Category Archives: Transport

Northern Fail (Rochdale station, unexpectedly)

Wednesday 23rd May 2018, 7.40am (day 2,463)

Rochdale station, 23/5/18

There is nothing to complain about regarding the weather, at the moment. It has been glorious, for about three weeks now, certainly since the weekend in Scotland, May 5-7.

There is everything to complain about regarding the state of our local Northern Rail service, a metaphorical view of which could see the recent timetable change as a pint of week-old milk poured into some already dodgy sauce and, consequently, it curdling alarmingly. Was turfed off my original train at Rochdale, hence here you see almost the entire population of said train trying to get on the next one, which will itself already be busy. I waited a little longer, got in 20 minutes late, and the sad thing is, this is now the new normal. Never have I encountered a large company offering such shoddy service before, close to collapse, and we might even have it better on this line than many others.

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Zagreb central station (James Bond reference)

Wednesday 16th May 2018, 1.40pm (day 2,456)

Zagreb station, 16/5/18

The conference ended today but I am in Zagreb until Friday, and transited to a different hotel in the early afternoon. My walk there took me past the main railway station, a symbolic spot for those who have seen and enjoyed From Russia With Love — the best Bond movie (yes, it is) — as it’s here that 007 meets the evil Grant –the best Bond villain (don’t argue now) — posing as a fellow British agent.

Actually, those scenes weren’t filmed here, but in Turkey: and in the book, Grant and Bond meet not in Zagreb, but Trieste. But this is just detail….

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Forth road bridge

Sunday 6th May 2018, 4.55pm (day 2,446)

Forth Bridge, 6/5/18

We didn’t just visit Scotland for a melancholy afternoon at Raith Rovers. On the second day of three, we drove both ways across this fine transportation architecture. The new Forth Bridge was built after the old one started pinging apart a few years ago. Like the other two monumental bridges — now, one rail, two road, and one from each of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries — it is an elegant structure, worth crossing just for the hell of it.

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Docklands Light Railway

Thursday 5th April 2018, 2.00pm (day 2,415)

DLR, 5/4/18

Despite the frequency of my recent visits to London I had only been on the Docklands Light Railway once before, and that had been in the dark. On the first properly warm-with-blue-skies day of the year it was nice to take advantage of the driverless operation of these trains and sit right up front with a view that normally only drivers get. Reminded me of the El in Chicago in the end. Fun, and a reminder there are still many things to discover in London.

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The orange bikes

Tuesday 13th February 2018, 9.55am (day 2,364)

Bike pool, 13/2/18

Making transport communal has always seemed to me to be the most sensible solution. I haven’t owned a car for some twelve years now, at least, but I am a member of a car pool. These orange bikes get unlocked by some code you can get on your mobile phone, you use them, leave them at your destination so someone else, possibly, can use them there. So simple. Unlike the similar ones I saw in Brisbane five years ago, these ones are seen to be used now and again. And yet there are some who would react even to this basic and friendly form of socialism by frothing at the mouth.

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Passing through London

Monday 5th February 2018, 12.15pm (day 2,356)

King's Cross escalator, 5/2/18

London is the fourth most-often depicted place on this blog and it is true I spend a decent amount of time there. But a good number of its appearances are when I’ve just been passing through. Today started in Brighton — it ended in the Oxfordshire countryside (of which more tomorrow one way or another). But to get between those places by public transport: London sits there, sucking you in like a black hole.

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Foulness and crud

Tuesday 16th January 2018, 11.35am (day 2,336)

Weather crud, 16/1/18

Utterly foul, grim day, not even any good honest snow but endless waves of disgusting, sloppy sleet and hail that just kept being driven in on squally winds. After leaving the house briefly on a hunter-gatherer trip this morning I determined I would have nothing more to do with it. Today, the ‘smudges’ are in front of the lens, not on it.

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Empty canal

Tuesday 5th December 2017, 9.35am (day 2,294)

Empty canal, 5/12/17

It’s dim, dull, depressing. I dislike this time of year. Even the Rochdale Canal has given up the ghost in Manchester City Centre. You’d think, as this runs along Canal Street, they’d make an effort. Doubt the bar whose barge-cum-smoking-area lies among the debris is benefiting from this business-wise.

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Working on Sunday

Sunday 26th November 2017, 11.20am (day 2,285)

Track workers, 26/11/17

These guys were not the only ones working on this Sunday — though at least I combined my bout of labour with a trip to York for pleasant social reasons. But that journey contained no photos that I liked, so we’ll go with this one, captured a few minutes before getting on the train to said destination.

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Full-on CTS (Cattle Truck Status)

Monday 20th November 2017, 7.20am (day 2,279)

Cattle truck, 20/11/17

Monday morning, and it’s raining, and you’ve just bought a weekly ticket for the first time in ages (meaning you’re going into Manchester every day this week) and the 06:59 turns up as a two-carriage piece of obsolete shit as it always does, only today the previous service through was cancelled so by Littleborough it’s already achieved full CTS (Cattle Truck Status) and we haven’t even had the Rochdale passengers on yet. Happy Mondays.

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