Posted in Railways on Saturday 17th April 2004 at 10:58pm


First visit to London for some time. Set out on the customary first train out of Weston, and set aside most of the day for some railway wanderings around bits of the Capital I'd meant to visit for some time.

Kicked off at Liverpool Street, heading for Hackney Downs. A brief walk to Hackney Central, and dodged engineering works (despite an overzealous Silverlink Metro employee trapping me the wrong side of 'indicent' tape barrier!). To West Ham, then to Barking on one of c2c's new Class 357s. These 'Electrostars' are as comfortable, if not a little more so, than the diesel 'Turbostar' on which they are based. Very impressed by my short ride. At Barking, a swift cross-platform change to a delayed and rather dilapidated 150/1 heading for Gospel Oak. As we headed North and West, the train became pretty packed. The GOBLIN (as the Gospel Oak and Barking Line is known) is a little backwater I'd missed out on - seems well used, if a bit run down.

From Gospel Oak to Richmond, on an increasingly jammed train. Soon realised that Richmond was being targeted by thousands of Rugby fans heading for Twickenham where a major match was going to be played. Since I'd noticed a few Bristolian fans heading up earlier, I began to rather dread the train home!

Mopped up a couple more of the South West Trains branches which fall within the Travelcard area - namely Chessington South and Hampton Court. Both pleasant journeys. Hampton Court Palace quite amazing to behold! Just a few of the most troublesome of these little branches left to somehow travel on now.

Headed East again, for an almost complete circle of the city today. By the time I left Sutton for London Bridge, I was wondering if I'd made a rather time-consuming move that meant I'd miss my booked service home. A few worrying moments, but some fancy footwork at London Bridge and a quick change for Embankment from Charing Cross saw me back at Paddington in time. Needless to say, there were some merry Rugby fans on board!

An exhausting day - and hardly my usual trip to London, but fun nonetheless.

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Lost::MikeGTN

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.

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