Railway companies of the United Kingdom

steam train

not necessarily an exhaustive list

but pretty impressive nonetheless and in no particular order

Great Western Railway
London and North Eastern Railway
London, Midland and Scottish Railway
Southern Railway
Great Eastern Railway
Great Central Railway
Great Northern Railway
Great North of Scotland Railway
Hull and Barnsley Railway
North British Railway
North Eastern Railway
Colne Valley and Halstead Railway
East and West Yorkshire Union Railway
Mid-Suffolk Light Railway
Brackenhill Light Railway (West Yorkshire)
Fawcett Depot line (County Durham)
Great North of England, Clarence and Hartlepool Junction line
Humber Commercial Railway and Dock
Mansfield Railway
North Lindsey Light Railway
Seaforth and Sefton Junction Railway
Sheffield District Railway
London and Blackwall Railway
East Lincolnshire Railway
Horncastle Railway
Nottingham and Grantham Railway and Canal
Nottingham Suburban line
Stamford and Essendine Railway
Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway
Forth and Clyde Junction Railway
Gifford & Garvald Railway
Glasgow and Milngavie Junction Railway
Kilsyth and Bonnybridge railway
Lauder Light Railway
Newburgh and North Fife Railway
South Yorkshire Junction Railway
West Riding and Grimsby Railway
East London Railway:
Southern Railway,
Metropolitan Railway
District Railway.
Cheshire Lines Committee (CLC): Railway
Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway
Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway
Hull and Barnsley and Great Central Joint Railway
Axholme Joint Railway
Cheshire Lines Committee
Caledonian and Dunbartonshire Junction Railway
Dundee and Arbroath Railway
Carmyllie Light Railway
Great Central and Midland Joint Railway
Great Central & North Staffordshire Joint Railway
Great Northern and London and North Western Joint Railway
Halifax and Ovenden Junction Railway
Methley Railway
Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway
Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Railway
Oldham, Ashton and Guide Bridge Railway
Otley & Ilkley Railway
Perth General Station
Prince’s Dock, Glasgow
South Yorkshire Joint Railway
Swinton and Knottingley Joint Railway
Tottenham & Hampstead Junction Railway
Great Western and Great Central Joint Railway

Coast to coast day 3

coast to coast

Rosthwaite to Patterdale

This is the fourth video from our coast to coast walk back in May. These are pretty rudimentary videos but they give you an idea of the walk as we did it and for me serve as a souvenir/memento of the trip. I’m doing one video per day. This one is about the second day of the walk from Rosthwaite to Patterdale.

I did the walk with my son Tom Davies with friend Mark (Ajax) Agius and his son  Luke. Check out the coast to coast day 3 blog post on trefor.net.

Coast to Coast Day 2

coast to coast

Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite

This is the third video from our coast to coast walk back in May. These are pretty rudimentary videos but they give you an idea of the walk as we did it and for me serve as a souvenir/memento of the trip. I’m doing one video per day. This one is about the second day of the walk from Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite. The first day had been a toughie because of the weather. This second day was equally tough because of the terrain.

I did the walk with my son Tom Davies with friend Mark (Ajax) Agius and his son  Luke. Check out the coast to coast day 2 blog post here.

Wainwright Coast to Coast Day 1

coast to coast

St Bees to Ennerdale Bridge

This is the second video from our coast to coast walk back in May. These are pretty rudimentary videos but they give you an idea of the walk as we did it and for me serve as a souvenir/memento of the trip. I’m doing one video per day. This one is about the first day of the walk from St Bees in Cumbria to Ennerdale Bridge. I did the walk with my son Tom Davies with friend Mark (Ajax) Agius and his son  Luke.

Wainwright Coast to Coast Day 0

coast to coast

travel to St Bees

This is the first video from our coast to coast walk back in May. These are pretty rudimentary videos but they give you an idea of the walk as we did it and for me serve as a souvenir/memento of the trip. I’m doing one video per day. This one is about my journey to the start of the walk at St Bees in Cumbria. I did the walk with my son Tom Davies with friend Mark (Ajax) Agius and his son  Luke.

Coast to coast walk weather forecast

Coast to coast weather forecast ain’t particularly good

The coast to coast weather is always pretty hit and miss. This is the UK after all and we are talking about the Lake District as a starting point. The average number of days with rain in the Lake District in May is 16. The rest of the walk isn’t much better. It’s 14 days in both the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorks Moors.

Now that we are within two weeks of the off it isn’t unreasonable to start looking at the Coast to Coast weather and the Met Office is the obvious place to go:

UK Outlook for Friday 22 Apr 2016 to Sunday 1 May 2016:

Friday sees rain in the south pushing north for a time, maybe reaching central parts before slowly clearing, though temperatures should be around normal. Further north a cold airflow is expected to become established, bringing showers or longer spells of rain, with snow over higher ground. Wintriness is also possible down to low levels in the far north, along with some gales. The cold conditions are expected to spread to all areas through next weekend and into the start of the following week, bringing periods of sunshine, showers and longer spells of rain, these turning wintry at times. The cold, unsettled conditions are then expected to persist through to the start of May, with rain or showers turning wintry over most parts and widespread overnight frosts.

I can attest to the snow over high ground as it very definitely snowed on me whilst camping in Derbyshire over the weekend. We were lucky with the daytime weather whist walking and had all the right kit anyway.

The next period is the important one:

UK Outlook for Monday 2 May 2016 to Monday 16 May 2016:

May is expected to start cold, with a northerly flow bringing sunshine and showers, with some of these turning occasionally wintry, especially in the north, along with widespread overnight frosts. As we move into the second week of the month, there is a slight signal for more settled conditions, with temperatures possibly moving towards average for the time of year.

Updated at: 1139 on Sun 17 Apr 2016

The first point is that it that our walk is indeed up north – so the “especially in the north” bit for wintry showers is relevant. There is a reason for mild optimism as we enter the second week of our walk with the “slight signal for more settled conditions” as long as it doesn’t mean snow is going to settle on the ground.

The old adage says there is no such thing as bad  weather, just bad preparation. This is only true up to a point. Even if you have all the right gear, walking into driving rain isn’t pleasant and is very definitely going to slow you down.

Now I’m not whinging here. OK if there is bad weather yes it might take us a little longer to do the day’s walk but the main issue will be whether we have to make diversions. Walking in the mountains when it is stormy is to be avoided.

Wainwright himself recommends lower alternative routes in such circumstances which would really just mean not getting to see some of the views. Might also mean avoiding some of the climbs which nobody is going to complain about.

This might be a problem on some of the days. For example the Rosthwaite to Patterdale leg is a killer involving 17.5 miles and two big climbs. People often break this into two days walk stopping overnight at Grasmere. This was not Wainwright’s choice but there again as a hardened walker he could probably easily cope!

The problem is that there isn’t a quick way round by road to avoid the mountain weather. Grasmere to Patterdale is 40 minutes in a car.

We will just have to play it by ear.

The only saving grace is that the British weather is notoriously changeable and who knows what it is really going to be like:)

Coast to coast tracking and other Galaxy S7 Edge stuff

Coast to Coast tech update

This coast to coast tech update involves my new phone. Am liking the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge more and more especially as I discover more features.

The double click on the home button when the screen is locked brings up the camera v quickly. This is very useful. The only issue I will have on the coast to coast, where i will probably want to take lots of photos and videos, will be that ideally these photos will be embedded in the Runkeeper route map and will therefore need to be taken from inside the app. I may be able to programme the phone to bring up runkeeper quickly – will investigate.

The one thing that will be tested today is the battery life. Out and about in London I am certain to use the phone more. Even if it is just more photos and videos (of me:)). At 9.56 I am down to 85% having been fully charged before I left home.

One of the features that compares very well with the Oneplus 2 is the sharing to Google Drive. I photograph all my receipts as I get them and upload to specific folders on Google Drive. On the Oneplus2 I had to specifically delete the photo name and replace it with something more useful (eg taxi£5). On the Edge the old text is already selected and all I have to do is type in the new name. These are small things but greatly enhance usability. I imagine this is down to the specific instance of Android being used but it might be Samsung related.

Certainly the Edge doesn’t feel as if it has so much bloatware as earlier Samsung Galaxy devices I have used. This was one of my main complaints about Samsung. Having said that I don’t really use Samsung’s own apps.

With regard to tech for the Coast to Coast walk I think I’ve decided to use Runkeeper for the tracking with embedded photos but with Fitbit and the OS Maps app as alternatives. I’ve tested the Fitbit a fair bit and the battery life seems to be roughly 8 hours in GPS mode so it might be ok. The OS app will give me far better on the ground resolution but they don’t yet have the real time online sharing feature. Runkeeper will allow me to share my data with the world so I will be providing a link each day to the online route tracker so that you can see where I am. They also have APIs into Facebook and Twitter for sharing the data.

It means I will have to become a premium member of both the Ordnance Survey and Runkeeper but I think it will be worth it.

We have to remember that one of the reasons for this walk is to raise cash for Cancer Research UK so if anyone has any thoughts about how to increase the publicity surrounding the event please feel free to share. We are talking about extended publicity over a 2 week period starting on Sunday May 1st. 

ITSPA council meeting this afternoon. Ciao bebes.

Stay tuned for another coast to coast tech update when I have it 🙂

Our VW Campervan Hire Business is up and running

vw campervan hire lincoln

Anne’s Vans VW campervan hire lincoln

If you are thinking of heading off for a UK based holiday you could do worse than a VW campervan hire from Anne’s Vans in Lincoln. Anne’s vans is our new VW campervan hire Lincoln business.

The idea came about when last summer we tried to hire a vintage VW campervan but couldn’t find one for love nor money. Every one was rented out for the season. This gave us the idea of buying our own van and hiring it out when we aren’t using it, which is most of the time.

The van is looked after by our friend Dave Cooper from DC Automotive and is kept in dry storage in his garage in Lincoln. It gives us peace of mind knowing that the van is well maintained and in top notch condition for both our own use and that of customers.

Our first van is called Betty. She is the first of perhaps a stable of vans that will grow as the business expands. Betty has been completely restored over a period of 3 years. She was stripped to bare metal and rebuilt from there up. Her colour scheme is the original paint job used when she left the factory.

Whilst the base vehicle has been kept to its original spec no expense has been spared on the interior which reflects the height of VW campervan luxury. There is even a porta potty that can be a life saver when caught short in a campsite the middle of the night. Everyone will understand the after effects of drinking lots of wine and beer whilst gazing at the sunset over a beach.

Check out the Anne’s Vans website for more info and to keep up to date with the VW campervan news.

Btw we did think of calling the website something else. I have the domain name vwcampervan.hire but whilst this might be good for SEO purposes actually the business is my lovely wife Anne’s and the name Anne’s Vans is far more personable. Also check out the Anne’s Vans Facebook page. If you are searching for “VW campervan hire Lincoln” then look no further.

All the best.




Wainwright 190 mile Coast to Coast sponsored walk in aid of Cancer Research UK

Coast to coast sponsored walk

On May 1st 2016 my son Tom and I will be setting off from St Bees in Cumbria on the West Coast of England to walk to Robin Hood’s Bay on the East Coast. This is a 190 mile coast to coast sponsored walk.

coast to coast sponsored walk cancer research logoWe are doing it to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. There are two main reasons why this is important to us.

  1. May 1st is the first anniversary of the death of my mother, Eileen. Mam did not die of cancer but she had been Chairman of the Marown and District branch of the Isle of Man Anti-Cancer Association (where I grew up). Raising funds to help beat cancer was important to Mam. She was a nurse and had spent years helping and comforting patients at the end of their lives.
  2. My wife Anne’s father Keith died of Cancer two years ago.


So this walk is in memory of these two important people. I am expecting some side benefits. Walking for 190 miles across the lake district, Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorks Moors is going to be somewhat of a challenge for someone who has spent the last thirty years with his feet propped up on a desk. I have had to get into training just to be able to even get to the start. I’m hoping there will be less of me at the end than there was at the beginning of the odyssey.

The other benefit will be spending two weeks in the company of my first born effectively away from electronic screens. At this point I hear some of you fall off your chairs in disbelief. How can this be so? 🙂

Well the trip is not going to be entirely offline, other than the fact that there will be little or no mobile reception along much of the route. I am expecting to post updates from our B&B(/pub) every night and will be publishing a live tracker of our progress en route. Expect vids and pics.

Tom and I would also like to think that the walk will raise some serious cash for the cause. Most people have been touched by cancer in one way or another. In 2016 we are seeing signs that there is light at the end of the tunnel but we aren’t there yet.

If you would like to help please consider making a donation, no matter how small, to Cancer Research UK.

Also if you want to come along on all or part of this walk then you are very welcome to do so and should get in touch.  Our friend Mark Agius and his son Luke are coming the whole way. We set off at 9am on Sunday 1st May and arrive at our destination at tea time on Thursday 12th.


The return journey with greenjumperman

There’s something about international train stations. Perhaps it’s because by and large we don’t have them in the UK, the Eurostar out of St Pancras being the exception. Seeing the names of what are to me exotic destinations up on the departures board is exciting. It also somehow feels appropriate that I am bleary eyed from a poor night’s sleep thanks to the usual waking up every half an hour to see if it is time for the alarm to go off yet. Or whether the alarm has not gone off when it should have more like. This morning I packed my stuff up in my room, fumbled my way around the living room to hug Hannah on the bed settee and set off. Rue Faubourg St Denis at 8am was just waking up. Shutters were being rolled up on shop fronts. Early commuters were starting to permeate through from Gare Du Nord and Gare De L’Est. Kids were being towed by parents, schoolward bound. I over heard one father say something to two kids decked out in identical coats. It ended in “uh?”. The verbal shrug of Gallic shoulders being instilled at a young age. Hannah has a lie in. She is meeting someone to hand over the keys to the AirBnB apartment at midday. Our instructions in the welcome pack were to leave the key on the table in the living room. However whoever comes in to clean up has lost their key and so needs ours to get a new one cut. That piled the pressure on us. Every time left the flat I had to treble check that I had the key with me. Accidentally locking it in would have been a bit a disaster considering that the backup had been lost. It feels strange leaving Hannah behind but she is a grown up now. We still have a lingering responsibility as she is still a student. Paris is the second half of her year abroad. She is studying French and Spanish with Catalan and has just finished six months in Toledo. Both her French as Spanish are now pretty impressive, at least from the perspective of someone whose Spanish extends to ordering two beers and whose French is frozen in time in 1978, the year of my Grade B French O’Level. I get by. Han is by now used to being left alone in strange cities, having made it to Toledo under her own steam. I figured it would make sense to go with her to Paris. Turning up alone in a big city is not a nice thing. I stayed 4 nights and achieved the main objective of finding her some accommodation. She has a student apartment in the 5eme Arrondissement with a Dutch girl and an Italian lad. A good place to be, near the Quartier Latin and the cafes of the left bank. Unfortunately the apartment doesn’t become available until the 20th so we’ve booked her into a cheap hotel just around the corner from the Gare Du Nord where she can catch the RER B to work. 15 nights in a hotel! The flat hunt was a bit of an eye opener. The first one we visited was cheap and would have been a great place to be had it not been for the guy whose flat it was. There was something about him that perhaps hinted at why he had been unable to let the room. The second was a nightmare. She was expected to share a room with a somewhat smelly girl and where the landlady kipped in the living room. A non starter. The third had real prospects compared with the first two. It was just around the corner from the Luxembourg RER B station, on the top floor of a nice old building. The problem with this one was that it was owned by a nice old lady. You got the feeling that it would have been somewhat stifling for a 20 year old girl after a bit of experience of life, and life in Paris at that. So now she’s behind me in Paris and I’m hurtling towards the English Channel and breakfast in London with her brother Tom. As I write we have passed a row of wind turbines. It must be a still day as the blades are pretty motionless. The train is half way between Paris and Arras. Big fields. Occasional villages. Lots of wind turbines. Looks cold out there. Paris was cold. This was a bit of a nuisance because every time we entered a cafe we had to peel off the layers or cook. Greenery is just starting to come though in some of the fields we pass. Growth from early planting at the end of last season, one assumes though I’m far from knowledgeable on the subject. Half the people around me on the train are asleep. The others are engrossed in gadgets as am I. A girl sat across from me is learning English. She has a dictionary and doing stuff with her iPad. We have just passed Bapaume, a place of significant historical significance from WW1 unless I am mistaken. Her name is Mlle Zena Saheli btw. The girl learning English. She has a letter of application open in front of her. Looks like she is a dancer. Not my business but it’s hard to not see what’s there in front of you. I have a coffee now. A medium latte, E3.20. I don’t drink much coffee but figured it was necessary on this trip. Either I spend the journey catching up on my zeds or I write stuff. So I’m writing stuff. When you look out at the frozen fields you really can imagine hte hardship of life in the trenches, especially at this time of year. It’s 10.14 Paris time. Hannah will be just starting to get up. No rush. Once she is checked into the hotel she has a few things she can be getting on with. Signing up for a Navigo and chasing up the bank to see why they haven’t been in touch with her to get her bank account sorted. Bloke next to me is asleep with his green sweater over his head. I took a picture although with the sun behind him it didn’t come out brilliantly. It’s going to be nice to get home and back into a routine for a week or so. I’m listiening to ELO on my earphones. I don’t have a huge choice of music on my phone so tend to listen to the same stuff time and time again. Normally I hop artists/tracks but I can’t be botherered to get that involved on the train. I’m not sure I’ve listened to the whole of ELO’s greatest hits (or whatever the album is called – I bought a load for my 50th Birthday bash 3 years ago). Before I forget I though the passport control set up in Gare Du Nord was a bit odd. You went through a French Passport Control and then separately through a British one. Why bother with two? Just a UK one should have sufficed I’d a thought. Anyway who am i to say? Eh? The fields are a bit snowier the further North we get. Hey we’re in a tunnel. I don’t think it can be the tunnel, the chunnel. I could be wrong. Hadn’t realised we were that near the coast. Must be it. No mobile data reception though. I got 4G on my way out. Probably because I’m still roaming and have data roaming switched off cos it’s a rip off. On the way out I got LTE but was still registered with O2 in the UK. Zena has packed her stuff away now and the green jumper is off his head. There’s something a little strange about being in a very long tunnel under the sea. It ain’t natural is it? We butcher our planet. Handy though if you want to get to central Paris quickly. I’m in seat 46 Car 14 btw. It’s handy for the cafe bar. There’s also a UK electrical socket but I’m in the aisle seat and I can’t be bothered to ask green jumper man to plug in my Chromebook. I’ve got enough juice to get me to London anyway. Only half an hiur until we’re due in London so must me bearly out of the tunnel now. Zena is having a bit of a kip. Feet up on the next seat in the foetus position. Her black trousers are torn at the knees. V trendy I suppose. Green jumper has opened a bag of mixed fruit and nut. Still lots of sleeping folk. Cmon guys. You can’t sleep your lives away. Do something. Oriental looking guy has woken up and is now checking his phone. I can hear the rustling of crisp packets or simlar despite having 10cc in my earphones. Also just had a bit of a shock. Lost this file I’ve been editing for two hours. Coming out of the tunnel and back in the land of connectivity I eventually found it on Google Drive. This is even though I was working on it offline. Wow. Cool. Back underground now. Maybe we are running through a site of Special Scientific Interest and they built dug the tunnel to avoid disturbing a butterfly, or a lizard. Or maybe someone put a hill in the way. I dunno. We interrupt this ad hoc dialogue to tell you that we are shortly arriving at Ebbsfleet. I suppose someone might want to get off there. In fact a woman has stirred and picked up her suitcase. As long as she doesn’t touch my bag we are all happy. Ebbsfleet is clearly convenient if you don’t want to haul yourself into Central London to catch the train. They didn’t have a similar stop in France though. Oo a few people getting off here now. It’s an uninviting looking station. Overweight member of staff speaks into his walkie talkie on the platform. Whistles blow. Presumably in code. Largish bloke not given the go ahead to depart yet. must be someone still getting off train.He keeps looking up and down the platform. The driver has taken things into his own hands and we are off anyway. I’m going to upload this now as I don’t know how much more editing time I’ll have before the final subterranean segment of our journey. Ciao amigos. It’s good to be back.