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09:30.

It’s Thursday so it’s time for my weekly visit to the ‘other’ valley (the Colne) and Milnesbridge. I’m taking a modified route this week but it still involves walking, trains and canals. I’ll be blogging through the day as I travel, so feel free to pop in and see what I get up to….

10:30.

Having walked down into Sowerby Bridge instead of through to Halifax I’m on my first train of the day, Northern’s 10:22 to Leeds which will carry me as far as Dewsbury. This turned out to be a wise choice as the onboard Passenger Information System (PIS) screen shows onward connections and I noticed the Grand Central service I used last week is cancelled. That would have really screwed me up! Instead I’m on a quiet 3-car Class 195 and stress-free as I’ve time in the bank.

Today’s a good day for a wander. The Mercury is creeping up and the sun is shining through high broken clouds so I’m glad I’ve brought the camera. Plus, it’s interesting to observe early progress on the Trans-Pennine route upgrade (TRU). There’s nothing major to see yet but preperations are much in evidence. Many new safe access to trackside walkways have been installed, existing work compounds enlarged with many new ones being built. Vegetation clearance has been carried out over the past few years (with more needed).

11:00.

My visit to Dewsbury was brief – around 10 minutes. I had just enough time to grab some shots of this attractive and well-maintained station before moving on. As well as being good-looking the station boasts a good little cafe and the excellent West Riding refreshment rooms with its great range of real ales.

My next train was a six-car TPE service fromRedcar to Manchester Airport. Unlike the Northern train it was rammed. A situation exacerbated by the number of students here at Dewsbury who were travelling to college in Huddersfield. Being wedged in a TPE vestibule felt like the old days had returned!

11:30.

Like the students, I decamped at Huddersfield. Running earlier than last week I had plenty of time to buy a delicious bacon roll and coffee at the cafe and get some pictures before my next train.

A few weeks ago this area between the tracks at the East end of Huddersfield was a mass of Buddleia. Now it’s all been cleared, reopening photo opportunities that disappeared several years ago.

12:55.

Everything came together. My train arrived in Slaithwaite on time and the walk along the Huddersfield narrow canal was even easier this week as a lot more of the towpath has been resurfaced. I made it in under 50 minutes. Here’s a view from my journey.

OK, back later…

16:15.

I’m back!

Meeting over I had a mooch around Milnsbridge for an hour and checked out a photo location I’ve not visited before on the road bridge high above the railway to the west of the viaduct and next to the old goods yard. Here’s the view looking West towards Slaithwaite

It won’t look like this in a few years time! Here’s looking in the opposite direction as 802208 comes off the viaduct and passes the site of Milnesbridge goods yard which is now an industrial estate.

Right now I’m back at Huddersfield waiting for the 16:35 to Halifax and basking in the sun as I do so. There appears to be quite a few traincrew issues today with several services (Northern to Sheffield and TPE to Redcar) cancelled with staff shortages being given as the reason. At least my train’s turned up in the shape of a refurbished ex-West Yorkshire PTE Class 158.

22:00.

I’n now home and putting this rolling blog to bed as I’ve got to pack. Why? Because tomorrow our little gang (the 5 from the 6) are off to Berlin for a few days. It’s mine and Dawn’s first trip outside the UK since the pandemic, so we’re really looking forward to it. The next week or so will see me doing a lot of travelling and touring as well as attending a trade fair back in the UK, so expect lots more blogs to come – starting tomorrow when our merry band make our way to Germany via Manchester Airport…

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