In the words of one of Abba's less imaginative songs, Happy New Year. And as has become a new year tradition, I'll run down what's still to be achieved in the Merseytart project.
I should also apologise for the lack of actual tarting activity the last couple of months. As regular readers (hello you!) will be aware, 2009 was marked by me suffering from depression, which tends to put a crimp on your day. It also makes you less inclined to go romping round the countryside pointing at train stations. I'm sorry I let you down, but as we enter 2010, I'm feeling a lot better, generally. Though I still have bad times, they're not as bad as they used to be, and I'm hoping to crack on and get on with the rest of the map. In addition, I'm no longer a wage slave, thanks to a handy voluntary redundancy payment, so I've got a lot more spare time to spend fannying around in the hinterlands.
So: to the update. Remember that as time has gone on, more and more has been added to the plan, so while it looks pathetic for two and a half year's work, it's not. Trust me.
Still to be captured:
Wirral Line: Bromborough Rake, Bromborough, Eastham Rake (and see below).
Northern Line: Birkdale, Southport.
City Line (Wigan branch): Bryn.
City Line (Warrington branch): Widnes, Sankey, Warrington Central.
Kirkby to Wigan Line: Rainford, Upholland, Orrell, Pemberton, Wigan Wallgate.
Southport to Wigan Line: Meols Cop, Bescar Lane, New Lane, Hoscar, Appley Bridge, Gathurst.
Helsby Line: Stanlow & Thornton, Ince & Elton, Helsby, Frodsham, Runcorn East.
West Coast Main Line: Winsford, Hartford, Acton Bridge, Runcorn, Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western, Euxton Balshaw Lane, Leyland.
These two lines aren't on the maps available to download from Merseytravel, but they are on the in-station maps (the ones with the FUCKING SQUARE) and so must also be collected as well:
Blackpool Branch Line: Blackpool North, Poulton-Le-Fylde.
Delamere Forest Line: Mouldsworth, Delamere, Cuddington, Hartford, Greenbank.
And of course, there's the grand finale of the Loop waiting for me: James Street, Moorfields (Old Hall Street exit), Lime Street (low level) and Central to do as well, but that's a long way off. That's forty stations to go, plus the four city centre ones (which have been partially done but not completely). I reckon I've actually done about ninety (though I may have miscounted because I'm a bit thick) so we'll call that two thirds down, one third to go.
When it's all written down it suddenly seems quite intimidating. Most of these stations are way out in the sticks, so it's an end to cushy wanders through suburban Liverpool; time for the OS maps and the compass, I think. In fact, I've only completed two entire lines - the Borderlands Line and the Preston-Ormskirk Line. It's sort of exciting though - a whole world out there, waiting to be conquered. I feel like Hitler, only without the moustache.