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08:31

Morning folks! Welcome to another dull day in Lincolnshire. Well, weather-wise anyway! I’m just about to head into town before the press trip to have a look at Siemens new £8m railway bogie overhaul facility. After which I’ll be wandering around Lincs for a few hours as I gradually make my way home. So, expect a variety of pictures and comments throughout the day…

09:24.

What a grey day.

Thank God I’m working indoors today!

14:27

Well that was an interesting few hours. Siemens showed us around their factory at Lincoln, part of which was vacant space but that had a long history. The company’s converted 5000m2 space in an 1874 building, spending around £8 million to build their new Bogie Service Centre. I’ll blog about the centre separately, so here’s a taster.

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The bogie of a Eurostar Velaro e320 that’s just arrived. After doing 1.5 million km the bogies are sent for overhaul. This one’s about to go through the cleaning process which involves the use of dry ice. This is more environmentally friendly than the traditional method of water jet washing.

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One of the two halls in the 1874 building that’s been brought back into use.

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A newly overhauled Velaro e320 bogie undergoing a final inspection before being sent back to Eurostar

15:57

I’ve left Lincoln and I’m currently on a train towards Sheffield. By co-incidence I caught it with a journalistic colleague from Today’s Railways UK who was heading to Saxilby. He’d also been at the Siemens event. So, happy 39th Birthday Robert Pritchard!

17:27

I’m on the move again after stopping off to do a bit of research for future articles (Honest Guv!) by visiting the Mallard pub on Worksop station. Is this the only station pub that has an annual conned competition? It’s a cosy one room bar that has a wide range of drinks and four hand pumped ales.

I caught another Northern service from Worksop to Sheffield which was pretty busy. A lot of people were heading for the fleshpots of Sheffield (did you really just write that?: Ed) to enjoy the end of the working week. Hence this detritus left behind. Mind you, I’m not sure what the excuse for a similar shot was yesterday. Maybe it’s a Worksop thing?

So, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Besides, it would be rude not to pay homage to one of the best station pubs in the UK: the Sheffield Tap.

18:25.

Waiting for my train which is delayed by a delayed TPE service. The ripples spread…

18:42.

Well, that was a saga! My Cross-country service kept slipping as the old days of four tracks approaching Sheffield are long gone. Now services are squeezed through two, so it was caught in the queue just trying to get into the station. When it arrived it turned out to be 2 x 4 cars, leading to a mad scramble as passengers tried to find out which set they had reservations in (the PIS screens on the platforms don’t tell you the train formation), which added to the stress and delays. Cue some unhappy passengers because of it. Still, there should be some indicator on the outside of the coach to tell you which it is, no? No. It’s blank. So are the PIS screens in the saloon. You have no idea! Cue doubly pissed-off passengers! Meanwhile, in the vestibules, there’s a lot of students sitting around on bags of washing they’re taking home to mum…

19:12

We’ve left Wakefield Kirkgate 20 mins late, so that’s my connection down the drain…

19:43.

My XC service lateness was of little consequence as the train I *should* have connected with was running late – and then cancelled! I’m now on another delayed service, the 19:36 which is running 10 mins late.

20:37.

I’m finally back in Halifax, so I’m going to draw this blog to a close. It’s been a fascinating and frustrating day, now I’ve got a few days to put my thoughts into words, both in a blog and for RAIL magazine. Enjoy your weekend.

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