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After a stressful morning I’m now sat on the train from Leeds to London for the first event of the day – the annual Siemens press lunch. I’m looking forward to meeting friends and colleagues plus the new personnel who’ve taken over roles at Siemens since the start of the pandemic. It’s a lovely day for travelling as the sun’s shining, the trains are running well and I can start to unwind. The day’s not going to be completely relaxed of course. After the lunch I’ve got to hot-foot it up to Crewe to join the other volunteers and staff of the Railway Children charity who’ll be preparing the train that we’ll be living on for the next few days – plus all the fundraising teams who’ll be arriving to take part and climb all 3 Peaks. I’ve also a rather large bag full of kit to tow around as you never know what weather you’ll encounter on this adventure so if you’re sensible you come prepared.

I’ll blog throughout the day as I can, so feel free to keep popping back to see what I get up to…


The destressing continues. The mobile office is up and running, there’s HS2 pictures to edit, I’ve a fresh coffee from the buffet and I’m listening to The Waterboys through my earphones…


Apologies for the interlude but it’s been a busy few hours. The Siemens press lunch was an enjoyable and informative event. We had chance to chat over drinks at the start, then sat down for lunch. Members of the media were allocated specific seats but Siemens staff rotated after each course which meant we had the opportunity to talk to a wide range of people, including CEO William Wilson and Sambit Banerjee, Director of Rolling stock.

Siemens CEO Will Wilson briefs the media on what the company’s been doing over the last year and plans for the future.
It beats sandwiches!

Sadly,I had to leave early to ensure I was on time for my next event. I’m now speeding North on an Avanti Voyager in order to meet up with the Railway Children staff at Crewe ready for the big adventure – 3 Peaks by rail 2022.


Well, that’s been a change of scenery! I arrived at Crewe in plenty of time to slip into my role as official photographer for the Railway Children’s 3 Peaks by Rail. This is my 5th year in a row and to be honest It’s just like meeting up with family. It’s not just the staff and volunteers either, there’s always familiar railway faces amongst the teams too. Here’s everyone all together just before we set off from Crewe. We were joined by the Railway Children’s founder, David Maidment who can be seem bottom left.

First things first. As soon as the teams are settled in on the train they’re fed. The food is all donated by various suppliers who help support the charity and prepared on board.
On arrival at Bangor teams are provided with snacks by the on-board team to ensure their energy levels are maintained. It’s a slick operation. We only have 6 minutes to unload everyone and get the train dispatched.
After dropping the teams off at Bangor the train heads for Holyhead where the locomotives can run-round, the train can be cleaned and the on-board staff have the chance to eat and get some rest before we head back to Bangor to pick up the teams at 04:00. Here’s 47501 and 47593 being passed by the Welsh Assembly train (aka ‘Gerald’) which is made up of ex-LNER Mk4 coaches and a Class 67 loocomotive. It’ll set back into the stabling point behind the signalbox to be serviced overnight.

Right, I’m going to call it a day as we’re now sat in the carriage sidings for the night. I’ll resume blogging in a few hours time – but that’ll be another day. Day 2 in fact…

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