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I’m reprising yesterday’s trip to London, only today I’m hoping no-one’s been out cutting signal cables and the day’s punctual and hassle free. Today’s itinerary includes a media visit to a High Speed 2 construction site in the capital. I’ll add details later once it’s done.

Right now I’m en-route to Leeds only this time with a fully functioning laptop – even if it is light on a few programmes and features for now. The main thing is it’s fit for picture downloading and editing.

I’ll blog more later once I’m settled in on the London train…

I have this strange feeling of deja vu…


I’m now at the part of the journey where it all went a bit ‘Pete Tong’ yesterday but (fingers crossed) there’ll be no repeat and I’ll be back in London in a couple of hours. I’m on another Azuma and everything is fine and dandy at the moment. My coach is only about a 1/3rd full so I have a table bay to myself. Now I’ve time to catch up on some work and maybe have a doze later. I must admit, I’m looking forward to having a lie-in tomorrow! The weather here in Yorkshire is glorious. Unlike yesterday it’s a fine sunny day. Hopefully London will compete…


The trip to London’s gone without a glitch today. We’re now on the outskirts of London and I’ve plenty of time in the bank which will give me time to get pictures before I head off to the media call.


Kings Cross looking busy.


I’m getting nearer my next appointment and stopped off at Kilburn High Rd on the ‘DC lines’ out of Euston. It’s not a service I use very often nowadays but it has a lot of interest. I noticed this example of railway archeology on the opposite platform. The original station building perhaps (if much altered)?

The old Class 313s that worked the DC lines were replaced by Bombardier built ‘electrostars’ back in the 2000s. Now those trains have themselves been replaced with these ‘Aventra’ trains (also from Bombardier).


OK, I can come clean on where I’ve been now. I’ve visited the HS2 tunnel vent construction site at Canterbury Rd in Kilburn, London. I was there along with the HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson MP. Canterbury Rd is the first diesel free construction site. All the vehicles run on HVO or electricity – including this enormous electrically powered crane.

Before you ask – yes we did go down the vent shaft. It’s only 22 metres deep right now When it’s finished it’ll be 55 metres deep…


Whilst I was in London I couldn’t resist a trip on some old friends who are being retired this weekend. The 46 members of the Southern Class 455 fleet have served London and areas South of the Thames since 1982. Now government cost-cutting has forced them into retirement and a one-way trip to the scrapyard from this weekend’s timetable change.

A familiar sight that will disappear this weekend. 455813 on the blocks at London Victoria having worked in from Epson Downs.

I travelled out as far as another old haunt (Wandsworth) photographing several units on the way. I’m sad to see them go as they were part of my London life for so many years and often carried me across the Thames from Victoria to visit friends in South London. It won’t seem the same without them.

Here’s an earlier blog which looks back over their lives and times.


Much as I’d have loved to have hung around the rush-hour was starting so it was time for me to begin my journey North as I’ve a lot of things to catch up on. Besides. I’ll be back in London again next week, even if the Southern 455s won’t be!

Right now I’m speeding up the East Coast Main Line on another trouble-free journey. Rather than wait for the 17:33 to Leeds which is often very busy I tried a slightly earlier LNER service to Hull which enabled me to bag a table and begin downloading today’s mass of pictures. I have to change at Doncaster, but I’ve had a productive time so don’t mind.


‘Kin hell! The curse of the ECML strikes again! The direct train I swerved (but would have picked up at Doncaster) has been cancelled due to a train fault. I now have over 30 mins to wait. There’s only one thing for it – a pint in ‘The Draughtsman’ on platform 3…


My Doncaster sojourn’s been ended by the arrival of the next Leeds train, which is just as well as ‘The Draughtsman’ closes at 20:00 and the temperature’s starting to drop. I’m obviously not a ‘proper’ Northerner anymore, many other occupants of the platform are dressed as if they’re in Greece in June! Me? No, I’ve spent too much time in tropical countries which has obviously thinned my blood!


My final train of the day is old school – a Class 158. This one’s working Halifax – Hull shuttles. The unit’s been refurbished with new seats, PIS and USB sockets so it isn’t too bad but you have to wonder how much longer these BR built units have a future.

That said, I’d hope the Class 150s would be for the bin first!


It’s time to bring this blog to an end. I’m back at home which is where I’ll be staying tomorrow as I’ve a huge amount of pictures from Germany and the UK to edit – plus a couple of jobs have come in which will see me on the move a lot over the next couple of weeks – and I’ve still a few magazine articles to write. Oh, and there’s a lot more slides and other rail memorabilia to add to eBay

There’s lots to look forward to but right now that means one thing for me. Sleep! There’s only so many 04:30 alarm calls I can cope with in a week!

I’ve a favour to ask…
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Thank You!