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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    It was either 006 or 007, couldn't see any numbers on the sides and couldn't get any decent viewing angles to if anything was on the ends.
     
  2. Gathursty

    Gathursty Established Member

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    Enjoy your 3 and a half hour stop at Forsinard Kite. You reminded me of my 2 hour sleep at Altnabreac waiting for my legs to kick in after walking there. Keep warm!

    My only requirement that far North is Dingwall-Strathcarron which I don't foresee myself doing this year or next year at least.
     
  3. 433N

    433N Member

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    A 3 and a half hour stop at Forsinard ... in winter* ?

    Is this some kind of shock therapy to put a stop to all this mad journeying ? :)





    * This is Scotland, we only have summer and winter - double figures on sub-zero nights already this year
     
  4. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    I know it sounds crazy, but you never know the southbound train might be running late and the level crossing barriers raise. :lol:

    Forsinard is the hardest station on the Far North to visit, due to it being a crossing point & a level crossing, unless you get lucky with said level crossing you will be there for at least 2 hours (staying overnight in Wick/Thurso to catch the first southbound service and a linear fester for the 2nd southbound service).

    Judging by the station diagram on NRE & pictures, there does seem to be a nice looking bench outside plus a decent looking shelter with a wide bit of wood on the southbound platform [better than the northbound platform shelter which seems to be a bar seat]

    (I can't really recall anything from my previous visit last year due to enjoying a leisurely 7 mile walk along the A897 to Kinbrace.
     
    Last edited: 11 Nov 2018
  5. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Ever get the feeling that you are alone?
    IMG_20181110_144011126_HDR.jpg
     
  6. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    Hope your train back isn't cancelled! ;)
     
  7. Skymonster

    Skymonster Member

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    Bog hopping rather than shack bashing?? :lol:
     
  8. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Fear not, 158725 returned from Wick and is currently taking me back towards Inverness.

    The picture was taken from the lookout tower. Sunny weather only getting chilly once the sun had dropped
     
  9. Far north 37

    Far north 37 Established Member

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    Is that the far north line done and dusted now kite.
     
  10. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Nope, 5 more stations to revisit next year (as well as a couple on the Kyle line)
     
  11. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    Beat Kildonan for over 4 hours....
     
  12. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Someone actually boarded the train there yesterday. At least that area is peaceful, somewhere in this counted country you feel like the only human around

    (And someone got off at Culrain heading north and someone boarded heading south)
     
  13. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    :o
    The day I visited, 2 people boarded the 17:34 service southbound (myself and a random walker). I've only ever been on 2 Far North and Kyle line services where someone other than me has requested a stop (and I've done over 10 journeys on those lines).
     
  14. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    9th – 11th November – A brief return to the Far North

    For my final trip to Scotland of the year, I booked up on the sleeper to head to Inverness with an idea of a return to the Far North line, the main aim was to revisit Forsinard which is quite hard to visit on grounds that it is the passing point at the northern end of the line, and has a level crossing. I also had a plan to grab a couple extra stations at the southern end of the line using a bus move and a linear hop with the evening Ardgay starter.

    Friday

    I got home, changed and was out of the door for the 14:59 service from Grateley to Basingstoke, changing over to a 165 on the Reading local for a short deckchair session at Reading, 45 minutes (or so) of festering saw a pair of 802s arrive from Penzance (802006 & 802012) which took me onwards to Paddington, all be it very slowly due to congestion. Once at Paddington it was over to the Hammersmith & City line platform for a S7 to Kings Cross St Pancras where another short walk took me to the Thameslink platforms at St Pancras.

    I made use of a request made by another poster at the location of 700019 which had been out of traffic for a while being the automatic driving test unit, so I was happy to get that one finally into my book on a Farringdon leap. A short fester on the footbridge before 700056 graced me for a hop to St Pancras, where for some strange reason I hung around on the northbound platform (normally a no-go area during the peak due to the majority of FLU workings being fast to St Albans), but I was rewarded with 700146 which took me to Finsbury Park. Another 700 took me into Kings Cross, for a trip to Blackfriars (after a 30 minute fester at Farringdon, but as my needs are now 4 of the class I might cheat and next time I go 700 hunting ask for details of which services they are due to work).

    A brief break at Blackfriars (mainly to keep an eye on the Sevenoaks services), before returning to Farringdon for food, a S7 to Kings Cross St Pancras before a Victoria line service to Euston, I was going to stay with the S7 to Euston Square, but it was raining. I arrived at Euston, got good news that the seated coach was out of use (free upgrade), and my bad luck with 92s had ended with winner 92023 up front. I settled down to relax in the berth, happy with my quick smash & grab.

    Saturday

    After a good trip on the sleeper, and pretty much an on-time arrival into Inverness, I found it was 67003 up front (as expected), and I had an hour to kill before my planned bus move, so I headed towards the Co-Op for breakfast & to get supplies for lunch, wasted a bit more time before making my way across to the bus station to await bus 27913 on a route 25X bound for Invergordon. A nice fast run followed the A9 across to the Black Isle & across the Cromarty Bridge. Roughly half an hour after departing Inverness the bus had arrived in the small town of Alness, where I alighted and walked towards the station to await the Wick train.

    The Wick train was formed of 158725 and was moderately loaded, it lost time at Ardgay due to a late running southbound service and gained back a few of the minutes but it was around 4 minutes late into Forsinard, and the southbound service had already departed (it waits the other side of the level crossing). However it was sunny so I headed for a little walk across to a nearby lookout tower which gives views of the flows, something very spiritual about the place, the sense of finding somewhere on this counted island where it felt you were alone.

    I decided to relax, sitting at the top of the tower, eventually deciding to head back down, where I did some walking around the stones before the short walk along the broadwalk to the road, and to the station, I was expecting it to get darker earlier than it actually did, but thankfully the little waiting room on the southbound platform has decent seats & a light which came on automatically. So it was an enjoyable fester watching the sun slowly set, and for the northbound service to arrive a few minutes before 158725 returned. The barriers do go up, however they are approach controlled so for anybody wanting to score Forsinard, plan on not making the connection.

    The 158 returned towards Inverness, in the darkness, slowly getting busier as it headed south. I alighted into the freezing cold night of Invergordon, and headed towards the town centre for something to eat (and to get cash out for a key deposit at the hostel). I had a pizza from an Indian; it was suitable for something hot. I returned to the station and waited for 158721 to roll in to take me to Inverness, arriving into platform 7 (which was good news for me, as it meant a shorter walk to the hostel!).

    Sunday

    I will admit I missed a trick here, I should have headed to Kyle & booked onto the sleeper taking a day off work today (Monday), however at the time I wasn’t sure which Christmas leave we would be forced to take. The line towards Perth was buses today, and I was all set to take the fast coach towards Perth, but when searching for tickets, an advance First via Aberdeen popped up, so I decided to treat myself and go back south via Aberdeen in 1st class.

    After checking out of the hostel, I grabbed some breakfast before making my way towards the station, where the platform for the Aberdeen train was announced and it was a 170 & 158 combo. I sat in the leading coach for the enjoyable trip across to Aberdeen (a couple weekend first people joined in along the way). Once at Aberdeen I broke my journey (naughty me!) to head to Boots for lunch, returning for another 158 & 170 operated service, the judge advising me that the trolley had a broken wheel so he would recommend sitting in the rear 1st class area to get your freebies.

    I do like the line from Aberdeen towards Dundee as it hugs the coastline at times, but this was a stopping service, calling at pretty much all the stations towards Dundee (bar Golf/Barry/Monifieth/Balmossie), thankfully after Leuchars it was semi-fast, but there was only one more person in the rear 1st class area (another weekend first upgrade). A peaceful way to travel on a busy service, once at Edinburgh I hedged my bets and got a sandwich from Boots (the LNER website no longer tells you the options for the sandwiches). It was onto a busy service to London, the 16:00 which was being pushed by 91109, with a fast service with plenty of drinks & snacks.

    For the first time in a while, I was on a LNER service which arrived into London on time, allowing me to easily make the 21:15 service which was a 159+158 combo, arriving back at Grateley nearly 13 hours after setting out from Inverness!

    Pictures to follow once I get them off my phone and sorted through them, but I will leave you with this one:
    IMG_20181110_152556064-EFFECTS.jpg
    IMG_20181110_150232188.jpg
     
    Last edited: 13 Nov 2018 at 19:32
  15. Far north 37

    Far north 37 Established Member

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    Fair play kite you done a lot more on my local line than ill ever manage some dedication there especially when scotrail services now are the worst they ever been up this way.
     
  16. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    The bulk was done last year (and the Kyle line in September 16), its a case of going back over the ones I walked between or used a bus.

    I suspect it will be June time next year I head back to the Far North
     
    Last edited: 13 Nov 2018 at 19:12

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