Thursday Doors: Double Doors

double-open-doors

Usually tube train doors only open at one side or the other, as the train is generally accessible from only one platform at most stations. But at Stratford station, the West-bound Central line underground train can be boarded via platforms at either side, so here are both sets of doors opened at once. Although the platforms are above ground at Stratford, there are underground tunnels at either end πŸ™‚

Thursday Doors

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Daily Prompt: Dubious

tube-tunnel

I was a bit dubious about my ability to capture with any clarity the feeling of the exact moment a tube train bursts out of the tunnel immediately in front of you – it comes at you at speed with such a swirling rush of air it’s hard to stand your ground steady enough to keep your shot in focus – but I’m happy enough with the end result.

Overall I quite like the distinct motion blur effect at the front of the train, yet the mouth of tunnel and platform remain reasonably sharp.

This image was taken with a 28mm equivalent wide-angle lens at f2.5, 1/30s at ISO-1600 and is straight out of camera (apart from resizing) – I’m quite pleased with the overall composition, too, as it fills the frame nicely! πŸ™‚

Oxford Circus Underground Station, Central Line, East-bound platform

Daily Prompt: Dubious

Electrics, Electronics, & Engineering Works…

Although my overnight train trip back home to London from Inverness on Friday night was unremarkable and reasonably comfortable, my trip up to Inverness from London only five days earlier did not quite go to plan. As I was necessarily booking to travel at pretty much the last minute there was no advance ticket deal available and so I booked the cheapest ticket possible, which meant sitting up all night (for 12 hours) in a semi-reclining airline-type seat. It’s not the most comfortable way to travel such a long distance, but I’ve done it countless times before, and anyway, needs must…

My trip started badly when I arrived at London’s busy Euston Station to find a concourse ram-packed to bursting point with a multitiude of very disgruntled potential travellers. Apparently there had been over-running engineering works earlier in the day causing initial delays followed by an ‘incident’ somewhere else along the track requiring the attendance of the emergency services and creating a three hour mega-backlog of trains stuck en route waiting for clearance to complete their journeys.

Several inevitable train cancellations, stroppy customers and delayed departures later, my train finally left only an hour late – at 10pm instead of 9pm – with the hope that we would make up the time somewhere along the way as we rattled along from one end of the country to the other.

All went well until 7.20 the following morning, when we stopped at Dalwhinnie on a short section of multiple track along theΒ mainly single track rail line through the Scottish mountains to allow the usual down-train to pass by. Unfortunately the down-train was held up further up the track by over-running weekend engineering works from the day before, so we sat waiting for an hour rather than the usual ten minutes or so before it eventually passed us by.

I took a picture of the early morning sky over the mountains as we waited…

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Once the other train had passed safely, after a worrisome few false starts we got going again and carried on up the track towards Inverness. But a few miles further on the train just gave up the ghost and stopped for good, and nothing the driver sould do would get it started again. And of course we had broken down slap-bang in the the middle of nowhere on a remote section of single track rail line. With no electrical power we had no lights, no heating, no internal door function, no flushing loos – and no hot drinks 😦

Here’s the train guard out on the line talking to the driver while we enjoyed the scenery…

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ominous-sky.jpg

The weather wasn’t looking too promising as after another long and frustrating hour sitting fed up and frozen a rescue engine arrived from Inverness to pull us slowly to the next station stop (Kingussie), where thankfully a rail replacement bus awaited – complete with very welcome heating – to take us the rest of the way and we finally arrived in Inverness three hours late, a bit irritated at the hold up but thoroughly relieved to reach our destination without further incident.

As I’d booked my ticket pretty much at the last minute, for the first time in my life I’d requested an immediately-available E-ticket instead of my standard printed paper variety, purchased directly from the train company and which I accessed via my phone. As we were so late in arriving at our destination and the train company run a ‘Delay/ Repay’ service, I knew I could claim a refund on my travel for that particular trip, but I had no idea how that might work with an E-ticket.

So yesterday I logged on to the website with slight trepidation, wondering what else could go wrong, but to my relief found the electronic method of making a Delay/ Repay claim to be super-simple. All I had to do was provide my electronic booking reference and from a drip-down box choose my preferred method of refund if compensation was due – et voila! My claim was done! Let’s hope my refund is as straightforward to process… πŸ™‚

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Temporary

I recently travelled home overnight from Inverness to London on the Caledonian Sleeper train – here is my compact but perfectly functional sleeper cabin for two, with bunk beds and a little sink for washing fitted under the counter top below the window. Toilet facilities (shared by everyone in the carriage) are located at the end of each carriage corridor.

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caledonian-sleeper-train

Thankfully I slept quite well in my temporary bed for the night, considering I don’t particularly sleep well at the best of times. Here we are arriving at Euston Station in the morning πŸ™‚

Weekly Photo Challenge: Temporary

Train Stations by Night

Watford-JunctionCreweCarslisleEdinburgh-Waverley-2Edinburgh-Waverley-1Inverurie

I’m back from my visit to Scotland to see my family – more of that later – but in the meantime here are some dark and moody night-time shots of near-deserted stations, taken from the window of the overnight train I was travelling in. They’re perhaps a little too unlit and shadowy for some tastes, but the dramatic contrast suited my frame of mind in the wee small hours πŸ™‚

Daily Prompt: Ascend

euston-station

sleeper

Later tonight I will ascend the Caledonian Sleeper train at London’s Euston Station, and early tomorrow morning (having travelled 600 miles overnight) I will descend onto the platform at Inverness Station in the North of Scotland to spend the next fortnight visiting my family – woo-hoo!

These particular images from Euston and Inverness are from previous visits – it’s a trip I take regularly, so have a variety of shots from over the years.

I won’t be blogging at all while I’m away, so don’t worry if I’m completely incommunicado for a couple of weeks – I’ll be back in full flow at the end of the month, and will catch up with you all then πŸ™‚

Daily Prompt: Ascend

Daily Prompt: Grainy

train-in-tunnel

I took this shot late this afternoon in Chancery Lane Underground Station, here in London – we were right at the end of the busy East-bound Central Line platform waiting for our train to arrive, and I realised I could see quite far in to the usually dark tunnel.

So I grabbed my camera and took a couple of quick shots of our train coming in along the tracks, and was pleasantly surprised to find that this image is reasonably in focus and not actually too grainy, considering the ISO was set at 1600!

Daily Prompt: Grainy