Monday, September 12, 2011

Every cloud has a silver lining (or two)


Yesterday afternoon I blogged briefly on the personal impact to me of the effect of over-running engineering works in the Leamington Spa area. Or it was also described as a 'broken down train'.

I was on what should have been the first Chiltern Railways train to venture North of Bicester North after the end of the blockade at about 14:15. The train was the first one, the problem was that it left Bicester 50 minutes late, with the following Stratford-Upon-Avon service attached to its rear end. Both services were then terminated at Banbury.

It appears that the train that broke down was an engineering train. To be precise, a tamping train. It had a major mechanical defect and had to be rescued by a locomotive sent down from Coventry. The problem was that the rescue train was apparently sent in the direction of Birmingham International first (ie the wrong direction). This meant that the line was not cleared for quite some time.

My understanding is that single line working was implemented between Banbury and Leamington Spa. This meant that many trains were cancelled and all that remained were seriously delayed for much of the afternoon.

Replacement coaches were laid on, but they were seriously deficient in number. Hardly surprising, because the engineering works should have finished and the coaches should not have been needed. The picture above shows the scene outside Banbury at 16:00. There were lots of seriously delayed people. Shortly after this picture was taken, I think Chiltern Railways managed to run a Birmingham bound service, so hopefully many of the people shown managed to get on the train before it left.

Silver Lining

After a short but seriously heavy downpour at Bicester North, on the return journey, this rainbow was spotted from the platform.

Many camera phones were brought into use by the hordes of designer shoppers, who were all as delighted as I was to see such a bright rainbow.

An otherwise dreary afternoon was considerably brightened.

Second Silver Lining

During the course of the afternoon, I managed to take this picture of a Chiltern Mainline Class 168.

The train was thundering down the new Fast Up Line (towards London), at Princes Risborough, at what would have been the line speed of 85 mph.

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