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We’ve another misty morning here in West Yorkshire, where little cotton wool clouds cling to the sides of the valley. Not that t matters to me as I’m escaping for the day. Right now, I’m preparing to head down to Sowerby Bridge to catch a train across the Pennines. Let’s see how it goes…


Another fun day on the railways. I walked down to Sowerby Bridge in plenty of time to catch the 08:23 to Chester. The service is having a torrid time. The station PIS shows the 07:23 was cancelled and the 09:23 is “delayed”. In contrast, the 08:23 turned up 7 minutes early and is now sat waiting time. Looking on Real Time Trains I see it left Leeds 6 minutes late and looks to have been diverted to run non-stop via Brighouse.

195119 approaches Sowerby Bridge on the Chester service, passing a Leeds bound set.


After arriving at Victoria I ambled theough central Manchester to Piccadilly. As I passed the gardens I heard a car making an awful racket. Then I saw a young guy driving (as fast as he could) a red hatchback with a smashed and flat front tyre and all the passenger side of the vehicle caved in. A few minutes later I passed this scene…


We’ve unveiled the plaque to Paul Abell at Ashburys station in the area of Manchester Paul grew up in. Present were his Widow, Shirley, his sons Brian and Malcom and his daughter Anne. I’ll add more pictures later.

Paul composed this local history board which has been on the station since 2019.
The Abell family with Paul’s plaque. (L-R) Anne, Shirley (Paul’s widow) Brian and Malcolm. The plaque (chosen by the family) depicts one of the engines that used to operate station pilot duties at Manchester Piccadilly and original Manchester tram No 756, which was restored in 1985 and now resides on the Heaton Park tramway.


Following the event, we headed off to Guide Bridge station for coffee and sandwiches kindly supplied by TfGM and hosted by Northern in the station offices. On leaving I headed off into the city as an old Network Rail friend was up from London for the day, liaising with stakeholders on forthcoming blockades, so I arranged to catch up with him for an hour before he headed back to London.

Earlier, I had managed to make the most of the sunshine by bimbling along to get a few shots along the notorious railway bottleneck of the Oxford St corridor. Here’s one of them.