Saturday, 18 May 2013

Train vs Bus

Saturday 18th May 2013

With the prospect of heavy rain for today, we thought about doing something better than just spending it on the boat and in the pub.

What could be better than a train journey to Barrow-in-Furness – everytime I hear the name I think of the Monty Python Election Night Special sketch and I think it is a cat that wins the election in Barrow.

Nevertheless we bought our tickets and sought out the famous clock in the film “Brief Encounter” and the tea rooms which have been restored as they looked in the film.

It was a bit like stepping back in time and it seemed all too appropriate to be partaking in some refreshments before we caught the train – no rush at all.

We presented ourselves onto Platform 2 and whilst we waited a short walk along the platform yielded a steam locomotive being started up in the yards – not sure of the name of the train but it was mighty impressive.

The journey itself was very enjoyable; the scenery was impressive and within an hour we were there – Barrow-in-Furness – where is that cat?

As a place, Barrow leaves the strong impression of a town in trouble – boarded up and empty shops; many charity shops and a general feeling of not going anywhere – I don’t think that the rain helped either.

We did a bit a walking around and could see some signs of jobs creation, but still seems that it will take a lot to bring Barrow back to a brighter place.

This fellow, a borzoi, had the run of the pub where
we dropped in for a drink - here he is asleep on one
of the seats

After some lunch we slowly wandered back to the station for the return journey – we wish we had walked more quickly and caught the earlier train, because by the time we reached there the flashing message against the train was “BUS” – the train route is very direct; the panorama of the trip into Barrow was that the road would hardly compete with this – we expected a much longer trip and we were hardly surprised.

A 54 minute train trip became a 2 hour trip by bus – and a bit harem-scarem at that as well.

We were both glad to step off the bus and make our way back to the boat and an excited Banjo who had been such a good boy for the day – out of the boat quick smart for some relief.

There was also a need to run the engine to charge the batteries; but most enjoyable was sitting comfortably and putting our feet up.

Diane relaxed a bit more with Dr Who and of course Eurovision was on as well – for me, I can do without them both!!


  1. The steam engine is 45699 Galatea. It has just been rebuilt and is undergoing load testing so that it can run on the mainline pulling fare paying passengers on steam specials.

  2. i knew that you would know all about it - it was most impressive when they started her up - no glow plugs there - just an enourmous amount of smoke