© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 "I've got vouchers for tickets from Moor Street to Marylebone - do you fancy a day out?" "Sounds great - let's do it!" "We only get an hour and half in London...." The tickets were a special offer from a daily newspaper (I won't embarrass my friend by naming it...) - just £7.50, valid on the 11.15am from Moor Street, Birmingham, and returning on the 2.50pm from Marylebone. Barely time to get out of the train - but, after what promised to be a very busy few days, it was "just the ticket" (sorry!) for a relaxing trip. Our train from Shropshire, the 9.24 from Shrewsbury (which had set out that morning from Aberystwyth) was packed, and we began to wonder about our train (and the resulting relaxation!) from Birmingham - "It'll have filled up at Snow Hill, and we can't get on there". We made our way through the new Bull Ring - an unfamiliar route to those who knew the older Brum - and entered the recently-refurbished Moor Street. The work performed by Chiltern Railways and The Birmingham Alliance has restored the former eyesore site (it closed as a terminus in 1987 - see Farewell to old Moor Street) to a sight for sore eyes! Even the new through platforms have a definite GWR style (and colour scheme). Chiltern Railways' intention, apparently, is to use Moor Street as a terminus for the Marylebone service - which, in the meantime, departs from Snow Hill, hence our apprehension. We needn't have worried - there was plenty of room in the rear carriage of 4-car 168 002, and we had a very comfortable and pleasant run down the old main line (double track once again, all the way) - as far as Northolt Junction, where the route veers off to join the former GCR line to the London terminus. Despite several station stops at the Birmingham end, we arrived in London on time in a reasonable 2 hours and 17 minutes. After a few photos, my colleagues headed off in search of liquid refreshment. I decided to take a stroll into Regent's Park (I would be going out that evening...) - and caught a shower of rain.  Nevertheless, it was a welcome leg stretch before the return journey - a slightly quicker schedule taking just over two hours. Those 168s can certainly pick up their feet - I did a quick check at one point on the return journey - 18 seconds for a half- mile - just 100mph. "Remember when we saw that red kite when we were down this way on the first French trip?" Yes, very well - and today, not too far from Chinnor, there was a red kite beside the line as we headed southwards... ...and on the return journey, we must have seen a dozen! It's not just railways that get revived! Links: Chiltern Railways Farewell to old Moor Street The 1987 closure 2885 - stuffed and mounted at Moor Street Moor Street interior Three generations of architecture at Moor Street Moor Street - and the new water tower Palms and Sprinter, Moor Street 168s in the through platforms. Moor Street 168 112 pulls away from Moor Street The Sprinter and the blob... 168 002 on arrival at Marylebone Chiltern Trains at Marylebone Marylebone - sprinters and push-bikes! Marylebone - the train shed Marylebone