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08:38.

My computer problems continue, which means life is less than planned at the moment. I did manage to resurrect my old machine yesterday by reinstalling Windows 10 but by the evening it developed Alzheimers again. First it ‘forgot’ how to send emails, then it gradually lost the will to do everything else as well! I’ve now had to reset it for a second time just to get a few bits and pieces done. The new machine has been ordered and will arrive tomorrow*, so I’ll be spending yet another day installing programmes and gubbins.

As this leaves me somewhat incapacitated I’m heading out for the day in order to get some new library pictures even though the weather’s not exactly at its best. The law of Sod has been invoked and tomorrow’s forecast is looking far better. I might have to be crafty in what I do with getting my new machine delivered.

Right now I’m just packing the camera bag and working out where will be best to head for. Stay with me to see how the railways behave today…

10:45.

I’m on my first train of the day, but not from Haliax as I hitched a lift with Dawn this morning. Now I’m on a TPE Class 802 as far as Leeds although the set itself is going to Edinburgh. This is one of the trains TPE have reinstated after the December timetable debacle. Mind you, Edinburgh isn’t the only exotic new destination served by direct trains from Huddersfield. You can now visit the fleshpots of Redcar Central too if you were so inclined…

11.28.

The trip to Leeds was both pleasent and uneventful. The service was a minute late at Huddersfield but easily made that up by Leeds. The front coach of the Hitachi built set was only 10% occupied so there was no problem getting a seat. The extra capacity the new TPE trains are providing’s making travel on the crowded Manchester – Leeds corridor far more pleasent now. Gone are the days when it would be a miracle if you bagged a seat.

11:32.

My sojourn in Leeds was rather shorter than last weeks! I had about 20 mins to observe the station in action before catching the 11:11 Cross-Country service that’s heading for Plymouth. Despite the fact it’s only a 4-car Voyager I’ve managed to find a seat on here too. As usual with XC there’s a real mix of humanity aboard.  Grannies laden with suitcases, student types with their headphones and laptops, the occasional businessman and there’s even a pooch staring balefully at me from between the seats.

16:05.

That’s been an entertaining few hours. Having stopped off to get pictures at Sheffield I was greeted by lovely sunny weather. The station’s in a state of flux at the moment as Northern’s new trains are putting in an appearence on more and more services, but the place is still a stronghold of the old Class 144 ‘Pacers’ who operate a lot of Northern’s short-haul services to the likes of Doncaster and Huddersfield. The newer interlopers (the 195s) have taken over further reaching stuff like the Lincoln services, whilst Class 170s are working to the likes of Scarborough.

If you want to bag a Class 144, Sheffield’s the place to visit!

Having got some shots in the can I headed off to Chesterfield where I hit a weather front. A band of cloud extended South but it still allowed me to get some interesting shots from the old footbridge North of the station and allowed me to shoot what would’ve been straight into the sun otherwise. Network Rail’s contractor’s have been busy removing lineside vegetation which has opened up views that haven’t been possible for decades. The work provided me with some good scene-setting shots too. I didn’t hang around long. Just an hour, as there’s no point repeating the same shot ad nauseum. Having got what I wanted I caught the train back to Sheffield where the weather was less dull.

It might not be the most attractive view that’s been opened out by the lineside clearance, but it’s still a view!

Having grabbed a few more shots and resisted the temptations of the Sheffield Tap I’m now heading back to Leeds on a Northern ‘Express’ service. Well, it would be express if the 90mph Class 158 diagrammed was available. Instead, it’s being worked by a rather clapped-out Class 150 which is only cleared for 75mph. As you can imagine, our timing is a tad awry…

16:05.

The 150 finally staggered into to Leeds where the poor quality of the light’s made me decide to cut the day short and head home to Halifax. Admittedly, I have an ulterior motive. Tonight Dawn and I have planned a lovely evening together at home so I’m happy to get back and make the house feel the part in preparation.

My ride back from Leeds is aboard another 3-car Class 195 on the York – Bkackpool North diagram. It’s running 5 mins down which the Conductor has apologised for, citing ‘technical issues’ with the set earlier.

18:00.

The weather may not have been too good in Leeds, but it’s a lovely sunset here in the Calder Valley…

*Well, that’s when the Dell website claimed it could be delivered by, only that changed when I’d actually specced the machine.

Abandoning their website I put in call to a real live human being and spoke to a charming Indian lady who placed the order for me and told me that the problem at the moment is getting the processor chips, so my new machine won’t be ready for at least a week. This delay means I’m going to have to be creative with my use of backup laptops and nursing my old machine until the new kit arrives. Now I’m praying no last minute, urgent jobs crop up until it arrives…