The Ribble Bashes-Part Four-October 1999.

Part Four of “The Ribble Bashes” covers a trip taken in 1999.

Buses for fun!

This part’s quite a rare one, in that this Ribble bash didn’t start from Blackpool! (Though I do end up there!) but instead started from home and involved a trip from Wolverhampton (reaching there on the then brand new Midland Metro!) on what was then a rare First North Western train service from Birmingham New Street-Manchester, operated by former “Clacton” line Class 309 units. This train left Wolverhampton around 06.50, in the days when you could get a reasonable fare at that time (Cross Country would change all that years latter, off peak fares strictly not starting now until 09.30!) and also meaning, despite the trains semi fast nature, an arrival time in Manchester of just before 09.00! I used the service on several occasions (the last time featuring a Class 323 after the elderly 309’s had been withdrawn) and mourn both it’s, and the more liberal off peak fares…

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