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I’ve become a London commuter for rhe day. Starting off by using ‘Shanks’s pony’ to get to Gipsy Hill station on the first leg of my trip to ExCel in the docklands.

Things have already fallen apart. Due to a points failure at West Croydon the 08:00 Southern service I’d planned to catch has been cancelled and the following 08:12 is delayed for unspicified reasons. Still, I’ve given myself leeway and it’s a beautifully sunny, crisp morning, so let’s see what happens…

08:33.

A 4 car 455 finally arrive to take me one stop down the road to Crystal Palace. I had no problem getting a seat as most passengers were waiting for the following train to take them into the capital.

I always enjoy a visit to Crystal Palace, it’s a huge, labrynthine place whose fortunes have waxed and waned over the years. Now it’s very much on the up as a lot of money’s been spent restoring it and making platforms accessible (it has some mammoth staircases).

As well as having Southern services, nowadays the station’s the terminus of Overground services from Highbury & Islington in North London. I’m using one of them (the 08.36) for my next leg to Canada Water.

14:41

No time for blogging earlier, it’s been a busy day at Infrarail shooting pics of the speakers, networking and catching up with old friends. Here’s Transport Minister Chris Grayling taking questions after his keynote speech.

Now I’m on a Flybe plane from London City airport to Dusseldorf for phase 2. The great thing about flying from here is that the airport was only a 25 minute walk from ExCel!

16:24.

Landed in Dusseldorf after a fascinating flight over London and the port of Rotterdam. You really appreciate its size from the air. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any decent pix, but here’s London from above, showing the Eurostar reception sidings at Temple Mills.

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