Posted in Updates on Thursday 17th March 2005 at 10:58pm
Back from Birmingham where I've been attending Capita's Software Consultation Groups for the Admissions & Transfers product, and its web frontend. Despite some reservations, I found it a really positive process. From the presence of a company director at the meeting, I think even Capita expected some barracking regarding the tight timescales and almost impossible pace of change we've all faced this year. Happily it didn't happen, and it was a constructive if exhaustingly busy couple of days, and I think some of the directions suggested in the SCG will become useful developments, particularly in the area of managing addresses which is a perennial bugbear.
Stayed with my grandmother and uncle for a couple of days during the SCGs. A chance to visit a couple of Redditch pubs and catch up with family news. Quite fun to commute into Birmingham each morning, even if Central Trains rather half-hearted industrial action threatened to cause me a problem on the first morning.
Its been a strange and busy week - I've only really begun to recover from the strange virus which laid me low over the previous week, and Tuesday in particular was exhausting - first session for the CMS course in the morning, into the office for the first time in a week later, then a journey to Birmingham made longer by errant cattle near Flax Bourton and crowds of racegoers at Cheltenham. Its going to be good to get somewhere near back to normal over the weekend.
Posted in Railways on Monday 7th March 2005 at 11:25pm
The final day of my long weekend, and despite reports that engineering works might run over I found things running smoothly on arrival at the station. A very chilly morning, and to be honest I was feeling less than fantastic. Quite pleased to get aboard the warm, if as ever solidly wedged 0832 Voyager. Equally cold at Bristol where First Great Western staff took their time about opening the doors on the ex-Midland Mainline set.
Plan was to spend most of the day at Didcot, with a diversion to Oxford including a quick pass of Hinksey Yard. Quiet and pleasant trip up to Didcot, where rather unexpectedly a couple of 60s were lurking on my arrival. As I arrived at the end of the platform, a Freightliner working zoomed gracefully around the curve - no chance of a photograph of that one.
Posted in Railways on Sunday 6th March 2005 at 8:34pm
The past few weeks of Sunday line closures between Bristol and Taunton comes to an end today, but only after a weekend of engineering on the Weston loop line. From late on Saturday afternoon, trains stopped calling at Weston and a complicated system began of ferrying passengers to Worle or Yatton to meet trains using the mainline.
On Saturday evening, having heard that two engineers workings from Westbury had entered the loop at Uphill Junction, I went for a very rare walk into Weston. I followed the line southwards, and at the end of Ridgeway Avenue, spotted a light in the distance. Once again, and rather typically this weekend, there was no way I was going to get a photograph. I found 66028 on 6W23 ticking over at a signal just south of the Brighton Road bridge. Vegetation, a deep cutting and no light from the road meant no shot. Spotted more lights in the distance, and set out once again for the Devonshire Road bridge. Plenty of light this time, but the locomotive (60017 on 6W24) was hard by the bridge. I wandered around and when I finally felt I had a possible shot, I noticed that the locals were paying me quite a bit of interest! I decided this was not the time or place to get the camera out, and went home.
Today was a little better - a cold day but bright sunshine. Experienced the coach service to Worle in the morning, almost missing the connection due to a coach driver who 'got lost' between Weston Milton and Weston-super-Mare stations! On coming back into Weston, spotted a rake of Network Rail hoppers sitting east of the possession. Deposited belongings at home, grabbed the camera and set out for the footbridge at Langford road.
Posted in Railways on Friday 4th March 2005 at 7:46pm
Spent much of today trying to think of productive uses for a long weekend of leave practically forced upon me by my deteriorating patience, increasingly difficult temperament and massive amount of outstanding time off. It was too late to find cheap fares to anywhere interesting, and for much of the weekend its buses only out of Weston. So - not a great time to be off work at all.
After a couple of trips into town to complete errands which I'd meant to do all week but which a strange superstition and worry had prevented, I decided to head out in chase of 6Z43 - otherwise known as 'The Stoneliner'. I calculated that I could head it off at 'the pass' of Bristol Temple Meads based on a timing received at Cockwood Harbour! Hardly scientific.
And very nearly wrong. Just a few minutes after I found my way to the cold damp end of platform 7, I was surprised by the sight of Freightliner wagons passing between platforms 11 and 13. I fumbled with the camera and got a poor shot of 66601 disappearing into the sunset, complete with 'Stoneliner' headboards.
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.