I hadn’t intended going anywhere today, exactly the opposite. I’d a shedload of pictures to sort out after my trip to the North-East the other day plus paperwork and all manner of gubbins. But I was up bright and early so managed to crack on with a lot of stuff, then realised that – actually – we’d been gifted a stunning day weather-wise. I didn’t want to venture too far, but the North’s railways are very much in the news at the moment due to the weapons-grade dishonesty from the Prime Minister and Grant Shapps (the Transport Minister, but don’t feel embarrassed if you’ve never heard of him before, he’s a classic Johnson appointee in that respect). So, I decided to head out to the railway between Leeds and York which is being electrified. Well, sort of – ish.
At the moment the wires are extending West from Colton Junction on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) along the route to Leeds but they peter out just before they get to the junctions East of Church Fenton. For those in the know, Church Fenton was *meant* to be where HS2’s Eastern leg joined the existing network. Well, before Johnson mothballed it anyway. Here’s the view from the footbridge at the station looking East. No, that’s not a railway bridge in the distance. That’s where the overhead masts end…
Although the day was sunny it was also bloody cold – and the existing train service isn’t exactly what you’s call ‘metro style’ either. Having arrived at Church Fenton I hung around long enough to get some useful shots and the early signs of hypothermia, then decided to move on to Ulleskelf, slightly further East. The only thing was – it was quicker to walk the two miles between them than it was to wait for the next train! OK, maybe I’m a glutton for punishment (and exercise) but the walk seemed like a good idea. Besides, this part of Yorkshire’s flat – which is why it’s so cold! Little old me was one of the few things in the way of the wind.
To be fair, there’s not a lot of reasons to hang around in this part of the world anyway. The old station building at Church Fenton’s been converted into an Indian restaurant but it’s not open until later. Neither’s the pub, but there is a very good community run shop only a few minutes walk away. It’s a friendly little place that stocks an amazing range of stuff – including some bottled real ales from local brewers.
The walk to Ulleskelf was mostly on farm tracks apart from the last mile, so it wasn’t taxing. Sadly, my timing wasn’t particularly good as I still had far more time to hang around than I’d needed to get the shots I’d planned – and the nearby pub only opened 3 minutes after my train was due to depart, so I spent a fair bit of time wondering what the hell I was doing this for. Talk about suffering for one’s art! Still, I did get the pictures I wanted – and more – as the light played ball for once.
Here’s a sample.
Remember, this line was meant to have been electrified years ago, but it was cancelled by a Tory Transport Minister. Now it’s being done piecemeal with no real plan, but this is the line Boris Johnson’s spinning as a ‘quicker’ upgrade than HS2. The fact HS2 would have acted as a bypass here and would have meant places like Ulleskelf (where this picture’s taken) could have had a far better service than the piss-poor one it has now is the last thing he’s bothered about.
I’m of the opinion George Osborne, the Tory Chancellor who championed the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ actually meant it. With Boris Johnson, what we’re left with is a (Peppa) Pig’s arse…
I’ve a favour to ask…
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