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10:40.

I’m at Twickenham station after completing the first assignment with Network Rail’s ASPRO (Asset Protection) team where we visit the project you can see in the background to this picture.

This is the new station building that also contains flats and shops. It’s a complex project built astride the operational railway that’s due for completion next year. We’re now off to have a look at a similar project in Kew.

13:09.

Wow! That was interesting. You get to go to all sorts of places in this job. This triangular site is bounded by three railway lines. On one of them sits Kew Bridge station (just off the the left of this picture). Around the triangle’s a vast housing development that also includes Brentford Town’s new 17,000 seat stadium. It was originally planned to be 20,000 but this would have overhung the operational railway and proved to be difficult to maintain, so was scaled back.

15:52.

Next up was Vauxhall. Wait till you see some of the other pictures I took from the roof of this new 27 storey development!

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Like this, looking at Vauxhall station in a way you never normally get to see it – unless you’re in a plane!

DG327638CROP

16:20.

Now I’m in Stratford, an area I knew well as I lived and worked near here for 11 years. I have to say, where we are now I wouldn’t recognise at all. The only thing that still remains is the railway from Stratford heading up to Lea Bridge. Everywhere you look new housing has sprung up.

18:49.

After a long, hot and sweaty day I’m heading back North on LNER’s 18:33 to Bradford Forster Sq. This is still worked by a Class 91 and Mk4 set, but they’re showing their age. This set is missing coach D, which is causing a few problems. Plus, both ovens in the buffet are kaput and the PA’s on the blink!. That said, the Train Manager’s doing an excellent job keeping passengers informed. He’s pointed out that the first stop is Stevenage, where (normally) at least 100 people will leave the train, so there should be plenty of seats available (he was right by the way).

21:05.

I’m on my last leg, if not my last legs! The journey up to Leeds was pretty good. I managed to get a bit of work done on the train but also had time to collect my thoughts for a bit and enjoy the scenery for a while, which is a rare treat.

Now I’m on Northern’s 21:08 from Leeds to Huddersfield via Halifax which is made up of a two-car 144 and 150 lash-up which were joined in the station as I arrived. I suspect they’re heading to Huddersfield for stabling overnight. For old times sake I’m travelling on 144009 as Pacer withdrawals start this month and soon, they’ll be all gone.