Sunday, 1 May 2022

A Rail Day Out in April 2022

Ken Jones has sent details of one his rail day trips where he visits obscure places using best value fares and tickets. Ken had already suggested sampling Hull Trains and Grand Central.

Roger Burdett, who travels with Ken on these outings, put the following itinerary together coving over 300 miles for less than £41 each, using split ticketing and senior railcards. 

They started their day by using the NCP car park at Grantham, much cheaper than nearby LNER facilities.


Grantham - Selby 08.28 - 09.23 Hull Trains class 802

Selby - York 09.32 - 10.02 Northern class 155

York - Sunderland 10.25 - 12.04 Grand Central class 180

Sunderland - Newcastle 12.32 - 12.55 Northern class 156

Via high level bridge

Newcastle - York 13.30 - 14.29 LNER Azuma

Via King Edward bridge

York - Grantham 16.03 - 17.06 LNER Azuma

Hull trains unit was very comfortable and clean. Their carriages depict towns on their route as part of their exterior livery. The transition from electric power to diesel power on the move was exceptionally good. 
We were lucky to travel on a class 1555 unit as only 7 sets remain. Built in 1988 all the others were converted to single car 153 units. They were built from Leyland National bus parts on Leyland bus bogied underframes. 

It was Ken’s first trip on a class 180 built by Alstrom Birmingham in 2000 / 01 and his first visit to Sunderland plus his first visit north using the coastal route via Hartlepool.

Hartlepool station uses only one platform whereas Sunderland has an island platform used in both directions by Northern, the Tyne & Wear Metro as well as unloading / loading Grand Central passengers. It is located in a cutting with buildings above, making it appear to be an underground station.

LNER services allow you to reserve a seat up to 5 minutes before the train is due to depart a station. To operate this, they have one or two unreserved coaches and a traffic light system at other seats. Red shows the seat is reserved and details next to it such as reserved from Doncaster to Kings Cross. 
They also have amber lights saying this seat maybe reserved later and many then turn red as we approached major stations heading back to Grantham.

All pictures by Ken Jones

EMR 158 889 seen arriving at Grantham

We saw at least 2 class 91 diagrams. The first was headed by 82205 seen at Grantham

 Former Greater Anglia 156 now 156 909 seen arriving at Grantham

91109 seen about to depart Grantham

Our Hull Trains unit seen arriving at Grantham

DSC 0942 Interior shot of Hull Trains unit

The exterior of the Hull Trains unit

 Hull trains unit about to depart Selby

Our 155 unit arriving at Selby

Interior shot of the 155 unit

Our Grand Central train arriving at York. Note where the unit number is

Interior shot of the class 180 unit

The out of use platform at Hartlepool

Grand Central train after arriving at Sunderland. When passengers are all disembarked it will go into a siding before coming in to the other platform to load passengers wanting to go south

Metro unit 4081 seen approaching Sunderland

Metro unit 4009 at the platform in Sunderland

Our class 156 and an attempt to brighten up the station

A Classic view of Newcastle Central station

Our Azuma arriving for the service to York

A break at York allows a photograph of TPE class 68 waiting to depart for Scarborough

Old and new at York with 88009 and 37422

Azuma 801 228 seen under the footbridge at York

Many thanks to Ken for his report and photos. If you're attending an event or travelling on public transport please feel free to send details and photos to