Posted in Railways on Saturday 4th March 2006 at 9:57pm
A lack of planning and a general feeling of foreboding left me wondering what to do today. Needed to get out and about to blow away a week's worth of cobwebs, and decided that the criteria were simple - new track with a good pub at the end of it. Some quick research, coupled with my strange inclination to be in the Manchester area lately suggested Glossop. I'd been curious about the place after reading the Howard Town Brewery page, which celebrates a town which no-one else seems to have a good word for!
Braved the Rail Replacement Bus which took me as far as Weston this time. There were no advertised Saturday engineering works until a few days ago, suggesting someone messed up somewhere. Sundays of course remain difficult until the end of March. Quick change onto a Wessex unit at Weston, and into Bristol in good time to find a quiet spot on the 0828 Voyager to Birmingham. What was supposed to be a quick change at New Street turned into a long cold wait for the 1020 to Manchester, which finally limped in with no clear reason for the delay of 23 minutes. The stretch of line between Birmingham and Manchester has become very familiar lately - even more so that when I used to aim whenever possible to catch the Manchester-Bristol Class 47 hauled CrossCountry services a good few years back!
On arriving at Piccadilly we'd managed to make up a few minutes, and with luck I was able to catch the same Glossop service I'd originally planned for. Onto a strangely damp 323 for a journey out through the suburbs. First surprise of the day was spotting a gleaming 185102 outside what will soon be its custom-built new home depot at Ardwick. At Guide Bridge, headed straight on via the former Woodhead line. Coming on a Saturday meant that there were no services from Hadfield to Manchester which avoided Glossop, so it wasn't going to be possible to do the other side of the triangle at the end of the line today. However, stunning views of the snowy High Peak compensated for that. Soon arrived in an equally snowy, but bright and sunny Glossop. I always read a little about the places I visit beforehand, and I have to say I'd not been inspired by what I'd heard about Glossop. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find a bustling Peak District town, with some interesting industrial architecture. There was a genuinely welcoming feel to the place - except for the driver who shouted at me for straying into his path outside the Co-op, which was entirely down to a weird cobbled area that looked like a pavement! Explored a bit, slithering around on the snow in place, then headed for The Star, a GBG listed pub, for a pint or two before the train home. Lovely spot - almost next door to the station, with friendly staff and a fair range of ales on offer.
An uneventful ride back into Piccadilly, then a chance to grab some lunch before boarding the next Voyager back to New Street. An added bonus on the return leg of spotting a couple more spangly new 185s at Longsight. Had a very sleepy trip back, again as far as Weston where I changed for the bus. So, the new track every week record continues into March, but is threatened by news that Pathfinder's Rutland Renegade tour next weekend is postponed - probably to a week I can't do. Need to come up with some ideas for next weekend...
I've had a home on the web for more years than I care to remember, and a few kind souls persuade me it's worth persisting with keeping it updated. This current incarnation of the site is centred around the blog posts which began back in 1999 as 'the daylog' and continued through my travels and tribulations during the following years.
I don't get out and about nearly as much these days, but I do try to record significant events and trips for posterity. You may also have arrived here by following the trail to my former music blog Songs Heard On Fast Trains. That content is preserved here too.