If there was one gain during our recent holiday for me personally, it was the discovery of Ian Rankin. I don’t mean that I found him hiding under the mobile home or anything, but I did for the very first time, read one of his Rebus novels, all instigated because of the terrible TV picture in the mobile home coupled with the lousy weather we endured all week. It just so happened that in the holiday parks shop, they had one of those paperback carousels which I duly inspected during one of our frequent visits for food stocks, and there in amongst the other paperbacks I came across Ian Rankin’s ‘Hide and Seek.’
Yesterday we embarked on yet another train trip to Edinburgh, this time taking J with us. He was told to arrive promptly at 6.15 am because a taxi was arriving to collect us at 6.30am.
“Yes Mum, I’ll be there, don’t worry!” How many times during the last twenty eight years or so have I heard those words? (Well maybe not twenty eight as he couldn’t talk when he was born, only cry, so maybe 25 years.) Of course as usual he ended up running down the road at the last minute, huffing and puffing into the waiting taxi. Sigh. Will my youngest son ever EVER see the stupidity of never being able to arrive on time for anything not to mention the complete waste of energy spent pelting down roads, platforms etc in order to catch buses, trains and waiting taxis?
For those of you who have followed my blogs up until now you will be aware that we periodically go on a day tour to various interesting places up and down the country. We have in the past been to Edinburgh, Ely and Great Yarmouth and recently all the way down to Canterbury.
We are due to return to Edinburgh on the Saturday the 23rd for the festival. As I missed taking a picture of the train that takes us on all of these day trips, I am posting some info and pictures about the company. They do actually operate in different parts of the country and run both diesel and steam locomotives.
It is actually quite interesting to find out just how hard it is for them to organise these tours, as they have to be slotted in with the normal timetable and the normal day to day services run by all the other companies using that particular track.
For example, when we go up the East Coast main line to Edinburgh, we will have to keep stopping on route to allow the normal ‘London to Edinburgh’ and any of the other trains that frequent that particular line to pass through as they have priority and this is apparently par for the course. Each trip that we make on the train, they inform us that it is becoming harder and harder to organise them with Network Rail.
The one that we made down to Canterbury was particularly difficult as we had to transverse London, which is obviously very busy, but we were allowed to use the line that is usually reserved for freight trains. Of course it is somewhat easier as these tours usually take place on a Saturday when some of the day to day train traffic is slightly eased.
Their website is http://www.greenexpressrailtours.co.uk/ where you can read all about them if you want.
The actual tour to Edinburgh has been organised by the Green Party but we don’t have any contact or anything to do with them, its just that they have booked the train, but you don’t have to be a member or anything in order to partake of the tour. It is a very long train, and we always get lots and lots of attention from everyone as we pass by. The coaches are quite old, but they are comfortable to sit in.
Anyway I thought that some of you might be interested and when we go I shall remember and take a picture of the train this time!