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I’m on my way to Manchester from Huddersfield as I’m going to be spending much of the day working at Manchester Piccadilly doing people pictures for a client – although I’m sure a few train shots my find their way onto my memory card whilst I’m at it!

Like almost every day this month the weather’s dull and wet with low cloud at a height of just a few hundred metres, hiding the tops of the Pennine hills and giving the Colne valley quite a claustrophobic feel. Apparently, this October is on track to be the wettest since records began, which is no surprise. I can’t remember another one where the rain’s been so persistant or the showers so heavy. The climate’s changing and all but the most dogmatic and blinkered climate change denier can see that.

Luckily, I’ll be working under a station roof, albeit a rather leaky one! Still, let’s be grateful for small mercies. I always enjoy working at Piccadilly as the staff are a great bunch of people who take a photographer in their midst in their stride. So, let’s see how the day goes…

Whilst I was passing through Manchester Victoria one of TPE’s new Hitachi built Nova sets arrived on a Liverpool Lime St – Newcastle service. Sadly, both sets in service today were unbranded, which is a shame as the new livery suits them far more than the existing fleet of Class 185s


Today’s office – and it’s been a busy one, photographing Network Rail staff offering all manner of assistance to passengers. From carrying their heavy suitcases, pushing wheelchairs or helping VIP’s (Visually Impaired People).

As usual, the staff have bern brilliant, but so have the passengers. No-one’s said no to having their picture taken and some have been really chatty. Every one of them has praised the staff at Piccadilly and the assist system in general. What I found interesting today was how the Network Rail staff I was working with were overwhelmingly young people compared to when I did the same series of shots (for ATOC as RDG was in those days) back in 2005.


I’ve knocked off for the day and begun to wend my way homewards, pausing here and there to get shots of some of the stream of new trains coming into service on a weekly basis. Here’s one of Northern’s new CAF built class 195s at Oxford Rd.


I had a ‘pit-stop’ at the Stalybridge station buffet on my way back to Huddersfield in order to have a ‘swifty’ and use their wifi to upload some pictures to my website. The buffet was its usual convivial self but what I hadn’t expected was to bump into one of the young men who works for Network Rail whom I’d been photographing earlier. He’d finished his shift and (like me) had stopped off on his way home. As we were both out of work we had an interesting chat. He was in stark contrast to my experience on the platform whilst waiting for my train, which was like being in a Victoria Wood sketch. The area was dominated by a young, overweight woman dressed in her best ‘Primani’ shouting into her phone at a female friend whom she had on speakerphone. Most of it was verbal diarrhoea, apart from the memorable line “I’ve just spent four and a half years in prison and he didn’t writ me once”…


I’ve escaped the delights of ‘Stalyvegas’ and returned home to put my feet up, so there’s no more blogging from tonight, just a couple more pictures from the day.

The CAF built Class 195s are becoming a common sight around Manchester – especially on the Oxford Rd corridor. Here’s two of the units passing outside the station earlier today.
The second of the Hitachi built Class 802s that was in service today was 802218 which is also unbranded. It’s seen here at Manchester Victoria whilst working 9M08, the 10:02 from Newcastle to Liverpool Lime St. I’m hoping to have a trip on one of these sets tomorrow…