Birmingham R15

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Re: Birmingham R15

Post by tufnellpark » 30 Apr 2020, 16:39

For those who are interested here is a summary of my day out on Birmingham R15; the last before lockdown!

Eight teams met at Birmingham New Street #1 ready for the start at 11:00. Tufnellpark, xcooler, kingrat and the lunatics headed down to catch the Walsall train, which left 6 mins late. Not a good start. A quick change at Dudley Port #2 but our train arrived back at New Street, also 6 mins late. A furious rush to two different platforms for the Cross City line (north and south) ensued. Trains were missed, so tufnellpark, xcooler and kingrat headed south on the next train. Presumably the lunatics went north. We reversed at Kings Norton #4 and then again at Sutton Coldfield #5. Due to late trains, we had dropped one train and a late arrival back at New Street (yes you guessed it 6 mins late) meant Plan A (13:31 from Moor Street) was scuppered, so on to plan B. Comparing notes, tufnellpark and xcooler had the same revised plan, so we would be enjoying each other's company now for the whole day.

But first a run as tufnellpark and xcooler left New Street on foot and headed up past the cathedral to Snow Hill #6. We lost kingrat who headed to Moor Street. xcooler is faster and my heart rate higher on these runs but we both made the 7 min connection with seconds to spare. We reversed at Kidderminster, our train calling at Blakedown #8 on the return journey. We arrived back at Snow Hill at 15:03, with plenty of time to purchase a Tesco meal deal. Next train was the 15:28 to Stratford-on-Avon which departed 6 mins late! Maybe West Midlands Trains are still on Birmingham time. It was 'Much Ado About Nothing' as we had a leisurely connection at Stratford-on-Avon for the Chiltern line. And who should we meet on that train, yes kingrat, who had unfortunately not made it out to Blakedown and so was a station down. Good news for us.

We left Stratford-on-Avon at 16:40 with stops at the two tricky stations Bearley #12 and Claverdon #13, which only have four trains a day. xcooler flashed his Avanti staff card at the guard which seemed to work after a promise that the guard could travel on Avanti West Coast any time he wanted to. "We're all in this together" was his parting comment. tufnellpark assured the boys that we would make our 2min connection at Art Deco Leamington Spa #14 on to a Cross Country train which whisked us to Coventry. One more train to catch to Tile Hill #15 and we arrived at 17:37, 6 hours and 37 mins after we had started. The early delays had cost me one hour as my Plan A was due to finish in 05:37. We jumped off the train at Berkswell and had a well earned pint in the Brickmakers Arms before heading back to New Street and a post match curry. A lamb balti since you asked!

A fine day out on West Midlands Trains and we will do it all again, same time next year.
London 16:14:10 Paris 13:23:33 Zone 1 02:36:30 Overground 09:07:35 Metrolink 05:27:56
Land's End to John O'Groats by bus 3 days, 8 hrs, 17mins

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Re: Birmingham R15

Post by Lunaticonthegrass » 03 May 2020, 18:48

Since we've had one day summary, I might as well do mine...

As Tufnell Park stated, my partner in grime and I started by heading to Dudey Port. Only 2 trains an hour in either direction so a bit awkward. Heading back into town things started to get delayed. We had a tight connection for a Tile Hill train, but once I figured out that that train should be behind the the one we were all on I wasn't too worried.

Back at New Street and we found out that a train had broken down at Marston Green, causing choas. Certainly we wouldn't be heading to Tile Hill any time soon. Whilst I figured out what to do next everybody else vanished as they had already come up with something - spot the seasoned challengers! Eventually we decided to head north (Tufnell Park assumed correctly!) and tick off Sutton Coldfield.

The original plan after that was to go back to New Street, run to Snow Hill and knock out the Stratford-Leamington loop. But I then realised that if we got back into New Street on time we could possibly make a tight connection at Moor Street to get to Leamington quickly and save some time. If that didn't work we could always head to Snow Hill in time and revert to the first plan.

We were a few minutes late getting to Sutton Coldfield, and we had a planned 5 mintue turnaround here. But we made it with no trouble and our return train was bang on time. We returned to New Street without a hitch, made a mad run to Moor Street and managed to make the Leamington train with a minute or so to spare.

The train was rammed, which wasn't surprising. The breakdown at Marston Green had put the New Street-Euston line out of action so everybody travelling to London had to use the Chiltern Line.

At Leamington we ran into al, who had been on the same train as us. There then wasn't much to report as we slowly made our way to Stratford and then up to Snow Hill.

Our devices were indicating trains running again on the line to Coventry, so we all decide to run back to New Street, knock out Tile Hill and then head west in some fashion. We got to New Street to discover that trains weren't running to Coventry. So we did the only thing we could and headed south on the Cross City line, planning to change at Bromsgrove and Droitwich to then head up through Blakedown and Stourbridge. We were down for a connection of only a few minutes, if that, for a rare Blakedown train at Droitwich, but our train from Bromsgrove was a few minutes delayed. We pulled into Droitwich in time to see it pull out of the other platform.

We headed down to Worcester because we had the time to do so and use the tesco metro outside the station. We didn't see al get back on the Blakedown train. I think he might have thrown in the towel at this point. As for ourselves, we slowly make our way up to Smethwick Galton Bridge, went to New Street and - finally - got on a train to Tile Hill, finishing in 7 hours, 19 minutes.

Oh, and our final train was once again a few minutes late so we missed a swift double-back there. But we did manage to make a swift one at Coventry to a fast train back, before having a pint at the Anchor in Digbeth, joined by (I think) A2, and then heading to Mazil's.
1 FNC attempt - 1 completion (18:22:43)
1 pint in 18 seconds

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Re: Birmingham R15

Post by A2 » 17 May 2020, 01:28

Lunaticonthegrass wrote:
03 May 2020, 18:48
...before having a pint at the Anchor in Digbeth, joined by (I think) A2, and then heading to Mazil's.
- Andrew

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