Today’s rolling blog


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Expect today’s blog to unfold over the day as things happen. I’m currently on a fully booked Grand Central service (even 1st Class has no seats left) from Halifax to London for a days photograph around the capital. Fortunately (thanks to the crew) I’ve managed to secure a seat as I’ve an article to write and pictures to edit before I hit the capital.

It’s a beautiful morning here in Yorkshire so my mile and a half, thirty minute walk to the station was a pleasure rather than a chore – and the Yorkshire stone pavements and cobbled streets were quaint rather than being the death trap they can turn into in icy weather!

I’m going to keep this blog updated with thoughts and experiences throughout the day as and when they happen – and time permits. Let’s see what happens…


A productive morning so far. One 1000 word article written, pix edited and to cap it all, the weather’s picking up. We’re about to pull into Kings Cross now…


Thanks to some Facebook friends who work on the railways I received updated information on which services the re-liveried South Western Railway trains were working. This gave me time to saunter over to Euston and check out progress on the HS2 work there. Workers were busy levelling the Western side of Euston Gardens to create the temporary taxi rank to replace the underground one which will close to allow demolition of the area.

DG293960. Temporary taxi rank. Euston. 21.3.18

From Euston I caught to tube to Waterloo and awaited my quarry to arrive in the shape of Desiro 450111 which was working the 10.24 Portsmouth to Waterloo. I filled my time sending pictures to accompany the article I’d written earlier, via the rather glacial station wifi – although to be fair – the file sizes I’m sending aren’t exactly small! I needn’t have worried as a check on ‘RealTime Trains’ showed me that 2P34 was running an hour late! It seems the signalling on the SWML is having another of its regular hissy fits. Still, it gives me time to update this…


Ever had on of those days? When the train I’d been waiting for finally turned up it seemed there had been a unit swap and the sole re-liveried Class 450 I’d been waiting for wasn’t working it! Muttering under my breath, I abandoned Waterloo and headed down to Clapham Junction to make the most of the good weather instead. I’m here now and this is how it looks…

DG294010. 707016. 707026. Clapham Junction. 21.3.18

Hello, goodbye. Some of the recently introduced Siemens Class 707s which are going to be displaced as part of the new franchises massive new fleet order.

DG294014. 456003. Clapham Junction. 21.3.18

Old train – new skyline. The constantly changing face of London’s evident behind a BR Class 456 – another of the units which is due to be displaced and go off lease in the near future.

I’ve another bite of the cherry this evening when a pair of re-liveried DMUs are meant to be working the 17:52 Waterloo – Salisbury. Let’s hope I have more luck this time…

As luck would have it an old friend (Steve Upton) who drives for SWR got in touch and we had time for a coffee at Waterloo before he took his first train out. I used it to get back to Clapham where I exploited the dying rays of the sun and the London skyline to frame a few more pictures as I waited to see if the train I was stalking would turn up.


Holed up in Huddersfield


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I’m taking a break from working from home to base myself at ACoRP’s water tower office at Huddersfield station today as I’m being interviewed about my ‘Cycle India’ trip for their e-magazine ‘Train Online’, which will be appearing shortly.

DG138747. ACoRP Office. Huddersfield. 17.2.13.

Not bad for an office, is it?

It’s good to be able to stretch my (metaphorical) legs as the bad weather has left me a little ‘stir crazy’. My Indian adventure already feels like a dream, despite it only being a couple of weeks ago. At least the snow’s melting and the thermometer’s reaching a balmy 5 degrees today!

Sadly, there’s little of interest to photograph at the nearby station. The Colne valley route sees hardly any daytime freight traffic nowadays, partly due to the intensity of passenger services but also because most traffic has vanished. The ‘binliner’ services from Manchester which were the backbone of daytime freight traffic have ceased to run and the replacement service from Knowsley (Liverpool) to Wilton traverses the Calder Valley instead. The only regular service, the afternoon Leeds Hunslet to Tunstead cement tanks runs ‘as required’ on a Thursday – which means it’s unpredictable.

DG288370. 66620. Huddersfield. 5.1.18

On the 18th January this year, Freightliner’s 66620 heads West through Huddersfield with the only regular daytime freight service through the town, the Hunslet (Leeds) to Tunstead empty cement tanks.

Whilst there’s little freight, there’s a regular diet of Transpennine Express Class 185s shuttling across the Pennines, plus Northern 142s, 144s, 150s, 153s, 155s and 158s (and the occasional 156) pootling to and from Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Wakefield. A few Manchester services are extended to ‘exotic’ destinations farther afield such as Wigan and Southport, whilst one evening service via the Penistone line to Sheffield pitches up at Retford (of all places).

DG115650. 142050. Huddersfield. 20.6.12.

Soon to be heading for the scrapyard, a Northern Class 142 ‘Pacer’ leaves Huddersfield for Wakefield on the 20th June 2012

The railscene at Huddersfield will be considerably enlivened later this year when TPE start running Class 68’s hauling new Mk5 coaches built by CAF in Spain, adding yet another chapter to Yorkshire’s railways. Electrification of the route is due to begin in 2019 which will have a massive impact on the local network, so there’s lots to look forward to (and document) over the next few years.

Basing myself in a large town like Huddersfield’s a bit of a luxury for me when I’m ‘office based’ as it gives me the opportunity to nip out at lunchtime and shop without travelling far. As this is a busy university town there’s a better selection of shops than in humdrum Halifax. It also alters the demographic because there’s far more younger faces around during the day. I nipped out earlier to visit the indoor Queensgate market. I love the variety of Northern markets. Queensgate is a modern example, opened in 1970 it was built with a bespoke roof system of 21 asymmetric curved shells. The design allows maximum light into the market and it’s considered to be the best example still standing of a retail market from the 1960s-70s. Grade 2 listed, it’s a interesting mix of traditional and modern. Fruit and veg and butchers stalls rub shoulders with nail bars and Thai cafes, whilst shoe shops are cheek by jowl with vaping supplies.


Inside Queensgate market.



Thai food’s a popular option in a few markets in Yorkshire.

Unlike some towns, the number of empty shops hasn’t hit epidemic proportions, gutting. I passed several vacant properties which were being outfitted for new tenants, keeping the vibrancy of the centre alive. Long may that trend continue in these troubled times. Of course, there’s an irony in this. Without immigration, there’d be a damned sight more empty shops. A significant proportion of convenience stores are run by people from Europe or Asia – as are many restaurants and fast food outlets. How they’ll fare in a post-Brexit economy without freedom of movement is a question many would rather not ask…

Whilst I was on my travels I popped into the station and found a cheese shop had set up store in readiness for the flood of homeward bound commuters. I normally visit on a Wednesday to purchase some of the artisan bread for sale, but I was sorely tempted to sample some of today’s wares. I have to be careful as my wife can’t eat cheese, so for me it’s a rare treat.

Now I’m back at work, where (as is often the case) my workload hasn’t gone to plan and I’ve been diverted into trawling my archives for a suitable cover for a magazine! Let’s see if I can come up with something suitable…

Crazy anti Hs2 campaigner of the week. No 21

It’s a long time since I’ve done one of these, but I thought the award was merited this week due to complete spin and utter disregard for the facts by one Johnathan Pile, from Crofton* in Yorkshire, who is the Chairman of the grandly titled ‘Yorkshire Against Hs2’ (of course, Yorkshire’s nothing of the sort. Ed).

Pile has tweeted this load of fact free nonsense this morning.

yorks 1

yorks hs2

Let’s unpick this, shall we? Besmirching Virgin Trains East Coast’s reputation to claim they’ve cancelled trains due to the snow may sound clever, but Pile’s story fell apart by his own evidence. VTEC’s 12.55 from Wakefield KIRKGATE to London Kings Cross? I don’t think so…

VTEC run from Wakefield Westgate, not Kirkgate and the cancelled train is run by Grand Central. It was cancelled yesterday, but due to a technical issue with the trains traction equipment, not snow – as Grand Central tweeted.


Grand Central arranged for their tickets to be accepted on an East Midlands Trains service from Leeds. This ran and arrived in London St Pancras, just across the road from Kings Cross (on time) at 18.26 several hours after the GC service which was scheduled to arrive at 15.07. Of course, there were other alternatives. The next Grand Central service did run. It left Kirkgate at 16.02 and arrived in Kings Cross at 18.32 (18 mins late).

If Pile hadn’t already got a Grand Central specific ticket there was a VTEC service (the company he claimed was cancelling trains ‘cos of snow). leaving nearby Westgate at 13.18, giving him plenty of time to get a taxi across Wakefield to catch it. Here’s a copy of how VTEC’s services ran that day. None of the Kings Cross services were cancelled due to snow – or anything else – and timekeeping was pretty good.


So, why did Pile have to drive? he didn’t, the 12.55 was the only London train cancelled, all others ran. It was a Sunday and his meeting (by his own admission) appears to have been today, so he had plenty of time to get to London. Of course, that wouldn’t have made a tenuous ‘let’s try and bash Hs2’ story!

How long would it have taken him to drive yesterday anyway? Google maps calculates a journey made today would take between 3hr 43m – 4hr 6m to drive from Kirkgate to Kings Cross. As there was a lot of snow on the ground yesterday I’d suggest it would’ve taken longer and also been a pretty daft thing to do bearing in mind the weather conditions which were (allegedly) causing trains to be cancelled.

But that’s Hs2 antis all over – a cavalier attitude to facts and the truth. It seems that according to people like Pile, facts are what you make up. Is it any wonder their campaign’s fallen apart?

*Crofton is in the West Yorkshire constituency of Hemsworth. Despite Pile’s grand claims the anti Hs2 campaign isn’t exactly setting the constituency alight. I’ve had a look at the number of folk who’ve signed the latest Stop Hs2 Parliamentary petition. Here’s the result (updated today).


Just 0.34% eh? Yorkshire ‘against’ Hs2? Even bleedin’ Hemsworth isn’t!

Of course, Pile has form for making grand claims and writing cheques he can’t cash. A year ago he was threatening that he’d start a Judicial Review against Hs2 (link). It was nothing more than bluster. His group never even started to raise the money to pay for one.


More Brexit bullshit


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Forget the furore over the “was is, wasn’t it doctored ?” picture of Jeremy Corbyn used on a Newsnight set, this one is real and it speaks volumes about the way both sides of the political spectrum are lying the public over the British public over Brexit.

This photo of Corbyn has been circulated on social media by his supporters today.


His ‘say’ on Brexit, really? So, how exactly is Corbyn (who supports the UK leaving the customs union and the single market) going to stop job losses in the North-East due to Brexit?

The plain truth is he can’t – and he knows it. He’s lying to people just as much as those arch Brexiteers, Rees-Mogg and David Davis, who still pretend there’s a ‘Brexit Bonus’ and that Unicorns really do exist. This slogan is just as hollow as Corbyn’s a “Brexit for Jobs” claim.

Let’s get away from the lies and look at some cold, hard truths. According to the Governments own analysis North East England will suffer a 16% hit to GDP in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. 16%! That makes the North-East the hardest hit of any UK region! You can find a report on the figures here from Sky news (I’m using Sky as no-one can use the excuse the news is ‘biased’ as it’s from a ‘lefty’ source).

It’s not as if Corbyn isn’t aware of this, just as he’s aware that the North-East relies heavily on Japanese companies like Nissan and Hitachi to provide jobs. The Japanese have been uncharacteristically blunt about Brexit, pointing out that leaving the Customs Union and Single market poses a serious risk to their companies profitability and thus the likelihood that they will up-sticks and move into mainland Europe. The Japanese have been warning of the consequences of Brexit for years. Here’s what they were saying back in 2016.

In February 2018, the Japanese Ambassador to Britain issued this new, clear warning.

Yet Corbyn still maintains the fiction of a “Brexit for Jobs” and poses with that totally dishonest frame to con people into thinking he’s some alternative to the Tory Brexit head-bangers when (in truth), he’s cut from the same cloth. It’s just dyed a different colour…

In May, people have a choice who to vote for and what message they want to send our politicians. Don’t be fooled into thinking that Corbyn’s Labour party will save us from Brexit. They won’t, so be careful who you vote for.

It’s snow joke…


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After basking in India this time last week I’ve gone from one extreme to the other – and back again! Before I left the weather was so cold that I was cycle training in sub-zero temperatures and freezing my bits off. In the space of a few days I went from this: Snow on the ground, minus 7, bitter wind-chill and frozen reservoirs…


to this; 30-40 degree heat and fierce sunshine!


When I arrived back in the UK on Monday I was hoping that the thaw had set in and spring was on its way. Back in Yorkshire the snowdrops were out in force and 1000s of crocuses brightened up the grassy verges around Savile Park, creating a carpet of colour.

DG173160. Crocus carpet. Savile Park. Halifax. 9.3.14.

This weekend, we’ve slipped straight back into winter. When I threw back the bedroom curtains this morning, this was the scene that greeted me.


Although we had snow on the ground yesterday, several inches has arrived overnight -and it’s showing no signs of stopping. Flurries are still drifting in from the West and the thermometer has plunged to minus 3 degrees. It’s bleedin’ freezing! The only consolation seems to be that yesterdays wind, which was whipping the snow off the rooftops in blizzards of tiny flakes has abated. Instead itinerant snowflakes are left drifting past my window like lost souls.

Right now it’s time for coffee, more coffee and a hearty breakfast. Later we’ll venture out and I’ll take the camera with me to get some shots and make the most of the weather. If you’ve got similar weather where you are, stay safe and warm. Me? I just wish I could wind the clock back a few days to this…

me at Taj

See you later folks!


Ride India. This is why we did it.



I’ve been busy editing the pictures from the ‘Ride India’ trip and wanted to post a few here to remind myself, all those who kindly donated money (and those who’ve pledged to donate) why we all did what we did. It was to raise money to help children like these. On our 2nd day in India we visited two Railway Children projects. One was a hostel that shelters up to 26 children and young people. Here the children are safe. They can be helped to return to their families if possible, or found other homes if not. The other was on Ghaziabad Jn station where many children are eking out an existence scavenging or begging during the day – and sleeping on the platforms at night. The charity has a 24/7 presence here, reaching out and offering help to the children that can be encouraged to take it. These are the kids The Railway Children is helping – and not just in India, but in Africa and the UK too…


DG291156. Visiting the Railway Children shelter in Karol Bagh. Delhi. India. 4.3.18

Members of our group took time to meet the residents and staff in the shelter in Karol Bagh and play games with the kids.


DG291161. Railway children. Ghaziabad Jn. Delhi. India. 4.3.2018

Meet Ishant. He’s a 10 Year old boy with special needs. He came to the open shelter on 23rd February. Before coming to the shelter he was staying with his brother Raj, 16 years. When Ishant was just 3 years old his mother died, his father also passed away recently. He’s one sister, who is now married and settled. Both these brothers were living in Night Shelter near Jama Masjid. Both of them use to go to the nearby Municipal school in 7th and 4th standards respectively. However Ishant has impaired hearing and he cannot speak, but he understands and tries to learn. For Ishant a special school is required for his development. Thus on the order of Mayur Vihar CWC, Ishant is referred to RCI open shelter for a short stay, until a special school with a residential facility is identified. Ishant needs special attention and support which can only be available at a special school. Ishant’s exam is coming up in March and the RC team will ensure that he sits for his exams. 



After visiting the shelter we went to nearby Ghaziabad Junction station where the Railway Children maintains a 24/7 presence, working with the Railway Protection Force (The Indian version of the British Transport Police) to encourage some of the dozens of children who live on or pass through the station to seek help. Here are some of the children we met or saw.



If you haven’t yet donated but want to help children like these, there’s still time. Just visit my donations page here.

Hs2 Phase 2a. The petitions are in…


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Now I’m back from India I’ve had time to catch up on what’s been going on whilst I’ve been away and one of those things is the petitioning process for Hs2 Phase 2a from Birmingham to Crewe. The closing date for petitions was the 28th February and a total of 188 were received by the deadline. You can find copies of them on the Committee website here. If you want to follow the process of the bill, here’s a link to the Committee’s website.

Contrast 188 with the number of petitions received on Hs2 Phase 1 – 1,925!

Interestingly, of the 188 petitions, only 5 identify themselves as Hs2 ‘Action’ groups, which says a lot about how the Stophs2 campaign’s collapsed. I can’t see the Committee getting bogged down here as the quality of the petitions varies enormously. Some are very straightforward. The petition from Antoinette Sandbach, the MP for Eddisbury, mentions a single issue – compensation for tenants. Other petitions raise genuine questions and concerns over compensation, noise or mitigation. Some mention the scope of compulsory purchase powers whilst others are aggrieved and make impossible asks. But one stands out head and shoulders above the rest – the petition from the grandly titled “Madeley Independent Residents Stop Hs2 Action Group”. It’s an absolute pearler, a rambling opus full of bluster and threats, dodgy statistics and repetitive demands for legal aid. Here’s a few samples of the tone and content!

Madely 1

Err, you demand funding – and legal aid, but you’ll have the money to ‘construct costly civil cases against Hs2’? Righto…Madely 2


madeley 3

madeley 4

I’m sure the 5 MPs on the Committee will be very impressed by this petition!

Those MPs are;

James Duddridge (Con, Rochford & Southend East). Chair of the Committee

Sandy Martin (Lab, Ipswich)

Sheryll Murray (Con, SE Cornwall)

Martin Whitfield (Lab, East Lothian)

Bill Wiggin (Con, N Herefordshire.)

Oddly enough, StopHs2 have never even thought to mention any of this. Gone are the days when they used to issue ‘advice’ on the petitioning process or generally crow about their influence. Mind, you, they have little to crow about. They’ve only managed one post to their website this month and that was a whinge about music!

Meanwhile, Stophs2’s latest doomed petition has 6 days left before it runs out of time. In 175 days it’s managed to gather 28,523 signatures, leaving to find 71,478 or 11,913 each and every day until March 21st! There’s more chance of Lord Lucan being found riding Shergar!

The anti Hs2 campaign’s struggling to go out with as much as a wimper…

UPDATE. 19th March 2018

The Committee started sitting today and heard evidence from both Hs2 Ltd’s QC’s and also Professor Andrew McNaughton. One snippet that came up was when Timothy Mould QC mentioned that a total of 26 of the 188 petitions would have their Locus Standi (right to be heard) challenged.






Back in Blighty…


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I flew into the UK from India last night after finishing the Ride India challenge for the Railway Children and I’m slowly getting used to the idea of being back. The flight from Delhi on a Jet Airways Boeing 777 was pretty good. The plane was packed but I managed to tick a few more movies off the list to keep myself occupied. Ride India was such a fantastic experience to share with a great bunch of people that it might take me a while to come down and adjust to being back. Britain seems such a grey place at the moment – and I don’t mean because of the weather.

By the time I’d been processed by the Heathrow bureaucracy and collected my bag it was too late to make the last train home so I booked a hotel in central London for the princely sum of £40. Despite the miserly price it wasn’t a flea-pit but a good hotel in Bayswater. I was even given a free upgrade from a single room to a recently refurbished Executive double! By the time I checked-in I was dog-tired. I’d been up since 06:00 Indian time and crawled into bad at 02:00 Indian time! It being a Sunday, part of the tube network was shut for engineering work, so I ended up having to take a detour and catch a bus which extended my journey even more.

Despite being ‘cream-crackered’ my body clock was stuck on Indian time so I was wide-awake before the alarm-clock went off at 08:00. Sadly, today’s weather was drab and wet. As there was no incentive to leap out of bed and run amok with the camera I used the extra waking hours to edit another tranche of Indian pictures whilst making a large hole in the rooms coffee supply and listening to the BBC news. Nothing much seems to have changed whilst I’ve been away other than the sad news about the death of Ken Dodd. The Brexitshambles continues apace – although it does seem that the scales are dropping from some people’s eyes about Comrade Corybn who seems to have made a less than well received speech where he indulged in what’s become almost a national pastime in Brexit Britain – immigrant bashing. Not that the BBC covered any of this. The real news I got through Twitter and the sources whom I follow. The BBC is fine for a few headlines and ‘fluffy’ stuff, but that’s about it nowadays. Don’t expect any real insights or analysis anymore.

Before heading North I decided to have a few hours topping up my rail archive with pictures from Kings Cross. This turned out to be a wise move as there were a few unusual workings to be seen (pix to be added shortly).

As usual, Grand Central are taking me home, this time on another of their second-hand, ex-GWR Class 180s. The train’s busy, but not overly so – even though it’s carrying some Hull Trains passengers to Doncaster as they’ve had to cancel one of their services. I’ve bagged a table seat so that I can catch up with blogging and also edit some of the thousands of pictures that I took in India. Sadly, the weather outside the train window doesn’t match that seen in the pictures, the farther North we get the grimmer it gets – and I’m not exactly dressed for it…

That said. I’m looking forward to getting home. There’s a lot of stuff for me to catch up with and pictures to get out to people – as well as a few articles to write. No doubt I’ll be getting itchy feet again once that’s done…

Day 4 of the Ride India challenge


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Sorry for the lack of updates on the challenge, this has been due to too many 05:15 starts, late finishes and awful wifi, but here’s a quick look at day 4.

After cycling 113km on day 3 we arrived at which was to be our base for the next two nights. Despite the fact we only had 45km to cycle on day 4 were still up at 05:15 in order to be able to visit the Ranthambore national park and Tiger reserve before we started cycling. It was a fantastic visit to a park teeming with wildlife – even if the Tigers didn’t put in an appearance.

Afterwards we returned to the hotel, picked up our bikes and set off as the mercury in the thermometer climbed steadily past 30 degrees. We retraced our steps back past the national park on the worst roads we’ve cycled on so far. Lots of our time was spent warning each other of potholes, speed-humps and sand-traps as well as the usual hazards of goats, camels and all manner of motorised mayhem.

Our destination was the village of Kutalpura where we stopped for snacks and water before exploring the village. We were invited into several local homes to see how village life was lived before setting off to a local school where we chatted to both pupils and staff. As today’s International Women’s day it was fitting that we also visited Dastkar Ranthambore, a village handicrafts centre which has revived local crafts and given employment to many local women. We had lunch there before we browsed the gift shop – which saw many of us make purchases from the large selection of handicrafts in their on site shop. Fortunately, we didn’t have to carry these back on the bikes as the team bus had followed us!

By now the heat really was something. Although the official temperature was 32 degrees it was far hotter out in the sun, with some folks personal cyclometers registering anything from 40-45 degrees.

This helped to make the next part of the challenge particularly tough. We cycled back into Ranthambore park along a road that was mostly cobbled and had the fiercest gradients we’d encountered on the whole trip. I shed blood doing it as, whilst swerving round a particularly rough stretch of road I encountered a thorn bush which ripped my arm. Don’t believe anyone who tells you these challenges are easy! We’ve already had several minor tumbles which have resulted in skinned limbs or bruised ribs…

As we were running late through spending too much time at the women’s centre our visit to the spectacular ruins of Ranthambore Fort (the 2nd largest in India) had to be cut short in order to allow us to reach home in daylight. Even so, it was worth it as it’s a stunning location with fantastic views across the national park.

Cycling back was a lot easier as it was mostly downhill, even so, after cycling at speed down that bloody cobbled road I’m amazed that I have any fillings left in my teeth! My bottle of cold beer on our return was well earned today!

Tomorrow we have a  lie-in. We don’t have an alarm call until 6am. We on the move again and cycle 80km tomorrow, I’ll update you on our adventure just as soon as I can. In the meantime, here’s some pictures from today.


The spectacular ruined fort at Ranthambore seen from the national park, where spotted deer graze by the side of a lake


A spotted deer seen through the long grass not long before sunrise.


A beautiful Woodpecker spotted in the park


Visiting families in Kutalpura


Jo Bigland (a distant relation as it turns out!) laughing with schoolchildren at Kutalpura


One of the many women who’ve found an outlet for their skills, making money and keeping local crafts alive at Dastkar Ranthambhore


When swerving around potholes, try not to come into contact with Thorn bushes…


It’s like being back in Yorkshire. OK, without the Mughal fort – obviously! This is the road we climbed up and pelted down. I was neither brave nor stupid enough to take shots of it cycling down the inclines…

Remember, you can still help me raise money for the Railway Children by donating through my JustGiving page which you can find here. Please, every bit helps me help them…











Day 1 of the Cycle India challenge



Our Jet Airways flight from London was late into Delhi due to the poor weather back home. The fact our plane needed de-icing meant that we lost our departure slot, so we were nearly an hour late landing. Most people slept on the flight as it was really hot. I’ve never been a great sleeper on planes so I took the opportunity to catch up with some Hollywood films that I’d never pay to see at the cinema -like ‘Thor, Ragnarok’ – a bit of nonsense that filled a few hours although I’m rapidly tiring of the Marvel Comics movie franchise.

We breezed through customs at the airport and our group was soon on a coach heading for our hotel in central Delhi, which is located down a narrow side street we had to walk to as the bus wouldn’t fit. It was worth it, as it’s quite a place – an old Delhi mansion

DG290948. Our hotel. Jyoti Mahal. Delhi. India. 3.3.18

Today was a day to acclimatise, get to know the local staff who’ll be escorting and assisting us during the trip – and do a bit of sightseeing.

DG290960. First meal and meet the staff. Jyoti Mahal. Delhi. India. 3.3.18

Enjoying lunch in the Hotel’s rooftop restaurant whilst listening to a brief from the local staff.

Our tourist moment was an afternoon visit to Humayun’s tomb, a precursor to the Taj Mahal.

DG291020. Humayun's Tomb. Delhi. India. 3.3.18

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Now jet-lag and lack of sleep’s catching up with me. We’ve a 6am start tomorrow as we’re off visiting some Railway Children projects in Delhi before heading off to Agra, ready to start the main event – the cycling…

Day 2: Morning in Delhi as seen from the roof of our hotel.