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No, not the TV series that made David Hasselhoff famous. I’m off to somewhere far less conducive to prancing around in a pair of ‘budgie smugglers’ (especially this time of the year). I’m off to Morecambe bay and the towns on the Kent estuary!

The weather’s looking to be perfect, if a little crisp. The walk to the station this morning was lovely as the clouds were melting away to the East, leaving the valley bathed in sun as it ventured above the horizon. I’m currently on the 08:27 from Halifax to Preston which has retraced part of my journey only this time along the valley floor. High above me was our house, lit up in the sunshine, looking lovely.

The train’s quiet. Well, when I say quiet – there’s not that many passengers in the front car of this 3 -car train. Unfortunately, a few rows behind me I have a younger woman gabbing on her phone who’s doing her best to sound like a Victoria Wood character – if slightly better dressed. She’s spent the whole of the trip so far gossiping in the most incredibly rapid but banal fashion about the intricacies of a family’s relationships that I’ve been forced to reach for the headphones and block her out with music before my brain melts. I’m now heading along the scenic route over Copy Pit with cloudless blue skies listening to Meatloaf singing “Objects in the rear view mirror” rather than her bleating about the sizes of someone’s kids beds. Bliss!

Feel free to keep popping in to see what I get up to today…


We’ve just left Accrington after previously stopping at Burnley. The Victoria Wood tribute act has finally run out of words (or rather, the same few words) but I’m still enjoying my soundtrack to the journey. The railway skirts Burnley to give great views over this Lancashire cotton town. I keep meaning to spend a day here getting pictures across the town from some of the high ground as the Colne branch bisects the town on a viaduct. At Accrington the route from Todmorden to Preston does the same. I took a lot of pictures in the area when I first moved to Yorkshire in 2010 but it’s really time I updated them. Maybe a day out here on a bright winter day would be a good idea…


A full 3-car 195 waits to leave Preston for Windermere.

I’m kicking my heels in Preston again. Connections here never seem to go my way. Coming down from Glasgow I had nearly an hour to wait. This time I’ve longer. My Blackpool bound service arrived at 09:39. The Barrow service doesn’t arrive until 10:45. At least it gives me time to get a few shots and slurp a coffee in the Upper Crust. I’ve not used these sandwich bars since Covid. Their offering has gone downhill. In many cases The baguettes that were their staple fayre have been replaced by hamburger style rolls. At the same time the prices have increased. Paying more for less serms to be a common theme in Brexit Britain nowadays. So many ways of ‘winning’. At least the coffee’s good…

New and ‘improved’? Someone’s taking the pee…


My Barrow connection arrived bright and early (2 mins early in fact) but as it’s due to sit at Preston for 9 minutes to let the 10:42 Avanti service to Glasgow that’s sat in the adjacent platform to get ahead of it, that’s hardly a problem. On the two track section of the West Coast Main line there’s no way we were going to get let out early! The Pendolino leaves 3 minutes ahead of us here but that becomes 9 minutes at Lancaster.

My train’s made up of another Northern 3-car Class 195. It’s reasonably busy but nowhere near as crowded as the Windermere service I saw earlier. Having rediscovered the joy of listening to music whilst travelling I’ve stuck my ancient iPod (remember them) on ‘shuffle’. I’m currently enjoying a real bout of nostalgia, listening to the ‘Moody Blues’ and an album recorded in 1968 (‘In search of the lost Chord’). It takes me back to my early teens, listening to the strains of the album emanating from my elder brother Dave’s bedroom in the family home oh so many years ago…


Here’s a quick update from a cafe’ whilst I wait for the next train at Arnside. I’ll flesh this out more after the next train. Right now I’m using their warm space to edit a few pictures off the camera! Having taken the shots I needed at Grange-Over-Sands I headed back across the River Kent to Arnside to recreate(ish) the shot I used for picture of the day yesterday. Only everything didn’t quite go to plan…

Oi! Northern – I was expecting one of your new 3-car 195’s – not this!

I’m now about to take 2 as the next train running is one of their new 3-cars. Thankfully, the weather’s beaten the forecast and stayed sunny. Just as well when there’s only one train an hour…


Another busy day – if waiting for one train an hour can be called ‘busy’. Clapham Junction this ain’t! That said, I’ve kept myself occupied for the time I was in Arnside. In between trains I managed to catch up with emails, sit and have a coffee and edit the pictures I’d taken. On the way back I stopped off to explore some photo locations in Lancaster, only this time of the year I was there too late to catch the light. Even so, I had an interesting time exploring part of the town I’d never ventured into before, which included some of the old railways like the line to Lancaster Green Ayre and Morecambe part of which is now a footpath. This is another place I need to come back to at the right time of the day/year. Having explored I headed back to the station to catch a very busy Avanti service to Preston where I waited for a Northern connection to Manchester which was running 20 minutes late. I’m now aboard an electric version of the CAF fleet built for Northern over the past few years. These 3 car 331s are certainly a step up in comfort compared to the trains they replaced, but the ride over indifferent quality track can be hard, especially if you’re sat over a bogie.

Old and new Northern electrics at a busy Preston station this evening.

I’m slowly getting used to the idea of electric trains via Chorley. They’re such a step-change in acceleration compared to the diesel units they’ve replaced, although the quality of some of the the clientele hasn’t really improved, but that’s ex-Blackpool services for you.


I’m on the final leg home after stopping off in Manchester’s Chinatown to pick up some goodies. Whilst we have some excellent local North Indian supermarkets in Halifax I can’t get some of the ingredients I need for some of our favourite SE-Asian dishes. Today I remedied that and bought fresh Pandan leaves and Lemon grass, Kecap Manis and a light Soy sauce.

My train home from Victoria was rather nostalgic as it consists of a class 158/153 lash-up. I haven’t travelled on one of Northern’s dwindling fleet of single-car Class 153s since Covid hit! Unsurprisingly, most passengers made a dash for the air-conditioned comfort of the 158!

Mind you, it wasn’t just a/c this car didn’t have. The tiny toilet (which isn’t DDA disabled passenger compliant) is permanently locked out of use with a sign redirecting people to the Class 158. What Northern will do with these trains in the long-term’s a good question. They’re obviously past their sell-by date, but unless funds are forthcoming for new stock to replace them…


It’s been a long day and I’m now back at home in the warm, editing the pictures I’ve taken during the day, so here’s the recreation(ish) of yesterday’s picture of the day with one of Northern’s new Class 195s replacing the Trans-Pennine 185. As you can see, the livery’s far less colourful or interesting, but such is life and progress on the railways sometimes.

195103 works 1U97, the 13:52 Barrow-in-Furness to Manchester Airport across the Arnside viaduct.

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