Day 3 on the rails but today I’m off somewhere in a different quadrant of the country. I have a station to judge on the line between Hull and Scarborough so I’m currently on a Northern Rail service from Sowerby Bridge to Leeds on the first leg of the trip.
As I’m travelling post-peak i’ve managed to bag a table. I need to get some work done on the way as (surprise, surprise) there’s a lot of pictures from the past few days travel to edit and get onto my Zenfolio website.
Admittedly, the world outside the carriage window can be a bit of a distraction, especially on a lovely day like today but this leg of the trip is more like a commute rather than an adventure.
Having caught a late-running train to Leeds I had nearly an hour to wait for my connection and explore. Leeds is yet another station that’s changed out of all recognition since my childhood days. It’s undergone a series of redevelopments over tge years and is set for more with the arrival of the new High Speed 2 (HS2) railway in 2033. Here’s a couple of images, the first shows a great bit of artwork on the side of the old BR offices many passengers never even notice.
Here’s the old concourse that was added by the LMS railway.
Despite the torrid time Northern Rail passengers have been having with delays and cancellations, the picture does seem to be improving, as this indicator board shows
Unfortunately, one of the few late trains is mine! The 10:48 to Hull run by Trans-Pennine Express keeps slipping, and slipping and slipping. It’s gone from 3, to 5 to 10 minutes late – which screws up my next connection, leaving me an hour late!
This is the most frustrating thing about the passenger information screens, the information is less than accurate. Logging on to the ‘realtime trains’ website I can see my train has lost time at every station stop and is now showing as over 15m late!
A very frustrating day. I’ve updated this blog several times during the day and added a load of pictures (via laptop and mobile), but nothing’s ‘stuck’. Will this?
I’m now on the final leg from Leeds to Halifax aboard yet another ex GWR Class 150. The cascade of trains from other TOCs to Northern is very noticeable right now because most are still in their former liveries. From a photographer’s perspective it’s great. Passengers see it differently. They care about the fact their conmuter train’s doubled in size. They’d be even more impressed if all the extra services promised arrived too and punctuality wasn’t so dire.
I’m hoping having my home broadband connection will allow me to update this blog as I’ve had a really interesting day. A problem with traveling by Trans-Pennine Express is that their internet connection has the heebie-jeebies when it comes to logging into WordPress, so I have to use my phone to blog from, which is frustrating.
Anyways, back to the narrative. Yes, I missed my connection in Hull. The bright side? The group I was visiting were very understanding and I got to explore. Even though I was only in Hull last year the station’s undergone another change. This time many of the old buildings at the back of the buffer-stops have been swept away and replaced with new. Here’s an example. The newish waiting room’s been replaced by a Starbuck’s. The adjoining buildings are yet to be let.
I first visited Hull in 2004 when I started writing my bi-annual round Britain trips for RAIL magazine. In those days the front of the station was disfigured by a monstrous 1960s office block built by BR. That’s gone now and the grade 2 listed station hotel it hid has undergone a bit of a renaissance. It’s now owned by Britannia hotels and the downstairs lobby and bar is really rather classy. Here’s the entrance from the station concourse.
Here’s what it looks like on the inside. Style is returning to railway station hotels…
Moving on from Hull I did my visit, then pitched up in Bridlington to check out an old institution, the station bar. Sadly, it’s not what it was. The extravagant floral displays have disappeared and the quality of the beer was disappointing. After a number of years the present owners have decided to call it a day and sell up. I wish them both well and hope that whoever buys it keeps the special feel of the place.
Heading back South I stopped off at Beverley, a place that I’d never explored beyond the environs of the wonderful overall roofed station. Today I put that right and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a lovely little market town with a very impressive cathedral
Meanwhile, in the Market Square..
Of course, the railway station which opened in 1846 is rather nice too. It’s a grade 2 listed building and one of only a handful which retain overall roofs.