Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Griddly pod, griddly pod........

On the 3rd January MWM and I experienced our Christmas present to each other.

If you've been a regular reader you will probably know that MWM is mad about trains and we are regular passengers on the East Lancs Railway which runs from our town, Heywood, to Rawtenstall.
The Class 40 Preservation Society advertised its first tour in 20 years from Rawtenstall to Edinburgh and although MWM prefers Steam Engines we decided a day out even on a train pulled by a diesel enginge (see the photo below for the actual one), first class, would be a great Christmas present to each other and our friends K & T who came with us agreed.
Class 40 Diesel Locomotive
40145 "East Lancashire Railway"

It was a VERY early start as we had to board the train at 6.30 a.m. Although there was a buffet car and trolley on the train we took sandwiches and snacks with us and drinks for the journey. The journey was to take five and a half hours to Edinburgh, we were due to arrive there at around 12.50 pm with three hours free time before setting off on the journey back home.
The tour was a great success with the train carrying over 570 passengers from Rawtenstall to Edinburgh and we arrived in Edinburgh a few minutes early, having tackled both the summits of Shap and Beattock on the way north.

It being a monumental occasion the train was met at Edinburgh by the Lord Provost who was presented with a model of 40145 by CFPS Chairman John Stephens.

Luckily the weather was bright and clear, albeit cold and we had a wander around Edinburgh city centre, where there was even a little fairground.

and of course we called in a couple of pubs for some liquid refreshment.

Then we called in Marks & Spencer for some supplies for the journey home i.e. sandwiches and wine!

We made our way back to the station and waited for the train. When it arrived we barely had time to get settled in our seats before we were setting off.

When the train got back to Preston it was joined at the rear by 67007 another diesel, which is one of the two Royal Train locomotives.   This was needed to assist us back into Heywood because of technical problems where the East Lancs Railway joins Network Rail.  For anyone who is not an anorak train buff,  MWM can draw you a diagram and give you all the technical information if you're REALLY interested - no?  Ok I understand, me neither!

67007 Locomotive
Now painted silver for it's royal duties

If you click on the picture it should biggify so you can read the plaque
After such an early start it wasn't long before we were all catching forty winks before enjoying our M&S goodies. It was gone 11 p.m. when we arrived back at Heywood, absolutely worn out. We'd had a brilliant day, a fantastic Christmas present and are even thinking of doing it again next year if they run another tour.


Elaine said...

I'm glad you all had a great time.

I'm not the best traveller n the world, so the thought of 11 hours on a train would fill me with a sense of dread!

Having said that...if there was enough alcohol to last....

Dumdad said...

Sounds like a grand day out. When trains are clean and warm and the toilets work, they are my preferred means of transport.

Dumdad said...

Sounds like a grand day out. When trains are clean and warm and the toilets work, they are my preferred means of transport.

Little Brown Book said...

Ooh Rawtenstall is lovely - I used to go up there with my ex and his little boy to look at the trains. A very long time ago now mind!


G-Man said...

Awww...That looks like a Great Day. I love train travel!!

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

That sounds like such fun (except for the waking up early part)! I know my husband would love something like this.

I have seen a couple of beautifully restored vintage trains like this on our outings and I always wondered what they were up to. Now I know.

Great post! :-)

buffalodick said...

Quite a bit of America's railways have been ripped up and converted to bike/hike paths- that few people use...

Real Live Lesbian said...

How fabulously fun! I'm so glad you enjoyed yourselves! I'm jealous. I love trains!

Deb said...

What a wonderful gift! My husband and I would love to travel by train someday. It sounds like a somewhat romantic, slower pace way to travel. Glad you had a fun day! Take care.

Sandi McBride said...

I'm with you, I absolutely adore trains...I'd live on trains if it were possible! Great post! Gives my gypsy feet a fit of tingling!

Carol said...

Love Edinburgh. Is Jenners still there? That place reminds me of a Scottish Harrods. Once sent my Mum and dad on the Orient express for a 50th wedding anniversary present, my Dad still goes on about it now. Sadly Virgin no longer offer the cheap fares to london that they did so it's the car for me.

The Dotterel said...

There is something magical about trains, whether you're an anorak or not! I can't imagine Charlie playing with anything but a train-set when he gets a little older - well, not if I have my way!

Dianne said...

what a fantastic adventure!

citizen of the world said...

Looks like fun!

(Finally posted that ear!)

ciara said...

sounds like you two had a fantastic time. was mwm in train heaven? :)

Gledwood said...

that top train looks like what they called a Deltic... I always thought they looked well funky

i'm so old me I remember the days when trains had a front and a back, and then those InterCity 125s came in, snaking up and down the lines like poisonous catterpillars...

Daryl said...

What a wonderful thing to do ... and we got to share in it too! Brilliant!

Akelamalu said...

Ah the alcohol definitely helps Laney! ;)

I agree Dumdad. The train we went on was clean, warm and the toilets were spotless so it was excellent. :)

Oh yes Rawtenstall and Ramsbottom are really nice towns LBB.

Let the train take the strain eh G-man? ;)

The early rise was a bit of a killer JAPRA but it was worth it. Glad you enjoyed the telling of it. :)

That's a shame Buff. It was only reopened the line to Heywood in 2005 but it has been a bit hit!

If you love trains you would love the East Lancs RLL. If you ever get to England (up north) we'll take you on it!

It turned out to be a great idea for a Christmas gift Deb, there wasn't anything else either of us wanted. I hope you get to ride on a train.

Trains are a much better mode of travelling than cars aren't they Sandi?

Jenners is still there Carol though it is now owned by House of Fraser. I would just love to go on the Orient Express - I'm hoping for a lottery win! We travelled to London with Virgin trains in 2007 and only paid £62 each return (off peak)first class - it was fab!

Oh every boy should have a train set Dotterel! You're so right trains are magical.

It was a great day Dianne :)

Yes it was fun Citizen. I'll pop over to see your ear soon. :)

MWM was definitely in train heaven Ciara! ;)

Apparently it was a development on the Deltic design Gleds according to MWM. I'm so old I remember trains before they had steam!((wink))

Of course I had to share Daryl x

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

how lovely! that sounds like something sarge and i would have done!

smiles, bee

Finding Pam said...

What a lovely day you and you friends had today. I think that would be an awsome day trip.

I like the relaxed style in which you travel. My husband has not retired yet and when we go anywhere it is from point A to point B and he gripes all the way.
I am going to ask him for a vacation to the Applachian Moutains during the fall when the leaves are turning.

Thanks for the wonderful photos and letting us travel with you.

Robin said...

Thanks for Stoned Love. Been years since I've heard it. Don't remember how I found you, but glad I did..

Dr.John said...

I so envy the two of you. Since envy is a sin I suppose I now am in trouble.
What a wonderful gift.

TopChamp said...

Ah! Edinburgh's lovely round Christmas.

Spiky Zora Jones said...

I think that is a wonderful Christmas present. It's sounds like you had a fabulous time.

I love trains buthave not ever been on one. I keep asking my girl...lets take a train up north To San Francisco...but she says no...trains are slow. I said they are not...we can take a quick would be wonderful to do that.

I think I'm going to look into it and set it all up...she'll go.

Thanks inspired me.

ciao honey.. :D

Ron said...

OMG Akelamalu...what a BRILLIANT and Fun gift to share with one another!!!

I happen to LOVE trains too, so this would have been something I would have FREAKED about!

I've alway had this desire to ride the Orient Express!

Wouldn't that be AWESOME??

Thanks for sharing your Christmas gift, dear lady!

What a delight!

Lulda Casadaga said...

Ah, what a wonderful xmas gift. I love trains. My grandfather worked on the Erie-Lackawana line. I grew up across the street from tracks that were elevated. And now, I live near some train tracks. I love the sound of the horn in the distance. I have been on many trains and just love looking out the window and watching the world go by...A great way to travel indeed!

Cloudia said...

Aloha, Dear;
I would SO gladly trade you a day at Waikiki for a journey such as you describe ANYDAY ANYTIME. So marvelous. Trains, solid companions, a walk about Edinburgh. This was the most enjoyable vicarious journey I've ever had! and a man who prefers steam? KEEP HIM!!
(a makana is in da mail ;-)

Maggie May said...

Trains are always fascinating. My grandsons just love them too.

Akelamalu said...

I'm sure you and sarge would love that trip Bee :)

Oh Pam I'd love to visit the Appalachian Mountains! If you go you must blog about it. :)

Hello Robin and welcome! I'm glad you found me too! So pleased you like the music, do come back again.

Envy isn't a sin when you hold no malice Dr.John, which I'm sure you don't!:)

Edinburgh is lovely anytime of year Topchamp. It must be twenty years or more since we last went there and that was in October.

Oh yes Spiky, book it as a surprise, I'm sure your girl will love it! It's a great way to travel - just watching the scenery.

Ron when you come to England I will take you on the East Lancs Railway you will love it! The Orient Express is my dream too - butI'll have to keep doing the lottery to afford it!

Lulda, MWM used to live near railway tracks when he was a boy and he also used to go trainspotting all over the country.

You love trains too Cloudia? It seems there are many of us! :)

Our grandchildren love going on the train too Maggie. I guess it's a novelty as they are so used to car travel

CG said...

That sounds like an amazing present. I'm glad you both enjoyed yourselves!

cheshire wife said...

A great way of seeing the countryside especially on a fine day which you luckily had.

Spiky Zora Jones said...

I love the name of that your5th pic down...Dirty Dicks. hehehe.

Ciao honey.

Eel Wind said...

A wonderful christmas gift that you will never forget! ;)

CrystalChick said...

A fav movie of mine is 'Murder on the Orient Express' in part because of the train! Of course I can only enjoy them in movies and from others stories as I'd be horribly motion sick to ride one myself.
Sounds like a magnificent gift to each other and a fine time with friends too. Glad you had fun.

Akelamalu said...

It was and we did thanks CG :)

That's right Cheshire Wife it was a great way to see the countryside. :)

So do I Spiky which is why we just had to have a photo standing outside!

That's true Eel Wind.

Oh poor you Crystalchick. I used to be travel sick when I was young but thankfully I've grown out of it!

Bankerchick said...

You are still making your wonderful day trips. We have been camping a lot this past year in our trailer

Akelamalu said...

Oh yes we love our day trips. Nice to see you back from camping m'dear. :)

Travis said...

That sounds so cool! I've always wanted to take a trip on Amtrack here in the States.

Emmie said...

What a wonderful daytrip! Edinburgh looks lovely :)

I love the name of the pub :o)

Mel said...


Himself would have loved this one.

<-- will haffta show it off now!


Akelamalu said...

Oh go do it Trav! :)

We didn't see much of Edinburgh with so little time Emmie but what we did see was lovely. :)

Ah himself is a train enthusiast is he Mel?

Robin said...

that sounds like so much fun! england and scotland are still part of my dream (to do) list and i think i may have to add a train ride while there!

storyteller said...

What a wonderful present you gave one another! I have a friend whose husband loves trains and they do things like this in the USA frequently.
Hugs and blessings,

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