A day out on a Day Ranger
West Midlands wandering
© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2019
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
10 September 2019
We’re having a leisurely day out, exploring some of the railway variety to be found in the West Midlands - specifically, within the scope of the West Midlands Day Ranger ticket. It’s still good value for what it covers, though the price is creeping up (9% in 3 years). We begin our travels by heading for New Street; a walk beside the tram lines takes us to Snow Hill and a ride down to Stourport, for a trip on what is probably the oddest train on the national network. Unit 139002 is one of a pair of Parry People Movers, which between them share duties on the Stourbridge Jcn - Stourbridge Town service. It’s a short ride - the train runs every ten minutes. Seems well patronised too. Our curiosity satisfied, we’re heading south-west, of necessity on three different trains - first to Foregate Street, Worcester, then on a Great Western 158 to Great Malvern, and lastly to Ledbury on a dreadful roaring, rattling and grinding class 153. Lunch at Ledbury proves to be a most enjoyable affair - it would have been very pleasant to stay in the Prince of Wales for the rest of the day, but the household authorities wouldn’t have been impressed. So we’re off again, this time to Bromsgrove, where we have to change to a local electric service (which appears to make nonsense of the Lickey bank)
in order to change again at Barnt Green for a run down to Redditch. We return from Redditch on the same train, to a very busy New Street (it’s not long after 5pm now). Our next train, over the recently- electrified route to Rugeley, is packed when it pulls out, but is very lightly loaded when it arrives at the Trent Valley station. We’ve time for a few photos of passing trains (it’s a busy spot) before a train to Stafford - where across the platform is a Birmingham-bound service, which departs more-or-less immediately. At Wolverhampton, there’s just time to pick up a much-needed coffee before the train back to Shropshire pulls in. And that was it. We’d had 15 distinct rides on 13 different trains - every one of them on time. What a good day out! Links: West Midlands Day Ranger Class 139
PPM approaching! Well-patronised We're off! At the Town 139002 approaches Stourbridge Town Driver's view Control panel 172222 at Foregate Street GW 158 approaches Arrival at Great Malvern Great Malvern - station detail London train at Great Malvern Away it goes! Three red doors Ledbury arrival and departure Junction for poetry - we'll wax lyrical about lunch Barnt Green - 153s on the main line Barnt Green - Voyager on the main line Barnt Green - 323 arrives from Redditch We've arrived at Redditch Rugeley - passing Pendolino Rugeley - Post Office 323 Rugeley - southbound car train