Andy’s blog


Just a quick message to gently spam about Andy’s new blog – a friend of mine and he’s only just starting this whole blogging thing… so please be gentle and encouraging!

Best wishes, and welcome to the blogosphere, Andy! :D

Trains part 3

Urgh, I shouldn’t have posted that earlier…

the 1128 train that actually arrived at 1139 was cancelled at Oxenholme, so I couldn’t get that one. I went for a wonder, onto the other side, and saw that the digital display boards were no longer showing the next train, but rather “Welcome to Oxenholme”. Obviously, they thought there’d be no southbound trains in the near future.

It was just after I’d got a phone call that I saw a Virgin Voyager to Glasgow entering the station on the northbound platform. Not wanting to miss it, I raced to get on it, but my effort – while appearing successful – was actually in vain. Everybody in the station tried and succeeded to get on that train, but the train was then too overcrowded to safely depart the station. I was one of those who got off the train to allow it to depart – given assurance that there was another train 10 minutes behind this one.

I’m kinda glad I did get off actually – I would have been stood next to a door which didn’t want to stay closed. In waiting for the next train, I managed to get myself a table seat, rather than the standing room only that it was on the other train.

I finally managed to arrive in Carlisle at about 1300ish. Two hours after I bought my ticket, and two hours after I was intending to get there.

Getting home wasn’t too hard, got the 1549 train back that actually left at 1646. A relatively uneventful journey, save for the awesome glow from the pantograph sparking – lighting up the area around the train with an amazing blue strobe light :D

All this for only a semi-successful visit – had I known earlier, I could have been much much more successful online.

Train travel madness part 2

So, after yesterday’s vain attempts to go to Carlisle, I finally decided to take the plunge and go for it today. About 10 minutes ago, I finally bought my tickets, and it’s looking more and more like the train is actually going to arrive.

I was intending to get the 1023 train to Edinburgh, but it seems that I’m now going to get the delayed 1128 train to Edinburgh instead. But, having only left Preston at 11ish, it’s not going to be arriving until 1138 (at the moment).

It seems like it’s the exact same problem as yesterday – an early train broken down coming over Shap, and all other trains getting stuck behind it. Then, all the train staff are in the wrong place for later trains to run. At least, that’s why they’re saying that the train couldn’t run past Preston.

Oh well, looks like I’ve got another 10 minutes to waste away, hope I can make it back from Carlisle later tonight… :S

It’s all shaking!

Well, I did feel it!

Sat at my desk, I suddenly became acutely aware that something wasn’t quite right, it’s a really hard feeling to describe. Something was happening, and it felt really weird. After a couple of seconds, I felt some definite shaking, as well as hearing stuff on my shelves rattling. Just a sudden soft jolt, not huge shaking, and then settling down to the same unnerving feeling that it started with. After a few more seconds, all was back to normal, except for my state of confusion, and suspicion that it could have been a few things:

  1. A small local earth tremor
  2. VERY Large lorry going past – but there was no traffic
  3. Something happening downstairs

It quite clearly wasn’t the second, and the third wouldn’t explain the strange feeling before and after.

Anyway – it turns out that it was an earth tremor, at least it was a tremor locally. Elsewhere in the county it might have been classed as an earthquake, but I reckon some of the stories are exaggerated a bit.

3.6 on the Richter scale, somewhere near the Honister Pass – at least that’s what BBC News are saying.

UPDATE: states it’s actually a 3.5, and is located near Coniston.

Travel chaos

So, in my vain attempt to go to Carlisle today, I found out that the trains in the UK actually don’t like the cold weather…

So, I was planning to get the 1023 train, but it was delayed until about 1050ish according to the ticket office guy, so I thought I’d leave it for a bit, check the departures board etc, before buying a ticket – and I’m glad I did.

Southbound was still waiting for the 0742 train to arrive – only 2h40m late! A train had broken down at Tebay, and all the other trains had got stuck behind it.

Eventually they managed to move it, but a lot of trains were in the wrong place after that.

This country seriously doesn’t know how to cope with cold weather…

2.5 feet is not funny

Seriously, who’s smart idea was it to land Edinburgh with 2.5 FEET of snow just before the exams? Like we aren’t stressed enough already with the prospect of the impending exams, just add a bit more stress of how to get to uni when there are no buses running.

The uni didn’t bother cancelling the exams until it would have been too late for me anyway.


Home for Christmas

Well, I decided yesterday that I’d come home today. Did I look at the weather forecast before deciding? No.

So I woke up this morning, expecting the amount of snow and ice to be roughly the same as it’s been for the past few days – minimal.

How wrong was I?

Several inches must have fallen overnight, sometime between 0300 and 1000 UTC. Of course, this meant my train was about half an hour late getting into Haymarket, the start of the train’s journey being Edinburgh Waverley – a distance normally covered in about 4 minutes by train.

And now the overhead power lines have failed just outside Carlisle, so the train ahead of us has got stuck.

Oh the joys of rail travel.

EDIT: That’s 58 mins late leaving Carlisle. :(