– just not quite the way I was hoping! The bad weather’s still causing havoc on road and rail. Yesterday Grand Central announced the first train they’d be running today would be the 10.34 from Halifax. I’d planned to catch it and Dawn had given me a lift to the station, but it was cancelled at the very last moment as we waited in the warmth of the car. I’d already thought of a plan B (just in case) so put ot into action. VTEC were running a sparse service from Leeds but Virgin West Coast were running every 20 mins from Manchester. I figured that – even if one or two were cancelled – the odds of success were still far better! So, that’s where i’m en-route to now.
Calder Valley services are running with a few cancellations and delays. I’m on the delayed 10:27 which left Halifax at 10:50. The irony of taking this route is that I’m following my cycle training course to Rochdale. I’m glad i’m in a warm DMU as it looks perishing outside!
I’ll update you on my progress from Manchester…
Well, that fell OK, I don’t need to be at Heathrow until 17.40. Time spent browsing the Virgin Trains website threw up a train at 13.15 for the bargain price of £39.50 instead of the normal £85.90! I’m now booked on that and *should* arrive in London at 15.39, giving me plenty of time to get to Heathrow.
Whilst passing through Manchester Victoria I was rather taken aback to see an old friend from my days in London – 150129.
This old BR built Class 150 was one of the local workhorses on the ‘Goblin’ (AKA the Gospel Oak – Barking line) in North London. I’ve travelled on it many times but never realised it was one of the units which has been transferred up North from GWR.
Taking my leave of Victoria I decided discretion was the better part of valour so instead of walking to Piccadilly as I normally do I caught a nice warm tram. I’m not exactly dressed for the freezing weather we’re experiencing and contracting hypothermia wouldn’t be a great start to this odyssey…
We’ve left Manchester 13 late, not because of the weather (although the set was late in from Euston) but because of human error. Our train Manager confessed she’d been waiting on the wrong platform due to a last minute set swap!
I’m currently between Stone and Norton Bridge in Staffordshire. We’ve been diverted this way rather than our normal route via Colwich due to the snow drifts. The fields are bare as all the white stuff’s blown off them onto the track! Hopefully, once we’re on the 4 track main line the situation will ease. The train’s packed as we’re carrying passengers who were on an earlier service that was cancelled before departure. Everyone seems stoic – people are just happy to be on the move. Mind you, the coach is warm as toast as the heating’s on full – so quite a few folk have drifted off to sleep!
For a change, the closer we get to London the worse the weather is getting. The skies darkened South of Rugby, then the snow arrived. We’ve just passed Wolverton and the snow’s blowing in at a rate of knots. I’ve had a call from a friend at Euston to tell me that it’s snowing in London.