Jack drifts down towards Leadhills station © Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011 A day out in February has become a bit of a tradition, so my friend Steve booked a day off work, and we set off in search of a few photographs and a bit of railway interest. We didn't find quite as much as we'd hoped, however, and the dull, overcast and cold weather didn't help either. We started at Middlewich, around the time that a daily salt train should work the line, a minor freight-only route between Northwich and Sandbach. There was no sign of it, and few places for a reasonable photo, so we headed back towards Northwich. "There might be some photos around the Lostock works". There weren't!. "How about the locks at Northwich, with the signals?". At last - some exercise for the cameras. The signals once controlled entry to the locks on the Weaver Navigation. Now disused, they appear to be semi-preserved, and make an interesting subject against the backdrop of the railway viaduct. "Can I hear a train coming?" "Sounds like a loco". It was - a "Load Haul" liveried class 37 and five salt wagons - the Middlewich salt train. Like the locks, I had never visited the Anderton boat lift nearby, so we drove the short distance to have a look. Again, we needn't have bothered - undergoing restoration work, it is not really very photogenic at present. Next objective? "Let's have a look at that narrow gauge peat line near Wilmslow". Once again, nothing doing - the gates were locked and there was no-one around. "How about a few shots on the Manchester - Crewe line?". We managed a few shots, but the light was poor and the units were hardly photogenic. The afternoon was ticking by now. "How about cutting our losses and spending an hour or so at Crewe - we might at least get some hot coffee....". The latter part of that suggestion was the most attractive, so we did just that. There was the usual high level of activity at Crewe, with numerous trains in both directions, mostly loco-hauled, including a couple of freightliners, but there was barely enough light for photography, so after a few quick snaps we packed up and headed homewards. Not the best of days, (it goes without saying that the weather the following day was bright and sunny) though infinitely better than a day at work, or the trip to Sainsbury's I'd managed to avoid... 153 unit near Jodrell Bank 47 287 on northbound Freightliner, Crewe 47 840 leaves Crewe, southbound 56038 with a Railtrack engineer's train, Crewe 87 029 Earl Marischal arrives at Crewe 92005 "Mozart" awaits the road as the rain sets in 92 024 J S Bach on a southbound Freightliner, Crewe Signals on the Weaver, Northwich Middlewich salt train, Northwich