Outdoor Discoveries

It's amazing how things develop. After all, this blog started out as a news section for the rest of the website. With encouragement from readers, it has become a place for relating my countryside wanderings and musings about the world of outdoor activity. Walking, cycling and photography all are part of what I do out-of-doors and, hopefully, they will continue to inspire me to keep adding entries on here. Of course, there needs to be something of interest to you, dear reader, too and I hope that's the case. Thanks for coming.

Rail Changes Afoot

4th July 2006

A few weeks ago, I learned of a change to the CrossCountry rail franchise that has me quite concerned: the excision of the northern portion of the West Coast Mainline from the network so that trains can be cascaded to the London-Holyhead route. Though this is not due to occur until November 2007, I still have my reservations about the plans.

The result of the change is that CrossCountry services will not run north of Manchester or Crewe. From what I read in Rail magazine, Transpennine Express (TPE) is pencilled in for Manchester-Scotland services, a backward step in my opinion. The first problem is capacity: the Voyagers are 4/5 carriage affairs. The second is train quality: so long as TPE run their newer trains, it may not be much of a problem but they usually are 2/3 carriage affairs. Let’s hope that we don’t get the older ones where air conditioning failure is a real possibility. Still, there will be Virgin West Coast trains for Glasgow or, if I really feel flush, the East Coast Mainline.

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