Posted in Railways on Saturday 22nd January 2005 at 8:09pm
Stayed reasonably local again this weekend. Since huge crowds were expected for the Tsunami Relief Concert at the Millenium Stadium, decided to see what Arriva Trains Wales would provide in the way of additional capacity.
Arrived at Newport at around 0930 to find quite a crowd of 60s and 66s on Godfrey Road. Cold but dry start to the day, with five passing freights in the first couple of hours, and a steady stream of the usual units and HSTs.
Things started to get very busy around lunchtime, soon after a couple more members of the infamous 'Gang of Four' arrived on the scene! I'd figured that the concert should be starting at around 1500, and around midday, crowd control and revenue protection swung into action. Huge queues to get into Newport station - and severely overcrowded Cardiff bound services. To compound things, a unit failed between Newport and Cardiff - which eventually returned to Newport and was abandoned on a very damp up through line. To make things even stranger, the staff decided to override the automatic announcements because of the overcrowding, and a guy with a voice like he'd inhaled helium began barking instructions for the next train to Cardiff!
Posted in Updates on Friday 21st January 2005 at 11:03pm
A week of plodding forwards and moving backwards. Finally conviced people at work I needed to just get on with things - and things promptly stopped happening completely. By the end of the week, the air of disinterested composure I try to convey clearly wasn't working at all anymore.
Anyone who works in School Admissions will understand the level of panic I'm facing just now. Awaiting a much delayed patch from our IT suppliers, trying to second guess what it will do, and trying to plan some kind of contingency if it doesn't do what it should. In the midst of this, some people seem to be engaged in an inter-LEA points scoring match which I'm dangerously close to the centre of.
The most frustrating thing is, I know I can do this job well. I've got excellent collaborative relationships with the onsite IT team, I've just about got a handle on how things work. What I haven't got is ultimate control over what happens when... and that, I'm sorry to say is what some people seem to want.
This rant is pointless, and probably misdirected. It comes at the end of a week where almost everything has gone wrong or underwhelmed me in some way. I've tried half-heartedly to plan for my leave at the end of the month, and even that has been unrewarding and dull because of the pervading sense of people mistrusting me and expecting me to fail.
Need to turn things around somehow.
Posted in Railways on Saturday 15th January 2005 at 8:11pm
Up later than usual after a good sleep - no doubt due to plenty of rather fresh air yesterday at Rugby. Pottered around until a text message arrived - despite damp weather a trip to Cardiff was on the cards. Got ready and headed for the station for the 1006 to Bristol. Quick change at Bristol onto a severely overcrowded 150242 for Cardiff.
Slow progress west of Newport due to an engineering possession on the fast lines. Noted several unusal locomotives working here, but this led to things being a little quieter than usual - particularly where freight is concerned.
Arrived to a very damp Central station, so took a short spin out to Queen Street on a Rhymney-bound 37425 just for fun. Also noted 37405 and 37411 working the Rhymney service today. Back to Central in time for two Class 60 hauled freights. No pictures due to being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and too wet to venture out beyond the platform canopy.
Failed to see my last Class 143, but saw almost the entirety of the others, along with a good supply of the usual units. Finally got a decent pictorial record of Wessex Trains second three-car Class 158.
Posted in Railways on Friday 14th January 2005 at 10:09pm
Sometimes things seem to work out - a short-notice day off work approved and a Virgin Value ticket available. So, set out on the 0832 Voyager from Weston, which was predictably very busy indeed. Crowds thinned out at Bristol, and whilst we waited for the road at Temple Meads I noted 60048 and 56051 beside us in the middle road having just arrived from Eastleigh. A good omen perhaps?
Changed at Birmingham New Street for a short hop to Rugby, arriving in reasonable weather - if a little chilly. Explored the station, which was surprisingly busy with fellow enthusiasts. Three Freightliner 66s stabled, along with a Virgin Thunderbird as expected. Also noted Network Rail 86901 and 86902 in the yard. Settled in at the North end of Platform 2 to see what developed.
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.