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I’m writing this in Costa Coffee on Liverpool Lime St, having just finished the last overnight job of 2015. I hadn’t planned to be here. The commission was one of those last minute requests that found me available & able to make my way across to the Seaforth container terminal in Liverpool to document the arrival, loading, unloading and departure of the first intermodal train to use the site since Freightliner pulled out in 2007. Despite the gloomy forecast the rain (mostly) held off, whilst the water on the ground added extra light & contrast to my pictures. Even the notorious River Mersey wind, (which can cut through you like a knife) was pretty relaxed.

Needless to say, it’s a flying visit. I was on the last Trans-Pennine service in and I’m on the first one out – which is a shame as I’d loved to have had spare time to explore the city of my birth. Then again, trudging round in a full set of PPE with camera bag and tripod in tow is hardly conducive to sight-seeing or shopping. There’s also the fact that I’ve been up all night – hence the coffee stop! For the first time in several years I’m not actually working over the festive season. Normally I’d be spending Xmas and Boxing day documenting the hard work of Network Rail and their contractors as they rebuild or renew the railway. Instead I’m spending Xmas with Dawn’s family at a holiday cottage in the Yorkshire countryside. I’m sure my body clock won’t know what the hell is going on! No long shifts, no overnights – just the chance to experience what most ordinary folk do this time of year. Of course, I’ll still be thinking about the members of the ‘orange army’ who don’t have that luxury. Stay safe folks…