Sunday 3 June 2012

19 (Part I): More Blackpool, German Beer and Long Buckby

Welcome at a belated 19th edition of the Railwaymedia Blog.

Over the last two weeks or so I've been out photographing a few times, after all it could well be the last spell of nice weather this summer! On top of that the nice weather has delayed the processing of the pictures and therefore the blog. Still, it's a Bank Holiday, and it is raining, so time to catch up.

Carrying on from Blog number 18 and my May Bank Holiday trip to see how the Blackpool Tramway was performing, I made two more trips to The Fylde during the month. First was mainly in connection with a Skegness to Blackpool excursion. I photographed it at Kirkham Tip on the way to the resort, though the promised sun hadn't yet made an appearance. It was booked about 4 hours stay so I got a few tram pictures and the obligatory class 142s on the Blackpool South line, before waiting for the tour to return. 47826 in Scarborough Flyer livery was leading, seen here near Weeton.

I had to return home after this passed, but then got a call to say a Colas 47 was dragging a Merseyrail class 507 north to Wabtec at Kilmarnock. The children were dragged through the teatime traffic to nearby Farington where I was hopeful it would appear on the Slow Line. A late running northbound Pendolino meant it didn't. Oh well, at least it got the kids out the house.

The following Monday, with the weather again beautiful, I was in need of some beer so thought I'd have a wander over to Blackpool again. A combined bus and tram ticket is only £3.50 if bought at local PayPoint shops, though bizarrely £4.50 if purchased on buses. I caught first a train from Preston heading to Blackpool and as it stopped at Poulton decided to get off there to catch the bus to Knott End to have a first beer in the rather pleasant village. I've been meaning for some time to use the short Ferry crossing from there to Fleetwood, and with perfect timing at the other end for the tram that stops opposite the ferry terminal I had been on 4 different modes of transport in a row.

I then got stuck in Wetherspoons at Cleveleys for an hour or two. Well, it was lovely and sunny and I got a table outside to watch the world go buy and drink Erdinger, so I decided to stay for a bit. The trams were running spot on time so I had a ride back to Fleetwood before returning to Cleveleys, and then to Blackpool, for the train home. Obviously it was 'Normal Operating Conditions'!

The following day was an outing to Northamptonshire for a photographic group I'm a member of, which conveniently coincided with me needing to visit Northampton with work, so later in the day I met up with them. In perfect sunny weather we visited a few locations around Long Buckby that I had never been to before. Whilst I did get a lift to these it would be possible to walk to at least one of them from Long Buckby station so I may return one day. One that does need to be reached by bus though is the field near Church Brampton, which is seen below.

With beautiful weather and the landscape dominated by yellow Rape Seed fields it was a very pleasant afternoon and early evening spent lineside whilst the West Coast Main Line slowly disintegrated. Mid afternoon a couple of Pendolino's came past us diverted from the usual Weedon route because of a failed train, then later on several came north as well, this time due to signalling problems. The last train that was diverted was 1S96, the Willesden to Shieldmuir mail train.

With a person 'in the know' giving me updates on what was running, we held on until the very last light for 70020 on a northbound liner. This too got later and later as it was being delayed by local London Midland trains that themselves were late as, by this point, a power failure had shut half of London Euston so the whole timetable was in chaos. 

With the last train from London to Preston stopping at Rugby I did at least know I would get home eventually, somehow, so after waiting quite a long time at Long Buckby for a London Midland stopping train to turn up, I took the long walk into Rugby town centre from its station and waited in the Wetherspoons there for my train home to be due. Of course the great advantage of having internet on your mobile phone is that I could see it hadn't even left London yet so all I could do was relax with more bottles of Erdinger and keep an eye on it's progress. I was still in Rugby at ten to eleven and eventually arrived at home about 1am. All in all it was an excellent day out with a good range of photos and good company. The pictures of the day can be found HERE.

I'll leave you with the group picture from the RPG outing, courtesy of Chris Nevard. Thanks for reading. As I have been so busy lately and in order to prevent it getting too long this blog will continue in Part 2 covering my two more recent trips.

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