The Winchester

"Not all those who wander are lost" – Tolkien

Playing on the Railways

with 3 comments

December 2010

Upon finishing some Reading recces, I suggest to Gary that as we were at loose ends, we should maybe go play on the railways? The networks of rail across the country offer a lot of potential points of interest, from laid up trains, boneyards, disused tunnels and old stations in cuttings, where better to get stuck in than dicking around on some local tracks with a camera?


Playing on the railways isn’t exactly urban exploration, nor is it overly participatory. It’s more about finding a nice vantage point close to the lines or tracks that you can watch the trains go by, like a spotty teen from the early 1970s with a notebook and an anorak.  We started in Reading, climbing onto the tracks and watching the passenger services go by, feeling the wind in our hair as they rushed past. This is really just the wooden spoon for when the ‘Real Deal’ trips go tits up, or you can’t be arsed to hit the M4 again and spunk another £15 of fuel for uncertain outcomes.



London was the target another night, The Burrough’s tunnel under Hendon exits before Colindale station so we took half an hour to watch the Northern Line tube trains fly in and out of the snow filled surroundings, after being chased by a Met line train near Lords.


The London Underground covers over 260 miles of track, and more than half of that is above ground. Partially running in cuttings, partially in bridges, and occassionally just in the open like here, there’s bound to be points of interest somewhere across the system. The outskirts of the LU are no different really to any other suburban rail network. Trains and track, stations and layups. For all the joys of hitting the popular spots in the centre of the city, exploring the network itself has a lot of potential.



We returned to Lords to hit some ‘genuine’ LU and found workers. C’est la vie, Christmas beckoned and the LU succumbed.

Written by Winch

January 19th, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Posted in Trains

Tagged with , ,

3 Responses to 'Playing on the Railways'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Playing on the Railways'.

  1. My favorite post of all time Winch. It is so nice to consider the potential of experience over outcome. There is a certain satisfaction that comes with targeting something, exploring it and coming back with the photograph evidence of success but at the same time, ‘success’ is so sweet when it is unexpected, possibly even sweeter when the need for it is discarded.

    Snappel is right, this reminds me of being a kid, wandering the railrad tracks, putting coins on the tracks to be smashed by the trains and seeking nothing more than the discovery of a present moment that could come in a thousand forms. Anytime you want to go wander around the railways with some 40s, I’m in.

    By the way, that second to last photo – utterly delicious!

  2. I meant Els there, not Snappel! Snappel on the brain?

  3. Love the ‘shooting’ shot, has given me some ideas…

    Pipe Ninjah

    19 Jan 11 at 11:35 pm

Leave a Reply