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After such a long day yesterday I must admit I slept like a log, falling asleep as soon as I lay down. Now, refreshed, I’m ready for another busy day – and a warm on to boot. It’s not a heatwave, but 22 degrees is plenty warm enough when you’re wandering around a construction site in full PPE! Right now it’s time for a coffee before heading out to meet an old friend who’s staying nearby before we head of to the HS2 green tunnel construction site near Chipping Warden. I’ll update the blog as and when…


Sorry for tge delay with updates but it’s been a busy few hours. We were given an access all areas tour of the Chipping Warden green tunnel site, including access to the Birminham bound bore. Here’s a few phone pictures (for now) until I can add proper ones and details of tunnel construction.

Looking at the tunnel from the Birmingham side. This section of the tunnel is being built first as the nearby road will be diverted over the top (at the far end). As a consequence, those segments are the slightly bigger type 2 ones.

The twin bores seen from the London end. Both are having steelwork and concrete fitted that will form the tunnel floor and guide barriers either side of the rails.

Me with the route of HS2 to Birminghsm behind me. The green tunnel will finish by those portakabins just to the Right of my head.


Sorry, another long interlude! Our visit finished by 13:00 – bang on the expected time which gave us the opportunities for some informal chats before we departed the site. Whilst my colleagues headed off to catch their trains I was met by a friend who took me Northwards to Leamington, stopping to examine several HS2 construction sites on the way (pics later). Right now I’m back on the rails, heading for Birmingham. Leamington was teeming with people who are here for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. whilst folk were flooding off the staion after a day out at the games, many more were heading into the city.

My brief visit to Leamington delighted me for a different reason. The wonderful old buffet on the Birmingham bound platform closed down during Covid. To be honest, it had become a shadow of its former self so wasn’t that much of a loss. Now it’s been reopened under the aegis of the people who run the excellent ‘Centenary Lounge’ on Birmingham’s Moor St station. I popped in for a chat. They’ve been busy restoring the woodwork and other fittings but that’s just the start. Soon they’ll replace the furniture with something far more sympathetic and introduce the excellent choice of food and drink they offer in Birmingham. I’ll report back when they do!


I’ve just left Sheffield on the penultimate leg of my journey home. We were late into Birmingham as earlier delays were exacerbated by being held outside the station to wait for a platform. Thankfully, my connection was also running behind time so the dash between platforms still gave me the chance to grab a few pictures en-route.

The Edinburgh service I was catching was being cut back to Newcastle due to staff shortages but that’s not going to affect me. It’s still a busy train as (like most Cross-Country trains) it serves different markets en-route. Looking around my coach now I’m one of only a handful who were on at Brum.


The last leg! I managed to get some work done on the train and get all today’s pictures downloaded before we arrived at Leeds where I had a twelve minute turnaround. Now I’m heading home on one of Northern’s 3-car class 195s which is busy but not enough that I couldn’t find a free table where I could set up the laptop to start key bashing! It’s a glorious summer evening in Leeds although I really noticed the difference in temperature as soon as I stepped off the train. Yorkshire’s several degrees cooler than Warwickshire. Still, it’s going to be lovely to be home after such a hectic few days – although the pace won’t slacken I won’t be walking miles with a heavy camera bag on my back or sweating away in PPE!

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