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
  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
  17. Iskra

    Iskra Established Member

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    Great report and nice photos kite, thanks for sharing.
     
  18. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Sadly since I've been gone (needed a break), my Flickr account is no more, so all those pictures have gone from previous reports.

    The 17th November was aa BL/HST group railtour to the Great Central North line which covered most of the track (all was required), with some miles from 41001. The Sunday was a failed attempt at the bay platform at Worcester Shrub Hill (there was no London services so no need of the ECS move to get the unit out of the way).

    The following weekend was a long weekend to the Manchester area, staying in the Macclesfield Travelodge. The Friday was pretty much station revisiting on the West side of the city (Warrington Central & Swinton line), boarding a busy 150 at Clifton and having a quick revisit to New Mills. The Saturday was a trip to Merseyside to clear Merseyrail plus some other odds & sods (50 minutes at Furness Vale was interesting) before clearing my last few Metrolink stops (with a cosy voyager back to Macclesfield).

    The Sunday I grabbed Styal (which I believe was my last EMU served station to revisit) plus Navigation Road & Altrincham which knocks my requirements within the GM Wayfarer area to a mere 3 stations (Denton, Reddish South & Hyde Central) which will be a job for next year.
     
  19. alexf380

    alexf380 Established Member

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    Good to have you back! Sorry about the flickr account, how did that come about?
     
  20. palmersears

    palmersears Established Member

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    Nice to see you venturing up my way, Kite! I can imagine 50 minutes at Furness Vale must've seemed like a lifetime...
     
  21. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Did you not hear the news that free accounts will be limited to 1000 photos in the new year?
     
  22. alexf380

    alexf380 Established Member

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    Ah yes I did, I dare say you've got quite a smattering of photos on there!
     
  23. The_Train

    The_Train Established Member

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    Have you found somewhere else to host your photos Kite? I've probably got a way to go before I breach the 1000 photo limit for free users so plenty of time to find alternatives for me
     
  24. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Even after deleting non-rail related pictures I had several thousand. Currently all backed up to an external hard drive
     
  25. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    I was looking into Google Photos, but that isn't as user friendly.

    -----

    1st & 2nd December - Yorkshire

    I booked this trip before the strikes were extended into December so my rough plan changed quite a bit, working with the limited services and needs. Friday night was a 180 to Bradford, with an early start on the Saturday morning with the 06:30 LNER service from Forster Square to Leeds.

    After grabbing lunch I noticed the first Selby train had a flashing platform number, changed from 7 to 14, so an unexpected bonus bay score with a former GWR 150 to Garforth. Back to Leeds on a 185 before a 144 took me to Castleford. A cheeky bus move on a route 144 service took me to Glasshoughton which saved a walk in the rain (or a probable hour fester). A busy 142 took me back to Leeds where I made an unofficial connection to a 150 to South Milford for a 45 minute wait for it to return.

    A delayed arrival back into Leeds meant a 25 minute wait for my first 333 of the year to Ilkley & back (at this point I was sightseeing from the train), making a connection to a 158 to Halifax, which due to signalling issues went nonstop via Dewsbury. A quick hop to Low Moor to intercept a Hedben Bridge service before returning towards Leeds, hitting into the signalling issues as it took 45 odd minutes to crawl to Leeds via New Pudsey.

    A low mileage 185 took me to Huddersfield and another one took me back to Leeds, before a 185 on an all station stopper eventually reached Mirfield for a 180 to Bradford Interchange, with a bus on a route 614 took me closer to the hotel.

    The Sunday was a walk to Interchange for a 180 to Wakefield Kirkgate, via New Pudsey, reserving outside Leeds to go nonstop to Kirkgate via Westgate. A 144 took me to Barnsley before a 158 took me to Sheffield. I got lucky as a tram was just pulling in to take me to the Cathedral stop where I waited for a 399 to take me all the way to Parkgate, where I returned to the tram platforms at Rotherham Central. Another 399 took me to Meadowhall South with a regular tram to Meadowhall itself.

    The next few hours was spent looking for any mileage requirements, although I only got one more 158 into the club with a small increase to a 144. A couple tram moves saw another couple of trams above a mile before a low mileage 185 eventually took me to Doncaster, before boarding a 180 to London. A fast connection to Paddington with a required 800 to Reading, before a busy 165 to Basingstoke & a pair of 159s back home.

    The highlight of the trip was the unexpected scoring of platform 14 at Leeds, as it isn't used by all that many trains at the moment (although I believe it gains an hourly service from the timetable change with Leeds - Yorks stoppers)

    IMG_20181201_070150640.jpg
     
    Last edited: 3 Dec 2018
  26. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Oh yeah, summary of November 2018:

    3614 Miles covered
    6 new units (1x 150, 3x 700, 2x 802)
    2 new locos (1x 41, 1x 92)

    A quieter month for my red pen, although I'm getting to the point where I don't need a lot again, 4 more 700s left within London, plus various 80Xs on the GWML. More a waiting game for the 717s to enter regular service.

    Looking ahead to December, and other than my trip to West Yorkshire, it is a very quiet month, so quiet my little box of advance tickets hasn't got anything for December in. I suspect a West Midlands Day Ranger on the 8th, a Thames Valley Branches Rover on the 15th, plus some odds & sods within London. A railtour on the 22nd December and a trip to Birmingham on New Year's Eve but no overnight trips.
     
  27. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    I’ve just caught up with your reports for the last couple of months Kite. Some great stuff there, unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to see the photos before the Flickr issue but still a proper BSI Kitemark read. ;)
     
  28. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    A "smash & grab" in London this evening scored me 2 more 700s, leaving just 2 to get (1x RLU, 1x FLU). It would have been 3 but there was a set swap due to signalling issues.
     
  29. 87electric

    87electric Member

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    Which 2 are left Kite?
     
  30. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    700059 & 700154
     

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