© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
An avid reader of one of the national dailies (which will
remain nameless to save embarrassment...), Steve had
gathered vouchers for a low-cost day out courtesy of Virgin.
"Where shall we go?". In the event (we may have left it a bit
late), the choice was essentially Doncaster or nowhere else
much. Hence the trip!
The ticket was from New Street - the original plan was that
Steve and Dave would travel from Shrewsbury, and I would join
them at Telford. Minutes before I left the house came the call -
"the 7.55 isn't running". To cut a long story short (based around
engineering works between Wolverhampton and Birmingham, and
a resultant much reduced service), we ended up driving to Derby
(yes, really!) to meet our train.
There were engineering works at the north end of Derby station -
so our Voyager left Derby heading south, then east, to Trent
Junction and then on up the Erewash valley to rejoin the normal
route at Clay Cross Junction. Finally detraining at Doncaster, we
discovered that yet more engineering works were ongoing north
of Darlington - the east coast main line service being somewhat
unusual as a result.
We stayed around Doncaster for a little while, before purchasing
day returns to Wakefield, where there would be the opportunity
for one or two different shots, perhaps a ride on a Eurostar, and
lunch... The first and last were achieved (after a few worrying
moments in the case of lunch) but not the Eurostar. There were
one or two sets around, but they insisted on being in the wrong
place for photography
Wakefield's two stations are Westgate, on the former Great
Northern line to Leeds, and Kirkgate, on the former L&Y line.
Kirkgate has seen better days - but the ancient ironwork of the
rusting canopies makes for an interesting picture or two (I
suspect it will be short platforms and a bus shelter before long).
We didn't stay long - hunger and the apparent lack of
appropriate facilities nearby meant an early return to Westgate.
Having lunched successfully, we returned to Doncaster for the
last hour or so before our return journey - which proved to be
the only leg where our tickets were checked...