Posted in Railways on Sunday 31st July 2005 at 2:55pm

Feeling very sleepy after a long but entertaining weekend. Straight from work on Friday to Bristol. Checked in at the Holiday Inn and wandered into town. Fish and chips at Pellegrinos then a pint or two at the Old Fish Market, before retiring early to prepare for Saturday's early start.

Checked out a little after 04:00 and after a hurried breakfast, across the street to Temple Meads to find 67030 awaiting our 05:00 departure for Edinburgh. Just before our departure, 37401 and 37427 arrived to take the 'Snowdonian II' tour up to Pwhelli. Nowhere near enough light under the roof at Temple Meads for a picture. Off on time, with 67030 in apparently fine form. Quite a bit of confusion with the normals and excursionists with two tours arriving at stations en route a matter of minutes apart. Despite lots of clear announcements, at least one gentleman in our carriage managed to get haulage behind both the 67 and the 37s!

Last pickup at Birmingham, now in daylight. Our end of the buffet carriage became quite sociable from here, with some fellow enthusiasts and a pleasant couple from Birmingham off to shop for model locomotives and jewellery. Some spirited running on the way up to Edinburgh, with notable sightings including a quartet of Thunderbirds at Crewe. With a team effort, managed to work out quite a bit of what remains abandoned at Springs Branch too.

37261 and 37197 lead the Royal Scotsman
37261 and 37197 lead the Royal Scotsman

On arrival made a quick survey of the oddly shaped Waverley station complex. Headed out into town, but noted from a bridge what appeared to be a 37 arriving. An ill-advised high speed dash down a slippery staircase and into Waverley in time to see 37261 backing onto 37197 and the stock of the Royal Scotsman. Waited to see this incredibly opulent train depart, with the verandah of its observation car already packed with inebriated looking posh passengers.

Spent the few hours we had available wandering the town, people watching on Princes Street and watching activity at the station. First Scotrail staff varied between the extremely friendly and the downright hostile, but generally had a productive afternoon including a quick spin out to Haymarket just for fun. Back to Platform 20 in time for the return of our stock, again headed by 67030.

67030 prepares to haul the return 'Edinburgh Flyer'
67030 prepares to haul the return 'Edinburgh Flyer'

Some very quick running on the return. Settled down to enjoy the company and since we were at the back of the buffet car, handy supplies of Spitfire and Bishop's Finger. Amazingly however, I can confirm that no alcohol at all was consumed by the two people in the following picture:

Which way back to Carstairs?
Which way back to Carstairs?

Enjoyed the day so much that I decided to book on a similar excursion to York at the end of August. Once again this one calls at Weston, so I feel duty bound to book and support it. Arrived back at Temple Meads a few minutes early, to find the station reverberating to the sound of the tractors which had successfully completed their jaunt to the Cambrian Coast. A sleepy lift home to my parents place thanks to my father. A fun day among pleasant people.

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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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