It’s day two of working for Network Rail’s ASPRO (Asset Protection) team and this time the focus is on the Manchester area, so I’m on my way to meet them at NR’s Square 1 offices next to Piccadilly station. This is a ‘local’ job so I’m not encumbered with my overnight kit, which makes my bags a bit lighter!
I’ve caught Northern’s 08:06 service from Sowerby Bridge to get to across the Pennines. Made up of a Class 150/156 pairing it’s a surprisingly quiet train. I can only assume the holiday season’s in full swing. Needless to say, I’ve plumped for the 156 where I’m almost the only passenger in the rear car.
Unlike London where it’s meant to be even hotter than yesterday, it’s relatively cool here in the Pennines at 19 degrees with a blanket of high level cloud. At least I won’t have to cope with any harsh shadows today.
We’ve got a very busy schedule and plenty of sites to visit today so I’ll blog as and when I can. Hopefully there’ll be a few interesting pictures to add, although I don’t think I’ll be able to compete with the dramatic skyline pictures I took in London that are displayed in yesterday’s blog!
We’ve now passed under the Pennines into Lancashire and our trains beginning to fill up with passengers from stations on the way like Littleborough and Smithy Bridge. Rochdale always provides a good crop of commuters so I expect we’ll be pretty full by then. This service is bound for Southport so it’ll probably be picking up the ‘bucket and spade brigade’ from Manchester.
That went well then! Very sorry for the complete absence of blog updates. That’s partly because we were really busy and partly because not everything went to plan. Anyways, here’s a couple of pictures that give you a flavour of the assets we were looking at today.