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11 Jul 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Birmingham Airport Arrivals and Departures

Arriving by taxi, bus or the air rail link at Birmingham Airport. And heading off on your summer holiday. Check your suitcase in. Go up to security and the departure lounge / duty free. Hello World. Off to France or Italy or Spain? Anywhere else? Come back a week later to a waiting taxi to take you home. 

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Birmingham Airport Arrivals and Departures





Arriving by taxi, bus or the air rail link at Birmingham Airport. And heading off on your summer holiday. Check your suitcase in. Go up to security and the departure lounge / duty free. Hello World. Off to France or Italy or Spain? Anywhere else? Come back a week later to a waiting taxi to take you home. 


Birmingham Airport opened in July 1939, so in July 2019 it is now 80 years old. Originally as Elmdon Airport. The new terminal buildings opened in 1984 originally as Terminal 1 and 2, but it's now just one terminal, and was previously called Birmingham International Airport. The terminals merged in 2011, while the runway extension opened in 2014. The new Air Traffic Control Tower was opened in 2013.

There is a pair of finger posts outside of the Birmingham Airport Terminal buildings and near the car parks. You would see them if you get out of a taxi, or off the bus. This one for the Midlands destinations, so more for holiday makers from overseas coming into Birmingham. From Birmingham to Oxfordshire and beyond! Seen in November 2015.

But if you are heading overseas to mainland Europe, then how many miles or kilometers are your destinations? Listed here from Berlin to Paris and Dublin. Seen during February 2017.

Getting out of the taxi with your suitcase around this area. So was a bit awkward stopping to take photos of the Airport buildings. Departures are normally to the far right of here. These views from June 2012.

Then again if you are arriving back at Birmingham Airport, you might exit via these doors, heading to your taxi or bus. The taxi rank is to the left. While local buses stop at stops to the right.

Hello World. You may see this sign and some other languages before you head in to the check in desks for your airline.

The bus stops at Birmingham Airport. The X1 runs between Birmingham and Coventry. The X12 between Solihull and Birmingham via Chelmsley Wood. National Express coaches also stop near here. Seen here during February 2017. Hotels nearby here as well.

Hello World. Welcome to Birmingham Airport. Seen during November 2015. You can't yet fly into the Earth's orbit. Just above the clouds.

The Hello World sign was near the then Thomson Airways check in desks. They are now TUI. Put your suitcase on the conveyor belt, and it will be weighed, and the staff member will put a tag on your bag, and scan your passport. Plus print off your boarding pass!

The fastest way from A to Flybe. Once you are done with checking in your luggage, you can head up to Departures this way. Passengers only. Get ready for security. Once you have passed through there, Duty Free is next then the large Departures lounge. You may end up waiting up to 2 hours before you get onto your plane.

Saw this during June 2017, while checking into the Flybe desks. Jet2 Holidays had a 22KG baggage limit for your hold luggage. If you go with Ryanair, we found that you had to print off your boarding passes in advance, and pay extra to have your hand luggage in the overhead lockers as Priority booking. Also found in May 2019, that we had to use the e-check-in machines (meaning we had to scan our passport ourselves and print off the label for the suitcase). Birmingham Airport also has e-Gates for your passports, but not on every side. Coming back with Ryanair, was the normal Border Control manned gates / desks. But used e-gates over in Barcelona Airport.

The check in desks for Lufthansa and Swiss - Economy Class. This was the view from Caffe Nero during November 2018. At the far end was Qatar Airways.

It was June 2018 and saw this as I left the Departures Lounge heading to get my Jet2.com plane. Friendly low fares. I had the aisle seat, so was unable to get windows out of the plane window on the way to Italy (but got a window seat on the way back). You usually have to wait until the gate is announced, so sit around and wait, before queuing up.

Near the area for the Flybe and Jet2 gates was another Duty Free. Much smaller than the bigger one between Security and the Departures Lounge. A much smaller World of Duty Free. Seen June 2017. There is also a bar around here, and another Costa Coffee. We would only get something from Duty Free overseas, not here at Birmingham!

In June 2012, just on my Thomson Airways plane, saw the new Air Traffic Control Tower in the distance from the plane window. It had the Olympic Rings on it, while London had the London 2012 Olympic Games on (later taken down after the games had finished).

It was the beginning of July 2018, and had just come back to Birmingham Airport in the late evening after dark. To these wonderful lights, that I saw before heading to the right to get a taxi back home. You can also head left to the buses and Air Rail Link (it closes at a certain time of night).

The Birmingham Airport sign at Arrivals after dark. Looking peaceful, and not many people about by the looks of it.

Birmingham Airport started here at the Elmdon Airport building back in 1939! Seen from the X1 NXWM Platinum bus during February 2017. It is now a Grade II listed building Elmdon Terminal Building, Birmingham Airport since August 2018. Hopefully it will get some use in the future.

Decided to add planes to a future post rather than this one! Also you can arrive at Birmingham International Station by train, before heading to the airport and getting your plane!

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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40 passion points
Green travel
03 Jul 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

A38 Cycleway on the Bristol Road in Edgbaston

Now that the new cycleway along the A38 in Edgbaston is open, I got some photos from the 1A bus in the Saturday sunshine along the Bristol Road. Between Edgbaston Road and the University of Birmingham. It ends at the Aston Webb Boulevard / Selly Oak Bypass (joining onto the existing painted cyclepath on the pavement).

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A38 Cycleway on the Bristol Road in Edgbaston





Now that the new cycleway along the A38 in Edgbaston is open, I got some photos from the 1A bus in the Saturday sunshine along the Bristol Road. Between Edgbaston Road and the University of Birmingham. It ends at the Aston Webb Boulevard / Selly Oak Bypass (joining onto the existing painted cyclepath on the pavement).


I keep wanting to get the no 1 bus from Acocks Green, but keep missing it, and since NXWM introduced the 1A, end up getting that towards the University of Birmingham / QEHB instead. Better weather this time than when I last got the 1A up the Bristol Road (previous time raining). On the warm Saturday, took these photos from the bus, as far as the University.

Here the start of the dual carriageway. The blue cycleway joins from the crossing to the right.

The cycleway is closed overnight but open in daylight hours.

Trams used to go down here a very long time ago, at least as far as the Lickey Hills. But for maybe over 50 to 60 years has just been grass and trees down the middle.

Looking good in the summer sunshine but lacking cyclists.

Traffic lights I think close to the Pebble Mill Road junction.

A S bend in the cycleway here.

Curving round towards the University of Birmingham.

Getting close to the University.

The first man on a bike that I saw close to the new University Gym and swimming pool.

A man with a trailer behind his bike, waiting at the lights.

He is now seen crossing over this junction.

The end of the blue cycleway near the University of Birmingham. Beyond here it is not painted blue, just the pre-existing cyclepath on the pavement on the Selly Oak Bypass / Aston Webb Boulevard.

This lady briefly headed onto the blue cycleway before heading into the University via the South Gate.

End of the line. As you can see to the left the cyclepath on the bypass pavement is just painted lines, without the blue surface.

The other section of this cycleway goes up the Bristol Road from Edgbaston Road towards the Belgrave Interchange, but I think it switches sides on the pavement. And it may go up Bristol Street. Would be ideal if they built a link between this one and the other one for the A34 towards Perry Barr.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Transport
01 Jul 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Birmingham Bus Bash, September 2017

The Birmingham Bus Bash was held on the 10th September 2017 on the fairground at Cannon Hill Park. Various old and new buses to see from National Express West Midlands and Wythall Transport Museum. Many vintage Birmingham City Transport buses was there at the time. 

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Birmingham Bus Bash, September 2017





The Birmingham Bus Bash was held on the 10th September 2017 on the fairground at Cannon Hill Park. Various old and new buses to see from National Express West Midlands and Wythall Transport Museum. Many vintage Birmingham City Transport buses was there at the time. 


Organised by National Express West Midlands, the last Bus Bash was held on Sunday 10th September 2017 (I'm not aware of one being held in 2018, or if they will do one for 2019). It was held on the fairground (to the far end of the park and near the footpaths that run alongside the River Rea route). A collection of buses from the Wythall Transport Museum, some in private hands and of course National Express West Midlands.

Four old Metrobuses at least one of these was part of the Wythall Transport Museum collection (three in private ownership).

NOA 462X - 2502 / 2462 | 159 to Coventry | West Midlands Travel / Birmingham City Transport

WDA 835T - 6835 | 52 to Beeches Estate | West Midlands Travel / Birmingham City Transport

D912 NDA - 2912 | 900 Timesaver | West Midlands Travel

F53 XOF - 3053 | 900 to Birmingham - Airport Link | West Midlands Travel

Same four buses as above, but from a different view. All former West Midlands Travel buses.

Now some vintage Birmingham City Transport buses now part of the Transport Museum Wythall collection.

2976 - JOJ 976 | 1 to Acocks Green via Moseley | West Midlands Travel / Birmingham City Transport

3009 - MOF 9 | 52 to Beeches Estate via Walsall Road | West Midlands Travel / Birmingham City Transport


1486 - GOE 486 | Outer Circle 11 | West Midlands Travel / Birmingham City Transport

Next up a pair of former WM Travel buses.

4613 - JOV 613P | 205 to Blackheath


4413 - NOB 413M | 79 to Wolverhampton

Not all buses from Birmingham! These examples from out of town.

Leyland Leopard | Bob on Tour | GSO 90V | Bluebird

Leicester City Transport | 18 to Braunstone | 301 | GJF 301N

Magic Bus | 15032 | 1AN to Chorlton | H132 GVM

Same buses, but from a different angle. Old Midlands buses were further to the left of this view. Better view of the Magic Bus and old Leicester bus from here.

An old National Express coach and an old Birmingham City Transport bus.

National Express Rapide 400 GT | MCW | MMN-400 G

Vintage Bus Service 48 | MOF 225 | 3225 | West Midlands Travel / Birmingham City Transport

A collection of modern National Express West Midlands buses you may see on the streets now, or ride yourself. Including this NXWM Platinum bus on the X2 - Solihull to Birmingham via the Coventry Road. 6832. Also visible here 6147 and 4738.

Not NXWM here but Diamond and Arriva.

Diamond - BK13 NZO - 30938 | Diamond 25

Arriva - Saphhire - YX64 YMA - 4407

Green and red NXWM buses. The green ones are electric hybrid. That pair I think are based in Wolverhampton and Dudley. The green buses in Birmingham have since been repainted red (such as on the 61 and 63 along the Bristol Road), but are still green and yellow inside.

Representing the different bus garages with these red NXWM buses. Acocks Green Garage, Perry Barr Garage, Walsall Garage etc. Plenty of people about at the time.

Differnet styles of double and single decker buses. Movie out in September 2017 was Kingsman: The Golden Circle, filmed right here in Birmingham! (the taxi night car chase opening scenes doubling as London).

Full album on my Flickr here Birmingham Bus Bash.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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40 passion points
Transport
12 Jun 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Emirates Airbus A380 : the super double decker plane from Dubai in Birmingham and the Midlands

Emirates started flying there infamous Airbus A380 plane from Dubai to Birmingham Airport from Spring 2016. They now have 2 daily services between the West Midlands and UAE. The plane is quite a sight to see. Double decker with big wings and 4 jets. I always look out for it in the sky or at BHX. You can also see it from the local bus or train routes. I once saw it from Kenilworth. 

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Emirates Airbus A380 : the super double decker plane from Dubai in Birmingham and the Midlands





Emirates started flying there infamous Airbus A380 plane from Dubai to Birmingham Airport from Spring 2016. They now have 2 daily services between the West Midlands and UAE. The plane is quite a sight to see. Double decker with big wings and 4 jets. I always look out for it in the sky or at BHX. You can also see it from the local bus or train routes. I once saw it from Kenilworth. 


Over the Easter weekend of March 2016, a crowd of people headed to the Sheldon Country Park to see the Emirates Airbus A380 land at the park for the first time. It took me 3 buses to get to the Marston Green Station Interchange, and I just about saw it coming into land at runway 15. Was quite the sight to see having a giant plane coming overhead!

After this, the airport did the traditional fire hose welcome that they do to new airlines or new routes. I was hoping to get more shots at this time from it landing, but I arrived at the park at bit late. So after it landed, I zoomed in through the fence towards where the plane was getting hosed!

After the hosing had stopped a better view of the plane. A distant church spire seen behind. That's St Peter's Church, Bickenhill.

A good view of the Emirates Airbus A380 at Birmingham Airport is from the window of the X1 National Express West Midlands Platinum bus. The bus lane curves around the runway extension, and gives you good views of the airport. This was during December 2017.

A closer up look, more detailed view from the bus during December 2017. There is a double decker ramp to access both levels of the plane.

Another ride of the X1 NXWM Platinum bus, this time during March 2018. At this time, you could see the lifting equipment to get luggage on or off the double decker plane! Compare it to the tiny plane at the bottom of the picture!

A more detailed view of A380 during March 2018.

Landing back at Birmingham Airport with Jet2 during early July 2018 (from Pisa, Italy), as we came in to the terminal, saw the Emirates Airbus A380! One is at the airport during midday, and one in the late evening, like this one.

On a sunny November 2018 day, once again got another shot of the Emirates Airbus A380 from the X1 NXWM Platinum bus. This time heading back towards the Coventry Road. To the left was a Jet2.com plane, similar to the ones I had been on during June / July 2018 (for the Tuscany holiday). Usually from that far out (with Jet2 or other airlines), you have to get on a bus to take you back to the terminal building (for passport control and baggage claim).

I visited the newly opened Kenilworth Station during early May 2018, and when I went back to catch my train back to Leamington Spa, I saw the Emirates Airbus A380!

I saw it turn around as it headed to runway 33 at Birmingham Airport. It is so massive! Imagine being at Kenilworth Castle and seeing this above?

Continuing to turn around on it's approach to Birmingham Airport during May 2019. What a beast!

Wheels out, not long before it landed at Birmingham Airport. Passengers would have seen the A45 semi circle re-route due to the runway extension of several years ago.

This March 2019 view from a London Northwestern Railway Class 350 train I caught at Coventry heading to Birmingham New Street. There is a view of Birmingham Airport from the West Coast Mainline. At this time you could see the Emirates Airbus A380 with a Lufthansa Airbus A320. Several buses nearby, which are used to take passengers from the plane to the terminal, when the ramp isn't attached, or it's too far from the plane to the terminal building.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

My Flickr is here ell brown.

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40 passion points
Transport
05 Jun 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Stourbridge Shuttle in 2013 and 2017 (in the London Midland era)

Back in the London Midland days, I went on the Stourbridge Shuttle originally in April 2013. On 139 002. The last time I rode it was was during November 2017. This short branch line goes between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town. They have just had a new West Midlands Railway livery done, so might be time to return to Stourbridge once again!

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Stourbridge Shuttle in 2013 and 2017 (in the London Midland era)





Back in the London Midland days, I went on the Stourbridge Shuttle originally in April 2013. On 139 002. The last time I rode it was was during November 2017. This short branch line goes between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town. They have just had a new West Midlands Railway livery done, so might be time to return to Stourbridge once again!


I have seen photos on social media of the Stourbridge Shuttle in it's new orange and purple West Midlands Railway livery (inside and out), so thought I'd share (or re-share if you've seen my photos before) of the Stourbridge Shuttle during my past visits in 2013 and 2017 to Stourbridge (in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley).

Stourbridge Junction

You can get a train on the Snow Hill lines towards Stourbridge Junction (a Class 172) and change there to head the short distance to Stourbridge Town. I first travelled to Stourbridge during April 2013. And on the day I went it was London Midland 139 002. Seen here arriving from Stourbridge Town.

This was years before All The Stations (Geoff Marshall & Vicki Pipe on YouTube) and Great British Railway Journeys (Michael Portillo) travelled there, so it had yet to be called "The Cuttest Train!".

At the time in the London Midland Livery it was known as the London Midland Stourbridge Shuttle.

Seen waiting at Stourbridge Junction before heading back to Stourbridge Town.

A few years later I ended up getting the no 9 bus all the way to Stourbridge during November 2017. And I decided to get the train back to Birmingham. And that gave me another chance to ride the Stourbridge Shuttle back from Stourbridge Town to Stourbridge Junction! Was 139 002 again! I've never been on 139 001.

 

Stourbridge Town

Getting off the Stourbridge Shuttle at Stourbridge Town Station during my visit of April 2013 (to start my look around the town for the first time). The journey doesn't take that long from Stourbridge Junction, and I would later return here to return to Birmingham.

It is one of two Class 139 Parry People Movers operating on the line. 139 002. Seen at the time in London Midland green, black, white and yellow. It would have that livery until 2019, when it was changed into the orange and purple West Midlands Railway livery (yet to see it myself like that). The London Midland name was removed in late 2017 when the West Midlands rail franchise changed hands.

The view of the "cute" little train from the other side of the buffer. Stourbridge Interchange is nearby, where you can change onto the buses from National Express West Midlands. A subway takes passengers into Stourbridge Town Centre.

This was after my day out in Stourbridge Town Centre in April 2013, ready to catch the Stourbridge Shuttle back to Stourbridge Junction from Stourbridge Town. The platform here is quite short.

Now a look at the interiors, when they were in London Midland colours!

On board the Stourbridge Shuttle in April 2013 arriving at Stourbridge Town. This little train even has room for a passengers bike!

This was when I got back on the Stourbridge Shuttle for the ride back to Stourbridge Town, so an opportunity to get shots of the interior while empty!

The other side, drivers cab at both ends.

The only change by November 2017 was those two new chairs, otherwise unchanged (until the West Midlands Railway interior livery was applied in 2019).

Am not sure yet when I will have time to travel back to Stourbridge to ride the Stourbridge Shuttle again in it's new West Midlands Railway guise, but hopefully it will be sooner rather than later? I can catch my local train all the way to Stourbridge Junction and change like I did over 6 years ago! (2 years ago was just one way back to Birmingham).

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown (over 1000 followers!).

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