I’m up and about ready to head out and make my way across London to meet up with an old friend and colleague as today’s the day that Crossrail’s central section finally opens to the public. Keep tuning in to see what I get up to…
Humbles apologies – that was a crap “rolling” blog! The problem was that I was non-stop all the time I was in London. Crossrail’s opening was a huge story and the media were out in force. I met up with Richard Clinnick at Liverpool St. As the press leanch with the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan wasn’t until 09:30 we decided to take a trip to explore Farringdon – one of the stations we’d not had chance to look around before.
Like all Crossrail stations it’s impressive. What I hadn’t expected was how many ordinary commuters had switched lines already today – it was packed. Of course there was also thousands of visitors who’d just come along for the ride. These included rail and architecture enthusiasts as well as ordinary people who just wanted to try out this amazing new railway under central London.
The pair of us made it to Woolwich station where the official press event was going to be in plenty of time – which was just as well as it was packed. If you’d dropped a bomb on it you could have wiped out 3/4 of the rail press and a goodly chunk of national media and agency snappers too!
It turned into a bit of a media scrum at one point but to Sadiq’s credit he was in no rush and got round almost all the outlets who wanted to interview him. No government Minister was there apart from Baroness Vere. As she sits in the Lords I’m assuming she was seen as ‘safe’. Today was very much Sadiq’s – even if some journo’s threw him curve balls with questions about ‘partygate’ – which eventually elicited the wrath of Kahn about what had gone on in No 10!
After the circus was over I headed off to visit some more of the stations. Stations that are no longer just the preserve of folk in PPE. I managed Abbey Mills and Custom House before meeting up for a quick drink with a Singaporean friend who’s over in the UK for break. That break turned lucky with Crossrail opening whilst he’s here.
I left London just after 15:00 and spent the whole trip to Leeds editing the pictures I’d taken. I’ll get some on the blog later. Right now I’m perched in the luggage rack of a Northern Class 158 heading for Halifax. I’ve noticed what seems like another upturn in passenger numbers – especially during ‘rush-hours’. I’ll be interested to see if this appears in the next set of Government figures on rail usage…
I’m now back at home where I’ve chance to edit some of the selection of pictures I’ve taken today for your delectation.
You’ll be able to find the full selection of today’s pictures on my Zenfolio site in the next few days. I’m signing off for tonight as I’ve a busy few days ahead. I’m back on the rails tomorrow afternoon as I’ll be heading for the Kent coast. This time I’ll make sure the blog does roll!
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