Hello Scott. It's 2013. As it's a new year, why don't you update us on how your Northern Rail quest is going?
I'm glad you asked me that, mysterious voice in italics. That's a very good idea.
When I was collecting the Merseyrail map, one of the questions I was often asked was "How many have you got to do?" And because I was young, and stupid, I used to reply, "Dunno." I'd been crossing them off a map, not counting them, and so I had no real clue about how many I'd collected and how many I had to go.
The Northern Rail map is different. Yes, I'm crossing them off every time, but I also have a spreadsheet. This is tremendously organised for me. (It's also another outlet for my OCD, so it's not necessarily a totally positive development).
There are 525 stations to collect on the Northern Rail map. Actually, there are 524, because they still haven't bothered to add Buckshaw Parkway even though it's been open for over a year, but I'd already got that station anyway. Of those 525, I'd collected 84 before I'd even started - either because they were already on the Merseyrail map, or because I'd visited them with Robert for his blog, or because they were in Manchester City Centre and I got them years ago just to amuse myself.
So that left 441 to collect.
The Northern Rail project officially started on June 17th last year, with this blog post. Since then I've managed to visit another 74 stations. That's quite impressive, even if I do say so myself. Considering some of them have been on the other side of the country, it's a pretty good number, and means that I've visited a total of 158 stations, leaving me with 367 to get.
I'm pleased with that. It's a pretty good hit rate, and keeps me well on target. I haven't collected the easy ones yet - the close by stations in Manchester, places like Leeds and Sheffield. On the other hand, I also haven't collected the virtually impossible to visit Redcar British Steel, or any of the Cumbrian coast. I've got a fair mix of town and country, of stations in PTEs and ones in the shires, of big ones and small ones. I'm doing ok.
It does raise a question though, and one I'd appreciate your feedback on. Should I change the name of the blog? "Round The Merseyrail We Go" - well, I've been round the Merseyrail; should it become "Round The North We Go"? Or something a bit less clunky? I'd retain the merseytart.com - I will always be the Merseytart - but perhaps a new header and colour scheme is in order. I do like purple, after all.
Your thoughts are much appreciated.
That list of stations visited since June 17th in full:
Accrington, Adwick, Bamber Bridge, Barnetby, Bempton, Bentley, Berry Brow, Bishop Auckland, Blackburn, Bolton, Bredbury, Bridlington, Brigg, Brockholes, Castleford, Castleton, Cherry Tree, Church & Oswaldtwistle, Conisbrough, Darlington, Denby Dale, Doncaster, Farnworth, Featherstone, Filey, Gainsborough Central, Gainsborough Lea Road, Glasshoughton, Hatfield & Stainforth, Heighington, Honley, Huddersfield, Huncoat, Hunmanby, Hyde Central, Hyde North, Kearsley, Kirk Sandall, Kirton Lindsey, Lincoln, Lockwood, Lostock Hall, Manchester Airport, Mexborough, Mill Hill, Mills Hill, Moorthorpe, Moses Gate, Moston, Newton Aycliffe, Normanton, North Road, Pleasington, Pontefract Tanshelf, Retford, Rishton, Rochdale, Salford Central, Salford Crescent, Saxilby, Scarborough, Seamer, Shildon, Shepley, Shireoaks, South Elmsall, Stocksmoor, Streethouse, Thorne North, Thorne South, Wakefield Kirkgate, Wakefield Westgate, Woodley, Worksop