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A sudden change of mind.

UK rail trip – 2022

Day 14 – 16th April, 2022

The train arrived in Penzance at just before 08:00. The bus station for the bus out to Land’s End was only a two minute walk from the station. Just before the bus arrived, I had a sudden change of mind. I’d catch the train back to Saltash, which is where I noticed the Royal Albert Bridge the other day. Again, that’s the beauty of a railpass – able to make spur of the momeent decisions. So, I walked back to the station. Waiting for me was an Inter City 125 HST. I hopped on board and found myself a seat.

Penzance (08:52)
Great Western Railway
1:45 (78:49)
Saltash (10:37)
120.7 km (6862.1 km)

Leaving the cold and windy conditions behind at Penzance, my train followed the short coastal stretch before turning inland. Again passing through cities such as Truro and St. Austell. I wondered if I’ll get to visit those cities on this trip. Possibly not. I might have to leave them for my round the world bicycle trip. An hour and 45 minutes after leaving Penzance, I arrived at Saltash.

I hopped off the train and walked to the end of the platform. Before me was the imposing structure of the Royal Albert Bridge. I checked the local area on Google Maps to see how I would get down to the River Tamar. All downhill, which meant all uphill on the way back! Still, I was up for a challenge.

The Royal Albert Bridge, from Saltash station.

I left the station behind and found the road that would take me down to the water’s edge. It was a very steep downhill walk. Once at the bottom, I found a small village-type setting.

It’s going to be a steep walk back up to the station!
The Royal Albert Bridge.
The River Tamar.
The Union Inn.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
The Union Inn.

It was time to head back to the station. I hadn’t yet decided to where to stay tonight. I have some friends in Stockport (in Greater Manchester), so I decided to send a message to see whether they were happy to accept a last minute request to stay. They were more than happy to. They asked me what I’d prefer as beer. I replied, stating as long as it’s cold. I also mentioned cider would be good, also. I made my long climb up to the station.

Very steep. The photo doesn’t do it justice.

I didn’t go directly to the station. I decided to make a visit to the town centre to get something to eat first. I picked up a couple of sandwiches and a one litre bottle of orange juice. I then followed the signs back to the station. However, they stopped short which meant I had no idea which way to go. With the help of a local, I was pointed in the right direction.

Welcome to Saltash – Home of I.K.Brunel’s Royal Albert Bridge.
Troops leaving Saltash for the Front.
Saltash Remembers.
Saltash Remembers.
Saltash station and the Royal Albert Bridge.
Saltash (12:37)
Great Western Railway
3:43 (82:32)
Newport (16:20)
255.6 km (7117.7 km)

To get to Stockport, it was going to take two trains and nearly seven hours of travel. However, as travelling by train is my favourite form of travel (apart from travelling by bicycle), I had no problems with this. A change of train will be required in Newport (Wales), not too far from Cardiff.

I had a little bit of train before my onward train to Stockport, so I left the station to grab something to drink. On exiting the station barriers, the QR code on my BritRail Pass didn’t work. During this trip, so far, it has never worked. As a result, I usually need to call the attention of a barrier attendant. One of the attendants at this station obviously hadn’t seen the eticket version of a BritRail Pass before, so questioned me. Despite being unsure of my answers, he decided to let me through regardless. I found the local Tesco and grabbed another litre bottle of orange juice. Yes, I love my orange juice!

Newport (Wales) (17:09)
Transport for Wales
2:50 (85:22)
Stockport (19:59)
244.8 km (7362.5 km)

It was to take almost three hours to get from Newport to Stockport. Passing back through Shrewsbury, it appeared to be a nice city to explore. The station platforms stretch across the River Severn. Again, it’s a city I probably wouldn’t be able to fit in during my current travels. I arrived at Stockport just on 20:00.

I still had at least a half hour walk to where I’d be staying this evening and the next couple of days. Google Maps states 25 minutes. However, with a suitcase in tow, it took me closer to 45 minutes. I was warmly greeted by my friends and was handed a can of cold cider.

Private home
Steve and Christine

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