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It’s the start of a new week and I’m out and about today. I’ve a commission over on Merseyside this afternoon so I’ll be heading over that way shortly. Although the weather’s still mild it’s a foggy day here at home, I can only just make out the other side of the Calder valley through the murk. Expect a mix of pictures and comment throughout the day….


As usual, the weather’s completely different on opposite sides of the Pennines! Whilst Yorkshire’s mired in fog Lancashire’s clear. I scrounged a lift to Huddersfield off my wife this morning so I’m heading to Liverpool on a direct TPE service. As usual, it was late and ended up crawling through the Colne valley corridor. We’re pulling into Manchester Victoria now (9 mins down). Still, at least I’ve a table seat and can work on the train.


I had time in Liverpool to admire the alterations at Lime St and grab a few shots before indulging in a spot of shopping, during which I came across this film crew shooting a period drama outside the Adelphi Hotel.

Now I’m heading out to Liverpool South Parkway aboard a West Midlands Railway Class 350. I like the comfort of these trains, but the seats are getting a bit threadbare.

– as you can see!


Job done, I’m now on my way back into Liverpool. My assignment was to get pictures of Pendolino 390119 which has been repainted at Alstom Widnes and returns to traffic tomorrow. This marks the half way mark in the Pendolino repainting programme. Despite the gloomy weather, it does look rather smart.


I’m currently bouncing my way back home across the Pennines from Manchester aboard a 2-car Pacer, which at this time of day’s a bit of a pain. It was absolutely rammed as far as Rochdale but fine afterwards, which begs the question: where do Northern Rail add capacity? Here we are, post-Rochdale.

It’s been an interesting day, despite the weather. The Alstom plant at Widnes is a hive of activity nowadays as their old factory at the Dick Kerr works in Preston has closed. Preston used to overhaul a lot of the kit for Alstom trains in the UK: Pendolinos Adelantes, Junipers and tube trains. Now it’s done at Widnes.

Wandering around Liverpool again I popped into a poundstore where I was fascinated to see racks and racks of disposable batteries. Why on earth do people still buy these wasteful things? I switched to rechargeable over a decade ago and really don’t understand why these wasteful and polluting things are still popular.

I remember the old days when I was backpacking and so much space (and weight) in my rucsac was taken up with film, batteries and books. Nowadays it’s just a Kindle and a battery charger!

Whilst I was at Lime St I came across this mock-up of one of the new Stadler trains that are being built for Merseyrail.


The Merseyrail mock-up on display at Liverpool Lime St. 


Car end seats with a representation of the fact these will be wide gangways, allowing you to see throughout the length of the unit. 



Seating bay of four. Note the sloping floor. 


The sliding doors. To my mind these seem a little narrow compared to other modern trains. Note the sloping floor to the left. 


The trains will be fitted with retractable steps. It’s extended on the open door to the left and tucked away on this one in the foreground