Due to the flooding in South Yorkshire, the normal route GNER trains take north of Doncaster, is closed as a result, and the alternate route, while not being much longer, isn't electrified, so the 225 trains cannot run to Leeds. Instead, they are placed on the Edinburgh and Newcastle journeys, meaning the old HST 125 trains - those that are spare - are being used on the Leeds services. My 1930 departure was bound for Leeds and was a HST with no coach M (it was locked and in darkness) and onlu coach L for first class passengers. There were no seat reservations either, but unlike standard class, we all found a seat and no nastiness presented itself. The Leeds train in front had been cancelled and the following Leeds train was a 225 and thus terminating at York. This meant three train loads of passengers for Leeds were on board my train. I was so thankful I wasn't in standard class!! Blood was sure to be spilt. HST trains are needed for GNER's Hull, Inverness, Aberdeen and Glasgow services, daily, meaning at minimum 7 trains are needed and the resulting spares aren't plentiful enough to cover all the Leeds journeys hence the cancelations.
During my journey I got chatting to the chap sat opposite, as it turns out the editor of Today's Railways UK magazine, Robin Sissons. We had a good chat about the rail network and moved on to other things, radio comedy being one subject. It made a slightly late running journey pass very quickly indeed and in no time at all we were at Doncaster, 20 minutes late. I said I'd email him and stay in contact and I must do this. A few days later I went out and bought the latest copy of Today's Railway UK magazine - a good read, not too deep for those like me whose main transport interest isn't trains, though deep enough not to be seen as a trainspotter publication.
My connecting bus service was a coach this time - a First Huddersfield Volvo B10M/Plaxton Expressliner, C44Ft still with National Express trim, R309 JAF. I'll have no doubt passed this at some point years ago in its NX livery. First Devon and Cornwall operated Rxxx JAF vehicles on the 339 to Cleethorpes, so at some time it may have appeared there. We left 3 mins early at 2157 and arrived in Scunthorpe a shade early too at 2240.
I now had to sit on Scunthorpe rail station platform until 2322 when the last train to Cleethorpes arrived, 185136 - my first train of the day yesterday. Again I was the only one in first class and rather than alight in Cleethorpes, I bailed out at Grimsby Town at 2352 and got a taxi home.
I felt both days had been successful, travel-wise, despite the flooding in South Yorkshire and the bomb scare in central London. Somehow I managed to make all my connections and did everything I wanted to do in my time away. I'm categorical that first class travel helped me to do this in a more calm, stress-free way. It's something that I'll definitely consider again if I can book with some certainty months in advance for a journey by train I need to make.
These and more photos can be found by visiting my fotopic gallery.