It’s been a few years since I’ve been to the Anfield derby, one reason or another. It always gets me tingling, in a way quite different to the Utd match, less negative, less dominated by the utter fear of losing, more excited by the occasion. A 2.15 kick off isn’t the worst either, for a Sunday, it could easily have been much earlier or much later. It means I can get the 09.05 off my local station and be in Manchester Victoria in time for the 10.35 to Lime Street. Better still, the Manchester-Liverpool train is the Transpennine Express from Newcastle, which doesn’t stop anywhere (unlike the Northern stopper, which stops at everyone’s house on the way from Victoria to Liverpool). I’ll be in Lime Street for 11.08, which is about right.
However, even when you don’t have trains and kick off times to worry about, there’s always the weather. With a forecast for heavy snow across the North and the prospect of cross-Pennine travel, actually getting to my local station down a 1 mile steep hill to catch that early train seems tricky enough, never mind the four trains there and back that I have to get (incidentally, why do we need 11 separate tickets to cover 4 journeys? At home I’ve got a tiny old British Rail ticket from the 1977 European Cup Final saying ‘Rome and back’. One ticket covering a 2000 mile return journey! How have we improved life by now needing 11 for a total journey of 132 miles?)That last one back from Manchester across the Pennines after a day’s snowfall seems particularly susceptible to delay or cancellation.
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