Tuesday, 25 July 2017

A Prototype Train and a Very Wet Cow.

Tuesday 25th July 2017 at King's Norton.
Returning to Alvechurch from home was not straightforward due to engineering works between Didcot and Oxford; it involved taking four trains and travelling via Gloucester. The GWR train from Reading to Gloucester proudly announced that new high-speed trains would soon arrive on the route and, at Didcot, we saw the Hitachi test train presumably doing route trials. The first new trains are due to start in the autumn.
Finally, we arrived at Alvechurch station and walked the short distance to the marina. It was lovely to be back on board.
We were quite surprised to see two fire engines and an "incident vehicle" with two rubber boats on a trailer, all parked in the marina. It turned out that a cow had fallen into the river that runs parallel to the canal and the fire brigade were in the process of getting it out.
When we checked in to the marina office, they told us that the fire brigade had also been there the day before, rescuing a cow, but they were not sure if it was the same cow! If so, it was a very daft creature!
The fireman looking after the fire engine was very amused because, having got the cow out of the river, the lads had not removed the rope that they had put around the cow's neck - so they had to chase around the field to catch it again to recover their rope!
After filling up with diesel and water and thanking the marina staff for their hospitality, we finally set off.
The countryside is truly lovely hereabouts, especially on such a sunny afternoon.
The entrance to Wast Hill Tunnel looks tiny but the tunnel is long at a mile and a half and it is broad enough for two boats to pass each other.
This time, M decided not to walk over the top as most of the route is through a large housing estate. It took 35 minutes to go through and half way we met another boat coming the other way. It looked very ghostly in the gloom of the tunnel illuminated only by our tunnel lights. You can just make out the tiny white dot which is the far end of the tunnel.
It was getting quite late as we emerged from the tunnel, so we moored up for the night at King's Norton.
Today: 6 miles, 0 locks and 2.4 hours.
Trip: 117 miles, 138 locks and 97.6 hours.

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