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Another day, another early start. Right now I’m sat on a train to Leeds on a frosty but sunny morning that promises to be a glorious day weather-wise. Sadly I’m sans coffee as I left the house slightly later than planned. I had to power walk to Halifax station, arriving with a minute to spare. That defect will be remedied when I reach Leeds!

I’m on my way to Peterborough to meet up with an old friend and colleague from RAIL magazine to do a job for said mag. Years ago Pip and I used to do regular features for RAIL which involved travelling on new trains and seeing what they were like from a passengers perspective. The series carried on for many years and now we’re bringing it back. This time we’re going to be checking out the new (ish) Siemens built Class 700s built for Thameslink/Great Northern services. You’ll be able to read about it in RAIL soon so I won’t be blogging in detail about the trip, but you might get a few teasers!


My connection at Leeds worked without problem and I’m now happily ensconced on LNER’s 07:15 from Leeds to Kings Cross as far as Grantham. I now have coffee and a sandwich, so all’s well with the world…


After a rapid change of trains at Grantham I’m now on an East Midlands Trains Class 158 heading for Peterborough. According to the screens, this service is from Mansfield Woodhouse to Norwich, which is a service I never even knew existed! I’d have thought it would have originated from Sheffield. Still, you learn something new every day!

I rather like the refurbed EMT 158s. They’re a comfortable train, although I know some folk don’t like the high-back seats.v


We’re hard at work, honest! We’ve tried out 4 class 700s, two 12-car and two 8-car. Here’s Pip Dunn checking the technical details on our way to London.


Job done, it’s time to begin the trek North from Peterborough, this time it’s on a rammed LNER service heading for Leeds. I was going to hang around and get some pictures but the weather’s changed completely from this morning full sun to being cloudy and cold, so hardly an incentive to hang around…


I decided to take a short break in Doncaster to get a couple of pictures and (as it’s Friday) visit this little gem on the station for a ‘swifty’ before heading home.


Last train of the day now. I missed an earlier one by seconds as our platforms were too far apart. Now I’m on the 17:97 to Brighouse which is a rammed 2-car ex-Scotrail Class 158. There’s 10 of us stood in the vestibule by the toilets and aisle in the passenger saloon resembles a sardine can.