Train Day 2017

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Today I’m keeping fellow blogger Dan Antion company in posting for Train Day 2017. This little varied selection of images from my archive was taken at the National Railway Museum in York – well worth a visit if you get the chance! 🙂

A-Z Challenge: U is for Underground

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U is for Underground…

Confusingly the platforms of Leytonstone Underground Station (and the railway line itself at this point – see T is for Tube Line from yesterday) are actually above ground! When you enter the station from street level, you have to walk down a curved slope into the below-the-surface ticket office, before going through the automated ticket barriers and climbing the central stairs back up to reach the ground level platforms between the tracks.

This year for my Blogging from A-Z Challenge I’ve decided to keep it super-simple, and stick close to home with a straightforward agenda. I tend to post lots of local London images anyway, so my aim is to post at least one new (as in taken recently, and not posted before) photograph each day, taking us on a whistle-stop A-Z tour of Local Leytonstone Life; simple snapshot images of ordinary everyday things around me that capture my attention, yet don’t take me out of my daily routine too much…

A-Z Challenge: T is for Tube Line

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T is for Tube Line…

Leytonstone is located on the Central Line, which snakes all the way horizontally across London from Epping in the East, through Central London, and on to West Ruislip in the West. At 46 miles from one end to the other it is the longest tube line, and it certainly feels like one of the busiest, especially during rush hour!  Although the middle section of the Central Line is a deep level underground line, at either end it sits on the surface, including here in Leytonstone 🙂

This year for my Blogging from A-Z Challenge I’ve decided to keep it super-simple, and stick close to home with a straightforward agenda. I tend to post lots of local London images anyway, so my aim is to post at least one new (as in taken recently, and not posted before) photograph each day, taking us on a whistle-stop A-Z tour of Local Leytonstone Life; simple snapshot images of ordinary everyday things around me that capture my attention, yet don’t take me out of my daily routine too much…

On the Bakerloo Line

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I don’t often travel on the Bakerloo Line, so although I’m sure it’s usually very busy during rush-hour (after all, what Underground line isn’t!), this afternoon I found it was actually quiet enough to have space to breathe (for a change). It was fun to take a couple of candid pics while actually travelling on the train rather than just from the platform 🙂

Discovering a New Path

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Once more in my life I feel myself to be fluctuating emotionally in a difficult place of transition, flitting hither and thither through erratic highs and lows, fully formed neither in one place nor another, torn in two, pulled apart by conflicting desires. I feel confused, on the cusp of depression, teetering precariously on the brink.

At this moment my personal path forward into the future is not clear. Its outline remains as blurry and unrecognisable as this abstract image of a moving train passing in the night, taken from another moving train passing in the opposite direction on a parallel track as I was travelling from one end of the country to the other.

But nevertheless there is often an unusual beauty to be found in the abstract if we stop looking only for what we know as recognisable and familiar, and instead simply accept what is unfolding in front of us in all its conceptual glory, discovering new perspectives, inevitably seeing the world through new eyes…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Path

Daily Prompt: Discover

 

Caledonian Sleeper

I’m just back from a lovely visit with my family in Scotland, travelling home overnight on the Caledonian Sleeper. Not particularly exciting, as it’s a trip I’ve been doing regularly for the last 15 years, for as long as I’ve lived in London. In an age where everyone expects me to fly – the actual in-the-air flight time between London and Inverness is only around an hour and 20 minutes – I find I still prefer to take the train.

The trouble with flying is (1) I first have to travel either to Heathrow, Luton or Gatwick to catch a plane from London to Inverness – so that’s an additional train or coach journey, incurring extra cost and adding a lot of extra time and hassle to the journey; (2) going through airport security takes forever, and there’s a lot of additional hanging around in departures until the flight is called; and (3) I then need to find transport at the other end, from Inverness airport into the city – that’s either relying on the (generally unreliable) rural public transport system, or a very expensive taxi-ride the 10 miles or so into town.

The last time I flew up, time was of the essence on that occasion because my youngest daughter had called me in the morning to say she was in the early stages of labour (her third baby, almost two weeks before her due date) so could I please get up there as soon as possible – which I did, as needs must, and thankfully all went well.

But otherwise I can either take the daytime train and sit for 8 hours whiling away the day, or take the more leisurely overnight train, which may take longer time-wise but in reality doesnt actually waste any time at all as you basically go to sleep at one end of the country and wake up at the other, refreshed and rejuvenated and raring to go (or someting like that).

Sadly the old rolling stock is a little bit outdated now, and is due to be replaced over the next couple of years. So the Orient Express it is not, but I took a few pics anyway to give a flavour of the experience… 🙂

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On the platform at Inverness last night…

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Very compact little cabins with bunk beds for two, accessed via a long narrow corridor…

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Comfortable enough bunk beds, if rather restricted in size…

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Little sink under the window, used for additional storage when not in use…

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Arriving at London Euston early this morning 🙂