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She’s A Trainspotter

If you know me, or are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll probably know I’m not your average kind of woman. But what usually shocks people the most is that is the fact I’m a trainspotter. Yep, you got it, a trainspotter. I was born to be one, it’s a past time that runs deep in by blood passed on from generation to generation. I was lucky though, I had the best teacher to show me what to do, my dad.

I don’t wear an anorak, nor does my dad, or most of his spotting friends. They’re just your average person, with a few exceptions of course, dads, husbands, daughters and brothers, just like you and I.

Over the years dad took me to all sorts of places. Starting life in Lancashire my brothers were well versed in all things trains by the time I was born. On a trip to Blackburn as a small child I ended up in the cab of a 150, and from then on, I was rarely seen without my numbers notebook.

Living in Birmingham from the late 80’s meant I was lucky enough to go trainspotting in all manner of stations great and small. I met some characters to say the least that we still talk about today. I could spot a diesel engine a mile off and could catch the numbers of slam door coaches as they whizzed by in the days of British Rail.

As I grew into my teenage years I stopped spotting as much, but my love of trains never ceased. In fact, I developed a soft spot for the class 142, a Pacer, Railbus, whatever you wish to call it. Mostly hated amongst commuters, there is actually a strong following of Pacer fans around the UK and I’m proud to be one of them. From my early 20’s it became my mission to go on as many as possible, especially those with original seats. Here’s a few photos from my travels in Lancashire over the last decade, forever hoping to spot a Pacer with original seats…

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Preston 2017
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142 003 at St Annes On The Sea, 2017
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Glorious original seats on 142 003.
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142 013 in Lytham, 2017.
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Magnificent to say the least…

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Lytham, 2009.
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En-route to Bolton from Manchester Victoria, 2011.
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Dad counting how many Pacers we’d seen that day, Bolton, 2011.
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Bolton, 2010, with my favourite trainspotter. 
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In action, Bolton, 2011.
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Look how happy Pacers make people!
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“The hardest life if that of a trainspotter”. Dad getting his numbers down at Manchester Victoria, 2011.
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Bolton, unknown date.
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Once of my favourite photos taken at Bolton, date unknown.
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Manchester Piccadilly, 2011.
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Manchester Victoria to Burnley, 2014.

I could share a thousand more photos of dad and I on our travels. You really haven’t lived until you’ve been on a Pacer. I’m sure dad would confirm that, he’s travelled the length of and breadth of the UK trainspotting over the years and hopes to go on as many as possible before Northern Rail withdraw them in 2020. It’ll be a sad day, but I’ve plenty more bumpy. squeaky, utterly brilliant rides left on Pacers yet!

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