Author Topic: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder  (Read 1201 times)

Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« on: September 22, 2021, 09:11:58 PM »
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder.

Trains.

We've all been on one. We've all driven one.

Manchester Victoria.
Aberdeen Angus.
London Euston.
Birmingham New Street.
The Isle of Man.

One my recent habits which I daren't call a hobby is watching train journeys on YouTube. 4K REAL TRAIN CAB NO COMMENTARY RIDE. A crisp, snowy wonderland in Norway. Efficient, clean and well-mannered Osaka. Some total shithole in America.

The allure is progress, voyeurism, peace, nature, engineering, imagined boredom. Shall I take a soft sleeper on the Caledonian Flyer? An overnight trip on the Pembrokeshire Swan? A three-day lounge suite from Avignon to Bordeaux? I won't take any, but I'll gleefully, sleepily watch some total chud talk me through the minutiae of a foldaway crapper and a night light embedded in a cupboard hinge.

A few years ago, I had fantasies of frigging myself off on a barge out of pure loneliness, cunting along the Esk or some other shit sluice. Now I wanna do the same thing but on a train. Don't dare if it's steam, coal, or electric. Main thing is moving from one place to another and being very pleasantly trapped.

Has anyone ever heard of trains?

TrenterPercenter

  • Rock the CABLADs
Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2021, 09:21:06 PM »
New Street doesn't exist anymore, we call it GRAND CENTRAL nowadays thank you very much!

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2021, 09:42:30 PM »
Genuienly my favourite mode of transport.

Think my 12 year old cousin is a bit of a train lover and actually has a Hornby set. Which is pretty rad

Twit 2

  • Unutterable anguish
Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2021, 09:46:23 PM »
You’ll like this one, Bosto:

https://youtu.be/xisVS_DKpJg

seepage

  • Undetectable in normal everyday use
Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2021, 09:51:18 PM »
Yes, if you've got an empty seat next to you and the temperature is right, then nothing's better. Always thought of how to recreate the sensation of travelling at train speed but sitting in an armchair at home.

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2021, 10:05:26 PM »
To earn my Asperger's Syndrome Card, I spent much of my childhood as a trainspotter. Travelled around the UK with my dad looking for stuff we didn't normally get at home. Afternoons spent on Tamworth station - the lower level on the electrified West Coast main line, upper level on the diesel-only Birmingham-Derby line, best range of trains in the midlands - day trips to Reading and Cardiff, day tickets bought at discount through Rail Magazine. Gave it all up when I discovered music around 10 or 11. When my mental health was really low about ten years ago, though, I re-read some old train books I had and found them strangely comforting, and I've been collecting numbers again since. Not going out of my way about it, and definitely not going online to find out what trains are coming through like my dad does, but there's something almost meditative about just keeping an eye out for the numbers as they come along. Although it seems like every time I go anywhere more than about 30 miles away these days there seems to be about 10 completely new classes of train out there, there's been a huge investment into new rolling stock in the past five or six years and there are so many new ones.

My dad watches those cab ride camera journeys on YouTube, a lot of UK journeys but also some European ones too, including the Glacier Express in Switzerland, which we travelled while on holiday when I was a kid. That was an incredible journey, right out into the wilds of the Swiss Alps for hours, it's absolutely on my list of things to do again one day.




I wish those videos were around when I used to smoke weed. They'd be amazing to just sit back and get lost in.

Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2021, 04:25:43 AM »
You’ll like this one, Bosto:

https://youtu.be/xisVS_DKpJg

Thanks, that's right up my shunter.

Purlieu, lovely reading, as well. I don't know much about the trains themselves but I got Train Sim World 2 on the PS5 and I'm learning. Something satisfying and meditative about watching the passengers get on, dinging the bell, closing the doors, releasing the parking brake, gently increasing the thrust and easing out of the station once more into the Rheinland countryside.

Johnny Yesno

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Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2021, 07:42:21 AM »
'Railway videos' is what I told her.

icehaven

  • WORLD'S BIGGEST RIP OFF: $100 PER PERSON
Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2021, 09:06:40 AM »
New Street doesn't exist anymore, we call it GRAND CENTRAL nowadays thank you very much!

That whole thing is so stupid and confusing, they've named the shopping centre, which is in the same building as the station, after one of the most famous railway station names in the world while still calling the actual station Birmingham New Street. Just call the fucking shopping centre Birmingham New Street too or have done with it.   

Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2021, 09:17:00 AM »
This was on a couple of years ago and was brilliant. If I can find a working link I'll post it

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000dl2m

Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2021, 09:34:03 AM »
Divorced parents, I spent every weekend until I was 18 at my mum's in a shithole town with no friends.

One day when I was about 16 I invited my friends back to a party that was happening at my mum's, involving my brothers friends. We waited ages for the train, and then when we got on it they were all like "chuffa chuffa choo choo! Where's the Fat Controller," and I was like, "it's the fucking train to Rochdale, I take it multiple times a week." They probably still reminisce about that thrilling train ride on the 1960s  Pacer train to the farthest-flung reaches of Lancashire.

However, my comparative maturity was short lasted, as when we arrived at the party, I downed a double-sized bottle of 'Hock' wine in one go, smoked a few bongs, and passed out within about 20 minutes. My mum had to strip my clothes off and get me into bed.

Echo Valley 2-6809

  • Part of no circle
Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2021, 09:43:43 AM »
A crisp, snowy wonderland in Norway.

Is that from the channel run by the Norwegian lady engine driver?[1] (Can't look it up at the moment, but that's one I often relax to.)
 1. Prince outtakes Vol 77

Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2021, 10:16:16 AM »
Going on a sleeper train for the first time in October, unreasonably excited for that.


purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2021, 11:15:26 AM »
Just call the fucking shopping centre Birmingham New Street too or have done with it.
To be fair, before Grand Central, it was The Pallasades.

Gurke and Hare

  • Fold water. Roll into small cubes.
Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2021, 12:01:06 PM »
This is a boat rather than a train, being tugged from Rotterdam to Amsterdam and it's lovely.

I once went on a train from Chicago to Seattle. It took nearly 48 hours, and it was great. I'm vaguely planning to go to the 2026 World Cup. part of which is in Canada, and hopefully take the train from Toronto to Edmonton.

Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2021, 12:41:06 PM »
Going on a sleeper train for the first time in October, unreasonably excited for that.

Caledonian sleeper? Expensive but worth it as a treat. I think they have showers in the rooms now.

Book breakfast in the dining car, salmon and eggs while rattling through a frosty Scottish morning is one of life's great pleasures.

icehaven

  • WORLD'S BIGGEST RIP OFF: $100 PER PERSON
Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2021, 01:54:15 PM »
To be fair, before Grand Central, it was The Pallasades.

But at least there isn't a very famous train station called the Pallasades (not that I'm aware of anyway).

Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2021, 02:33:25 PM »
Caledonian sleeper? Expensive but worth it as a treat. I think they have showers in the rooms now.

Book breakfast in the dining car, salmon and eggs while rattling through a frosty Scottish morning is one of life's great pleasures.

It's the GWR to Penzance. From what I gather it's a bacon roll and coffee in the morning while I take in the Cornish Riviera. The Caledonian version definitely appeals at some point though, especially with that cozy picture you've painted.

Wasn't too bad cost wise, £60 pp one way for a twin berth with breakfast.

Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2021, 02:35:09 PM »
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1282590/Train_Sim_World_2/

Playing this on Xbox right now. Sometimes I don't play and just sit in one of the carriages and go for a ride. Bliss.

Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2021, 06:31:05 PM »
I recently started exercising to cycling videos. So far, I've done the Cotswolds and a ride around New York to the World Trade Centre and had been looking forward to seeing the rest of the world in this way. Think I'll switch to these train videos now as they look better. But I'd like to go on the Glacier Express in reality having seen the pictures of that. A few years ago I went to Aberystwyth and enjoyed the views from the Cambrian line more than the day out. Before the watery parts approaching the coast, the train stopped at Dovey Junction to wait for passengers from a connecting train and the conductor recommended everyone to get out and enjoy the view for ten minutes. Stock photos:



I saw Night Train - alluded to in the thread title - at Hull Screen cinema. The trains in and out of Hull are nice as they go alongside the Humber.

One of my favourite books, Larkin's Jill, begins on a train:



Another book that I only recently read - and which has a connection to the first since Larkin initially wanted to be a novelist like Hardy - illustrates the pessimistic philosophy of a child seen in a train carriage, or of the narrator interpreting him. The reader of the online text that I've copied has highlighted the same part that I was persuaded by:




I used to like to take blurry slow shutter photographs on train journeys. These are from Didcot to Reading:


I liked the Corot like green and the frail squiggly lines.




This one seemed to have a cross appear in the top right.



Re: Birmingham. I still call the station Birmingham New Street and the shopping centre or the whole incorporating building Grand Central. It doesn't really affect Icehaven's point but apparently when the station opened - about twenty years before New York's - it was known as Grand Central at Birmingham.

Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2021, 07:08:27 PM »
Some brilliant replies here, especially that very very cozy and appealing description of brekkie on the Caledonian sleeper, but those Smeraldina photos have put the thread at maximum cruising speed.

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2021, 08:08:27 PM »
It's still Birmingham New Street on Trainline so i cant be arsed to learn a new name for it.

Going through New Street was one of those moments where I realised that other English cities were absolutely huge, not just London. Other than St Pancras, New Street is the largest train station i've been in.

Cuellar

  • I'm over here
Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2021, 08:14:52 PM »
It's the GWR to Penzance. From what I gather it's a bacon roll and coffee in the morning while I take in the Cornish Riviera. The Caledonian version definitely appeals at some point though, especially with that cozy picture you've painted.

Wasn't too bad cost wise, £60 pp one way for a twin berth with breakfast.

I've just done this! There and back on the sleeper. The bacon roll isn't bad, the cabins are very cosy. I bloody loved it. We got to Paddington a bit early so we could sit in the 'first class' lounge (just a room with free biscuits and water etc. that you're entitled to use as a Sleeper passenger) and then we were some of the first people on so dumped our bags in the berth then got prime seats in the 'bar' carriage. 3 big cans of Carlsberg for a tenner, not bad.

Although trying to take in the riviera in the morning we pulled in to St Erth or somewhere and the people getting off walked right past my window so saw me in my pants.

Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2021, 08:16:26 PM »
Wellington to Auckland is a good trip, you get to go on the engineering marvel that is the Raurimu spiral. Some staggering viaducts as well including the site of the Tangiwai disaster. Bob Blair coming out to bat hours after learning that his fiance had died there. www.cricketcountry.com/articles/bert-sutcliffe-and-bob-blair-at-ellis-park-a-fairytale-bigger-than-cricket-287471/amp/

Wellington train station is beautiful. It's a real shame the train service in New Zealand has essentially been hacked to death.

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2021, 08:17:32 PM »
Going through New Street was one of those moments where I realised that other English cities were absolutely huge, not just London. Other than St Pancras, New Street is the largest train station i've been in.
Brum's one of those places that gets a bit overlooked sometimes, especially in its size. I live a 35 minute train ride from there, and you hit the edges of the city after about 15 minutes, it's crazy. It's almost entirely scrap yards, warehouses, factories, sewage works and stuff until about five minutes before you hit the centre as well.

Largest station I've been in... hard to compare the London ones as they're all quite different. Paddington feels huge. But in terms of number of platforms, I think Clapham Junction would win. Utterly weird station where there are so many platforms and they're oddly spaced that there's no part of the station where you can actually see every platform.

A few years ago I went to Aberystwyth and enjoyed the views from the Cambrian line more than the day out. Before the watery parts approaching the coast, the train stopped at Dovey Junction to wait for passengers from a connecting train and the conductor recommended everyone to get out and enjoy the view for ten minutes.
Ooh yes, a mate and I went camping in Snowdonia about 15 years ago, must have done the same journey. The bit where the track is right by the coastline and it almost looks like you're driving through the sea itself is fantastic.

Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2021, 08:20:44 PM »
Paddington's massive. I didn't realise there was an exit to the canals until a few years ago and I'd been catching the train from Cardiff a couple of times a year for the best part of two decades probably

Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2021, 08:57:09 PM »
I've just done this! There and back on the sleeper. The bacon roll isn't bad, the cabins are very cosy. I bloody loved it. We got to Paddington a bit early so we could sit in the 'first class' lounge (just a room with free biscuits and water etc. that you're entitled to use as a Sleeper passenger) and then we were some of the first people on so dumped our bags in the berth then got prime seats in the 'bar' carriage. 3 big cans of Carlsberg for a tenner, not bad.

Although trying to take in the riviera in the morning we pulled in to St Erth or somewhere and the people getting off walked right past my window so saw me in my pants.

Well now I'm even more excited, and I'll remember to wear my best knickers,

Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2021, 10:26:27 PM »
Ooh yes, a mate and I went camping in Snowdonia about 15 years ago, must have done the same journey. The bit where the track is right by the coastline and it almost looks like you're driving through the sea itself is fantastic.

That was my favourite part if we went the same way, around Borth. If you go the other way at Dovey Junction then there would be a longer route along the Snowdonia coast and then to the Llŷn Peninsula. The reason I went was that it was the cheapest train to the sea. It looks like it would cost the same from Birmingham - now £35.20 return - to go at least as far as Barmouth on the other route. But I'd be keen to go to the end of the line at Pwllheli. I think those long times are for replacement bus services.


purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2021, 12:33:04 AM »
I honestly couldn't say - it was so long ago - but as we got out at Porthmadog, it was probably the same journey.
It was also the strangest train journey I've ever been on, passenger-wise. I remember one customer who sat on the table opposite us who bought a ticket to Porthmadog on-train, then after about 15 minutes got up to go to the toilet or another carriage, and we never saw her again. We were the only people who got off the train there. And, even more startlingly, a man got on from some tiny village dressed entirely in a cowboy outfit. There were more things that happened but I forget now, but I remember we started to write a sitcom episode based on the journey because it was so utterly strange.

Re: Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2021, 02:53:05 AM »
It sounds like you did most of the long journey I'd like to do (in red), whereas I only went down to Borth (which was probably less like driving through sea) and Aberystwyth.

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