Robert Hampton

Rover 2006: Thursday

Depart From Arrive To TOC Train
Scheduled Actual Scheduled Actual
09:14 09:21 Aigburth 09:23 09:31 Liverpool Central ME 507014+508137
09:57 09:57 Liverpool Lime Street 10:54 10:51 Preston NT 150211
11:19 11:48 Preston 12:28 12:57 Carlisle VT 390026
15:03 15:03 Carlisle 17:40 17:37 Leeds NT 156463
21:08 21:08 Leeds 22:57 22:53 Liverpool Lime Street TP 158972
23:13 23:13 Liverpool Central 23:22 23:21 Aigburth ME 508131

Today's objective: a ride on the Settle & Carlisle line and a meeting with an old friend.

I've ridden on the S&C a couple of times, the last time in 2004 when a pair of class 37s was in charge of the train. The shoestring nature of the Northern franchise precludes any such extravagances these days, but the journey is still enjoyable in the class 156s which are the normal stock on the line these days.

First things first: we need to get to Carlisle, involving a nice run up the West Coast Main Line. My Merseyrail train into town was late (again!) but not enough to cause any serious problems to my itinerary. At Lime Street I found the Preston train formed of 150211, which I had ridden on from Wigan to Liverpool just over 14 hours ago!

150211 at Lime Street

At Preston, I found most northbound trains being delayed. Of interest in the far platform was a class 185 unit “on test”.

Class 185 unit at Preston

Here's 390026 arriving with the 11:19 to Glasgow Central, which departed 25 minutes late at 11:48.

390026 at Preston

As we headed north through the Lake District, the weather took a turn for the worse.

Inclement weather

Arriving at Carlisle, I was pleased to find preserved Deltic 55022 Royal Scots Grey, occupying one of the centre roads waiting to head south.

55022 at Carlisle

57302 Virgil Tracy was lurking in the sidings.

57302 at Carlisle

I had a while before the train to Leeds was due, and I spent a while wandering around Carlisle town centre, which, as I soon learned, is not a fun place when it's raining. I was soon back at the station where 156463 in Northern Spirit livery was waiting to work the 15:03 to Leeds (on the right, with classmate 156469 just worked in from the Tyne Valley line).

156469 and 156463 at Carlisle

The picture below shows the view from the train as driving rain and gale force winds battered against the windows. Going over Ribblehead Viaduct with a crosswind lifting the train on its suspension is an unforgettable experience.

Just a tiny bit of bad weather

The poor weather failed to halt our progress and we were in Leeds 3 minutes early. From there it was off to meet a friend from school, Rob Baldwin, to catch up on the past few years.

I was back at Leeds in time for the last Liverpool train at 21:08.

Leeds at night

My camera doesn't do too well in artificial light without a flash, but I tried to get some pictures of the many ECS units lying about, including 185125:

185125 at Leeds


158806 at Leeds

156479, which eventually coupled up to a 158 and 153 to form a 5-car ensemble which headed off to the depot.

156479 at Leeds

And finally, 158972 with the 21:08 service to Liverpool Lime Street. The class 158s are gradually being displaced by the new 185 units but at the moment there are still plenty to be seen in service with Transpennine Express.

158972 at Leeds

I found this poster (advertising the Transpennine Student Getaway ticket) deeply offensive. :-)

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