to Marple, returning to Piccadilly on 150135 (another station where I had only previously alighted at, this time for a bus move towards Strines, my backup option was a 323 to Burnage. Once I was back at Piccadilly I headed towards the 13:55 Euston via Crewe service formed of a busy 390044 (when I was looking for tickets anything after the 13:35 service the prices jumped, and when I was researching I randomly searched for Crewe – London and picked up a ticket for a train from Chester for peanuts). I alighted at Crewe and had 25 minutes to wait for the Voyagers to arrive, with 221108 leading low mileage 221112, I was sat in coach K in the leading unit (and it was mostly empty). A speedy run on the WCML followed pausing briefly at Milton Keynes Central, once at Euston I headed towards Waterloo via the Northern Line (51604 & 51603), before boarding the 17:15 Waterloo – Andover service which tonight was formed of 159021 & 159106 for the run to Andover, where due to engineering works the train would terminate.

    [​IMG]150211 departs Marple

    There was 2 coaches heading to Salisbury directly and a little “More Bus” service on the Grateley service, I was quite surprised to find I had a private bus (fleet 3832, I believe normally found in the Ringwood area) for the run back to Grateley, and a short walk home spotting a Salisbury Park & Ride Bus on another RRB service.

    Anyhow in summary a good little day, a rarely used bay into my book, and 2 shacks ‘revisited’, and overall a good weekend.
     
  6. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

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    Sounds like a good few days :)

    I don’t suppose you noticed if any of the 159s had SWR logos on did you?

    :)
     
  7. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Points to my post made in the SWR recolouring thread reference 021 ;)
     
  8. TT-ONR-NRN

    TT-ONR-NRN On Moderation

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    Thanks!
     
  9. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    So I had a little trip to Warwickshire today :D

    So until Maghull North opens (then whatever comes next) I've recleared Great Britian under my "either/or" rule (but 436 short on my "both boarding/alighting" revisited rule)

    One thing for certain, I need to return to Blackpool at some point for another tram session.
     

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  10. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Looking back over April

    The key phrase from this month is that it was quite busy, started with Easter Sunday where I was booked onto the sleeper into Queen Street High Level for a novelty, so the morning was spent having a good Piccadilly line fester, knocking out 3 out of my last 5 Piccadilly Line units, before some bus moves to waste time before 90046 took me to Edinburgh after a reversal at the Wembley depot. On the Monday morning it continued into Queen Street, where I took the chance to grab the daily service which terminates into platform 4 at Springburn, before grabbing an Airdrie terminator. Return to the south was via Cross Country due to it being cheaper.

    My first railtour of the month was The Geordie Go Round, a treat for my parents so the Friday was spent heading towards Croydon via Paddington and couple little trips involving some microgricing of the centre platform at East Croydon tram stop from the town centre direction. The tour was on the Saturday and was a required 90 to the Tyne Yard before 67018 took over for the trip around the Blyth loop, with 67008 becoming my 15th 67 into the boom for the short haul to the sea front around North Blyth. The Sunday was split in two halves, the first halve with my family doing some bus moves & DLR moves before returning later in the evening to pick up my 2nd last 1973 stock, before checking into a cheap (and a bit rubbish) hostel in the London Fields area in order to grab the weekly Central line rusty rails move into the bay platform at Woodford, before grabbing the bay at Plaistow with a late night Hammersmith & City Line move.

    I was now onto a semi-enforced week off work, and a week-long bash, the Monday morning was a random trip to Enfield Town before a spot of 345 hunting to grab the new platform 6 at Shenfield, before platform 4 at Wickford followed with a little leap to Battlesbridge. After doing a loop via Southend I headed to Hayes to grab platform 1 before a short 700 hunting session before one of the evening peak Maidstone East terminators to grab the bay platform, timed nicely to connect with the last service to use the Paddock Wood bay, just because it was worth doing both at the same time.

    The Tuesday & Wednesday were mainly spent 800 hunting, shifting over to some 345 hunting on the Wednesday, before the Thursday took me to the West Midlands to do some oddities, so after I grabbed platform 17 at Euston with some 319 thrash back, I headed to Crewe before doing a loop via Birmingham back to Rugby to check in, with the first being a XC service at Bromsgrove, before a mainline call at Barnt Green before both bay platforms at Northampton falling to my bay-hunt. A bonus on the Friday morning with the infrequency used platform 3 at Rugby before some more London bits to grab another 800 before grabbing some more 700s after a spin to Tattenham Corner to grab P3 & P1, with a spin to Chingford to grab P3 before checking into another hostel.

    Saturday morning was an early morning trip to Harwich Town via the Boat Train to grab platform 1 at Harwich International, before grabbing platform 6 at Colchester, and platform 1 at Caterham before some trams & buses before heading home briefly, returning a few hours later to grab one of the few services booked to use the local lines on the Piccadilly line from Northfields towards Acton Town. The Sunday was a railtour which was long in coming, grabbing some new track, a required 37 & a required 47 before a late night arrival at home due to engineering works.

    Relaxing after a busy week, I was soon returning to Scotland via the sleeper so doing some more bus moves (just to give me something else to do), it was onto the sleeper behind a dud 90, with another 90 taking me to Edinburgh. A required 68 was my target from Inverkeithing before some bits in the Glasgow area (Milngavie P2), loop on the East Kilbride line and a PSUL move using the final Manchester – Glasgow TPE which is booked to go via the Mossend East to Mossend North curve. The Saturday was a steam hauled tour around the Forth Circle, my first steam engine on the mainline at decent speed for a good few years (70000 'Britannia’ would have been my last back in 2013). Anyhow back to London on VTEC and home with a lazy Sunday spent gardening (so not really that lazy!)

    Another tour was at the end of the month, having decided as my latest challenge to go back over my stations where I used my bike or walked to get either a board where I had previously over alighted, or alighted when I had only previously boarded, so the way to Crewe was after some Northern line action before a pair of 350s took me to Crewe. The tour was to the Inverclyde area, scoring a bit of track, plus another 47 & 37, with the Sunday spent on a lazy trip to Manchester to get the bay platform at Stockport before a boarding at both Flowery Field & Marple before heading back to Crewe for a voyager to Euston, then finally to Andover and a private bus to Grateley.

    Month in Stats
    5289 miles covered
    31 new units (4x 345, 13 x 700, 14x 800)
    9 new locos (2x 37, 2x 47, 1x 67, 1 x 68, 2 x 90, 1x steam engine)
    4 new light rail (4x 73 Stock)
    A few more new London bus routes

    Looking ahead to May

    Another busy month (although chances of a quiet month are remote) anyhow my run of railtours continue with the Diamond Twenties and a sleeper trip from Glasgow Central for the Newton South connecting curve and the novelty of diesel hauled via Shotts), a long weekend in the North West with a 37 hauled tour to Norwich, before a quieter weekend in Birmingham to grab some bay platforms (and shack revisits), with attempt 2 at Lincolnshire on the 26th May)
     
  11. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    I’ve just caught up with a month of your trip reports (been a little on the busy side recently shall we say).
    Very enjoyable, especially the tours over unusual bits of track.
    I always wake up when I see Woodford mentioned too. My Grandmother used to live there and I remember catching the train to Epping from there a couple of times.
    Excellent stuff but very much NOT a quiet year so far... ;)
    In fact you’ve probably done more in a month than I’ve done in a decade!
     
  12. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Thanks Mr C :) That bay platform at Woodford is only used by that single terminating train as it isn't the easiest for trains to reach (they have to pass via the sidings).

    5th May – The Diamond Twenties

    This tour was meant to happen last September time but got proposed due to additional engineering works and it was rerouted to start from the West Midlands instead of Eastleigh (which sadly meant less 20 based noise as I’m pretty sure it was originally meant to have 20s on from the start). Anyhow I would be boarding at Reading and bailing later at Victoria, and it was an uncommonly late start for me on the Saturday, the 06:59 service.

    This morning it was formed of 159015 which took me to Basingstoke where with around 8 minutes to spare I dashed out of the station to the little Sainsburys nearby to grab a bacon sandwich meal deal, before returning towards platform 5 where the train from Reading had arrived, 166217 was leading 165136 on this “Slough blockade crowd buster” fast service (One GWR an hour was fast between Reading & Basingstoke, the other being the stopper), although platform 5 at Basingstoke couldn’t quite manage to take all 5 coaches and the 166 was misbehaving where the doors were being tried to get locked out of use so the entire unit was locked out of use with the small handful of passengers boarding the 165 (later on in the day it looked like the 165 & 166 split up at Reading with I assume the 166 swapping with another 2-car 165 working Newbury stoppers). It was a great run towards Reading, and felt strange going nonstop through Bramley on a Turbo.

    Once at Reading I popped out to grab something for lunch later on in the day, before returning towards platform 7 noting the large crowd control barriers giving access to the DC platforms, and it wasn’t a long wait in the sunshine before winner 66788 (the former 66238) rolled in with the usual collection of Mk1 coaches for the run towards Victoria, making use of the connection to the DC lines and a decent run via Ascot only really catching up to a crawl around Twickenham area, but a non-stop run through the Windsor platforms at Clapham Junction was a first for me as the train dived underneath the mainlines and using the maze of lines came up onto the South Eastern side of Victoria, where after a short break winners 20205 & 20189 attached to the rear and with the 66 giving a little bit of help banking up the incline they were on their own for the run towards Sussex.

    As I’m doing this report during a brief break at work I haven’t got my tour booklet so I’m going from memory with the routing used, but I’m pretty sure it was the mains via Denmark Hill, Nunhead, Catford loop, Bickley, Bat & Ball, Sevenoaks & Tonbridge, a bit slow at times having caught up with a 700 working a stopping service. I was at the rear so there was no noise from the 20s but it was a nice trip on towards Robertsbridge, where the train turned right into the Mountfield Sidings where a pair of 73s were waiting for us. The 20s ran around to change ends being replaced by the pair of 73s, and it was the 20s which took the tour into the Mountfield Gypsym Siding, with the coaches getting re-watered with winners 73141 & 73963 being very stop start until the coaches were all topped up with the clear liquid and it was back to the sidings next to the main-line with the 20s taking back control for the run back towards Tunbridge Wells & Tonbridge, reversing on the Redhill line just beyond the junction.

    [​IMG]

    The 73s were back in control (running on diesel as they can’t work together on electric to all accounts) for the run towards Ashford via a loop, pausing at one of the stations for a pathing stop before a nice non-stop run through Ashford International (platform 2, those through lines will be mine one of these days!) and onto the Doleham line, turning left after Appledore onto the Dungeness branch line, which is one slow line which doesn’t really have much to look at (the land is quite flat in this area). Thankfully the sheep decided to stay in the field and not come walking onto the track like they did the last time I did this line. We were a few minutes late leaving the marches and back onto the line towards Ashford, a brief pause in the platform before taking the Maidstone East line, pausing into a goods loop a few miles onto the line where the 73s could detach. A couple other little loops were used on a nice speedy run towards London (the 20s were making a nice noise), back via the Catford loop, this time going onto the “Atlantic” lines after Peckham Rye, and back into Victoria, which for me was the end of the tour.

    The tour arrived a minute or so early, so I had a fast walk over towards the Southern side of the station to jump on the first departure towards Clapham, which I believe was the 20:20 to Brighton (377617 & 377620), where I got lucky with the 159s from Waterloo being a minute or so late allowing me to make a tight connection onto the 20:20 Waterloo – Axminster, which was busy with folk heading back from the Army v Navy rugby match, but I managed to get a seat for the run back to Grateley, getting home an hour and a few minutes earlier than I had planned.

    5 new locos into my book, only one bit of required Baker track but a few other odds & sods at the quail level, a good railtour. Although I think it might be time to replace my cushion as it’s been folded up in my rucksack so many times it’s started to loss its power to make a Mk1 bench seat more comfortable.

    --------

    6th May – A brief return to Glasgow

    Ah yes another one of my crazy day-trips to Glasgow, this time the routing of the sleeper from Glasgow Central towards Edinburgh took my fancy as it was being sent via Queens Park & Shotts, and I need that Newton South Curve. It was onwards to Grateley station for the 07:39 service towards Waterloo this morning, featuring 159021 & 159019 and an idiotic fare dodger who claimed to have boarded at Overton when the train hadn’t even reached that station! Anyhow I bailed at Woking for a short connection onto the stopper from Guildford, formed of 455909 & 455742 to take me to Esher which was a required shack for alighting from a train from, 455726 & 455919 took me back to Hersham (required shack to board from) with a 10-coach set formed of 456010, 455866 & 455712 taking me all the way to Waterloo, the 456 giving a good motor noise on the semi-fast section between Surbiton & Wimbledon, but two more shacks were revisited.

    [​IMG]

    After grabbing some food from Tesco outside Waterloo, it was strangely onto the Bakerloo (why I didn’t jump onto the Jubilee I do not know) with 3562 & 3265 taking me to Baker Street, a little note that this run cleared 3265 for a mile and hence all the remaining 1972 stocks have passed this little milepost. Once at Baker Street it was a short walk to board 21025/21026 to Kings Cross St Pancras where it terminated, I remained onboard as it changed direction and alighted at Euston Square, boarding 21471/21472 on a service from Hammersmith to do the other side of the scissors crossover to terminate into the opposite platform at Kings Cross St Pancras, just a mere time wasting micro-gricing move. I headed up to Kings Cross with good timing as the 11:00 Edinburgh fast had just been announced so it was a short walk over to that platform. I must have booked this journey on my tablet as I was in the default coach (E) which unsurprisingly was quite busy. 91117 would be cleared for a thousand miles with this trip with DVT 82226 bringing up the rear, a good fast run it was calling at York, Darlington, King Edward’s Bridge, Newcastle, just south of Alnmouth & Berwick (for it had caught up with the 10:30 stopping service by Newcastle).

    An on-time arrival at Edinburgh and I met up with Dan, deciding against a busy looking single 170 on a Queen Street High Level service for a comfortable seat on 334022 & 334006 for a stopper via Bathgate. I purchased my Roundabout from the friendly ticket examiner on board and due to Glasgow Central high level being thrown into chaos due to overhead wiring issues I decided to ditch my plan to head to Larkhall (which was mainly to score the loop on the branch and also platform 1). So went onto an unplanned trip so we stayed on the 334s for the long way to Drumry, we were originally going to stay on until Singer but the service got delayed outside Partick so bailed early. I needed this shack to board a train from (having made use of a rail replacement bus previously), and it wasn’t too long to wait in the Glasgow sun for a busy 334021 to take us to Anniesland, returning to Singer on 334040, this time it was on time so we could make the +5. Back to Glasgow Queen Street low level on 334032 & 334016 for a short trip in the lift to the high level station to board 156462 working the hourly Maryhill service, which we took for the short trip around the corner to Ashfield for a 30 minute wait in the sunshine for the unit to return for the final time today.

    [​IMG]Ashfield Station

    Sadly my plan to grab Duke Street & Alexander Parade was lost due to those stations being closed, there was a train towards Cumbernauld but that was fast around the loop (but those two shouldn’t be that hard to grab when I return). We had a short walk across town to Glasgow Central, which was spooky seeing it so quiet (by this time services had reduced with buses replacing pretty much everything from the high level station), we headed to the low level platforms to board 320310 & 318252 for the run towards Garscadden, unusually departing from platform 16 heading wrong-line towards the crossover before Exhibition Centre regaining the correct line, it was very odd going through Anderston nonstop on the wrong side of the island platform. A short wait at Garscadden before 320322 & 320411 rolled in from Balloch to take us back to Glasgow Central low level where it terminated. It was now time to grab some dinner, deciding on a pizza place next door to the Tesco Express before heading to a quiet Glasgow Central to wait for the sleeper to begin boarding.

    [​IMG]320310 & 318252 at Glasgow Central Low Level

    92010 was on the buffers at platform 1, attached to the train, 86101 was sitting on platform 2 (having brought the empties for the Edinburgh portion in). Winner for haulage 73971 was at the business end of the service and we got a free upgrade to the berths due to the seated coach being deemed a failure which was an extra bonus. Departure was on time and it went as booked via Queens Park, Newton, Holytown & Shotts, and sleep was soon with me, at Edinburgh 92010 ran round to the front of the train, even though it didn’t actually sound like a 92 (in terms of fan noise). A good trip on the ECML, although it was a bit rough after Doncaster, and a good sleep, which is a good place to leave this report, which loco would I get for the Wembley drag back I was wondering in my dreams.

    [​IMG]

    To be continued
     
  13. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    That 20 tour looked immense.
    I’ve got such a soft spot for those venerable old machines (they’re Mrs Cs favourites too, never thought I’d have a missus that was a Moose basher - she’s up to seven now :lol:).
    Some interesting routes taken to get to Victoria, pretty sure I need them.

    Still need a 92 and a 73/9, but one day the kids will have jobs and pay for me to do all these things.
    I hope.
     
  14. Andrewh32

    Andrewh32 Member

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    All very interesting as ever, I reckon you do more rail miles in a day than I manage in a few months
     
  15. Iskra

    Iskra Established Member

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    Glad you enjoyed the diamond 20's Kite. I was sat at the 73 end, and the consensus around me was that there was some electric running involved, and the faster acceleration did seem to support that from where I was sitting but it was difficult to confirm 100% due to having a BSK and a dead 73 in between me and the leading 73. Any insight on that?

    Thanks for your sharing your travels, they're always interesting and I'm sorry that I can't always keep up with your many travels!
     
  16. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Thanks Andrew & Iskra :)

    7th May – A sunny day in London

    I had a decent sleep on the sleeper and before I knew it the train was passing through Finsbury Park, going up the incline to join the North London Line for a short section before making use of the Primrose Hill link to join the West Coast Main Line, onwards to Wembley where the train reversed with an unknown loco dragging us into Euston. Once up I confirmed it was 92010 on the northern end at Euston and winner 87002 on the blocks (so 2 winners out of 3 isn’t bad).

    [​IMG]87002 at London Euston

    First job was to grab breakfast and a travelcard, before making our way to the underground with 51508/51702 taking myself & Dan to Charing Cross, where we headed upstairs to the mainline station to board the next Orpington service, which was diverted via Slade Green just for the novelty of covering the Lee Spur on a passenger train. 465178 & 465163 did the honours on a lightly loaded service via South East London. Anyhow once at Orpington, it was a short connection onto 465004 & 465197 to Beckenham Junction, transferring out of the station to reach the tram stop to grab tram 2548 to Beckenham Road (as I needed Beckenham Junction to board and Beckenham Road to alight from). A short walk along the road in the sunshine to reach Avenue Road for tram 2549 to Birkbeck, crossing over to the heavy rail part of the station with 455806 taken to Beckenham Junction.

    I said farewell to Dan as he was heading towards sunny Maidstone and re-boarded 455806 to West Norwood for a short connection onto 455808 to Clapham Junction. Another short connection saw me onto South Western Railway metals with 455727 taken to the island platform of Stoneleigh with a short connection to 455716 taken to Worcester Park. I crossed over the footbridge to the opposite platform for a short wait for 455710 to Ewell West for a 14 minute connection for 455720 back to Worcester Park where I made a connection onto a late running bus on a route 213 service (bus DOE6) to the Lyndhurst Drive bus stop and a half mile walk along a residential street to reach a Co-Op before Malden Manor.

    [​IMG]Malden Manor Station

    Noting the rather nice platform canopies at this station, and it wasn’t long before 455847 rolled in to take me to Chessington North for a short wait for the same unit to return from Chessington South to take me one stop back up the line to Tolworth, and by alighting at Tolworth clears this part of South West London. A fast walk out of the station and towards Tolworth Towers saw me boarding a hot bus, a route 281 with SP40065 doing the run via Surbiton & Kingston to reach Hampton Wick. God that bus was warm, even with all the windows open but alas it was a dud bus route as I had previously used that route to escape from Hampton Wick to reach the Strawberry Hill area. Anyhow the bus was earlier than expected so I decided to ditch my plan to head towards Shepperton for another day, as 455723 & 455724 rolled in to take me to Strawberry Hill, where due to a level crossing fault in the Barnes area meant I could make the +0 as it was 10 minutes late.

    455866, 455712 & 456017 eventually rolled in to take me back to Hampton Wick, solely as a time wasting move before 455865 & 455864 rolled in to take me to Twickenham, transferring across platforms I was happy when 458526 & 458511 rolled in as it meant both a toilet and also Air Conditioning. As both were already above 10 miles I bailed at Feltham for a wait onto a delayed Windsor & Eden Riverside service, which rolled in 20-odd minutes late (and I was expecting it to run fast after Staines so it could head back towards London on time). It was a nice return to Windsor & Eden Riverside (my previous visit having been before I started to log numbers in Feb 2014) on 707018 & 707011, arriving into platform 1 (which is also good as I had platform 2 before).

    [​IMG]707011 at Windsor & Eden Riverside

    I changed units at a busy station and it was a trip via the Hounslow Loop, narrowly missing a late running service from Reading at Staines and the following was also delayed so I decided to remain on board the 707s all the way to Waterloo, via a farce at Barnes & Putney, but I made it to Waterloo in time for an Exeter train, the following Salisbury was showing as cancelled and there was major issues on the West of England route, signalling problems in the Gillingham area and a points failure at Westbury meant units were trapped so decided to call it a night with 159021 & 159101 to Andover, getting a lift home to avoid getting caught up in more delays.

    Anyhow a productive end of my bank holiday weekend, 4 more Croydon Tram stops revisited (which leaves the majority of the remainder on the Wimbledon branch), plus 9 more stations within the London Zones revisited to board where I had only previously alighted, alighting where I had only previously boarded.
     
  17. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    10 -> 13th May – A Long Weekend in the North West

    A long weekend was planned for a trip to the North West, built around a BLS tour to Norwich, my original plan was for some bays, a couple oddities and some loco action, I rejigged the plan a few times and the first main day didn’t really go as planned due to various cancellations.

    10th May

    A simple post work positioning move saw me onto 159008 to Waterloo as the 17:59 service, and gaining membership of the 3 thousand mile club in the process. 51705/51609 took me onwards to Euston where I had a decent seat on a reasonably loaded 390134 for the run to Stockport on the 20:00 Euston – Manchester. Due to scoring the bay platform at Stockport a few weeks ago I could turn down former foe 150120 which was due to work the 22:34 service to Wigan and head direct to the Stockport Travelodge where I ended up in the same room I had back in February time.

    [​IMG]150120 at Stockport

    11th May – Lancashire Day Rover

    It was an early start for me this morning as I checked out and walked to the station at Stockport to catch the first service towards Manchester, the 06:05 Stockport – Liverpool Lime Street this morning formed of 1564741 and going as expected from platform 3a (at least I’ve scored it going both directions now). I took a seat for the fast run to Manchester Piccadilly and made the tight connection onto a New Mills Central service formed of 142043 to take me to Ryder Brow. Across the roadbridge and down onto the opposite platform it was a short wait before 142024 & 142026 rolled in to take me the 30 chains to Belle Vue (which was required for alighting from).

    A short wait at the basic station before 150142 rolled in for the short hop to Reddish North for a short linear hop from the return of 142026 & 142024 to Bredbury, with a reasonable connection for the return of 142043 from New Mills, this time being a tad more busier than it was earlier, not many empty seats from Bredbury and it only got worse by the time it reached Ashburys where I had a short wait for a certain service from Hadfield, as a busy 323233 rolled in as I managed to get on board and across to the opposite side for the tiny leap to Ardwick. I was surprised that around 10 others alighted from the 323 and that the station has a random TVM near the entrance. Anyhow a gentle potter back to Piccadilly followed, finding out that my phone could now upload pictures to Twitter again without a fudge of using the desktop mode.

    [​IMG]323233 departs Ardwick

    I arrived in plenty of time to grab some breakfast and also my rover for the day, before heading towards platform 14 where I had a couple chances of a mileage requirement boost, but both of these were already above 10 miles so it was a short wait for the Crewe – Bolton service, this morning formed of 150144 & 150104 which eventually arrived into Bolton, terminating into the bay platform. This is when I had my first piece of bad news, which the 68s hauled set which were due to work the Preston – Barrow service had failed earlier that morning at Barrow so there wouldn’t be any 68s for me today. Also my planned move was running seriously late (it was a Manchester Airport – Blackpool North service which turned around at Oxford Road and eventually got going 40-odd minutes late running non-stop to Preston [only to get caught behind a stopper from Victoria after Lostock]. The loss of the 68s meant I could do a little revision as 142014 & 142041 rolled into Bolton as a semi-fast to Preston, but I alighted at Leyland just because it was a slight annoyance.

    142028 & 142030 took me back to Buckshaw Parkway with 150114 back north to terminate at Preston (the delayed fast service eventually overtaking the stopper after Leyland, looking like it had one passenger on board!). Anyhow once at Preston I transferred over to platform 5 for a Windermere bound service formed of 156479 & 153307 to take me to Lancaster for some dog box thrash and also for a little microgricing moment as this service went into platform 5 at Lancaster to allow for a 390 to overtake. Anyhow I wasn’t around Lancaster for long with 221101 & 221108 rolling in for the mileage move to Wigan North Western, connecting onto a late running 390129 back to Lancaster, with the assumption that the connection with the Morecambe train would be held seeing as the 390 would arrive pretty much at the same time, but alas there was a sound of diesel engine revving away just as the 390 rolled into Lancaster (the oddity is that the connection was held later on in the day on a service with a fast turnaround at Morecambe, this service sits at Morecambe for 20-odd minutes!).

    Anyhow missing that connection meant that platform 1 at Lancaster would have to wait for another day, as I headed across to the opposite platform to board 156464 & stalker 156463 for the run back to Preston, where I made a connection onto a late running Blackpool South service (signalling issues around Bamber Bridge). It was onto 142047 where we were told that due to late running it would terminate at St Annes, at which point the train pretty much emptied out, annoyingly I was using this service as a station revisiting move but alas Blackpool Pleasure Beach will have to wait until October, the main reason was to tick off part of the new layout around Kirkham & Westham and that was mission complete for a little trip to St Annes On the Sea and back.

    I was an hour ahead of my original plan and had a potential make-up mode at Lancaster but at the cost of missing out on the bay at Blackburn, as 142047 rolled into Preston I made the connection onto a late running 390124 to take me back to Lancaster (the theory being Lancaster P1 only sees use a few times a day whereas Blackburn bay sees a rough hourly service during the daytime), this time the connection was made to 156429 for the trip to Morecambe and back to Lancaster, arriving into platform 1 as booked (for it would sit in this platform for around an hour before working towards Carlisle, the next Morecambe service being from Leeds). Anyhow it was a short wait at Lancaster before departing towards Wigan North Western on 390117, taking a walk across the road to Wigan Wallgate, a station in a bit of chaos with cancelled trains left, right & centre. The first service was a late running service from Southport which featured a 150 below 10 miles, however it was busy and in theory the next service would overtake it as the 150s went via Swinton whereas the next service was a semi-fast calling at Bolton only.

    My gamble paid off with 150269 leading 142014, no guesses that I decided to sit in the pacer for the bouncy ride, sadly the connection at Salford was lost as this service was delayed at Lostock junction for a late running Buxton service, and the cancellations meant staying on to Victoria and using the trams to reach Piccadilly. 3054/3029 took me to Market Street, to visit the Morrisons for a late lunch before 3025 eventually arrived into Piccadilly Gardens for the slow trip to Piccadilly, heading towards platform 14 where dud 67008 was sat on the platform with the evening North Wales 67 hauled set (DVT 82308 on the rear). I stayed on this busy service to Newton-Le-Willows where I bailed:
    [​IMG]67008 at Newton-le-Willows

    My next move was the Liverpool semi-fast behind formed of low mileage 319450 to take me to Wavertree Technology Park which is where things went wrong, as the 319s were running late & cancellations with the first service running so late it ran fast from Liverpool towards St Helens, which didn’t help things as it meant the following service was busier and formed of 319363 which my original plan to score a revisit to either Prescot or Eccleston Park fell apart as the following Wigan hadn’t let departed Lime Street by the time the 319 reached Huyton so I decided to stay on board this slow service as it kept on stopping outside stations, so I assume the signalling areas on this line are a bit rubbish. Anyhow another microgricing move was scored as the 319 departed from platform 6 at Wigan North Western heading north (most of the services use platform 5). Anyhow I remained on board to the very end at Preston, having enjoyed some 319 motor noise on the WCML.

    Next up was a trip to Blackpool North, mainly to score another part of the new layout around Kirkham & Westham, but also to tick off another part of the Virgin West Coast network map by Virgin train coverage (also my last part), with 221114 rolling in for the short run to Blackpool North, where I managed to take a picture in the rain:
    [​IMG]221114 at Blackpool North

    Sadly the next departure back towards Preston was cancelled, and the buses were all stoppers, so I headed for a little walk to the sea front to do a bit of tram spotting just in case trams 17 or 18 were around, but alas after 30 minutes I returned to the station via Sainsburys to board York bound 158851 to Preston, making a connection onto a late running 350402 to Wigan North Western, also known as my most wanted 350/4 as it now means all 10 of the sub-class are cleared for over 10 miles (this 350 being an Oxford Road leap). Anyhow it was a short walk to the Premier Inn, checking in and relaxing after a busy day. Sadly a few stations escaped but they will be easy enough to grab and probably karma for being able to grab Reddish & Bredbury earlier in the day.

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    12th May – The 565 Take 2

    Another week, another railtour (6th week in a row, although this is my last one for a couple weeks!), this time being a BLS/565 Railtours jointly run railtour to Norwich, the reason why I stayed overnight in Wigan rather than returning to Stockport is that there would be a pair of West Coast 37s on the train to Crewe and getting to Wigan in time for the tour from Stockport would have been quite tight. Anyhow my gamble didn’t pay off as it was duds 37685 & 37669 dragging the coaches to Crewe (which is a tad annoying seeing as I’ve only previously had 2 out of the WCRC 37s, and especially since 37685 worked a BLS tour 2 weeks ago), but I knew my good run with railtour locos couldn’t last.

    I was in the 2nd coach from the front so had a good noise and it was into the Merseyrail-like coloured seats (silver with yellow dots) and I was sat next to what I could only describe as a grumpy, normally you get a “morning” when you say “good morning” but all I got out was a grunt. Thankfully he buggered off at Stafford, as being sat next to a misery guts all day wouldn’t have been fun. Anyhow once at Crewe I had time to grab a breakfast from WH Smiths as the locos were changed, this time I was guaranteed winners as I’ve never previously had a Colas 37, so it was winners 37219 & 37116 for the main tour today.

    [​IMG]37219 & 37116 waiting at Crewe

    Departure from Crewe was on time, but at Stafford we had news of cows on the line around Rugeley, but this didn’t derail the train as it was diverted towards Wolverhampton, branching off before the city of dreams, and towards Walsall and onto the Sutton Park route, and heading towards Nuneaton, although this came at a large time penalty of around 35 minutes, but it meant we got around Daisy. A bit of an odd move at Nuneaton as the train crossed over to go via platform 6 where I suspected was due to a Stansted 170 being behind, but we didn’t stop regaining the regular route after Nuneaton and towards Leicester, that 170 eventually overtaking (on time I need to add) when we went via the goods line at Leicester. After Leicester it was onto the boring route via Oakham, where even the noise from the 37s couldn’t keep me awake, I believe the tour used a goods loop around Melton Mowbray area. Next and final pick up was at Peterborough as the train continued heading east, passing Ely nonstop and taking the route towards Bury St Edmunds, joining onto the Great Eastern at Stowmarket as the tour went into the loop just south of Stowmarket to allow 37219 to run around to attach to the rear.

    We had made up the time as 37219 took control for the trip to Norwich, odd passing Diss non-stop and a trip into platform 1 where we had around a couple hours to kill. I headed for a little walk to a nearby Morrisons for both a late lunch and also to grab supplies for dinner later and gently wasted time, laughing at the cost of a 2-litre bottle of Pepsi Max in the little Co-Op on the station (£3.59!). Anyhow time passed and the coaches were pushed back into the station, 37219 had rejoined 37116 at the front for the speedy run back towards Crewe, going via Thetford, the Ely avoiding curve and a non-stop run through the platforms at Leicester. I was due to score 2 pieces of Baker track with this tour, the first (Lichfield Chord) was removed due to Network Rail having staffing issues, the 2nd being the newish Nuneaton North Chord, which can only be accessed by going via platform 7 at Nuneaton. But it was a bit of new track into my Baker, I just need the connection from the WCML towards the Leicester line, and also the connection from the platform 1 side of the station towards Birmingham.

    A little weave at Stafford to go into platform 1, and a short delay outside Crewe before the train arrived at platform 12, which is when I said farewell and had around a 50 minute fester before 323233 took me to Stockport on a dirt cheap £4 advance, this time I had a different room at the Stockport Travelodge! Also I had a little idea when walking to the hotel so made use of the 30 minutes free WiFi to draw up a revised plan for the Sunday.

    A pleasant little tour, not so Quail Track heavy as previous BLS tours, but a good bit of 37 mileage, something I will be returning to in early June on a SRPS overnight tour
     
  18. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    13th May – South Pennies Day Ranger

    I woke up a bit later than I was hoping so my exit of the hotel was a few minutes later than planned which meant by the time I grabbed my rover from the ticket office and headed upstairs to platform 3 for a quiet 185120 to Manchester Piccadilly. Time to grab breakfast before a time wasting leap to Oxford Road on 142013 & 142056 (which were pretending to be a 319 on a Chat Moss Liverpool stopper), returning to Piccadilly on 185108, bit chaotic at Oxford Road with only one of the 4 platforms available (the other 3 had ECS units on). Anyhow it was a fast walk to platform 1 to take a seat on the refurbished 156420 working a Sheffield stopping service as far as Strines. This is normally a quite awkward shack to get due to the service levels but this 156 was working an off-pattern departure which meant the usual +0 on Sundays was a nice +18, at the shack in the middle of nowhere.

    After a short break it was back to Piccadilly on a busy 150146, then across to platform 14 for 156451 & 156471 for the tiny leap to Oxford Road, followed by 150228 via the new chord to reach Victoria, then across to platform 2 to board 142055 & 150115 on the next Huddersfield stopper, no idea if a South Pennies Day Ranger is valid via the new chord but hey ho! Anyhow this service was on time with the next Manchester service being a couple minutes late which meant a tight connection could be made at Mossley. Not the easiest of connections as you have to go out of the station and enter via a side gate, but neither the less I made the connection onto 142052 & 142029 back to Victoria, changing units at Victoria to grab a bench seat in 142029, windows were open due to it being a warm day and onwards to Huddersfield, mainly because it is the last Sunday these services will run (the stoppers being replaced by a new TPE service).

    [​IMG]142052 arrives into Mossley

    Once at Huddersfield, it was a short walk across to platform 6 to board 142095 for the trip to Leeds via Bradford Interchange, for no other reason than I fancied another pacer rather than a probable crush loaded 185. Time to grab a late lunch at Leeds and after a PNB I was waiting for the St Pancras train, just for the oddity of catching an EMT service from Leeds. 43058 & 43050 were in charge for the run to Sheffield via Wakefield Westgate and a most enjoyable run it was as well, although I wouldn’t like to be on this service after Sheffield as it is stops at most of the EMT served stations along the way. With an hour to kill before the next fast service back to Leeds, I had a short walk to Castle Square on the tram network, bumping into Mr Tom and also required 399201 which I took to Meadowhall, crossing over to platform 4 for 158908 back to Leeds via sunny Barnsley.

    After a PNB it was a short wait for the HST I was booked back to London on to roll in from Harrogate, it looked like it was going to be a busy train judging by the reservation screens and in rolled 43315 with 43317 at the London end, and for the second time of the day I was on a Mk3 with IC70 seating for it was the former EMT set (the one which is red inside and has plug sockets). As expected it was busy, there wasn’t many seats available in coach E and I had a view of a plastic wall, but that didn’t bother me as I was watching some videos on the tablet and the plastic helped block out the sun.

    A couple hours later, arrival into Kings Cross was a couple minutes late, but still meant I had a comfortable 70 minute connection to the next service from Waterloo back to Grateley, so as a time wasting move I headed to the Northern line platforms jumping on a service which had just rolled in without checking the destination, only to bail at Euston from 51548/51547 as it was going to the wrong branch. 51537/51538 was next to take me to Kentish Town before 51712/51574 to Waterloo. Time to grab dinner from McDonalds before ignoring the instructions for “all passengers must leave the station via the nearest emergency exit” to board 159001 & 159009 (Sunday night fire alarm test), for a speedy trip back to Grateley, the end of my long weekend in the North West.

    I know I missed out my chance to finish the Marsden loop but hey ho.

    Next weekend sees a West Midlands Day Ranger day where I will attempt to grab some more bay platforms and also making a small dent into my shack revisit requirements in that area
     
  19. 1D53

    1D53 Established Member

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    There is still one train booked to use Platform 3 at Marsden weekdays, shame its at 0620!
     
  20. gazr

    gazr Member

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    What bay platforms are there in the West Midlands apart from Wolverhampton P5 and P6 and Four Oaks? I just spent a few days there myself and managed to snag P6 at the former, which was a 2 x 2 car 172s, with the back until locked OOU :( I'll still count it though ;) Hopefully one for a BLS tour to do going in to. Also, there seems to be usage on May 27th during the day, but must be a scheduling error as there are trains booked to arrive there as well as depart.
     
  21. TC60054

    TC60054 Member

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    Was good to see you again on Sunday, Mr Kite :D
     
  22. palmersears

    palmersears Member

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    Always nice to see you in my neck of the woods, Kite. Shame you didn't have a bit longer at Strines as there's a belting cafe at the bottom of the hill now.
     
  23. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    My plan involves Wolverhampton P6 on the daily Wolverhampton - Shrewsbury stopper (07:25 starter), a trip towards Gloucester* for P3 (using that service which terminates there before forming the Fishguard evening), Hereford bay (19:59 Hereford - New Street), with the Sunday a trip to Worcester for P3 at Shrub Hill if the unit on the 11:38 Worcester - Cardiff uses it.

    (*OK outside the West Midlands but it's easier to reach as a time wasting move)

    I believe Wolverhampton P6 is like Leamington P1, you can depart in passenger service but due to the signalling you can not arrive into the bay (in public service). I suspect the ones on the 27th May are down to the engineering blockade at New Street departing towards Proof House.

    The only other one in the West Midlands Day Ranger area I will need will be Stratford Upon Avon P3 which seems to get used more by Chiltern services on Summer Sundays when the Shakespeare Express Steam service runs, plus Leamington Spa which will probably take some thinking (and an overnight stay on a weekday, or until Kenilworth gets a Sunday service as some of those shuttles were meant to terminate into P4 before shunting over to P1 due to a Chiltern service terminating into P4 from Stratford or Moor Street.
     
  24. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    I will probably be back in your neck of the woods at some point later in the year as I need New Mills Central to board, and New Mills Midtown to alight from (having walked between the two previously) :)

    Aye, I suspect I will finish the loop (I've used the platform when scoring the station so part of the loop is done) on a railtour, or when TPE notice the timetable being a bit rubbish and change things around so a stopper is looped at Marsden by a fast
     
  25. 1D53

    1D53 Established Member

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    The stopper in the new timetable gets passed at Heaton Lodge so if the express is late they could go past at Marsden too thinking about it.
     
  26. palmersears

    palmersears Member

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    Not sure of your previous walking route, or indeed if you plan to walk between them in the opposite direction again next time, but if you went the scenic route last time over the little green bridge that spans the river you won't be able to now, it's closed for a few months for a rebuild. Adds about 15 minutes to the walk between the two as you have to go through the centre of New Mills itself.
     
  27. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Can't really remember much of my previous walking route as it was a couple years ago.
     
  28. gazr

    gazr Member

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    New Mills is a lovely part of the country... No need to hurry:) View from the bus stop looking down at New Mills Central is quite impressive; the signalbox looks like a Hornby model.
     
  29. 55013

    55013 Established Member

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    It's taken me about an hour to read those last few reports.
    As usual, it was time well spent :)
     
  30. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Thanks Mr 13 :)
     

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