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Thursday, 15 January 2009

Cumbrian Menagerie

Getting a train on the west Cumbrian coast railway has its ups and downs. The trains are all old and could do with being retired, there are usually several mad people you wouldn't want to sit next to and the carriages inexplicably smell of a mixture between manure and marijuana. However the views along the journey are fantastic and there is always plenty of wildlife to see.

I travelled between Whitehaven (a bit of the harbour can be seen above) and Carlisle on New Year's day. It was a fantastic journey. The first good fortune I had was that it was a brilliantly clear day so the views would be amazing; the second was that I was the only person on the train so had two carriages to myself. It stayed this way until Workington when one other person got on but he sat in the other carriage so it was still blissfully quiet and chav free. My third bit of luck was that the conductor's ticket machine was broken so I had a free journey!

The terrain changes from coast to fells as the train goes slightly more inland so there is plenty of opportunity to see a variety of wildlife. I think this journey is the best one for the amount of fauna I spotted as I speeded through the countryside. Oyster catchers, gulls, several herons, blackbirds, fieldfares, jackdaws, sheep, cows, a couple of ponies, a large rook or a raven and even a Vietnamese pot bellied pig!


Gill said...

it's a beautiful journey- especially when not overcrowded.

Anonymous said...

Please don't take offence but please get your English right (at least in your first sentence)!

It's not "depart snippets" it's "impart snippets"

- Depart is when you leave
- Impart is when you something leaves you.

Manda said...

I used to do this journey nearly every day. It's particularly nice when the grassy cliffs are covered in wildflowers. Another hazard of this trip, by the way, is that sometimes the sea bashes its way over the tracks! I remember telling someone one that our train line runs along next to the sea. "So does ours." came the reply - they meant that they could see the sea in the distance. They got a bit of a shock when I explained that our train line was sometimes IN it!