I’m currently on my way from Central Glasgow to the freight conference at Mossend for the morning session. Hopefully it will be just as interesting and informative as yesterday although sadly, I’ll have to leave early.
OK, apologies for a really crap blog today. I was full of good intentions but the day just ran away with me as I had so many things to do and places to be in.
Day 2 of the freight conference was just as interesting as day 1. The focus changed slightly which helped to keep it fresh and the range of speakers and their experiences added to that. I managed to stay longer than I expected but still missed one of the speakers I was really looking forward to listening to (Freightliner’s Heather Waugh) due to technical issues and a rejigging of the timetable. Despite that, I’ll give full credit to all the organisers for putting on a great event.
I made it back into Glasgow in time to meet up with friends from Vivarail, Porterbrook and the Rail Industry Association (RIA) – and enjoy the sight of battery and Hydrogen train together.
RIA had arranged an event on the Vivarail D-train which involved young and old rail professionals to meet and chat on an out and back trip to Barrhead and back. Meanwhile Porterbrook were just as busy showing people around their Hydrogen train between its regular runs out and back on the Cathcart circle.
I’ve many more pictures and anecdotes to add, but they’re going to have to wait for tomorrow when…
After a decent (but short) nights sleep I’m about to wander across the road to Carlisle station to head on up to Scotland for more COP26 rail events. I’ll update this blog throughout the day, so feel free to keep popping back and see what I get up to. My first port of call will be Glasgow before heading across to Mossend for the opening of the three day ‘low carbon logistics’ event…
Carlisle station’s a bit ‘brown bread’ (cockney rhyming slang for dead) at 06:30 on a Monday morning. A couple of folk were keeping warm on the early train to Morpeth but it wasn’t until the London and Glasgow trains arrived almost simultaneously at 06:48 that the station started to wake up. I’m now sat on Trans-Pennine Express’ 07:48 to Glasgow which has made its way North from Manchester airport. Bizarrely, those who oppose High Speed 2 (HS2) argue that services like this help airport expansion. Despite their mental gymnastics they can’t cope with the fact that if people are going to fly it’s far better than people take less carbon-intensive forms of transport to airports. It’s why more advanced countries than our are phasing out internal flights and putting people on services like this instead. It’s yet another example of why the UK ‘green’ movement is often anything but.
I’ve just had a wander through the train and reckon loading is at about 15%, which isn’t bad (but isn’t great either) for such an early morning service. There’s a real mix of ages. An old lady in a wheelchair is in my car, along with several dozing younger people. In the next coach are a a couple of guys working (one with his table strewn with paper printouts) whilst a besuited gent grabs some shut-eye.
I’ve got a table bay of four to myself and set up the mobile office to do some work en-route. The trolley’s been round meaning I have coffee (and a Kitkat) so all’s well with the world!
Getting to Mossend was easy. There’s regular Scotrail trains to nearby Bellshill where the event had arranged for shuttle buses to carry people to the site where marquees had been set op to hold the event which was opened by Scottish Transport Minister Graeme Dey MSP who gave an in-depth speech on the way Scotland is determined to tackle transport Co2 emissions.
We’ve had some really interesting presentations (details later) but now we’re off to see one of the freight locomotives being named. So (of course) the heavens have decided this is a good time to open! The organisers were prepared and we’ve been given natty DB red umbrellas.
We’re about to kick off the afternoon session after lunch and the the loco naming. GBRf named one of their Class 92s after the founder of PD Stirling. The engine was named by Stirling family members.
Time to bring the day to an end. The afternoon session at the conference was really interesting. Alex Hynes came back to speak once more, then we had an excellent panel session chaired by Bill Reeve of Transport Scotland. Called “Scottish Businesses & Industry Delivering Low Carbon Logistics” the panel consisted of Tim Hartley, Business Development Director, GB Railfreight. Kenneth Russell, Commercial and Strategy Director, John G Russell Transport. David Turner, Rail Director, Malcolm Logistics. Chris Swan, Head of Rail, Tarmac and Catherine Hall, Head of Strategic Planning, Network Rail.
The final session of the day came from Stephen Carr, Group Commercial Director of Peel Ports whose presentation on changing the face of how logistics networks work in the UK demonstrated how many road miles and tonnes of carbon could be saved by reappraising how the existing networks worked.
There was far too much ground covered to fit in this blog but I’ll be writing about it in detail at a later date.
As the afternoon unfolded emails I received changed my plans yet again. It seems that I’m much in demand here at COP 26 as two more short-notice jobs were arranged for me. This means I’m going to be doing a very good impression of a blue-arsed fly for the rest of my time here in Scotland.
Tonight I’m back in Glasgow staying with a good friend. Tomorrow is another day. Watch out for a disjointed rolling blog as I bounce around from event to event…
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I’m currently kicking my heels in Preston having travelled down from Scotland on an Avanti Pendolino this afternoon. I’ve had another busy but fun day in Glasgow, firstly checking out progress in electrifying the lines out to Barrhead and East Kilbride in order to get a few libray shots, then hot-footing it back to Glasgow Central in time to join the Vivarail battery train which was due to carry another selection of invited guests on a run out to Barrhead and back. This time the guests were more international and included representatives from Japan, Mexico and several Latin-American countries.The train performed faultlessy and gave a spirited run on battery power out and back.
Once the fun was over and with the winter light being ideal for shots at some of the locations I’d checked out earlier I sallied forth to Crossmyloof and Pollokshaws West where the OLE masts were illuminated by the setting sun and managed to capture the transition between two forms of traction as the lines are still worked by diesel multiple units which will be displaced one the masta that are appearing in their midst carry overhead wires. Here’s a couple of illustrations…
Hi-res versions of all the pictures taken over the past few days will be available on my Zenfolio website by tomorrow. I’ve been using my time on the Pendolino from Glasgow to get them all edited. The 11 car was packed when it arrived in Glasgow, but I managed to bag a table in the unreserved coach on the return and set up my mobile office – although the sunset and scenery did provide frequent distractions! I’ve a busy programme over the next few days so any time I can find to be productive is useful.
I must admit, I’ve really enjoyed spending all this time in Glasgow. It’s a great city that I’m very fond of. It has something for everyone. When I have some spare time I’ll flesh-out some of the blogs I’ve written with links, reviews and suggestions for places to visit. Places I’d never have found without the knowledge of a friend (Peter) who’s Glaswegian born and bred…
Apologies for the gap in blogging but yesterday was a hectic day spent chasing trains to get a rather special shot for a client that involved on the the UK railways most iconic structures. The Forth Rail bridge. I’ll add a lot more detail later, but here’s the shot that was achieved (after a came of cat and mouse with the sun) as Vivarail’s battery D-Train crossed the bridge at Dalmeny, heading back to Glasgow.
Today I’m taking it easy at the home of a friend. My stay in Scotland’s been extended by my client, so I’ll be here until Tuesday now – which is rather nice. Hopefully the weather might have chance to improve but as the next couple of days jobs are indoors it’s not to much of a problem, right, catch you later – we’re off for a bite to eat…
Peter introduced me to part of Glasgow I’d never explored before – Glasgow Green. It’s wooded parkland with open spaces and some fascinating buildings along the North bank of the River Clyde. Here’s a few images.