Having foolishly missed out in my student days, last year’s 50th anniversary half-price offer was enough to tempt me to finally embark on some Inter-Rail adventures, buying a two month first class pass for just €429 (£377.17) and then being faced with the question of where in the whole of Europe I should head for?
After endless scrutiny of my newly-acquired European Rail Timetable I decided to make three single journeys from my home in Haslemere to destinations in Central and Eastern Europe – before flying home each time – that would give me the chance to visit many new places and travel on some of the most scenic stretches of line across Europe.
Returning for a two-day Easter week working trip to the Isle of Wight, it was good to see that the promised half-hourly rail service has at last begun, almost 18 months after the route from Ryde to Shanklin re-opened.
While Ryde Pier will not reopen until at least June, it is good to see significant progress on the new transport interchange since my last visit in early December 2022, which suggests it could be completed in time for the peak summer season.
Paying a visit to Littlehampton and Bognor Regis last month to photograph the semaphores and Class 313 workings, I had noticed a couple of foot crossings west of Barnham station that had distinct potential as photo-spots.
So making a return visit to this busy junction, my challenge was to see if I could capture a final glimpse of Class 313s working all six of the weekday West Coastway diagrams they are scheduled to operate until their final withdrawal from service on 20 May 2023.
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