Posted in Railways on Saturday 29th May 2004 at 7:52pm
Didn't seem to hang around for more than a few minutes anywhere today. This means, in effect almost ten hours of continuous rail travel. Pretty exhausting, even for me! Out on the 0809 from Weston, and a quick change to the 0905 to Cardiff which was awaiting departure in the Platform 1 bay. The presence of a large number of West Ham shirts persuaded me of the wisdom of getting a seat on this one, and I'm glad I did. We left a few minutes early, packed to the gills. They were a good natured bunch of fans though, and their singing was actually pretty tuneful. Given the result I don't imagine there was singing on the return journey.
Prepared myself for the journey with food and drinks, since I wasn't entirely sure what facilities were at Fishguard Harbour. Waited patiently for the 1016 - which duly arrived. A two-car Class 150 in place of the expected locomotive and coaches! It seems that short-formations on the Valley Lines along with the additional pressure of the football gave the loco hauled stock work elsewhere. Almost despaired, but couldn't really afford not to use the ticket, so hopped aboard for nearly three hours of DMU travel. Luckily the 150 was refurbished, and careful seat selection provided reasonable legroom. Not the journey I'd planned however. The service became very crowded from Llanelli onwards too with passengers for Ireland.
Some confusion over the routing of this service too. South Wales Mainline to Briton Ferry, thence via the Swansea District Line to Morlais Junction. On the return leg we were booked nearly an hour to do the 22-minute average journey from Bridgend to Cardiff. Chatting to the (always friendly and forthcoming) Arriva Trains staff revealed more confusion. The loco hauled service was supposed to go via the Vale of Glamorgan (hence the timings), but this replacement DMU was booked via Leckwith Junction and Ninian Park into Central. All very weird. Still, this meant an earlier than expected arrival - and a chance to get well away from Cardiff before the match ended.
The journey itself was pleasant enough - some quite striking scenery in West Wales, and from what I saw, Fishguard seemed like a pleasant little town. On the return leg, the tide was in south of Carmarthen, which made for some nice views too. Despite the disappointments and confusion, a fine day out with plenty of new track.
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.