York to Manchester

24 02 2006

Checked out of the hotel in York after breakfast and had a nice walk to the station.

Micklegate Bar, York

Bought my ticket to Manchester and picked up the last of my pre-bought tickets at the ticket machine. This brings to a point the issue of two types of rail tickets. One is pocket sized, plastic laminated paper – great as it fits in your wallet:

4 big tickets

If you have a seat reservation, it spits out a special seat ticket. For example on my trip to Oban from Manchester, with changes in Lancaster and Glasgow, I have three reservation coupons and my ticket.

But on my trip to Glasgow from Oban, I have a large style airline ticket:

Airline style ticket

Now I thought maybe this has to be because of something like machine, or line. Well, the same machine spit out the big ticket and the little tickets, and both the above big ticket and this little ticket are on the same line (ScotRail)

Small Cheap Ticket

Anyway, I wonder why the seemingly random differences, and well, I prefer the small tickets. Anyone know why there are two types?

York Trainshed Lines from the North

After pondering this for a bit, I got on my train to Manchester. A two car diesel MU, with the engines under the body. Felt like I was on an airline, with I would guess 32” of pitch between the seats. We filled up in Leeds, and were standing room only as we entered Manchester. The scenery was very grey, with some of the upper hills with a dusting of snow.

Manchester Piccadilly is a thoroughly modern station, with a small 2 platform through track annex beside and above the main stub trainshed. Security was tight as this station, with passengers being checked for tickets before getting onto the annex platform.

My hotel is a three-minute walk from the station, and just a couple of blocks from Canal Street. Dead during the day, it will be interesting to see the difference at night. Saw an interesting fake KFC sign, an outpost from NYC perhaps???

KFC manchester

Went for a long walk in the damp cold, with a steady rain (the first for my trip). Ended up near the cathedral, and stumbled upon URBIS.

Canal Street Manchester Canal Street detail Manchester Town Hall

URBIS is a museum of urban living. Very interesting design, very interesting museum. It had very interesting and up-to-date displays on the challenges and joys of city life. It is free, and I would suggest to anyone who is in the City to visit. Had lunch at the café in the museum, which was surprisingly good, and inexpensive (very nice tuna sandwich – tuna, not tuna salad and a Japanese beer for GBP12). The gift shop sucked.

York Cathedral URBIS

Back at my hotel room getting dry, and planning the night. The internet is down sadly, so who knows when I can find out where exactly my new place in Oban is….

/B

PS my computer is shipping from Shanghai as I type this… (even though it has one exception already 😦 )

My computer is coming

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