The scenic route to New Brighton

Scenic? I exaggerate… Monday 4 February: a day out, using a “Cheshire Day Ranger”. There were one or two stretches of track we wanted to travel along, and somewhere for lunch would be good. We began our travels just inside Cheshire on a Carmarthen to Manchester (aka “Manceinion” – it’s a Transport for Wales service) Piccadilly train. A northbound train from Piccadilly took us to Victoria, using the (almost) brand new “rusty bridge” Ordsall chord. At Victoria, we switched to a Liverpool-bound train, and from the low-level station at Lime Street we caught a New Brighton service …

… for a brief stroll beside the sea, and lunch (at the Floral Pavilion – wow!) …

…and now we’re heading for Chester, where our train of choice is the loco-hauled (propelled…) service to Piccadilly. Things are getting busy now – our train back to Crewe is packed (the two-coach – crazy! – 16.31 to Milford Haven). Lastly, the short hop home is on the “stopper”. I’ve lost count of all the different – very different – trains we’ve been on, but it’s been a great day out!

Cheshire Day Ranger

Britannia – main line steam

We saw no 70000 “Britannia” on test in October. Today (a gloomy and intermittently wet one) she was in revenue-earning service – on the “Welsh Borders Explorer”, the circular route from Crewe, via Chester, Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton. We’re at Preston Boats, not far out of Shrewsbury, and she’s going well – we could hear the exhaust when the train was leaving Shrewsbury, more than a mile away and out of sight.

Kirkham Abbey

Saturday 20 October: we’re in Yorkshire, exploring after lunch. The ruinous remains of Kirkham Priory stand beside the river Derwent, between York and Malton, and are worth exploring. The York – Scarborough railway passes through the valley on the other side of the river, crossing the minor road by means of a level crossing. It’s controlled by a mechanical signal box, “Kirkham Abbey”: the crossing gates swing out across the road when a train is coming. Kirkham Abbey is a now-rare survivor of a once-common scene.

Photo note: today’s outing wasn’t expected to have photographic opportunities. I took the photos using the smartphone – not the best tool for the job, especially considering the railway is in deep shade, mid-afternoon in late October. We’ll have to revisit…

View OS map on Streetmap

A full day: Glasgow

Wednesday 26 Sept: Up at 6am! We’re catching the 9.09 Pendolino from Crewe; at Carlisle, we’ll join the 11.12 for Glasgow Central – via Dumfries and Kilmarnock (our choice – slow but scenic). We then have a whisker over 3 hours, into which we’ll squeeze
– St Enoch Square – for a look at the old Subway station
– the riverside walk to the Riverside Museum
– a subway ride to Buchanan Street, for a look at Queen Street station
– a walk back to Central station, and
– an expensive (£4.75!) pint…
before heading for home on the 16.40 to Euston. It’s not going to call at Crewe, so we’ll have to change at Lancaster – onto a train that decides to stop at Preston for almost an hour. We’ve no driver – signals problems away down south mean he’s late. So we’re on a later-than-planned train from Crewe back to the car, and at about 10.45pm, I’m home again. Did all of that happen in just one day?

That’s enough for now – a few photos below; more to follow.