The one-two of Henley-in-Arden and Wootton Wawen represented a small but significant milestone in this blog. Collecting those two stations meant that, for the first time, I had completed an entire branch of the map. Every station between Spring Road and Stratford-upon-Avon has now been neatly crossed off. That's one of those signifiers that, perhaps, this is getting somewhere.
I'm aware that completing the West Midlands Railway map is taking an inordinate length of time. The very first blog post about the new mission was in 2019. Now in fairness, there was a pandemic in the middle of that. That sort of put a crimp on things. But while the Northern map meant that I was travelling to Middlesbrough and Carlisle and Sheffield, so you could see while it was taking its time, this is mainly pottering around on the outskirts of Birmingham.
I can only apologise for my tardiness. It hasn't been helped by the latest trips only being one or two stations at a time. I try and plan interesting little trips and sometimes distance, time or me simply missing a train (sorry Nantwich) have put paid to that.
At present, my handy little Excel spreadsheet is showing a 58% completed rate. This number may go down as well as up - the Camp Hill line might be opening later this year, so that'd be three more stations added into the total - but still, it's not bad. Thanks for bearing with me. I'll get there in the end.
(Yes that is a James Bond reference in the title. Some things never change).