With the day off work and being in the last month of class 101’s in normal service I decided to go to Manchester to play homage to these remarkable modernisation plan survivors. I also wanted to use the opportunity to travel on one or two HST’s in service with Midland Mainline & Virgin Trains.
To get to Manchester I had to catch the 05.03 works bus number 12B from my bus stop to Newcastle Central Station and catch the 06.15 Arriva service bound for Liverpool Lime Street using my PRIV pass.
06.15 NEWCASTLE - LIVERPOOL LIME STREET
On arrival at Newcastle station I copped EWS 67 027 “Rising Star” in use as the Thunderbird loco laying over in one of the bay platforms. I then proceeded to purchase my ticket, grab a coffee and made my way to platform 8 where Transpennine livered 158 767 & 158 798 were waiting for custom. When I attempted to board the trailing unit, 158 767 the cheerful Conductor asked me where I was travelling to, I replied “Piccadilly” to which he politely informed me that I needed to travel in the leading unit as the trailing one was being detached at York. - Canny customer service if I may say so!
During the journey I sighted EWS 66 073 & 66 109 at Tyne Yard, GNER 43 117 “Bonnie Prince Charlie on the rear of a Northbound service at York and FL 66 547 in the sidings just after York station. Whilst passing Neville Hill TMD I spotted ML 43 079, an unbranded VT power car and one of the National Rail yellow livered power cars. At Leeds station I also clocked ML 43 053 & 43 056 on a St Pancras service.
The train started to lose time east of Greenfield where we stopped for ages at a signal and then crawled most of the way into Manchester passing the other two yellow NR HST’s with the ‘Flying Banana’ passing at Mossley. We also passed RX livered 47 789 “Lindisfarne” with the ECS off the FNW service from Holyhead on the approaches to Piccadilly.
After another stop at a signal just before Piccadilly we crawled into platform 14, 13 mins late.
On arrival I managed to take a few photo’s of grey 92 039 “Johan Strauss” passing through platform 13 on a light engine working. I also clocked VT 87 010 “King Arthur” & grey 90 038 in multiple working the 09.27 service to London Euston and VT 87 006 “George Reynolds” on the 09.43 arrival from the Capital.
As I walked towards platforms 1 & 2 where a collection of 101’s were ticking over I noticed a delayed Midland Mainline HST approaching one of the adjacent platforms at 09.50 with the stock for the 09.47 service to St. Pancras so I hurriedly purchased my GM day ranger, found a seat and relaxed for my next move to Stockport.
0947 MANCHESTER PICCADILLY - LONDON ST. PANCRAS
This service was formed of new ML 43 087 & unbranded VT 43 193 and ended up doing a wee spot of bellowing for the short journey to Stockport & did not see anything of interest at Longsight TMD.
After a couple of photos of the aforementioned HST I dodged ‘The Gestapo’ (Stockport Stn Security Guards) and attempted to check the useless information screens for the next train back to Manchester at the subway entrance.
0800 LONDON EUSTON - MANCHESTER PICCADILLY
Whilst trying to make sense of the daft screens an announcement came over the tannoy stating the next Virgin departure to Piccadilly, so I made my way to the platform and in glided 390 027 and although I was contemplating waiting for the next HST or loco hauled service I decided to jump on the Pendilino set. - I must confess a fondness for these new units, now that’s something I didn’t think I would say!
The slack timings between Stockport & Manchester Piccadilly ensured an early arrival, and in the process I clocked new ML livered 43 069 & 43 198 departing with the 1047 to St. Pancras.
1116 MANCHESTER PICCADILLY - ROSE HILL MARPLE
After alighting from my previous move I decided to get back to the task in hand and after taking a few snaps of 101 680 stabled on platform 2, I jumped onto the 1116 service to Rose Hill Marple from platform 1 formed of Strathclyde livered 101 693. This train filled up with fellow enthusiasts ensuring strange looks from the ‘normals’ on the train!
|Rose Hill Marple||1148||1148|
1152 ROSE HILL MARPLE - MANCHESTER PICCADILLY
After a few photos of 101 693 I decided to jump straight back on and head for Romiley for a (liquid) lunch break.
On arrival at Romiley I could not find a café, so after passing a few pubs I stumbled upon ‘The Grey Horse’, apologies to the proprieter if I’ve got the name wrong! When I got to the bar I ordered a tasty Beef & Onion Baguette accomplice with a nice cold pint of John Smiths bitter and settled down on a settee beneath a class David Shepherd painting.
After my lunch and short walk around I went back to the station and whilst on the platform I managed to take a photo of EWS 66 068 on a Hope Valley bound freight service.
|Rose Hill Marple||1152||1153|
1438 MARPLE - MANCHESTER PICCADILLY
My next move was formed of my favourite unit, BR green 101 068 ‘Daisy’ which flounced into Romiley station 16 mins late although she made up a little time on the way.
As it turned out, this was my last run on a class 101 on the National Rail network and I do regret not using any more of these units this day, but HST’s were also on the agenda and on arrival at Manchester Piccadilly I nearly had a coronary when I noticed a WCML HST set deputising for a Voyager on the 1417 service to Birmingham New Street! - pure class!
1417 MANCHESTER PICCADILLY - BIRMINGHAM NEW STREET
I could not believe my eyes, but there it was on platform 9: VT livered WCML 125 set with power cars 43 084 & 43 094 on a Cross Country service instead of a Voyager - how lucky was that a REAL train and not a daft plastic thing! I spent the short journey to Stockport doing a spot of bellowing.
My second visit was shorter than my last one, but on arrival I jumped onto the next train back to Manchester as a delayed Loco Hauled VT train came in behind 87 033 “Thane of Fife”, a loco I had not previously travelled behind. I was originally going to hang about at Stockport station but thought a loco back to Piccadilly was a better move.
1200 LONDON EUSTON - MANCHESTER PICCADILLY
Luckily for me 87 033 arrived at Stockport a wee bit late and I spent the short journey in the front vestibule as the train was too packed for me to find a seat.
On arrival at Piccadilly I decided to have a look in in Ian Allan Bookshop and after making a few purchases I opted to travel to Stalybridge and have a pint (or two) in the fantastic Station Buffet.
1530 MANCHESTER PICCADILLY - BEVERLEY
The 2 car Arriva Transpennine unit 158 768 seemed to be a bit inappropriate for this service as it was a total wedge, although I did manage to find a seat for the 15 min journey.
On arrival at Stalybridge I immediately sought sanctuary from the cold in the splendidly restored station buffet for some light refreshment, clocking 56 067 passing light engine towards Manchester whilst getting warm in front of the real coal fire. I also found time to admire the various railway artefacts scattered about, such as the Chinese QJ loco works plate and old station signs - how many ‘museums’ can you purchase a pint from I wonder!
After I had finished in the Buffet, I decided to travel to Leeds, so I purchased my PRIV ticket and waited on the platform for my next move.
1628 MANCHESTER AIRPORT - MIDDLESBROUGH
In contrast to my last move there were plenty of seats on this train formed of 158 763 & 158 811.
As soon as I had got settled in a seat on departure the refreshment trolley came past and enabled me to purchase a nice cold can of John Smiths to enjoy at my leisure on the 45 min journey to Leeds.
On arrival at Leeds I went for a swift pint in the Scarborough pub opposite the station and ended up missing my next move, the 1815 AN service to Newcastle. As my PRIV pass only covered travel on Arriva I could not travel at a discount on the direct VT service I had little choice but to use the 1854 departure which travels the long way round via Middlesbrough, Hartlepool & Sunderland which can be a right pain at times!
After purchasing a Burger King and some cans for my extended journey I walked onto the platform and boarded the train which pulled in a few mins late formed of 156 497 instead of the booked ‘158. I also felt a sense of relief at me purchasing some cans at the station as the trolley (which is advertised to Newcastle) was offloaded.
This journey was not as bad as first anticipated mind and I spent much of the journey talking to a delightful young Student Baglet who was travelling to Billingham and a slightly drunk Middle aged couple who were travelling the Monkey-Hanger province of Hartlepool. But the pinnacle of this journey was that my favourite tall, curly blonde haired, curvy lady conductress took over at Middlesbrough, Mmmmmmm! Also at Middlesbrough another ‘156 was added, but I did not take note of its number.
Despite losing time between Leeds & Sunderland and being a ‘156 the train actually managed to arrive at Newcastle early due to the slack timings on the Durham Coast line.
1715 MANCHESTER AIRPORT - MIDDLESBROUGH - NEWCASTLE
(Reversal at Middlesbrough)
This turned out to be a canny day out with my last journeys on the fabulous class 101 dmu’s, a few 125’s and a loco hauled train. I also managed to have a couple of drinks in my favourite watering hole in the entire North West - oh and a chance to admire the luscious figure of my favourite lady conductress!
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