© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 Some nine years ago - almost to the day - warm spring weather tempted me to spend some time watching the modern railway - beside the west coast main line at Stableford, Staffs. Today I returned to the same spot - on another warm spring afternoon (real shirt-sleeves weather!) to see how things had changed. On that earlier visit, I'd spent some time perched on a stile, where the public footpath crosses a fence beside the line, perfectly positioned in relation to the overhead gantries. Sadly, a signal has been planted immediately to the south of that spot, rendering it useless... No great problem - but it was a good place to sit. As I sat, I mused on the likely motive power I'd have seen here 50 years ago - lots of ex-LMS and BR Standard steam - lots of variety - and one or two diesel locos. Today, I would see one or two diesel locos (four, to be precise - the first being the inevitable freight that passes just as I'm getting out of the car...), no electric locos, and dozens of multiple units. Only the liveries provide variety now. The diesels were all class 66, in the ownership and livery of four different companies. The multiple units? - class 221 diesel, class 350 and Pendolino electrics. Nothing else in around 2½ hours - apart from a solitary white- liveried ("National Express East Anglia") set - 379 010 and 011. They were spotless - I'm guessing brand new and on test. It's a good job it wasn't any warmer - I'd have nodded off. Northbound 221 Pendolino I National Express East Anglia 379 010 Pendolino II 350 260 DRS 66430 - northbound freightliner 221 142 350 128 66015 - southbound freightliner Panned Pendolino 390 012 221 115 221 115 - rear... Colas Rail 66845 light engine Passing trains Pendolino III Link: Lazing on a sunny afternoon - nine years earlier