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Ghost Trains

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Ghost Trains

Old 28th Oct 2010, 18:43
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Ghost Trains

Ghost Trains. This is what being British is all about!

If you've got half an hour to spare, this Radio 4 programme, from yesterday, is absolutely brilliant, especially the bit about 'Newhaven Marine' station towards the end.

Newhaven Marine, is a station which is technically open, and is served by one train a day. But the station is behind a locked fence and passengers are forbidden to get on the train, which does not appear on any timetable. The company offers to provide a taxi service to any passenger "in possession of a valid ticket". But it is impossible to buy a ticket.
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Old 28th Oct 2010, 18:52
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The very best thing to come out of Newhaven is the train. In fact, the clue is in the name, anywhere with 'Haven' in the title is almost by definition bound to be a $hithole.
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Old 28th Oct 2010, 19:16
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In this programme, Ian Marchant travels these little used lines and forgotten stations.
Ian Marchant is a national treasure. If you haven't read 'The Longest Crawl' or 'Parallel lines' you absolutely must. (If you are middle aged, like beer, trains, are no stranger to a spliff, enjoy a bit of philosphy and would like to **** a chav in the face.) He is brilliant.

Ian Marchant: Something of the Night
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Old 28th Oct 2010, 20:21
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I once found myself on foot in the area of Dunston Railway Station.

I entered and waited on the platform.
A train came along and stopped, but they refused to open the doors and it set off again without me . . .

Dunston railway station - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Initially, most Tyne Valley services called at Dunston, but this service frequency was later reduced due to low passenger numbers, particularly after the opening of MetroCentre railway station on 3 August 1987.
Currently, between Monday and Saturday, four services each day call at Dunston; two to Newcastle (one of these continues to Nunthorpe via Sunderland and Middlesbrough) and two to the Metro Centre (one of which continue to Hexham). No services call here on Sundays.
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Old 28th Oct 2010, 20:51
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Heard the programme earlier this week.

Copious quantities of Britishness and daftness.
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Old 28th Oct 2010, 20:54
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Stockport to Stalybridge

The Stockport to Stalybridge Line is a short railway line in Greater Manchester, running from Stockport north east to Stalybridge. Although it once received a frequent service,[1] for the past few years it has been served by a single train run by Northern Rail, once a week in one direction.
This minimal service, termed a parliamentary train for historical reasons, is often seen in the case of this line as to avoid the official procedures involved in terminating the passenger service. In this case, the re-routing of Trans-Pennine express services from Leeds and points east to Manchester Piccadilly from Manchester Victoria in May 1989 removed the main reason for its existence. Following the changeover, passengers who formerly used the Stalybridge - Stockport shuttle to avoid the need to change stations in Manchester (if heading from Yorkshire to Stockport and beyond or vice-versa) could travel via Manchester Piccadilly and change there instead.
The scarcity of services on the line has led to it becoming popular with rail enthusiasts, as well as real ale connoisseurs visiting the Station Buffet at Stalybridge.
The line serves the following places:From December 2008 the Parliamentary service instead operates on a Friday morning, leaving Stockport at 09.22 and arriving at Stalybridge at 09.49.

Nicked from Wiki
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Old 28th Oct 2010, 23:41
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When I was a kid, for some reason my family's idea of a good day out on the South Coast was a trip to Newhaven, Don't ask me why, all my pleas to go to Brighton, or anywhere but Newhaven, were ignored. One Sunday I was playing on the railway tracks near the marine station when my cousin decided to throw a set of points I happened to be standing on, which neatly sliced a layer of skin off the sole of my foot (a second earlier and it would have amputated the foot). Confirmed my opinion of Newhaven as being in total agreement with Parapunter.

By the way PP Gorran Haven, down here near Mevagissey, is quite nice!
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 03:11
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Ghost trains ? Many years ago before Mr Beeching decimated the railways that used to be, I frequently visited a girl friend in Chelmsford on weekends.

Return to home base was late on Sunday evenings, via a small steam train on a branch line that slowly wended its way through lesser known areas of Essex and Suffolk.
At one point it stopped at a small country station, and with the steam from the engine wafting around the solitary platform light, a deep sonorous ghostly voice would call out from the darkness "Maaaaaaaaaaaaarrrks Taaaaaayy, Maaaaaaaaaarrks Taaaaaay".

After waiting for a couple of minutes the train would slowly move off and take me, eventually, to my destination.
I never saw another soul at that station, either on the platform or getting on or off the train, and I often wondered if it really existed.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 04:30
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Oh, very much so.

Used to get on a train from Cambridge come Friday afternoons. It wended its way through the lovely countryside and rattled into Marks Tey, six miles west of Colchester. Things got rather boringly ordinary from there on. Except Colchester has the longest platform in the UK.

I think one could head off for Sudbury on a line from there.

Now, a bewildering set of roundabouts straddles the A12 there . . . back off towards Braintree a tad, just to turn around.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 04:55
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The parliamentary train. Back in the great days of railways parliament decreed that once a day a train should stop at every station along the line. Commonly known as the parly train.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 08:46
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anywhere with 'Haven' in the title is almost by definition bound to be a $hithole
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 09:08
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loose - Marks Tey is actually south-west of Colchester. This is quite important as it is from there that -- as you rightly say -- the branch line to Sudbury heads off to the north-west.

The locals call the train the Sudbury Slug and it acquired notoriety just recently when it slammed into a lorry driven onto unmanned level crossing by a cretin. BBC News - Suffolk train and lorry level crossing smash injures 21

And re Newhaven, everyone knows it is a dire place with nothing to commend it apart from the coast road out of it.

My dad used to live in Seaford, the next town along the coast (eastwards). Seaford used to be where the River Ouse flowed into the Channel. It was quite a prosperous port and, indeed was a Cinque Port at one stage.

But in 1579 there was a Great Storm and the River Ouse burst it's banks and essentially then started to flow down the High Street of a village near Seaford called Meeching.

As the river established itself, Meeching became known as The New Haven and Seaford began a gentle decline which continues to this day.....

Here endeth the history lesson!
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 09:20
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I didn't know any of that Angels, inspite of being a local(ish).

Cuckmere Haven is the exception that proves the rule - that is a very beautiful spot. In my days as a callow youth, we used to fly our paragliders from Newhaven cliffs. On the right day with a light south, south westerly & low pressure, it's fairly easy to fly from Newhaven all the way to Brighton marina & back again, pausing only to build up a little height at Rottingdean where the cliff disappears & one has to jump the gap with no lift to sustain the flight. They were happy days, racing the buses along the A259.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 09:31
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Well, that was a waste of 30 minutes....
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 09:52
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Angels: My destination was Haverhill, but I have no memory of passing through Sudbury after Marks Tay.
I only did it late at night and it was a long time ago so my memory could well be at fault.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 10:01
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henners - The branch line terminates at Sudbury so I very much doubt you were on that section.

I'm sure your memory is fine. I can't help but think the actions of Beeching may have played a part here!
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 11:31
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if it was steam that henners was on, then the line got Beechinged after that.

Colchester longest platform in the UK? Not really - it's two platforms joined. The Ipswich end has the platform for trains from Clacton. That line then joins the line from Ipswich for the next platform, so because of the offsets of the platforms, you couldn't put a train on both platforms at once and still get in or out of all the doors. They ahve different platform numbers as well. I think Cambridge gets the title of longest platform.
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 12:04
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Isn't it at Colchester that you hang a right for Harwich, or is it Chelmsford? I always get mixed up!

Of course, it's Harwich for the continent and Frinton for the incontinent, but you may know that already.....
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 12:10
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and would like to **** a chav in the face.) He is brilliant.
What for, hitting?
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Old 29th Oct 2010, 12:20
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Unfortunately nanny auto-censored the word he himself used when describing what happened when he came upon a snotty chav violently abusing his young female victim (aka fiancee) in a back street. On intervention, having to resort to self-defence that segued into a vicariously satisfying attack.

****: A colloqualism for a female anatomic part, also used to describe a sort of unsportsmanlike jab to the fleshy part of the face, and also (the reason for auto-censor) occasionally used ad-hominiem.

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