Having sorted out what I need to do today I’m off on another jaunt, this time over to Humberside to get some pictures for a client. I’ll update this blog as I go, right now, it’s time to head to the station and my first train of the day…
After a brisk and breathless walk into Halifax I made the 09:53 to Leeds and York by the skin of my teeth. I really should have paid more attention to the clock but got diverted by stuff as usual.
This is another busy train despite it being a three-car Class 195. Here’s how it looks after calling at Bradford Interchange.
My connection off Leeds was meant to be LNER’s 10:45 to London Kings Cross but my suspicions were raised as we pulled in and it was nowhere in sight. Sure enough, it had been cancelled due to points failure, leaving my plans completely up the spout. The next service is the 11:15 which is running 20 mins late on its way in due to the same problem.
Oh bugger (pt 2)…
The inbound LNER service turned out to be a vintage Class 91 and Mk 4 set short of coach E which has meant it’s quite cosy with two trainloads of people aboard. Needless to say, it’s late leaving as a 10 minute turnaround time was always going to be rather heroic as staff needed to replenish the catering and conduct a crew change.
I’ve given up any idea of trying yo find a seat, so i’ve done a Jeremy Corbyn and sat in a vestibule at the rear of the set by the loco.
We’re finally underway 7 mins late which the Train Manager announced was due to waiting for a path due to congestion. I may have to reassess my plans when we get to Doncaster as these delays are eating into my day…
I’m now burbling my way across the flatlands towards the Humberside/Lincs coast aboard a TPE Class 185, one of a pair heading to Cleethorpes. Unlike most of the other trains I’ve travelled on recently this one’s very lightly loaded which is surprising as I thought the seaside was back in vogue. But then – Cleethorpes…
Despite running late I’ve decided to continue as it would be a tragedy to waste the good weather. Even if I can’t get all the pictures I wanted I’ll be able to get some and also recce other locations ready for another day. My stopover at Doncaster was fruitful as it gave me chance to get shots of the redeveloped station forecourt which has been wrested away from the motor car and pedestrianised, making it a much more attractive public space, complete with a water installation and monument to the town’s railway history.
Oh, bugger (pt 3).
We’re now sat outside Grimsby Town station waiting (and waiting) to get in, apparently due to signal failure in the area. We’ve had a TPE and East Midlands service pass us heading West, but we remain stuck.
Made it – finally, now to take myself and the camera for a walk. As you can see, the weather’s not bad at all…
Well, that was an interestin (if sometimes depressing) stroll. After bagging the shots I needed in Cleethorpes I elected to walk back along the coast to Grimsby in order to examine some other photographic locations and explore new territory. The weather was ideal and visibility excellent. Sure enough, I managed to find a couple of new locations for rail shots but it was the tall Italianate tower in Grimsby docks that intrigued. It dominates the skyline and looks far to grand for Grimsby. It’s actually an accumulator tower which was built in 1852 to supply the hydraulic pressure to power dock machinery. I’ll add a link and pctures later.
Trying to get a decent shot of it was a challenge. I spent ages wandering around the old dock area which is a derlict shadow of its former self. To alter the old joke – if Typhoo put the T in Britain, who put the Grim in Grimsby?
The irony? Grimsby is a very Brexity area. Many in the town were conned into believing that if they voted to leave the EU their fishing industry would regain its former glory. It was always a fantasy and now reality is hitting home as the opposite is true. Brexit has been a disaster for UK fishing and that’s before the full impact of restrictions kicks in. In a double irony, a deprived area like Grimsby would have been entitled to EU funding. Will the UK government replace such funding? Will it hell. Grimsby’s yet another victim of the lies that Brexit was built on.
Despite the decline there’s still one smell that pervades the old docks (even if some of it is now a marina) and that’s the smell of fish. It’s omnipresent. The area retains numerous businesses (large and small) that depend on fishing for their existence. Mind you, it’s not just the smell that’s the telltale – it’s the seagulls that gather on their roofs like seawater Vultures.
Despite the decay, I’d have hung around for longer if I’d had time as there’s plenty to photograph if you like architecture (good or bad), urban decay and social commentary. Oh, there’s the railway angle too, although that mirrors the decline of the docks and the English seaside. As it was I ran out of time so I’m now on another quiet TPE service heading back to Doncaster. I could do with at least another day in this neck of the woods but that’s looking unlikely now as plans change. Earlier I was asked if I could double the word count of an article there was ‘no rush’ for – and get it in by Friday at the latest!
I’m now on another LNER Azuma heading back to Leeds after a brief interlude at Doncaster. This is quite frustrating as the sky has been absolutely on fire tonight. The sunset has been glorious in colour and intensity but I’ve been in no position to capture a single image. I only hope we get the same tomorrow as I’ll be working from home so can always nip out with the camera.
Oh, bugger (pt 5)…
We’ve been stuck outside Leeds station for the past 15 mins without any idea why as the crew have nade no announcements. In frustration, I tweeted LNER. Just as soon as I did (and no doubt by pure coincidence) the Train Manager came on the PA to announce that points failure was blocking platforms 0-6 so a large chunk of the station was unusable. He’d no idea when we might get a path into the station. My connection left at 20:12, so that’s screwed…
We finally arrived into Leeds 36 mins late. On the ‘bright’ side, that gave me planty of time to catch the 20:42 to Halifax, especially as it didn’t depart until 20:44. I even had time for a dash to Sainsbury’s to buy some muscle relaxant. I wasn’t going to drink today, but what the hell..
My day’s began and ended the same way, with a points failure. These critical bits of equipment are robust, but when they fail (especially the more crucial switches at busy locations) they really can cause havoc. At hubs like Leeds the ripples can spread right across the network, delaying trains from Scotland to the South-West and all points East – or West. It’s difficult for the lay person to understand just how dependent the railways are on trains running to time and how what can seem sometimes insignificant delays on long-haul services can have such a knock-on effect.
We’ve now left Bradford and I’m on the final leg home. Time permitting I’ll round this blog off with a couple of extra pictures later. But first I need a bath! Walking miles carrying a heavy camera bag whilst wearing a black ‘3 Peaks by Rail’ T-shirt in today’s heat wasn’t my brightest idea…
Time to call it a day. The bath was lovely – a soak with a glass of red wine just to relax the muscles even more has left me feeling very mellow, but not so mellow that I couldn’t post a last couple of pictures as promised.
It’s not *all* grim in Grimsby. Here’s the 300ft Italianate Dock Tower which was modeled on the tower of Siena’s Palazzo Pubblico in Italy. You can read more about it and why it was built here.
This picture’s of the Victoria Flour Mill and Corporation Bridge. The Grade 2 listed flour mill flourmill, warehouses & offices was built between 1889 & 1906. Constructed out of red brick, it also has blue bricks plus stone & terrracota dressings and welsh slate roofs with stone-coped gables & parapets. It’s magnificent in size and stature.
Corporation Bridge is a Scherzer rolling lift bascule bridge dating from 1925 which was designed by Alfred C. Gardner, docks engineer of the London and North Eastern Railway. You can learn more about it here.
I’ve a favour to ask…
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