On Trains & Buses

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A spot of bother with coupling

Posted on May 3, 2009

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Yesterday saw me head out for a spot of walking in the countryside around Appleby, or Appleby-in-Westmorland. These days the place in the eastern end of Cumbria. My way there and away was by train, something that went off hunky dory apart from a spot of trouble on the Leeds-Appleby leg. There was nothing unusual in the coupling together of two twin carriage units and its something that happens routinely in several parts of the British railway network (the Cambrian and West Highland lines come to mind). However, as with anything, it can occasionally go awry and it just happened that this was one of them. There seemed to have been a problem with the coupling and it was slowing the train down, a major concern considering the heights it was to overcome on its passage over the Settle-Carlisle railway line. The slowdown was easily noticeable after Shipley. Decoupling and re-coupling at Bingley didn’t set things to rights so both sets were decoupled at Keighley and everyone put on the front train. It looked that it was going to be a two carriage unit for the rest of the way but the back set turned up in Skipton and coupled to the front of the one on which I was travelling. Apart from a certain reduction in the functionality of the lighting that had been the case since Leeds anyway, all went swimmingly from there north. A delay of more than thirty minutes might have been accumulated but I could cope with that and tailor my plans to fit the time that I had available. I am sure that what was encountered is rare but, as they say, stuff happens.