The Anonymous Widower

Thoughts On Midland Main Line Electrification

I have been thinking about how the method of electrifying the Midland Main Line might change if the Aventra IPEMU was available.

These are thoughts in no particular order.

The Battery High Speed Train

An Aventra uses a modern version of the same bogies that are used in the Class 222 trains, which are capable of 200 kph. As the Class 387 train, which is a version of the Electrostar, can travel at 110 mph, I wouldn’t rule out that the more modern Aventra could run at 200 kph or 125 mph.

Acceleration on batteries would be the problem, not maintaining a high speed. that had been built up whilst running under the wires.

Also, when the train comes to the end of its northward journey at say Corby, it has to brake. With regenerative braking on the Aventra IPEMU, all of this energy would go back into the batteries.

So does this mean that no charging would need to be provided at say Corby?

I’m not totally sure of the mathematics and physics, but I’m certain that a battery electric train with regenerative braking, would put a significant part of the electricity it would need to accelerate away from a station, into the batteries as it stopped.

This would mean that stops at Wellingborough and Kettering would not stop Corby services from reaching their destination.

St. Pancras to Corby

I estimate that the distance from the end of the electrification at Bedford and Corby station is about thirty five miles.

This would mean that this route out of St.Pancras could be covered by an Aventra IPEMU.

Would this release a Class 222 train for use elsewhere? Or would the Aventra IPEMUs enable East Midlands Trains to offer more capacity or an increased frequency on this service?

St. Pancras to Leicester

I estimate that the distance from the end of the electrification at Bedford and Leicester station is about fifty miles.

This would mean that this route out of St.Pancras to Leicester could be covered by an Aventra IPEMU, especially if it were possible to recharge the train at Leicester, using the sort of short electrification, I wrote about at Rugeley Trent Valley station in Up And Down The Chase Line.

Leicester has problems as a station, as this extract from Wikipedia says.

Train operators using the station include CrossCountry and East Midlands Trains. Due to a 15 mph maximum speed to the south of the station, all passenger trains stop at the station. Up until the winter 2008 timetable, the morning southbound The Master Cutler express from Leeds to London St Pancras was an exception although this now also calls.

Leicester is a bottleneck station as it has only four platforms. All platforms are well utilised, especially platforms two and three which receive freight as well as passenger trains. A freight loop goes to the east of the station alongside the carriage sidings which run adjacent to platform four.

This Google Map of the station shows the platforms and the freight loop.

Leicester Station

Leicester Station

It does look that there would be space to expand the station and from this section in Wikipedia, I’m sure Network Rail are working on an upgrade to the area to address all the problems.

It would appear to be stating the obvious to say, that Leicester station must be sorted first before any electrification in the area.

An extra bay platform would probably allow Aventra IPEMUs to run an electrified service to St. Pancras, if East Midlands Trains felt this was needed. Because of the regenerating braking of the train, it might not be necessary to provide a means of charging the trains at Leicester.

Creating A High Speed Route To Chesterfield and Sheffield

A few years ago, much of the Erewash Valley Line was upgraded ready for electrification and high speed running. On the Future of this line, Wikipedia says this.

Network Rail as part of a £250 million investment in the regions railways has proposed improvements to the junctions at each end, resignalling throughout, and a new East Midlands Control Centre.

As well as renewing the signalling, three junctions at Trowell, Ironville and Codnor Park will be redesigned and rebuilt. Since the existing Midland Main Line from Derby through the Derwent Valley has a number of tunnels and cuttings which are listed buildings and it is a World Heritage Area, it seems that the Erewash line is ripe for expansion. As the new signalling is rolled out, train detection is moving away from the traditional Track circuit detection of trains to Axle counting.

So could we see all of the very fastest services from St. Pancras to Chesterfield and Sheffield using this route?

Is the route from Trent Junction in the South to Chesterfield and Sheffield in the North ready for electrification?

Network Rail must ensure that as much of the line is capable of 125 mph running and that all bridges and tunnels have sufficient clearance from London to Sheffield via Chesterfield.

Creeping The Electrification North

From Bedford the electrification would be crept north at a sensible pace, which would be designed to cause minimum disruption to services.

Every mile it went north would increase the reach of the new electric trains, but only after the bottleneck of Leicester was eased to allow high speed running through the station.

The Electric Spine

If the Electric Spine was to be implemented in full from Southampton to Sheffield and Doncaster, then the electrification must be completed North of Bedford.

But as there are a lot of places where the electrification will not be completed elsewhere, will we see a shift towards electro-diesel freight locomotives like the Class 88.

So although freight would take advantage of an electrified Midland Main Line, it may not be as important as many think.

Completing The Electrified Routes to Sheffield, Nottingham and Derby

These three important cities all have extensive local rail networks, that could benefit from an electrified hub, so that Aventra IPEMUs could be used to bring benefits to all the communities served by diesel multiple units and in Sheffield’s case, quite a few Pacers.

So as a minimum, this electrification must be completed.

  • East Midlands Parkway to Derby
  • East Midlands Parkway to Nottingham
  • East Midlands Parkway to Chesterfield and Sheffield via the Erewash Valley Line.

Chesterfield to Derby would probably be filed in the Too Difficult box, but would be an easy run for an Aventra IPEMU.

Note that I would start the electrification from East Midlands Parkway, as this station and the Airport are talked about as destinations for tram-train services.

Obviously to complete the Electric Spine, the following electrification would also need to be done.

  • Complete the electrification between Bedford and East Midlands Parkway.
  • Sheffield to Doncaster.

But once Sheffield station is electrified none of the many local lines reaching out from the city would need to be electrified, as most services could be run using Aventra IPEMUs. Obviously, if there was a special reason like freight or tram-trains, this wiring would only help the Aventra IPEMUs.

New Elecric Services

Once electrification has been installed up the Erewash Valley Line to Sheffield, lots of important places become within range of Aventra IPEMUs running from St. Pancras.

  • Barnsley
  • Bradford
  • Huddersfield
  • Leeds
  • Manchester

It would also mean that several existing cross-country services could be run using electric trains.

  • Liverpool to Norwich
  • Nottingham to Cardiff
  • Bristol to Newcastle

Remarkable in some ways as a lot of electrification has been dropped.

September 28, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ilkeston Station In A Few Years Time

I am not putting a time-scale on this, as there are so many possibilities in the mix.

I think we can assume that at some point, there will be a new station, that will look substantially like this visualisation.

Ilkeston Station Visualisation

Ilkeston Station Visualisation

The Wikipedia entry for Ilkeston station says that the station is expected to open in August 2016. I think this may be challenging, but there is one factor that makes building a station here easier. It would appear that there will not be any substantial new track, so other than the station, there should not be a great deal of work to do, before trains can provide a service at the station.

There was also a substantial amount of engineering work done to the line through Ilkeston and Langley Mill in Summer 2007.

The Initial Train Service

I had intended to check whether trains between Nottingham and Leeds that call at Langley Mill, actually pass through the Ilkeston station site, when I visited Ilkeston. But as the weather was so bad and I was sitting on the other side of the train, I didn’t see anything.

I shall certainly be going to Nottingham on October 24th, so if I don’t get the information by then, I can take a detour.

If the trains that go through Langley Mill can stop at Ilkeston, the station would not have to wait long before the timetables were adjusted, so that they called. According to Wikipedia, this is the services at Langley Mill.

Northern Rail run an hourly service between Nottingham and Leeds that stops at Langley Mill. This service started from the December 2008 timetable change.

East Midlands Trains operate a few services per day from Langley Mill southbound to Nottingham and beyond (usually Norwich) and northbound to Sheffield (usually continuing to Liverpool Lime Street).

Some East Midlands Trains Mainline services from London St Pancras to Sheffield / Leeds call here, but generally interchange with London services should be made at Nottingham.

 

Incidentally a typical Nottingham to Leeds service stops at Langley Mill, Alfreton, Chesterfield, Dronfield, Sheffield, Meadowhall, Barnsley and Wakefield Kirkgate.

So will the new station at Ilkeston get a similar service? I think that the service will be at least as good as that to Langley Mill.

After all the timetable change of 2008 was implemented, when it was quite likely that a station would be built at Ilkeston, so I would assume timings make allowance for a possible stop at Ilkeston

In fact of the two stations, if either gets preference for services, it is more likely to be Ilkeston, as unless Langley Mill is upgraded it is a very basic station according to Network Rail.

One of the usual problems, when starting a service is finding the trains to run it. This delayed the opening of the Todmorden Curve by several months.

But in the case of services at Ilkeston, it’s mainly a process adjusting schedules so that passing trains, stop at the station.

Problems On The Midland Main Line Through Derby

It’s an ill wind, that blows nobody any good!

Ilkeston station is actually on the Erewash Valley Line, which runs from Long Eaton to south of Chesterfield joining the Midland Main Line at both ends.

In the Future section for the Erewash Valley Line on Wikipedia, this is said.

Network Rail as part of a £250 million investment in the regions railways has proposed improvements to the junctions at each end, resignalling throughout, and a new East Midlands Control Centre.

As well as renewing the signalling, three junctions at Trowell, Ironville and Codnor Park will be redesigned and rebuilt. Since the existing Midland Main Line from Derby through the Derwent Valley has a number of tunnels and cuttings which are listed buildings and it is a World Heritage Area, it seems that the Erewash line is ripe for expansion.

So it looks like Ilkeston could be on a by-pass of the Midland Main Line.

Electrification

The Midland Main Line is scheduled to be electrified and the services on the line could be provided by Class 800 and Class 801 trains,

I just wonder if Class 800 electro-diesel trains were run through Derby and Class 801 electric trains were run on the Erewash Valley Line, this might get round the problem of the heritage lobby objecting to electrifying through the World Heritage Area of the Derwent Valley, with its Grade 2 Listed tunnels and cuttings.

Derby would still get new trains. It would just be that the faster electrified ones ran up the Erewash Valley Line.

Would these trains call selectively at Long Eaton, Alfreton and Ilkeston?

Services To Derby

Ilkeston is in Derbyshire, so I expect there will be pressure to have a direct service to Derby.

At present, if you want to go between Langley Mill and Derby, you have to change at either Nottingham or Chesterfield.

I suspect that when Ilkeston station opens the route between Ilkeston and Derby will be as tortuous as it is now from Langley Mill.

Look at this Google Map of the area.

Around Ilkeston

Around Ilkeston

Ilkeston is indicated by the red arrow.

There must be a better way, than changing trains in Nottingham or Chesterfield.

But what?

The Erewash Valley Line goes South to Long Eaton, which has several trains per hour direct to Derby, so this could be the key to getting to Derby.

In a Notes on Current Station section on the Wikipedia entry for Long Eaton station, this is said.

The usable length of the station platforms is shorter than the express trains which stop here, so passengers arriving from London, Derby or Sheffield will usually have to get off from the front four carriages. Elderly passengers or those with pushchairs, heavy luggage or bicycles wishing to alight at Loughborough should take particular care to board the correct portion of the train. Cycles may have to be stored in vestibules away from the cycle lockers depending on the orientation of the train.

It is planned that both platforms will be extended by up to 10 metres by no later than 2012.

It is anticipated that developments along the Erewash line will result in changes for Long Eaton station. A plan drawn up in 2011 recommended a new Derby to Mansfield service via new stations at Breaston & Draycott, Long Eaton West (renamed from Long Eaton), Long Eaton Central, Stapleford & Sandiacre, Ilkeston, Eastwood & Langley Mill (renamed from Langley Mill), Selston & Somercotes and then to Pinxton via new trackbed connecting with the Mansfield line from Nottingham at Kirkby in Ashfield.

It strikes me that work at Long Eaton, the several new stations and improvements north of Langley Mill would enable direct services from Ilkeston to both Derby and Mansfield. A trackbed from Langley Mill to Kirkby in Ashfield is shown on Google Maps.

Langley Mill to Kirkby-in-Ashfield

Langley Mill to Kirkby-in-Ashfield

Alfreton is the station at the top left and Kirkby-in-Ashfield is at the top right. The Erewash Valley Line from Langley Mill, enters at the bottom and splits with one branch going to Alfretonand the other going East to cross the M1 and join the Robin Hood Line south of Kirkby-in-Ashfield.

On an Ordnance Survey map, dated 2009, the railway is shown as a multiple track line, probably serving collieries and open cast coalfields.

It all sounds very feasible too! Especially, as the Erewash Valley is an area of high unemployment, low car ownership and a dependence on public transport.

IPEMU Trains For Ilkeston?

If the Erewash Valley Line is electrified, so that Class 801 can run fast from London to Chesterfield and Sheffield, one option for the local services is to use Aventra IPEMU trains, which will be built in Derby.

IPEMU stands for Independently Powered Electric Multiple Unit. These trains have all the features of the standard four-car electric multiple unit, but they have an on-board battery that is charged when running from the overhead line and gives them a range of about sixty miles, when the wires run out.

So chargeing the battery on the Erewash Valley Line, they could reach Derby, Mansfield and Nottingham.

If Nottingham and Derby weren’t electrified until a later phase, then Class 800 electro-diesel trains could work the routes to London, until full electrification were to be completed.

Watch what happens about IPEMU trains.

Rumours have appeared in Modern Railways that orders for trains powered by the technology are imminent.

Tram-Trains For Ilkeston?

In my view the Nottingham Express Transit will get overcrowded in a few years and the capacity of the system will have to be increased.

One way to increase capacity would be to run tram-trains to destinations away from the city on the heavy rail lines. Once in the city centre they transfer to the tram lines and run as trams to suitable destinations, thus increasing the number of trams running on the various lines.

So tram-trains could say run between Ilkeston and say the Old Market Square or the Queens Medical Centre and then on to one of the terminals.

It all sounds rather fanciful, but go to Karlsruhe or Kassel and see the tram-trains in action.

Ilkeston To HS2

Tram-trains, IPEMU or standard trains from Ilkeston and other places to the North could link quite a few places to the proposed East Midlands Hub station at Toton.

Conclusion

The more I look at the future of Ilkeston station, the more I realise that constructing the new station is just petty cash in the big scheme of things around rail and tram expansion in the East Midlands.

A lot of money has been spent in sorting Nottingham station and expanding the Nottingham Express Transit and a lot more will be spent in improving and electrifying the Midland Main Line and the Erewash Valley Line. The latter will be equipped with several new stations and probably new trains of some sort.

 

 

September 4, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 3 Comments

Tram-Trains To East Midlands Airport

I have a Google Alert looking for tram-trains and it found this article on the Nottingham Post entitled Could tram-trains link Nottingham to East Midlands Airport?

It’s a thought!

The article talks about a proposal to create a link between East Midlands Airport and the Midland Main Line, that would allow tram-trains to connect the airport to cities like Nottingham, Derby and Leicester and the proposed HS2 station at Toton.

This is a Google Map of the area between the Airport and the Midland Main Line.

East Midlands Airport, the M1 And The Midland Main Line

East Midlands Airport, the M1 And The Midland Main Line

East Midlands Parkway station is at the top right of the map.

I think that properly designed this idea could have legs.

A few points.

  1. Some doubt the South East will ever get a new runway, so improving connections to East Midlands Airport would surely mean more passengers flew from their local airport, rather than a congested Heathrow.
  2. It would improve links between the major cities and population centres of the East Midlands and they probably need an improved turn-up-and-go four trains per hour service between each.
  3. There are a number of intermediate stations to the various destinations, which probably need better connections.
  4. The tram-line would also cross the M1. So would a pick-up/drop-off tram stop ease travel in the area?
  5. Once the tram-train technology is proven and approved and the Midland Main Line is electrified, I doubt that creating the link would be a difficult planning or engineering project.

I will be very surprised if at some point in the future, some form of light or heavy rail line doesn’t reach East Midlands Airport.

But then I think tram-trains would be best.

August 27, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Match Twenty-Five – Ipswich 0 – Derby 1

If the biggest crowd at Portman Road for four years had welcomed Charlton, them the cowd for the visit of Derby must be one of the largest at the ground for a televised Championship match, with the exception of  an East Anglian Derby.

Sadly though, Ipswich lost after giving away a silly goal and are now down to third place, one point behind Bournemouth and Derby.

Network Rail have decided to play rebuilding the railway again, so despite going to the match in style, I came home in an uncomfortable Class 321 train, with no wi-fi or onboard catering.

I don’t think I’ll be going First again, until normal service is resumed.

It’s funny, but we’ve played two lunchtime matches at home this season and lost both one-nil. The other was against Norwich.

We shouldn’t play any more!

 

 

January 10, 2015 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Match Five – Derby 1 – Ipswich 1

Derby is one of the easier grounds to get to from the excellent rail station, in that it’s just about a walk of about ten minutes.

Today though, I went via Oakham to have lunch with a friend, so I had to change trains twice at Peterborough and Leicester. Both changes were the ones that should be avoided, where you have to climb up one set of steps and then down to another platform. There were lifts, but in some places on the rail network, we’re seeing reorganising, that mean the up and downs are minimised. We need more innovative thinking.

Oakham is a small simple station, with a pub and brewery attached, so it’s a good place to meet for business or pleasure.

Oakham Station

Oakham Station

The picture shows the station from the footbridge. In the distance you can just see the infamous level crossing, that is a pain to people living in the town. The signal box there was used as a model for the Airfix kit.

After an excellent lunch at the Finches near Oakham, I arrived a few minutes late at Derby and thought I’d buy my return ticket before the match.

£141 - You Must Be Joking!

£141 – You Must Be Joking!

This was the only ticket offered by East Midlands Trains. A First Anytime Single at £141.

For Ipswich fans, the match was overshadowed by the news that David McGoldrick is leaving for Leicester. If he had played, the result might have been different as a couple of chances missed in the second half, were possibly the sort, he wouldn’t have missed.

But if Mick McCarthy has got the reported eight million for McGoldrick, then turning round the player’s career and getting half a season out of him for Town, has been good business for all concerned. Let’s hope Mick can resurrect Conor Sammon‘s career in the same way.

The match was enlivened by the debut of Ted Bishop, who after a quiet first half, started to create trouble for Derby in the second half. In dealing with him in one instance, Derby gave away the free kick that led to Ipswich’s equaliser. One shot from distance and another he had when he came on as a substitute at Crawley, show that he might have some serious talent in the future as a scorer from midfield,  in the manner of Matt Holland. In some ways, the shot today, was reminiscent of some from Ipswich’s legend Ted Phillips, who I saw score several goals in the early 1960s.

When Bishop tired, he was replaced by Alex Henshall, who showed he could torment the Derby defence.

So two youngsters with a combined age of 38, showed the Ipswich fans, that this season might not be in the dire mould of some of recent memory.

I eventually got home with a ticket that cost £42.90, which was just forty pence more than their on-line price and £2.70 more than the sum of my two tickets to get to Derby. But why don’t East Midlands Trains make their ticket machines easier to use. The trouble was that I tried to buy a ticket via EMTrains, rather than Any Permitted Route on the machine. But as East Midland Trains was the operator I needed for London, surely my choice was logical.

Incidentally, on the train to London, I sat with a Derby fan, who said that for Tuesday night matches he reluctantly had to drive, as there is no late London-bound train after the match.

I don’t find East Midlands Trains good value and avoid them, if I possibly can.

 

August 30, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Musings On Airliners And Engines

I flew to and from Iceland in an Icelandic Air Boeing 757. It’s funny, but I think that these are my only journeys in the type, as normally on short-haul flights around Europe it’s a Boeing 737 or a babyAirbus.

The 757s, that I flew on were powered by Rolls-Royce RB211-535 engines. These engines first flew on a 757 in January 1983 and were a launch engine for the airliner.

Incidentally, I wonder when the two Icelandic 757s I flew were built! Not that I worry, as well-maintained aircraft can last a lot longer than thirty years. These weren’t that old and were probably about twenty.

When I was at University, the father of one of the fellow students,  worked at Tesco in Derby. Tesco used to supply Rolls-Royce with time-expired frozen chickens, which were used by the engine company to test the first version of the RB-211 with its carbon-fibre fan blades for bird-strikes. That must have been about 1966, a few years before the RB211-22 entered service in 1972 on a Lockheed Tristar.

Today in the Sunday Times, there is an article which talks about how Airbus and Boeing, instead of designing new aircraft, are redesigning old ones. The article talks about the Airbus A330neo powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines. And what is a Trent engine? It’s a developed and renamed RB-211. Someone got the basic design right fifty years ago.

One paragraph in the Wikipedia entry for the Trent 700 must be shown.

Compared to the A330 engines the Trent 7000 will improve specific fuel consumption by ten per cent, double the bypass ratio and halve perceived noise enabling the A330neo to meet the stricter London airport (QC) noise regulations of QC1/0.25 for departure and arrivals respectively.

But then they’re only following a long tradition of the company or squeezing every drop of performance out of a design, just as they did with the Merlin.

Is it just a coincidence, that another of the UK’s long-lived and much-developed engineering icons; the InterCity 125, also has strong connections to the city of Derby in the years around 1970?

July 20, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Things You Find When You Look Through Old Photos

I’ve just bought myself a cloud and I’m putting all the family pictures on DVD up there, so that my son and certain old friends can see them.

I found this photo of a sign on the outskirts of Leicester or Derby.

The Things You Find When You Look Through Old Photos

The Things You Find When You Look Through Old Photos

I wonder what happened to Bubbles and Babes?

Did the bottom fall out of the market?

The picture was taken around 2006 or so!

 

July 4, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

A Crazy Day!

Yesterday was a day I won’t forget.

As I said in this post, I was having a lot of frustrations with East Midland Trains, and decided to come back by Virgin from Birmingham.

I also decided to make a day of travelling, as I had someone with an idea, to meet in Manchester, so I decided to go via Preston and then come in to Manchester from the north west.

I left on the 08:30 from Euston and my main reason to go to the city was to see Preston bus station and the city’s buses.  Although, I did walk around the market and the shopping area, visit the Preston Martyrs Memorial, looking unsuccessfully for a cup of coffee. It is not a city centre of which to be proud, as I mused here.

I left around 13:00 and took trains 2 and 3 of the day to get to Eccles via Huyton.

Arriving in Eccles, I bought a day travelcard for the trams and then explored some of the new lines, before going back Carluccio’s in Piccadilly station to have my meeting.

I then took trains 4 and 5, from Manchester to Derby after my meeting, saw the match which was a crazy four-all draw and then came back into Euston at 01:30 this morning, using trains 6 and 7.

I’m a bit tired this morning, but it was a good day and it could have been much worse if Ipswich had lost. It would also have been a lot more expensive, if I’d decided to partake of some of dubious and very expensive hospitality of East Midlands Trains.

I must say this for Travelodge, who when I decided to not use the room I had booked, allowed me to painlessly cancel it with no charge over the Internet.

October 2, 2013 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Crazy Football Match For A Crazy Day

I was running a few minutes late after my meeting in Manchester Piccadilly and eventually, I got on a train to Sheffield.  It was the usual overcrowded TransPennine Express going to somewhere like Scunthorpe. Hopefully, when they finally sort out and electrify the cross-Pennine routes and Piccadilly station, you’ll always go to the same platform to get trains to places like Sheffield and Liverpool. at least though there were plenty of staff about and the train I needed was not in the platforms at the back of the station.

But I didn’t get to Sheffield in time to get a train to Derby that would get me to Pride Park in time for the start of the match. Nothing was late except my start time at Piccadilly and I caught a Cross Country train that would get in to Derby at 19:51. However, someone decided to try a spot of attempted murder on the train and when we got to Derby, the Police locked us all in for a few minutes until they made an arrest.

So I decided to take a taxi.  If you know the area, walking to Pride Park from the station is not that far. But the taxi driver gave me a tour of the city and then dropped me at the point of the ground furthest from the Away Supporters End. By the time I got into the ground, Ipswich were leading by three goals to one.

We were all ecstatic at half time and wondered how many it will be.  But in the Ipswich were almost lucky to hang on for a four-all draw.

I then walked back to the station to get the 22:02 train to Birmingham for the Virgin train home.

But it was running thirty minutes late.  Luckily there was another train and I piled in to try to get to Birmingham in time.

I made the Virgin train, by the skin of my teeth and it was a few minutes early in London at 01:15.

But why did I need all that hassle to get back, when most train companies, but not East Midland Trains, provide a train back to the capital after a match.

October 1, 2013 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Are East Midlands Trains Serious About Running Trains?

Although, I’m an Ipswich Town supporter, I live in London, a short bus or Underground ride from Kings Cross and St. Pancras stations. So as this week, Ipswich are playing at Derby and Sheffield Wednesday, you’d think it would logical that tomorrow, I go to Derby and on Saturday I go to Sheffield from St. Pancras.

You would be wrong!

As there is no direct return train from Derby back to St. Pancras, I decided to go via Preston and Manchester to Derby, as I have things I want to see for this blog and someone to meet in Manchester.  The latter solves my supper problem, as we’re meeting in Carluccio’s in Piccadilly.  I can also get an excellent gluten-free breakfast on Virgin trains on the way up.

I did think about staying overnight in the Travelodge by Derby station, but after trying to buy a ticket to get back on Wednesday morning, I decided that the prices on offer, were just too steep. Other similar distance journeys, early in the morning to London, were certainly cheaper than those on offer from East Midland Trains.

So I decided to get home via Birmingham and Virgin Trains for £22.00 after the match. And that includes First Class from Birmingham to Euston. But I do get into London at 01:30 on Wednesday morning.

On Saturday, I’m going to Sheffield via Lincoln, as I have an old friend I want to see and can get a train from Lincoln to Sheffield.  It’s not as roundabout as you’d think.

But I’ve done this before, as last time, I went to Sheffield Wednesday, I went via Doncaster, as the First Class on East Coast, is so much better than that on East Midland Trains.

 

September 30, 2013 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments