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Well, not exactly swanning you understand. It’s already been a busy morning that’s seen me editing a backlog of pictures of Railtex, Community Rail in the City and HS2 work at Euston then getting them out to clients. I had other plans for today but an email from RAIL magazine means I’ll be off to Leeds for the afternoon. Life often seems to take unexpected turns at the moment with plans changing all the time. Still, any commissions are always welcome as they top up the coffers. Plus, as a photographer, I can’t afford to waste weather like this! Let’s see how the day goes…

10:37.

I’ve just left Bradford en-route to Leeds on a slightly late and rather dirty, disheveled unrefurbished Northern Class 158. The sunlight streaming through the windows makes you realise just how dirty they actually are!This is my first outing since the May timetable change, which the media doom and gloom merchants were waiting to label a fiasco. Only it wasn’t. There were a couple of delays on Calder Valley services but nothing out of the ordinary. It was the same for other operators from what I saw.

12:10.

I’m now pootling around Leeds, looking at various railway locations for a client. Not everything has gone to plan, whilst there’s no timetable chaos there is the perennial problem of the ‘knitting’ coming down on the East Coast Main Line! I did wonder when I saw so many LNER trainsets sitting in the station, the problem was soon confirmed by an announcement that the overhead wires had come down at Retford, so LNER were running a Leeds-Doncaster shuttle service for connections South to Kings Cross using the GN/GE joint line via Lincoln. Part of my mission on this trip was to explore the future site of Leeds HS2 station which will abut the existing station at right angles from the South. Here’s where it will be built across the river.

I also had a look for some aerial views of the city.

14:22.

Having done what I needed to do in Leeds I’ve headed back West and broken my journey in Dewsbury, where I’m enjoying some refreshment at the wonderful station bar. Dewsbury’s an odd place. It’s best days are long gone although some of the shoddy and mungo mills still exist and can be seen from passing trains. Nowadays the town is more known for its poverty and social/ethnic divisions – and the utterly bizarre case of the ‘kidnapped’ girl who was actually hidden by her parents under their bed.

There’s a young chap in his late teens/early 20s on the outside table adjacent to mine. He’s been on the phone telling his mates how he’s just left court, having escaped jail for some unspecified offence. I can see he’s not bulshitting as I saw the court papers kn the table when I passed. When I glanced over he was texting a friend. His mouth was pronouncing each word as he typed.

18:22.

I’ve made it home and I’m potentially regretting not carrying sunscreen today! I’ll upload a few more pictures later.

22;54.

Oops! Things sort of happened so there’s just one more picture of Leeds to add today.

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