BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘Station’

#365daysofbiking A heritage of bridge-building?

August 9th – Back in Telford following morning rain, the new footbridge linking the railway station with the town centre seems to be confused about it’s role: is it a swimming pool or a ‘State of the art facility any town should be proud of’ as one fan of this bizarrely dysfunctional bit of civil engineering recently chided me on Twitter.

In recent weeks, someone has drilled holes in the bridge deck to drain the water. They just clog up and it still floods.

And besides, that water just swamps the platform below.

This bridge is an awful design and has no rainwater control measures whatsoever. And it cost 10 million quid.

Telford, your emperor is stark, bollock naked.

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#365daysofbiking Golden years

August 5th – I was at work in Birmingham, late. I came back on a Lichfield bound train at sunset, and stumbled out tired in a beautiful, quiet golden hour.

I’ve been riding this weary journey from work for years along Lynn Lane. Always the same story: Summertime, working late, fatigue. Climb the long, steep steps up from the platform at Shenstone carrying my bike. Look down the lane towards home and the setting sun. Become struck with the sheer beauty of the hour.

And for all those years, the joy of it, and the love for it never wanes.

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#365daysofbiking Across the rooftops

July 29th – I came back from New Street to Shenstone, a run I do less these days since the Chase Line upgrade made those trains comparatively less crowded.

I forgot how much I love coming home through Shenstone, a great station to start and end any journey from.

I note that of the twin towers of St Johns, only the modern Gothic horror is visible above the rooftops; the older, earlier tower – the last remnants of a more handsome church – is shrouded by trees as is usual in summer.

I guess I’ll have to wait until autumn to see the twin towers again.

I’ve always adored this view in summer or winter…

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#365daysofbiking Late night feelings

July 26th – All hell broke loose in the afternoon. I had to travel out to investigate an unexpected job. I returned at near enough 11pm by train to Bloxwich.

The night was warm, and the train and station quiet.

I prepared the bike and looked down the line. I was tired, no, worse than that, exhausted. But stood there  in the LED light, feeling the night air and listening to – well, nothing – I felt I was near home.

For the first time since last winter, I had those late night feelings again.

What is it with me and railway stations at night?

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#365daysofbiking Exorcising ghosts

July 7th – The sunset was the culmination of a glorious golden hour.

Birmingham and Aston shone and shimmered in the gathering dusk.

A train caught the sky and was golden: Britannia fought a pitched battle on the former hotel roof with the TV antennas. The skylines and canal spoke of quiet dignity, worship and daily life.

I spent many hours as a young man in these streets, on the canals and at this station. The ghosts that haunt me here are not scary, or hostile, but warm and comfortable like enveloping sheets of memory.

My place, my past, present and future.

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#365daysofbiking Waiting for a train

June 13th – It was drier in the morning, with ha hint, just a hint of sun when I headed to Telford. My jacket hood was down for the first time in a week. I could see where I was going.

Could this be the end of the rain for a while?

Lulled into a false sense of security, a flash shower caught me on the way back to the station.

Thankfully, by the time the train got to Wolverhampton the rain had been left behind.

Just one blessed day without rain, please? It’s not too much to ask, is it?

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#365daysofbiking Waiting for a train

May 23rd – Spotted waiting for a train at Blake Street, an urbane puss undertaking some grroming duties whilst loafing on the platform like so many commuters do.

This utterly unfazed, handsome and elderly-looking cat just continued with the maintenance while a train came and went only pausing to scowl at me for daring to take his photo.

Long time since I met a railway station kitty. A pleasure to make this one’s acquaintance on such a lovely morning.

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#365daysofbiking Station approach

May 22nd – Something that’s mostly been happening beyond my notice although I pass through regularly is the rebuilding of Wolverhampton City Railway Station. All of a sudden I notice from a waiting train that steelwork has sprung up and hoardings have been erected at the north end of the old station.

I don’t get the hate for Wolves station. It’s a bland, semi-modernist, semi-brutalist station in the postwar style common in the midlands on the West Coast Main Line. Save for the signs, at Wolverhampton you could be in Stafford, Tamworth, Coventry. It’s light, it’s open, it’s dull but functional.

My only criticism really is the steep access bridge and weird separate bridge for lift access. But it works.

Now it seems we’re in for a new structure, with new facilities and it’ll be interesting to see how it develops. I hope it’s better in outlook and ambition than the risible New Street revamp, and also that it has more aforethought and usability than the monstrous, ill-conceived access bridge at Telford.

Frankly, I’m not optimistic.

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#365daysofbiking Money down the drain

April 24th – I returned in heavy rain in the afternoon to Telford Station.

Ten million pounds spaffed by Network Rail and Telford and Wrekin Council on a structure so poor that has no solution to rainwater control other than holes drilled in its deck. Water spouting down onto the platform below, flooding it’s own lift shaft.

The designers and commissioners of this fiasco should be ashamed.

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