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06:30.

We’ve had a wet evening here in Fishguard and when I woke up and looked out of the window this morning little had improved. There’s heavy grey cloud closing us in and more rain forecast. Just as well that I’m going straight back to Cardiff on the first train! I’m staying down the road from Goodwick station so the plan is to catch the first train from there (the 07:38) into the Harbour station and begin my return journey from the port.

Right now It’s time to enjoy a coffee and pack. See you soon…

08:30.

I’m now traversing Pembrokeshire on the 07:51 from Fishguard Harbour – where I was the only passenger!

The port was deserted and so was the harbour apart from a solitary cruise ship that (judging by the lack of lights) that’s laid up. What was interesting was the absence of any HGVs. Is this a result of Brexit and the fact many ferry companies are now running services that bypass the UK and sail straight from one EU country to another? I watched last night’s ferry unload and there were plenty of cars coming off it, but again an absence of lorries.

My train’s slowly picking up passengers as we head West, a handful at each stop bar Whitland, where no-one joined.

10:33.

I’m on the last leg into Cardiff now and this train’s been rammed since Carmarthen. There’s a huge number of young backpackers around (has there been a festival?) as well as lots of families with several children. Add in the rucksacks and suitcases and there’s little room left – although there are some bikes aboard too! I’m looking forward to bailing at Cardiff and the chance to stretch my legs…

Carmarthen earlier where my train paused to reverse. This give folk chance to grab a coffee or sandwich from the locally run station cafe.

13:30.

My visit to Cardiff was all to brief. My train was late and held outside the starion waiting for a free platform so I missed my planned connection to take me up to Taffs Well, the site of the new TfW tram/train depot. As the weather was mizzly I acted on a whim. Sat in the next platform was ‘Castle’ class short HST bound for Penzance – stopping at every blade of grass on the way. But, it would get me to my next port of call (Bristol) sooner so I hopped aboard.

The ‘Great Western’ lives on in various different ways (and eras) in this picture taken earlier.

After 50 mins of picture taking around Bristol I caught the train I’m on now, the 12:45 Cross-Country service to Plymouth which is worked by one of their HST sets, so that’s two in a row – in 2022! The journey’s proving to be really interesting, but you’ll have to read my articles in RAIL to find out why…

21.45.

Sorry for the gaps in my progress but it’s been another busy day where I’ve often been too busy picture and not-taking to blog. I’m now back in Exeter at my hotel for the night after visiting Plymouth before heading off to Cornwall for a trip on the Liskeard to Looe branch, a route I’ve not traversed for many years. Afterwards I made my way back West via a variety of trains and a stopover in Dawlish to have a look at how the new seawall has changed a famous site for railway photography. Sadly, the weather at Dawlish was lousy for getting anything more than record shots. I’ve had some really busy trains tonight as tourists flock to Cornwall and Devon, and I’ve had some quiet ones heading in the opposite direction. Still, it’s all grist to the mill.

Tomorrow I’ll be heading West and some very different railways. Stay with me to see what I get up to…

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