Tag Archives: railway station

Rail replacement bus hell

Sunday 23rd October 2022, 11.30am (day 4,077)

Bus queue, Southampton, 23/10/22

Quite enjoyed yesterday’s trip to Portsmouth, or at least Portchester, but I can’t say Southampton has endeared itself to me as a place this weekend, and that continued this morning when I attempted to leave it. With the railway closed for engineering works we were obliged to contend with that modern phenomenon, the ‘Rail Replacement Bus’. What you see here is just the tip of the iceberg, as, brilliantly, the authorities had decided that the perfect day to run these operations would be one on which Southampton FC were playing at home against Arsenal. Christ knows what it was like after the match — but fortunately by then, I was well away.

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King’s Cross, early evening

Saturday 15th October 2022, 5.50pm (day 4,069)

King's Cross, 15/10/22

After the sheer excitement of the last few days, at least today was a livelier and more interesting one, involving a day trip to London. It was for work, and working on a Saturday is usually something I avoid at all costs, but this one was worth doing (being connected with my project on St Helena). King’s Cross was its usual busy and attractive self as I began the journey home. The first of four trips to the capital, of varying length, that I am scheduled to make over the next few weeks.

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Bike rack, Victoria

Monday 26th September 2022, 3.25pm (day 4,050)

Bike rack, 26/9/22

The Truss regime unveil their new approach to sustainable transport solutions for the North of England. Quiet and clean, these devices will doubtless prove a more than adequate substitute for TransPennine ‘Express’, and its present business model of dissuading absolutely everyone from using their services, at any time. “We think this will do for that scabby region up towards Scotland that we don’t give a toss about”, said Truss’s new Transport Secretary, who no one can remember the name of. “At £104.85 for a single ticket to Leeds, I’m sure the people of the North will appreciate the value-for-money that our investments in their transport infrastructure and welfare….. Whaddya mean you’re ungrateful? We’ve got some big tax cuts for the top 1% of earners to pay for!”

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Warrington Bank Quay station

Monday 29th August 2022, 5.25pm (day 4,022)

Warrington Bank Quay station, 29/8/22

I’ve been to more than a few railway stations in my time, and whether in the UK or elsewhere, few are as gloriously industrial as Warrington Bank Quay. Yet on the other side of the tracks — the Town Hall, parks, leafy streets.

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Rotterdam Centraal station

Thursday 25th August 2022, 10.30am (day 4,018)

Rotterdam Centraal, 25/8/22

In my mind’s eye there is a perfectly symmetrical version of this shot. But in the absence of its reality, this one will do.

This was the third of eight railway stations passed through today (nine if you count Wageningen bus station) as I travelled from a small provincial town somewhere near the centre of the Netherlands to a small provincial town somewhere near the centre of Great Britain (Hebden Bridge). And so ends my 11th complete year of doing this blog.

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Leeds station

Friday 19th August 2022, 4.25pm (day 4,012)

Leeds station, 19/8/22

On the move again — a schedule dictated by the rail unions. I support the strikes, though. Anything that pisses off the morons currently running this country must have some validity.

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Once a piano

Monday 1st August 2022, 5.25pm (day 3,994)

Piano remnants, 1/8/22

The ‘West Riding’ bar on Dewsbury station ranks up there with the world’s great railway station refreshment rooms. It’s quite as good as Stalybridge’s, and that’s high praise indeed. The random scattering of stuff around it, inside and out, seems natural rather than the affectations of an interior designer. It’s been a while since this piano made any music, but it remains interesting in different ways.

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Dundee station, Sunday morning

Sunday 10th July 2022, 10.50am (day 3,972)

Dundee station, 10/7/22

For the duration of this visit, and certainly today, its final morning, Dundee has basked in balmy sunshine that is atypical for the city. It contributed to a pleasantly chilled out wait for the train heading back south, which I think this couple epitomise. (My journey was fine all the way to Bradford, after which it descended into a farce of the kind only Northern Rail seem able to manufacture, but that’s another story, hours in the future.)

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The Victoria bee

Wednesday 9th March 2022, 7.55am (day 3,849)

The Victoria bee, 9/3/22

Third shot in a row taken in Manchester, and that’s the first time that has happened since early February 2020. I’m pulling an early one, too. Manchester, in need of some kind of symbol (as everything has to have a ‘brand’ these days), has adopted the bee, and statues like this in a variety of colours crop up at points in the city.

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On the way home

Monday 7th March 2022, 4.20pm (day 3,847)

16:22 to Leeds, 7/3/22

In comes the 16:22 to Leeds, about as on time as it gets. It didn’t get me home at the scheduled time but that’s just natural variation in the Northern Rail time-space continuum.

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