Welcome to Railwaymedia Blog numero 3!
This week has turned out to be busier than I expected. Normally when I'm on a week of nights at work I can't be bothered to do much once I get up, but I found out at the end of last week that I had a major problem with the hard drive I use to back up pictures, so I've had to force myself to sort that out. Oh and its also been quite nice weather so I've also had to make myself to go out and find something to point my camera at too.
Well, the problem with it was terminal so I ended up needing to go out and buy another hard drive. In fact I've bought two so that I'll not have to re-back everything up again - which I'm now having to do. The one good thing with night turns is I normally get to crack on with the picture reprocessing for the website, but that is on hold for now whilst I try to get all the images back.
Anyway, enough of all that. With Monday and Tuesday both being lovely January days, I made the effort to get out for a few hours in the afternoon. Again on the hunt for the dwindling number of London Midland liveried 150s in the area (painting in Northern livery is proceeding quickly I believe), I nipped to Kirkham. Only one was seen and that was on the wrong end of the 4 car Blackpool to Preston empties which then form the 1423 Hazel Grove (previously one of the 180 diagrams). Still, always guaranteed there to get a shot of a 142 on a Blackpool South train.
I then nipped to the classic location of Brock. First time I've been there for some time, in fact I'm not sure I went there during 2011 at all. A few years ago an afternoon there was always guaranteed to produce 4 or 5 freights, but with the 6K05 engineers train and the 6J37 Chirk log train both going via the Settle and Carlisle, and the 6K73 Nuclear train retimed much later, the only one you see regularly now mid to late afternoon is 4M63 from Mossend to Hams Hall. This usually follows the 1437 Pendolino to London from Lancaster. I was hoping for my first shot of a DB-red 92 but needless to say 019 turned up in grey (and with a lot of fresh air being carried on the front half of the train).
Tuesday afternoon I started off going out for the LM 150 I had spotted early morning, when I finished work, standing in for a bouncy railbus-thingy on the Colne line. It was heading east at 1320 so the only bit where the angle of the sun would be right was just south of Preston. I went to a location I've not been to since 2007 which is on Coote Lane near Lostock Hall. Back then the nursery located below (the plant variety of nursery that is) had planted a row of conifers alongside the road. I wasn't expecting much and they have indeed managed to totally obscure the view. There is a zoom shot looking the other way, but not as nice as the former angle, which gave a view back over towards Preston with North End's football ground in the distance. Here's a golden oldie shot of that vista (well not from that long ago but it seems rather dated now):
As it was looking sunnier to the west I headed over to Blackpool to see if any of their new trams were out and about on test. I started off at the south end of the promenade to find the new depot all shut up, and indeed it wasn't looking promising when I saw the (newly laid) lines at the Pleasure Beach being dug up again. Allegedly this is because the rails have been laid too close together.
Anyway, approaching Manchester Square I glimpsed a tram slipping away in the distance. It turned out there were two out, numbers 001 and 002, though the latter has no branding or even fleet numbers on it, just a board in each cab saying '002'. They look smart but both sounded to have flats on the wheels. They do though seem to get round quicker than the old trams did, so here's hoping when the line re-opens the people of Cleveleys and Fleetwood will use them more to get to Blackpool for shopping etc. rather than the parallel number 1 bus route.
I had about an hour strolling about on the seafront in the lovely winter sun photographing them before the cloud rolled in from the west. For the next couple of days the forecast is much poorer so I will probably concentrate on getting my hard drives online and getting the all important images back onto them. Pictures from last two days can be seen at my 2012 Trips page. I'll keep you updated if I get out and about at any point during rest of this week, in the meantime; thanks for reading.