Posted in Packages on Sunday 15th February 2004 at 1:02pm
It's time for a new release of the most comprehensive XChat script in existence, courtesy of FireCat and FuzzyTheBear, along with a little help this time from ProGuy, Discipulus, Novaflare and Landrocker.
New Features Include:
Posted in Railways on Monday 9th February 2004 at 10:51pm
Finally, after years of trying to find the time, the right route and the right ticket, the stars aligned. Since I had one more day of my long weekend, I decided to have another try at the Heart of Wales line which thwarted me at the beginning of the year.
Grabbed another Heart of Wales Circular Day Ranger, and set out on the soon-to-be-legendary 0934 from Weston. This sits for about 15 minutes at Temple Meads. During this time, we were moved from the back unit to the front, then vice versa. The front unit became a Portsmouth Harbour service and we left pretty late. This meant a long wait at Newport, which was also in some disarray as one member of staff seemed to think a platform was closed for emergency engineering work, but the rest didn't.
Finally got to Swansea in good time for the 1323 to Shrewsbury. The stock was an utterly filthy and pretty dilapidated 153. I could barely see out of the window, and the interior was also quite grim. The scenery however was just as impressive as I'd heard. The tiny stations en route provided a small but regular turnover of passengers, and it was a pleasant cold and bright afternoon for a slow trundle through the countryside.
Got stuck at Llanwrtyd Wells waiting for the late down train to pass. Took advantage of the delay to get out, wander around the remote station and enjoy the views and the fresh air. The delay ate into my wait at Craven Arms, and I stepped off the footbridge just in time to see the 1709 to Newport coming into view. A nice, uneventful and thankfully warm ride home!
Pleased to have finally done this troublesome bit of track. Calculated roughly 889 miles done this long weekend!
Posted in Railways on Saturday 7th February 2004 at 10:13pm
In desperately looking for something to do today, I discovered last night that a Cheap Day Return to Bicester Town was available for the very reasonable sum of GBP 16.00. So, this morning I set out on the 0915 as far as Didcot Parkway.
It was a really lovely morning, if a little chilly. Wandered around at Didcot, getting a few pictures of locomotives stabled there. Quite a bit of action on the avoiding lines too. A brief wander at Bicester, then back to Didcot via Oxford. Bought a ticket for Windsor & Eton Central, and travelled with a coachload of rather 'upper crust' young ladies ordering sushi for their arrival in London! Having not visited Windsor for over twenty years, I was pretty stunned when my walk from one station to another took me down the very same curved hill beside the castle which I remember so vividly from my last visit!
Noticed at Riverside Station that everything for Waterloo was terminating at Clapham Junction. Grabbed a return to Waterloo and set off on more new track. Arriving at Clapham, found a pretty chaotic situation - only Wimbledon Line services were going through to Waterloo because of engineering works. Made the trip to Waterloo and back since I had a ticket, but it really just held me up and confused me! Hopped onto a Hounslow Loop service at Clapham and got a few more precious miles of new track.
Changed at Staines, dashed over the footbridge and got a single to Reading, which got me back on track for home. A much longer and more convoluted route than I'd ever planned, but throroughly enjoyable. Just goes to show I can't be trusted to stick to my travel arrangements or my budget!
Posted in Railways on Friday 6th February 2004 at 11:18pm
More hastily booked leave today and Monday. Hadn't really planned much beyond using the remaining day of my Rover ticket. Set out late for Bristol, and hopped onto the 1252 for Brighton behind 31454. Lots of conversation on board about our experiences at Southwick a couple of weeks back. Interesting to see how it had become a sort of 'urban legend' among the cranks already! The train was also worked by my favourite buffet trolley attendant ("ice-creams, eggs, breads, thats two-hundred-and-twenty lucky pennies!"). He managed to have a huge and rather public argument with a passenger about making an older lady walk a carriage-length to get off the train instead of moving his trolley. All a bit strange, but entertaining.
Left the Brighton train at Fareham and travelled back to Eastleigh and then Romsey via the recently reopened Chandler's Ford station, getting a couple of tricky bits of virgin track into the bargain. The Romsey to Bristol was wedged solid throughout, leading to me having a less-than-prime seat in the vestibule facing the accessible toilet - people PLEASE close the toilet door on a 158 when you've finished!
Desperately planning activities for the weekend and beyond now. I notice we are entering a period of extended engineering works between Weston and Bristol next weekend. That's going to be frustrating.
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.