So, the month isn't over, but I've already done a lot of travel, and I also did a bit more in January too. Two railtours were done this month, as well as a Freedom of the South West 8 in 15 rover ticket (£98 for 8 days of travel with my Railcard, not going to complain at that pricing!). Anyways, down to business, as usual, services with new track are in italics.
Expect: Wall of Text
Do not Expect: Any sense from my travels whatsoever.Saturday 26th January - West Midlands Day Ranger
0655 Manchester Piccadilly to Crewe on 390044.
0749 Crewe to Stafford on 350117.
0825 Stafford to Wolverhampton on 220011. It seems this year I'm trying to tick off as many Voyagers as possible, just a shame they're awful trains.
0845 Wolverhampton to Sandwell and Dudley on 221112.
0904 Sandwell and Dudley to Smethwick Galton Bridge on 323215.
0912 Smethwick Galton Bridge to Stourbridge Junction on 172333. This unit was running in a hybrid formation, with one of it's driving cars replaced with a driving car from 172338.
0937 Stourbridge Junction to Cradley Heath on 172219.
0945 Cradley Heath to Stourbridge Junction on 172337. A quick hop to Cradley Heath and back to kill some time.
0959 Stourbridge Junction to Kidderminster on 172222.
1018 Kidderminster to Worcester Shrub Hill on 172214.
1043 Worcester Shrub Hill to Great Malvern on 800027. My first 800 journey of the year, but definitely not the last!
1110 Great Malvern to Bromsgrove on 172220 and 172211. A weird sight seeing a pair of 172s on a Birmingham New Street service, these units normally being kept to the Snow Hill lines.
1151 Bromsgrove to Longbridge on 323218.
1212 Longbridge to Kings Norton on 323204.
1227 Kings Norton to University on 323207. A little bit of 323 hopping.
1239 University to Birmingham New Street on 170398.
1252 Birmingham New Street to Nuneaton on 170117.
1336 Nuneaton to Rugby on 350105.
1417 Rugby to Coventry on 350104.
1442 Coventry to Birmingham International on 221143 and 221103. The toilet on these seemed to be doing the usual Voyager trick by being broken and absolutely stinking.
1505 Birmingham International to Birmingham New Street on 350375.
1525 Birmingham New Street to Lichfield Trent Valley on 323211. A line that I hadn't done in nearly 10 years was revisited.
1613 Lichfield Trent Valley to Tamworth on 350107.
1633 Tamworth to Birmingham New Street on 170110.
1705 Birmingham New Street to Sandwell and Dudley on 170632.
1724 Sandwell and Dudley to Wolverhampton on 221112 and 221110.
1754 Wolverhampton to Stafford on 350265.
1844 Stafford to Kidsgrove on 350120.
1921 Kidsgrove to Longport on 153372.
1938 Longport to Crewe on 153383 and 153302.
2030 Crewe to Manchester Piccadilly on 175104. Whilst waiting for this train on Platform 6 (it's booked platform), the train beforehand was waiting there due to Police incident involving the train. Eventually the person in question had to be tasered by the Police, and my train was moved over to Platform 5.
This added a further 362 miles to my January total.Monday 4th February
0931 Manchester Piccadilly to Crewe on 175009.
1019 Crewe to Birmingham New Street on 350255. When going to Birmingham (in this case for a meeting), I avoid CrossCountry. The chances of getting a seat are generally rather slim on the direct Manchester to Birmingham trains.
1525 Birmingham New Street on 158823 and 158827. Decided to unit hop on my way back from my meeting.
1549 Wolverhampton to Stafford on 220005.
1636 Stafford to Crewe on 350254.
1716 Crewe to Wilmslow on 319363.
1727 Wilmslow to Manchester Piccadilly on 390046. This train had been due to depart Crewe before the train I got to Wilmslow, however, due to a track fault further south, all these trains were running 20 minutes late due to being diverted via Northampton, so I was able to make this connection.Friday 8th February
0629 Manchester Piccadilly to Shrewsbury on 175003. This train, oddly, departed from Platform 13 from Piccadilly, with the ECS coming from Crewe, through P14, before reversing at Manchester Oxford Road and coming back.
0810 Shrewsbury to Cardiff Central, propelled by 67016. The Transport for Wales "Premier" or "WAG" service from Holyhead to Cardiff, stopping only at Hereford and Newport after I boarded. Surprised how quiet this train was really.
1018 Cardiff Central to Llanharan on 150229.
1049 Llanharan to Cardiff Central on 158831. This train is booked to run via the Leckwith Loop, however, due being delayed, it was diverted directly into Cardiff Central.
1126 Cardiff Central to Newport on 800018 and 800026. A quick hop back to Newport to drop the bags off at my hotel, having paid the extra for early check-in.
1227 Newport to Cardiff Central on 158956.
1251 Cardiff Central to Cardiff Queen Street on 143624.
1305 Cardiff Queen Street to Llanishen
on 143622. The last two 143s I ever needed to see in the space of the two journey's! Certainly a decent start.
1316 Llanishen to Cardiff Central on 142080 and 142081.
1336 Cardiff Central to Radyr on 143624, running via Ninian Park.
1356 Radyr to Pontypridd on 143604.
1418 Pontypridd to Cardiff Queen Street on 150282 and 143606, running via Cathays.
1455 Cardiff Queen Street to Coryton on 153327.
1515 Coryton to Cardiff Queen Street on 153327.
1536 Cardiff Queen Street to Cardiff Bay on 153362.
1542 Cardiff Bay to Cardiff Queen Street on 153362.
1556 Cardiff Queen Street to Grangetown on 150240 and 142082. 142082 was, however, dropped off at Cardiff Central.
1619 Grangetown to Cardiff Queen Street on 142085.
1641 Cardiff Queen Street to Penarth on 150262 and 142074.
1702 Penarth to Grangetown on 142074 and 150262.
1714 Grangetown to Cogan on 142076 and 142069.
1700 Cogan to Cardiff Central on 143604. Due to delays on the Barry Line, I was able to pick up a train that should have left Cogan 2 minutes before I left Penarth.
1745 Cardiff Central to Cardiff Queen Street on 150279.
1751 Cardiff Queen Street to Cardiff Central on 150258.
1806 Cardiff Central to Bridgend on 142006. The last 142 I needed for sight, and also, the last Pacer I ever needed to see.
1940 Bridgend to Cardiff Central on 175011.
2006 Cardiff Central to Cardiff Queen Street on 143622.
2016 Cardiff Queen Street to Cardiff Central on 142072. This was the last operational 142 that my stepfather needed to travel on, however, 2 days later, Transport for Wales reactivated 142073, which had been used for spare parts previously, much to his annoyance.
2026 Cardiff Central to Newport on 800316.Saturday 9th February - The Blue Boys Loco Fest railtour
0545 Newport to Chaddesden Sidings Road 2
, hauled by 68007. Ran via the Severn Tunnel, Cheltenham Spa, Bromsgrove, Selly Oak, Tamworth and Derby station. We were held for 30 minutes outside Cam & Dursley station, due to a tree fouling the line, however, after being allowed through, we were able to make the time back, as trains that we were meant to be looped for were also stuck, so we were back on time by Bromsgrove.
1040 Chaddesden Sidings Road 2 to Blackburn
, hauled by 37218 and 37402, with 68007 dead in tow on the rear. Ran via Uttoxeter, Macclesfield, Denton, the Brewery Curve and the Todmorden Curve. The main draw for me on this tour was this section, running on freight only track in Manchester.
1620 Blackburn to Blackpool North, hauled by 57307, with 88003 hauled dead in tow on the rear. This section was originally meant to be hauled by a DRS Class 66, however, was replaced at late notice by the 57 due to the 66 being needed for engineering works.
1752 Blackpool North to Crewe, hauled by 88003, with 57307 hauled dead on the rear.
2012 Crewe to Newport, hauled by 57002. Ran via Wolverhampton, Birmingham New Street, the Camp Hill Lines, Bromsgrove, Cheltenham Spa and the Severn Tunnel.Sunday 10th February
0823 Newport to Bristol Temple Meads on 800319, ran via a reversal at Bristol Parkway, due to the line through Swindon being closed.
0920 Bristol Temple Meads to Worcester Shrub Hill
on 150238. I went all the way to Worcester for the little link between the mainline to Birmingham and the Cotswold Line.
1138 Worcester Shrub Hill to Cheltenham Spa on 150238.
1210 Cheltenham Spa to Bristol Temple Meads, powered by 43303 and 43301. A lovely CrossCountry HST.
1310 Bristol Temple Meads to Westbury on 166205.
1419 Westbury to Yeovil Junction
on 159008 and 158890. Due to the direct route between Yeovil Junction and Salisbury being closed for engineering works, these services were being diverted via Westbury and Castle Cary.
1512 Yeovil Junction to Westbury on 159005 and 159018.
1604 Westbury to Bristol Temple Meads on 166209.
1653 Bristol Temple Meads to Severn Beach
on 166211. One of only two return trains to Severn Beach that run on a Sunday. Had a heavy brake application outside of Clifton Down, with a long blast of the horn, which, upon asking the driver afterwards, appeared to be caused by kids playing on tracks.
1742 Severn Beach to Bristol Temple Meads on 166211.
1848 Bristol Temple Meads to Newport
on 166205. Ran via the direct route to South Wales.
1934 Newport to Ebbw Vale Town
on 150280. Due to the mainline into Cardiff being blocked for engineering works, these trains were running to/from Newport via the "Gaer Single", a rarely used piece of track.
2030 Ebbw Vale Town to Newport on 150280.Monday 11th February
0910 Newport to Bristol Parkway on 800008 and 800019.
0941 Bristol Parkway to Bristol Temple Meads on 166218.
1045 Bristol Temple Meads to Exeter St Davids, powered by 43384 and 43303. My initial plan had been to try and get the line through Melksham in, however, due to a signalling failure, all trains that would have connected me to the service were being held at Bristol until it was resolved, so I headed South instead - the joys of a rover ticket and the flexibility it gives!
1208 Exeter St Davids to Newton Abbot on 802021 and 802008.
1240 Newton Abbot to Paignton on 153329 and 153325.
1308 Paignton to Newton Abbot on 153325 and 153329.
1335 Newton Abbot to Exeter St Davids, powered by 43098 and 43092.
1427 Exeter St Davids to Barnstaple
on 143611 and 143603.
1543 Barnstaple to Exeter St Davids on 143603 and 143611.
1702 Exeter St Davids to Taunton on 802005 and 802010.
1750 Taunton to Bristol Temple Meads, powered by 43285 and 43304.
1830 Bristol Temple Meads to Chippenham on 800007 and 800021.
1906 Chippenham to Salisbury
on 158954, running via Melksham, having returned to get the line missed earlier in the day.
2140 Salisbury to Westbury on 150248 and 150265.
2226 Westbury to Exeter St Davids on 43009 and 43029.Tuesday 12th February
0844 Exeter St Davids to Penzance on 802020 and 802019. My first "long-distance" journey on a pair of 802s, with them running on diesel all the way. The trains were bearable, the seats are still problematic, but hopefully this will be resolved soon.
1141 Penzance to St Erth on 150265.
1218 St Erth to St Ives
1233 St Ives to St Erth on 150221.
1306 St Erth to Truro on 43186 and 43187. This is the first of GWRs short-formed HSTs with sliding doors in place of the old slam doors. My only complaint with them is the fact they have kept the high-density seating layout. I would have preferred more tables personally!
1351 Truro to Falmouth Docks
1420 Falmouth Docks to Penryn on 150216.
1434 Penryn to Falmouth Docks on 150247. Due to my next train from Truro not being due for a while, I decided to get the second unit on the Falmouth branch.
1450 Falmouth Docks to Truro on 150247.
1528 Truro to Liskeard on 150238. A very busy service, which the 2-car 150 was a little too small for.
1641 Liskeard to Looe
on 150239. This service reversed at the Ground Frame, instead of going all the way to Coombe Junction Halt.
1715 Looe to Liskeard on 150239. Again, this service reversed at the Ground Frame, instead of going all the way to Coombe Junction Halt.
1916 Liskeard to Taunton on 802005 and 802001.
2128 Taunton to Bath Spa
on 800004 and 800028, running via Weston-super-Mare.
2305 Bath Spa to Bristol Temple Meads on 165118.
2342 Bristol Temple Meads to Exeter St Davids on 800311. Due to engineering works on the direct line between Bristol and Taunton, this service was diverted via Bath Spa, Westbury and Castle Cary. Whilst waiting for this train, there was a little bit of confusion, as the platform this train was due to depart from was occupied, and the train disappeared from all Passenger and Staff information screens. Fortunately it rolled in on-time, on a different platform, and ran as scheduled.Wednesday 13th February
0926 Exeter St Davids to Plymouth, powered by 43187 and 43186. The GWR short-formed set again.
1054 Plymouth to Gunnislake
1145 Gunnislake to Plymouth on 150247.
1243 Plymouth to St Austell on 150239. Another overcrowded 2-car Class 150.
1352 St Austell to Par on 43186 and 43187.
1407 Par to Newquay
1501 Newquay to Par on 150232.
1552 Par to Plymouth on 150239.
1657 Plymouth to Newton Abbot, powered by 43153 and 43161.
1744 Newton Abbot to Teignmouth on 150233 and 150238.
1907 Teignmouth to Newton Abbot on 143621 and 143603.
1925 Newton Abbot to Exeter St Davids on 158957.
2020 Exeter St Davids to Paignton, powered by 43079 and 43078. This service was a full, 8-car long HST having come from London Paddington, calling at all stations between Exeter St Davids and Paignton. It was rather bizarre being on a HST stopping at places like Exeter St Thomas and Dawlish Warren.
2135 Paignton to Newton Abbot, powered by 43078 and 43079. This HST returned as far as Newton Abbot in Passenger service, running as a stopping service. As the Guard was sick of running up and down the train shutting all the doors following the previous service, she locked all except on carriage out of use, leaving First Class carriage L as the only one available for passengers.
2206 Newton Abbot to Exeter St Davids on 150002 and 150247.Thursday 14th February
0815 Exeter St Davids to Exeter Central on 150239 and 150246. A quick hop up the hill.
0827 Exeter Central to Salisbury
on 159011 and 158890. When we stopped at Feniton, only 3 carriages of this 5-car train fit on the platform, with the rear two carriages, including the one I was sat in, being stopped over the Level Crossing.
1032 Salisbury to Southampton Central on 166205.
1124 Southampton Central to Weymouth
1310 Weymouth to Filton Abbey Wood
on 166217, running via Yeovil Pen Mill, Frome, Westbury, Bath Spa and a reversal at Bristol Temple Meads. This train ended up being 10 minutes late, due to a door interlock fault following our stop at Maiden Newton. Fortunately, they were able to resolve it, however, this put me very tight on my next connection.
1558 Filton Abbey Wood to Keynsham
on 166213, running via the Rhubarb Curve, avoiding Bristol Temple Meads. This was the connection I had been going for, a once a day train that avoids Bristol Temple Meads.
1619 Keynsham to Bristol Parkway on 166221, running via a reversal at Bristol TM.
1703 Bristol Parkway to Swindon on 800028 and 800024.
1830 Swindon to Taunton on 800034 and 800018, running via Bath Spa, Bristol TM and Weston-super-Mare
2045 Taunton to Exeter St Davids on 43079 and 43078. I would have waited for the next HST, however, a quick check of a certain computer system on my previous train showed that it had a pair of power cars I needed even less on it.Friday 15th February - Day One of the Here, There and Everywhere Trains - Again railtour
0815 Exeter St Davids to Exeter Central on 150247 and 150207. 150207 was a former Northern Unit, and it was weird boarding a train with a GWR paint job, yet Northern interior seating.
0827 Exeter Central to Salisbury on 159006 and 158885.
1032 Salisbury to Portsmouth and Southsea on 150001.
1150 Portsmouth and Southsea to Fratton on 450081, 450082 and 450095.
1201 Fratton to Hilsea on 313206.
1212 Hilsea to Eastleigh on 450563.
1434 Eastleigh to Dawley Loop
, powered by 37402 and 37409 (37402 leading). Ran via the Reading Feeder Lines to access the station. All journey's for the rest of this day, and all of Saturday, were powered by these two locomotives, to save me typing them again and again.
1628 Dawley Loop to Tilehurst
, running via a Circuitous route via Acton Wells Jn, Willesden South West Sidings, Clapham Junction, Crystal Palace, Redhill and Guildford. We were delayed for a few minutes outside East Croydon due to an earlier incident still having a impact through a well known bottleneck on the network.
2025 Tilehurst to London Paddington, running across the Old Oak Common Flyover into Paddington.
2233 London Paddington to Heathrow Express Traincare Road T4 - the lovely folks at Heathrow Express allowed the train access to their site, and even watered the train for us. I believe this is the first instance of a train carrying passengers running into the site, and is also likely to be the last, as it is due to be closed soon to make way for High Speed 2.
2318 Heathrow Express Traincare Road T4 to Old Oak Common Engine Siding.
2344 Old Oak Common Engine Siding to Hayes and Harlington. This part of the schedule was meant to take us up to Heathrow Tunnel Jn, just before the start of the tunnels down to the airport itself, however, due to missing paperwork, we were instead rescheduled to go into the bay at Hayes and Harlington.Saturday 16th February - Day Two of the Here, There and Everywhere Trains - Again railtour
0039 Hayes & Harlington to Brentford Goods
, a slow trundle down the freight-only Brentford Branch.
0125 Brentford Goods to Maidenhead Reversing Siding
0220 Maidenhead Reversing Siding to Maidenhead.
0232 Maidenhead to Maidenhead Carriage Siding No. 3
0244 Maidenhead Carriage Siding No.3 to Maidenhead.
0251 Maidenhead to Bourne End.
0323 Bourne End to Maidenhead.
0358 Maidenhead to Henley-on-Thames, taking in the mainline link to the Henley branch at Twyford.
0442 Henley-on-Thames to Slough.
0544 Slough to Windsor and Eton Central, again taking in the mainline link to the Windsor branch at Slough.
0602 Windsor and Eton Central to London Paddington. Due to the timings we were running to having a lot of slack in them, we left Windsor roughly 60 minutes early, and were around 75 minutes early arriving back into Paddington.
0820 London Paddington to Hanwell Bridge Goods Loop. After an extended break at Paddington, which included a trip to the McDonald's and a picture of a Kettle, we were back underway.
0852 Hanwell Bridge Goods Loop to Sheerness-on-Sea
, running via Acton Wells Jn, Willesden South West Sidings, Longhedge Jn, Lewisham, Woolwich (diverted from our booked route via Barnehurst due to a landslip), Dartford, Rochester and the Sittingbourne Western Curve.
1200 Sheerness-on-Sea to Ashford International
, running via Faversham, Ramsgate and Margate.
1427 Ashford International to South Croydon
, running via Hastings, Tonbridge and Redhill. When originally advertised, the tour was meant to continue along the South Coast, taking in Eastbourne, Brighton and Littlehampton, however, due to engineering works on the Brighton Main Line, we would not have been able to get between the two routes at Brighton, so an alternative was thought up instead.
1709 South Croydon to Caterham.
1743 Caterham to South Croydon.
1809 South Croydon to Horsham, running via Redhill and Three Bridges.
1903 Horsham to Reading
, running via Epsom, Mitcham Junction, Herne Hill, Longhedge Jn, Willesden South West Sidings and Acton Wells Jn. A nice end to a good, but tiring, 30+ hours on the railtour.Sunday 17th February
0936 Reading to London Paddington on 800004 and 800015.
1015 London Paddington to Kings Cross St Pancras on the Circle Line.
1130 London St Pancras to Sheffield
, powered by 43047 and 43059. Due to engineering works between Kettering and Leicester, this service was diverted via Corby, before running into Leicester from the north end, reversing, and continuing on the normal routing via Derby. I had intended to pay the £12.50 to do the weekend upgrade to First Class that East Midlands Trains do, however, when the guard came through, he had no functioning ticket machine, so unfortunately I had to take the upgrade for free!
1543 Sheffield to Manchester Piccadilly on 158856 and 158864.
A total of 4,229 miles travelled so far this month then! Poor showing I say