25 may 2013, in train

My elder son, 11, is a bit of a train enthusiast; we were in desolate crewe a few weeks ago, at a cobbled-together museum next to a tesco that used to be factories employing tens of thousands. He has been closely monitoring the growth of manchester's metrolink tram network as it doubles in size; likening it to the growth of london underground, 150 years ago. He has been particularly watching east didsbury get built over the last year, our closest stop; and over recent weeks we have cycled by to see test trains arrive at the terminus which stops about an inch before you enter stockport. Trying as ever to please and encourage my offspring in whatever their interests, I did forward on (yes, he has active email) the startling news that the line will start running 3 months earlier than expected, and then in a weak moment offered to go with him on the first train ever ("ever !!!") to leave east didsbury, which he was looking forward to for a week. I might sensibly have researched the actual times of these things before commiting, but as it was we got up at 4.50am on thursday to be nicely in time for the 5.49 to rochdale. We were not alone, as a buoyant crowd was there on a crisp, calm morning to welcome the latest addition to the line, as was radio manchester - so you can hear the whole thing live (listen at 46:35) and then afterwards on the news bulletin (listen at 2:23:45 and then 2:26:20), which I very highly recommend (go on, listen) as they interviewed a certain 11 year old. We then went for a walk and a slap-up breakfast in town. A grand start to a day !