Creative Imagineers

Cab Rides: Manchester Oxford Road to York. Blu-ray

Code: CS116-b

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This journey from Manchester Oxford Road to York in the cab of a TransPennine Express Class 185 DMU is remarkable, not only because the bright blue skies are crystal clear, but because it takes place in the middle of lockdown and the stations are empty. It's a sobering reminder of what the country went through in the depths of the Coronavirus pandemic, when the railways were providing an important transport service for essential workers.

Leaving Oxford Road station we travel along the Castlefield corridor, in normal times one of the most congested parts of the network. It takes us past the Cheshire Lines Committee route to Liverpool and onto the Ordsall Chord, opened in 2017. This short stretch of line allows trains from the North East to reach Manchester Airport.

Our first stop is at a deserted Manchester Victoria, and from there we turn east for Stalybridge before striking out for Huddersfield. On the way we pass beneath the Pennines through the Standedge Tunnel, one of the longest in Britain. After Huddersfield we head for Leeds with the help of the slightly shorter Morley Tunnel. As we continue east the landscape changes, and the twists and turns disappear. By the time we reach the East coast Main Line to the south of our destination it's as flat as a billiard table, and we're able to reach the 185's maximum speed of 100 mph.

On-screen graphics display the current signal aspects and speed limits, along with the names of stations that we pass through or stop at. Animated maps help to show our routing.

There's full commentary throughout, but as usual, if you prefer, you can opt to silence the narration to sit back and concentrate on the relaxing sounds of the journey.

*The narration-free audio is a separate audio track. To choose the non-narration version, select 'audio track 2' from the DVD/Blu-ray player’s menu.

Produced by - Creative Imagineers
Duration - 82 minutes approx
Format - 16:9 widescreen
Region 0
Blu-ray and DVD
Released - July 2023

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