Sunday began in a lazy fashion. After all, it’s the weekend – what’s the rush? But the pace picked up after brunch as I decided to make the most of the mild weather and dry day to scratch off a few chores before heading North once more. The flower beds were in need of cutting back and tidying up, a job I was happy to do in preparation for the winter. That said, I was surprised how much was still flowering. I still have some yellow poppies flowering in the front garden and a couple of stray flowers have appeared on an Azalea bush out the back. The seasons seem to be as confused as me sometimes! Another little job was to top up the bird feeders so that Dawn has some colourful company whilst I’m away.

Good deeds done the pair of us managed to get out for a walk through Scarr woods and up to Savile Park and back just to blow the cobwebs away. Both of us were surprised just how many leaves are left on the trees on both sides of the valley, despite the fact you’re ankle deep in them walking through the woods. Is autumn longer and later this year? We can’t quite work it out…

As dusk began to set it was time for me to bid adieu to both Dawn and the Calder valley once more. As I’ve (literally) got a suitcase in tow this time Dee gave me a lift to Halifax station where I caught the 17:29 Northern service bound for Preston. Normally, these Blackpool services are worked by 3-car Class 195s but today we were treated to a 2-car which I expected would get ‘cosy’ en-route but in actual fact it was fine as far as Preston. The whole journey was completed in darkness which was a shame but – hey – it’s November! I contented myself with getting some writing done instead of window gazing.

On arrival at Preston I didn’t have long to wait before my next train arrived. This was another CAF product in the shape of a Trans-Pennine Express Class 397 on a Liverpool Lime St – Glasgow Central service. Seats were at a premium but I managed to find a pair of free airline seats by a luggage rack at the end of car 2. Sitting over the bogie’s always a good place to be able to judge the quality of the ride and (as usual with CAF products) it was hard. I rather like the interior of these units and the pull-out extension to the seatback tables is great for being able to use a laptop, but it’s easy to miss keystrokes when the trains bouncing around so much. Despite the niggles, the performance of these trains is impressive. They’re 125mph trains and they can certainly shift – even without tilt.

397007 having arrived at Carlisle.

I’m now in Carlisle where I’m staying for the night before heading up to Glasgow in time for the start of the three day ‘Low-carbon logistics’ event at Mossend yard just outside Motherwell. This is a strategic stop just South of the border that gets me in range for getting to the start of the event (which would be impossible from home). Compared to how it can be on a Friday-Saturday night (when every village idiot for miles around descends on the place) Sunday in Carlisle seems quite civilised. Not that I’m venturing far – my hotel is literally across the road from the station.

An early night beckons as there’s little of interest to photograph at Carlisle station on a Sunday night. Instead, a quiet night tucked up with the laptop preparing some more articles seems like a good move. However, expect a rolling blog with plenty of pictures tomorrow…

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