Then, time to join my Southwestern Trains class 159 unit for the long run to Exeter. It's many years since I did the West of England Main Line, as it's called, I think there was a Class 50 loco on the front last time, so it's well overdue for a revisit, and soon enough I was speeding along in the comfortable first class section of the 159 unit. We left the attached class 158 unit at Salisbury. The scenery along this line is hardly the Scottish Highlands but it's very pleasant, with mile after mile of rolling green fields under blue skies.
All too soon we'd reached Exeter St Davids, where I quickly jumped onto a Cross County Voyager (The number of which I forgot to record.) putting me fifteen minutes ahead of schedule. Or so I thought - This one goes via Weston-super-Mare instead of whizzing up the main line, losing most of the time I'd gained. (On the plus side, the Weston loop is some more track that I haven't done for probably thirty years, so perhaps it deserved a visit!)
Once at Bristol, there was time for a swift pint of Butcombe Bitter in the very impressive Bonapart's on platform 3 at Temple Meads before boarding an overcrowded 150 for an uncomfortable run to Cardiff.
Here I exited the station and headed to the nearest Wetherspoon's, the Great Western, for a pint of Brains SA and an update of the blog.
This final, and best, bit of luxury of my week ended at Chester, by which time the train was seventeen minutes late. I couldn't really see a reason for the lateness, we just seemed to leak minutes at each stage of the journey.
First class travel over, I took a Merseyrail 507 back to Liverpool where my arrival was far too late for the Huyton service which is stopping early Sunday to Thursday during the ongoing electrification works. So, rather than sully my pass by using it on a rail replacement bus (Which takes 40 minutes to cover the 5 miles to Huyton.) I treated myself to a taxi home.
|Huyton - Wigan North Western||07.06||07.07||07.30||07.28||150103||14m01ch|
|Wigan North Western - Euston||08.09||08.11||10.12||10.07||390129||193m71ch|
|Euston - Waterloo||53611|
|Waterloo - Exeter St David's||11.20||11.21||14.42||14.41||159102+158881||172m12ch|
|Exeter St David's - Bristol Temple Meads
|Bristol Temple Meads - Cardiff Central||16.24||16.24||17.25||17.19||150238||38m06ch|
|Cardiff Central - Chester||18.21||18.21||20.58||21.15||67001||148m58ch|
|Chester - Liverpool Central||21.30||21.30||22.15||22.15||507018||17m65ch|