So heres a little recount of each day, not in great detail as I'd still be sat here next July!
Thursday 3rd July:
|22130 S130TRJ at Piccadilly|
A rude awakening by the parents messing around saw me up at just after 5am, so I took the chance to stick some of the previous nights videos on youtube before we all headed off to the Coronation Street tour which was fantastic! It really was great to wonder the street that I had been watching on TV religiously, several times a week since before I can even remember!
|Looking down Coronation Street towards the Kabin & Bistro|
|Transdev N116UHP & BF63HCZ in Rawenstall Town|
|ex-FGW 142063 at Newton-le-Willows|
Saturday 5th July:
A big plan ahead saw me up and dashing out of the Premier Inn for a nice 06:45 start. Although not really needing to be at Piccadilly until 08:30, I managed to slip in a perfectly timed run to Marple and back on 142004. I then boarded the 08:30 Arriva Trains Wales service to Crewe where I met Elliott. After filming a rather dissapointing pullaway performance of DRS 37405 on a test train, we continued into town on a VDL
|A Sapphire vehicle in Chester|
|The luxuries of Sapphire on 4404's upper deck|
|D158FYM in New Brighton|
|S281JUA, photo thanks to Elliott Farrell...|
kinda messed my shot up a bit!
After a couple of hours 'vegging' at Winsford and Hartford stations, we boarded London Midland 350259 back to Crewe where I then headed back for Manchester on Northern's 323236. Rather like those 323's!
Can't say it's very often I get a 142 , B7TL , DAF DB250 , Leyland Olympian and a half respectable Enviro400 in one day, so it really was a great day!
Sunday 6th July:
Breaking my usual Sunday habits, I was up and out by around 7am to chase up some last buses that I had intended to bash while on holiday. I had myself a bash on two Volvo B7RLE's and two Volvo B5LH/Gemini2's with First Greater Manchester. The Volvo B5's really are up to a nice spec, high back leather seating and a rather attractive silver livery, with Firsts pink & purple swoops. I find the B5LH's quite beastly sounding vehicles, escpecailly with the 12 speed I-shift box making it sound like an old classic manual bus!
And then comes the depressing part; home time! 13:27 saw us depart Manchester Piccadilly on Cross Country's 220019 to Birmingham New Street. There, we had a mad rush over to the opposite end of the station where we boarded a severely overcrowded , hot and uncomfortable 221135 for the long haul down to Newton Abbot, and we were diverted via Kidderminster.
To finish off a great 4 days, a ride on First Great Western's 143621 back down the "Riviera line" was much welcomed after that awful Voyager. Either First Great Western have tidied up their units in preparation for my return (Oh, I am full of myself haha!) or Northern's units were in an awful state, either way 143621 and 143619 which was hooked to the back of 621 looked abnormally clean and tidy!
Buses I had haulage on while up t'North were as follows:
|First Manchester||YJ60KCU||49101||Optare Versa Electric Hybrid||1||St Mary's Gate||Chorlton Street|
|Stagecoach Manchester||V614DJA||17614||Dennis Trident / Alexander ALX400||142||Chorlton Street||Plattfields Park|
|Stagecoach Manchester||V158DFT||17658||Dennis Trident / Alexander ALX400||143||Plattfields Park||Piccadilly Gardens|
|Stagecoach Manchester||V114MVX||34114||Dennis Dart SLF / Plaxton Pointer||118||Piccadilly Gardens||Queens Park|
|Stagecoach Manchester||S130TRJ||22130||MAN 18.220 / Alexander ALX300||118||Queens Park||Piccadilly Gardens|
|Stagecoach Manchester||W671PTD||18281||Dennis Trident / East Lancs Lolyne||143||Piccadilly Gardens||Plattfields Park|
|Stagecoach Manchester||W633RND||17633||Dennis Trident / Alexander ALX400||142||Plattfields Park||Piccadilly Gardens|
|Stagecoach Manchester||MX03KZP||18289||Transbus Trident / Plaxton President||142||Piccadilly Gardens||Oxford Road|
|Stagecoach Manchester||MX08GKN||19231||Alexander Dennis Enviro400 Trident||86||Oxford Road||Piccadilly Gardens|
|First Manchester||YJ60KCZ||49105||Optare Versa Electric Hybrid||1||Chorlton Street||Piccadilly Station|
|First Manchester||YJ60KDO||49109||Optare Versa Electric Hybrid||3||Piccadilly Station||Chorlton Street|
|Transdev Witch Way||BF63HDA||2778||Volvo B9TL / Wright Eclipse Gemini 2||X43||Chorlton Street||Burnley Bus Station|
|Transdev Burnley & Pendle||N116UHP||116||Volvo Olympian / Alexander Royale||8||Burnley Bus Station||Rawenstall|
|Transdev Witch Way||BF63HDA||2778||Volvo B9TL / Wright Eclipse Gemini 2||X43||Rawenstall||John Dalton Street|
|First Manchester||YJ60KCX||49103||Optare Versa Electric Hybrid||1||John Dalton Street||Piccadilly Station|
|Arriva North West & Wales||MX61AUO||4490||VDL DB300 / Wright Pulsar Gemini 2||38||Crewe Rail Station||Crewe Bus Station|
|Arriva North West & Wales||LF02PKZ||4216||Volvo B7TL / Wright Eclipse Gemini||84||Crewe Bus Station||Chester Foregate Street|
|Arriva North West & Wales||J800ABW||4408||Alexander Dennis Enviro400 Trident||1||Chester||Chester Racecourse|
|Arriva North West & Wales||V587DJC||2357||Dennis Dart SLF / Plaxton Pointer||4||Chester Racecourse||Chester Railway Station|
|Arriva North West & Wales||LJ51DJK||4203||Volvo B7TL / Wright Eclipse Gemini||411||Birkenhead Central||New Brighton Morrisons|
|Stagecoach Chester & Wirral||D158FYM||14166||Leyland Olympian / Eastern Coach Works||15||New Brighton Morrisons||Harrison Drive|
|Stagecoach Chester & Wirral||D158FYM||14166||Leyland Olympian / Eastern Coach Works||15||Harrison Drive||New Brighton Morrisons|
|Arriva North West & Wales||J400ABW||4404||Alexander Dennis Enviro400 Trident||1||Chester Railway Station||Chester Foregate Street|
|Arriva North West & Wales||S281JUA||4141||DAF RSDB250LF/ Alexander ALX400||84||Chester Foregate Street||Earl of Crewe|
|Stagecoach Manchester||MX60BVS||12050||Alexander Dennis E40H||43||Manchester Airport||Wythenshawe Bus Station|
|Arriva Manchester||MX61AUL||3105||VDL SB200CS / Wright Pulsar 2||18||Wythenshawe Bus Station||Manchester Airport|
|First Manchester||MX05CGZ||66848||Volvo B7RLE / Wright Eclipse Urban||181||Piccadilly Gardens||Broadway Retail Park|
|First Manchester||MX05CKC||66871||Volvo B7RLE / Wright Eclipse Urban||181||Broadway Retail Park||Piccadilly Gardens|
|First Manchester||BN61MWO||39214||Volvo B5LH / Wright Gemini 2||18||Piccadilly Gardens||Parkmount Road|
|First Manchester||BN61MWJ||39210||Volvo B5LH / Wright Gemini 2||18||Parkmount Road||Piccadilly Gardens|
|First Manchester||YJ60KCZ||49105||Optare Versa Electric Hybrid||1||Piccadilly Station||Chorlton Street|
I did also achive a nice 700 or so miles on the trains (including travel from/to the South West) while up there. Click here to see my rail miles log
All in all, it was a great trip and now I have the summer holidays in just over two weeks to look forward to. Roll on some more great trips!