Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Snowy Train Journey

We finally joined in with the winter weather when we woke up to snow yesterday.  I'd lain awake for awhile during the early hours of the morning as I was woken by the foxes barking and calling to one another across the gardens and in the school field beyond.  Other than that it did seem very quiet - that silence you get after snowfall.  Sure enough, when we drew back the curtains this is what we saw.

It wasn't a day to stay indoors though as we had to travel over to Nottingham to collect our friends and drive to Loughborough in time to board the train where we were to have a special lunch for a special birthday for one of them.

 This was our train waiting at the station at the Great Central Railway.  We could see the dining tables were all set and waiting for us.

There was time to have a wander around the station, experience the open fire in the ladies waiting room and sip hot chocolate in the refreshment room.

The whole station was very festive with decorations and Christmas songs playing quietly in the background.

On the other platform the first Santa Special of the season had just pulled in and was disgorging loads of children with their mums and dads - all of them clutching toys.  Santa then set off for a little rest before his next train journey.

The railway, which originally ran from Manchester as far as Marylebone station in London,  has a double track one in the 'Up' direction which would have been towards London and one in the 'Down' return direction.

I find this odd as I always think of  'going down to London' or 'going up to Manchester' from the Midlands!  What do you say?

We boarded the train at 12.45p.m. and it eventually moved out of the station at just after 1p.m.  We were served drinks first and then the meal commenced.  We had spicy parsnip soup, followed by a full turkey dinner (Paul and I had the veggie option), then Christmas pudding, mince pies and coffee.

As you can see it was very cold outside and warm within the carriage so the condensation on the windows stopped us from seeing much of the countryside.  I did manage to take this photo of Swithland Reservoir as we stopped on the bridge whilst the main courses were being served.  We passed slowly through the stations at Rothley and Quorn but I think we have decided that a return visit is needed in the summer so we can see all that we missed yesterday.

I'm going to be away from my computer for a week as I'm off to stay with my sister in Chesterfield to help her after her operation.  I'll catch up with you all when I return home.


  1. What a lovely post. I hope your sister gets well soon.

  2. A lovely post Rosie. Very festive. I would love to go on a train journey like that. It must have been very atmospheric what with all the cold weather. Wishing your sister well. x

  3. What a lovely treat!
    My best wishes to your sister

  4. What a lovely trip.I love this going back in time.Hope your sister is recovering well.

  5. Thanks for sharing your trip. Hope your sister gets better soon.

  6. I want to go on that train - it looks gorgeous. Hope is sister is ok. Enjoy each others company. xxxx

  7. Oh, a lovely post. I love steam trains! Best wishes re your sister.

  8. North is definitely *up!*.

    I hope your sister recovers soon. Enjoy Chesterfield.

  9. Hi, Great post, I as a whisker away from booking an overnight stay to come here in the summer. Your blog has grabbed my interest by the way.

  10. What a fabulous outing! Lunch on a steam train and all that lovely 1930s background on the station. I really must do this one day, it's just my kind of thing. Do hope your sister recovers quickly and fully from her operation. Oh and I always go down to London:)

  11. A magical train ride! I wish we had something like that here. Christmas is too commercial in America, I think.

  12. What an atmospheric train journey, love the new banner too. Hope your sister is well soon.


  13. Oh the nostalgia of travel by steam train ~ what a delightful way to spend an afternoon.

    I can almost smell the steam from here. Hope that you are coping with all that snow.

    Wishing your sister a speedy recovery.

    Marie x

  14. It looks like a cross between Brief Encounter and The Orient Express with a festive twist, lovely!

    I hope all is well with your sister.

  15. Now this really is a lovely day out. You have so captured the atmosphere in your photos Rosie. Parsnip soup is my all time favourite, and Christmas pudding isn't so bad either! From here it's down to Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, East Sussex and Kent, and up to everywhere else! Down any further and I'd be in the English Channel, or the Isle of Wight! Here's to your sister making a speedy recovery. x

  16. Sounds as if you all had a lovely day out.

  17. To think that Susan and I were there too, along with Paul (whose blog, Distant Thoughts, provides the technical stuff about steam engines). As always, you were both the perfect company. As for all the nostalgia stuff, Loughborough Central is much nearer to us than many appreciate. I was standing on stations like this waiting for trains in the 1980s, albeit that steam engines went in the late-1960s. Growing up in Middlesex in the 1940s and 50s, I always preferred the 'little electrics' as my grandfather called the tube trains which swished through Wembley on the Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines. Steam in those days was for far away places like Bletchley and Grantown-on-Spey to see my grandparent's friends or to stay with relatives.

    Hope the week went well and the family is on the end.

    Love from us both. Robert xxs.