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It’s a reasonably early start for me as I’m off to Manchester to join colleagues from Community Rail network to kick off Community Rail week, a new event with an exciting range of activities taking place across community rail, this year championing the message Go Green by Train, as part of the build-up to COP26. The essential message is quite simple. Ditch the car and go by train. Here’s why;

Our opening event is at Manchester Piccadilly station from 10:00 – 15:00.

Community Rail Lancashire, Mid Cheshire CRP, Calder Valley CRP and Liverpool to Manchester CRP will be promoting the Go Green by Train message, highlighting how visitors can explore a wealth of attractions and activities by train.

I’ll be blogging and posting pictures through the day…


I’m en-route to Manchester although my train’s running late. I was in plenty of time at Halifax so caught an earlier Blackpool bound train as far as Hebden Bridge in order to get a few library shots and admire the old pictures of the railway displayed in the waiting room.

The Manchester service was running behind us but was several minutes late. Made up of a pair of Class 195/0s the service lost even more time outside Todmorden as (I’m assuming) it was stuck behind another service). Having crossed over the border into Lancashire we’re now running 16 minutes late.

I finally arrived at Piccadilly ‘on time’ but 22 minutes later than I’d planned. The lateness of our train turned out to be because of signalling issues around Todmorden. ho hum! Still, I managed to get the pictures we needed, including this one for the official launch of Community Rail Week.

Meanwhile, on the concourse, various community rail groups (and Network Rail) had set up a stall filled with leaflets and various goodies to give away…


Whist some of the CRN team stayed at Manchester some of us had another appointment back in West Yorkshire. The friends of Mytholmroyd station were unveiling artwork painted in conjunction with a local school, so I headed back across the Pennines with Jools Townsend and other CRN colleagues to cover the event. For once, the weather let us down! Rain had set in as we left Manchester and it followed us home. Even so, we had a station building in which to shelter from the rain and also some delicious food laid on for us to enjoy before the pupils of ‘Spider Class’ at Scout Road academy could join us. Here they are with the artwork they’d contributed to, which is on the theme of ‘Transport through the ages’.


I’m now back home in the warm and dry, preparing my kit for the next few days adventures which will be a marked contrast to today. Early tomorrow I head down to London and (hopefully) the South coast for an assignment which will no doubt generate a rolling blog. On Wednesday I’ll be looking at the opposite end of the railway spectrum and checking out work on constructing Hight Speed 2 at Euston. There’s a massive amount of work going on on hundreds of sites along the HS2 route at the moment, and of course Euston is one of the main terminal stations, with the challenge of building complex tunnel approaches without disturbing the existing railway. It should be a very interesting visit…

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