London 2015

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by AndrewR232, 1 May 2015.

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  1. AndrewR232

    AndrewR232 Member

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    For those unaware (which is just about everyone! :D), I'm off to London next week for a few days.

    I arrive on this train on Monday morning, and expect to reach my hotel, in the middle of the DLR network, around 12 noon.

    I have worked out two options for accessing the DLR after arriving at KGX:

    Hammersmith & City Line to West Ham or Circle Line to Tower Hill

    Feel free to suggest something totally different! :lol:

    Now stupidly, when booking this trip several months ago, I failed to take into consideration the fact that 4th of May is a bank holiday (:oops:), which probably means trains will be busier than usual.

    Therefore, if anyone has experience of London on bank holidays and can advise me on routes/stations which would be best avoided, this would be greatly appreciated!! :D
     
  2. James Wake

    James Wake Member

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    Northern line to Bank, get on first set of doors in first coach, at Bank, stops directly by a staircase that leads straight down to the DLR platforms.
     
  3. AndrewR232

    AndrewR232 Member

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    Not a bad idea, thanks for that! :)
     
  4. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    I would say the trains would be quieter than normal on Monday, although some TOCs will be running a reduced service (either a Saturday or Sunday level of service), with engineering works dotted around on the Monday
     
  5. AndrewR232

    AndrewR232 Member

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    That's what I'm hoping for :lol:
     
  6. AndrewR232

    AndrewR232 Member

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    Well, this trip was postponed by one week and I went last week instead. I felt unwell most of the week, which spoilt things somewhat significantly, but kept going regardless. Let's start at the beginning...

    Day 1 - Monday 11 May 2015
    It was an early start in the morning, with a taxi to Glasgow Central station booked for 0520. This arrived at the station around 0545, so there was plenty of time to spare before boarding my first train, 390047 on the 0630 to London Euston. Finding an available seat in Coach K, I had this coach to myself until Penrith, where another 2 passengers joined. 3 more boarded at Lancaster, followed by one more at Preston. So the coach was never busy, with 1 person alighting at Wigan North Western.

    All was well until we were held at a signal near Warrington Bank Quay station (at Winwick Junction, I believe) due to a vehicle striking a bridge ahead. This delayed us by 22 minutes. A little while later, shortly before going through Crewe, we were delayed again due to "signalling problems", passing through said station 33 minutes late. We never recovered from this delay, and arrived into London Euston a full half hour later than booked.

    Upon arrival at Euston I made my way to the underground station, planning to catch a northbound Victoria line train. This was a big mistake as, unfortunately, the escalators leading to the northbound platforms are currently under maintenance and the only access to these platforms is via a spiral staircase - carrying a suitcase, this was not a pleasant experience. I eventually reached the bottom of this spiral staircase, and the platform, and boarded car 11069, which I took to Highbury & Islington.

    When I arrived on platform 8, I noticed I had just missed a train to Stratford, my next port of call, and would be waiting nearly 10 minutes before 378226 finally turned up on the 1212 to Stratford. Upon arrival at Stratford, platform 8, I headed to platform 17 where I boarded Docklands Light Railway unit 145, and alighted at the very next stop, Stratford High Street, the closest station to my hotel, Travelodge Stratford. As I was 20 minutes late thanks to the train delay, and having to wait at reception a few minutes for a member of staff to appear not helping matters, it was literally a case of dropping off my luggage and using the bathroom before getting back out onto London's amazing transport system!

    I walked back to Stratford High Street DLR station, and just missed a train back to Stratford. Not realising at this point that it would be quicker to walk, I waited for the next one and boarded unit 145 (again!), arriving at Stratford just in time to see my diagrammed service, the 1319 to London Liverpool Street (which started at Shenfield), leave. Rather than look for another Greater Anglia service into LST, I decided to get a London Underground Central line train instead, and duly boarded car 92021, having to stand until alighting at Liverpool Street.

    By this point I had now caught up with my diagram, although I didn't have as much time at LST as I had planned. But thank goodness for that as I hate the place, it is easily my least favourite of the London Terminals. I quickly buy some lunch, then head to platform 3 to board my next train, the 1345 to Cheshunt, worked on this day by 315814. I stayed with this service as far as Turkey Street, where I wait twenty minutes for the 1436 to London Liverpool Street, also 315814, which I took to Seven Sisters. It was then back to the Victoria line on the tube network, where car 12037 took me one stop to Finsbury Park, where I changed to the Piccadilly line, and took car 365 to the northern terminus of the line, Cockfosters.

    After using the overpriced WC facilities at this station, it was time for the first of the day's three bus journeys as route 384 took me to High Barnet tube station, where I boarded a Northern line train, car 52577, alighting at Archway for my second bus ride, route C11 to Gospel Oak station. I arrived at GPO at 1725, which was really the first opportunity to use my camera, getting shots of most units that I saw until boarding my next train, 172001, which was working the 1805 to Barking. I did this route the other way round two years ago and got 172001 then as well!:-x

    No matter, I boarded the train more or less as soon as it arrived and got a seat. It was standing room only before it left Gospel Oak, but I expected this. We arrived at Barking 3 minutes late, and I spent a bit of time here before taking a District line train, car 17005, to Mile End, where I changed to a Central line train, car 92240, to Redbridge. Time now for bus ride #3 on service 366 to Beckton station, where I boarded DLR unit 154, alighting at Custom House to have a look at the hotel I stayed in when I was last in London, in 2013. Ten minutes later t was back to Custom House DLR station where unit 155 took me to Canning Town, where I had a 10 minute wait before my final journey to Stratford High Street on DLR unit 131.

    The DLR services have changed since last time - there used to be services from the Beckton branch through to Stratford International in the evenings.

    Day 2 will be published tomorrow. Hopefully.
     
  7. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    Sounds like a varied day.

    I hope your delay repay form has been submitted to Virgin for your 30 minute delay? ;)
     
  8. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Looks like you had quite a good day all in, despite the delay getting to London in the first place. I don't know what your system is for recording Tube stuff, if indeed you're marking them off for haulage or not.

    Reason why I ask is to mention the usual reporting of Tube sets. I'm sure you already know the Victoria line is formed of pairs of 2009 half-sets. 11069, the first one you mention (or did you list it as 14069? Not sure and can't review your trip report without losing this post in the app), this would be recorded as a general rule by the end coach, so would be 11069. I'm sure you're also aware that, for the duration at least, the pairs are in numerical order. In this case, your move would have been 11069+11070.

    Worth adding that the way you've put them in your trip report is the same way I did my Tube bashing for years. Which is why I have hundreds of sets to still get!

    Central line, these are 2-car trains and you've probably noticed that it's 8-car trains on the Central line. Therefore it's 4 pairs on a standard Central move, however unlike the 2009 sets and the S stock sets, the sets aren't with their original partners anymore. Therefore a leap there could be 92034+92438+92266+92101. Those are just picked out of their air, so probably aren't accurate at all!

    Probably a bit late for all this, or you may not be interested, but it's worth mentioning just in case. I'm sure there's plenty of people here who can help advise much more on the Tube! I just wish I logged my Tube moves over the years better!

    A good read and of course I look forward to part 2!
     
  9. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    If the spiral staircase is a problem I'd take the southbound Victoria Line to Warren Street and cross the platform and return northbound.

    Probably quicker than struggling down the spiral staircase.
     
  10. AndrewR232

    AndrewR232 Member

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    To be honest, I just noted the number of the car I travelled in, paying no attention to the other car numbers or the formation of the train. :D

    I'm not nearly as interested in Tube trains as I am in NR trains, and mainly record numbers for completeness. The same applies to the Glasgow (SPT) Subway, on the very rare occasions that I use it, and buses.
     
  11. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Fair games :) I know that spiral staircase at Euston too, even with just a backpack it feels like forever going down!
     
  12. AndrewR232

    AndrewR232 Member

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    Day 2 - Tuesday 12 May 2015
    After awaking at a slightly more reasonable time than the previous day (although I love early mornings!), it was a quick breakfast at the hotel, which I didn't enjoy, before setting off for another day of random travelling round London!

    A short walk to Stratford High Street DLR station saw me board car 103 and ride it to its terminus, Woolwich Arsenal. It is worth pointing out that my ticket was checked on this journey, never had that happen on a DLR train before! I had not been at WWA long when it was announced that my next train had been cancelled. I was supposed to take this the long way round to London Cannon Street. I was feeling a bit unwell with a headache at this point so rather than trying to work out where else I might be able to go, I decided to stay to WWA to have a prober breakfast, before joining 376019/376031 on the 1119 to London Cannon Street. Although this service arrived into Cannon Street 5 minutes later than booked, it was still one minute earlier than the train I should have been on!

    Next up, a couple of short Tube journeys. First a trip on District line car 17522 all the way to Bank/Momument, followed by Northern line car 51547 to Kings Cross/St Pancras. It was here that things began to go wrong. Again.

    Arriving at KGX/STP at 1219, it was time for my PNB before catching my next train at 1240. After a queue in the toilets, and staff serving customers in front exceptionally slowly while waiting to pay for lunch (why do both of these things only occur when you are in a hurry?), I literally rushed for the Thameslink platforms for my next train, and reached the escalator to the lower level just in time to hear the brakes release and the train move off! To make matters worse, the next train to Hendon, my next port of call, was running over 10 minutes late and would not be stopping there! So I had to wait a full half hour before joining the 1310 to Luton, worked on this not-so-fine day by 319460.

    Alighting at Hendon, I took a short walk to West Hendon Broadway to board my only bus of the day, service 142 to Watford Junction station. I quite like WFJ, although still feeling unwell meant that I did not use my time here as effectively as I might otherwise have done. Nonetheless, I was here for around 40 minutes there before boarding 378232 on the 1521 to London Euston. This was the train I should have been on, and thankfully everything worked after this and I was able to follow my booked diagram until the end of my shift!

    I ditched 378232 at Harrow & Wealdstone, and had just over 20 minutes to wait before 377201/377202 appeared with the 1559 to East Croydon. Disembarking at East Croydon, it was now time for a ride on the Croydon tramlink! Riding tram 2665 to Birkbeck was one of the most uncomfortable journeys of my life, standing and cramped the whole time, and I couldn't wait to get off and make my way to the NR platform to board the 1801 to Beckenham Junction, worked by 455838/455807.

    I had just over half an hour at Beckenham Junction before 465006/465195 turned up, forming my next diagrammed service, the 1841 to London Victoria.

    This visit to London Victoria allowed me to buy to buy dinner and some much needed Nurofen, before pressing on with 377309/377325 on the rather pleasant 1922 to London Bridge.

    From London Bridge, it was a trip on the Jubilee line (car 96467) to Canning Town, followed by the DLR (car 80) to Stratford High Street to get back to the hotel.

    Upon my arrival, I decided to try the hotel restaurant and ordered myself some fish & chips. I love fish & chips, but this was horrible. The fish looked (and tasted) like it had been bought in from a supermarket and frozen, not restaurant quality and certainly not worth the £8.95 I paid for it You can get better fish at local takeaways for half that price!!
     
  13. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    A mixed day, shame about the connection issues and not feeling 100%.
     
  14. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Grim times with not feeling well, it's rather difficult to keep going when unwell on a bash. If that's the sort of quality I can expect in a Travelodge for food I'm glad I won't be using their restaurants any time soon!

    Quite a bit done all in there, fair dos!
     
  15. AndrewR232

    AndrewR232 Member

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    Absolutely, and I received vouchers in the post today. :)
    I might put them towards another London trip, or possibly a trip to somewhere near Birmingham as the Heart of England rover is very inviting!

    Anyways, back to last week...

    Day 3 - Wednesday 13 May 2015
    I started off the third day with the slightly longer walk to Stratford station, where I boarded DLR unit 92 to Canary Wharf, changing there to unit 116 which took me to Lewisham.

    It was a bus ride next, and with Lewisham bus station being closed and alternative bus stops scattered throughout the town centre, it took me around fifty minutes to find the one I wanted before taking route 108 straight back to Stratford! Thanks to the earlier 'delay' in Lewisham, I was only there for around quarter of an hour before taking Jubilee line car 96089 to Waterloo station, where I changed to the Bakerloo line and rode car 3543 to Charing Cross. After buying lunch, I boarded 466037/465196 on the 1254 to Gravesend for the short hop to London Waterloo East.

    I walked to Waterloo proper to board the 1312 service to Shepperton, operated by 455910/455905. I got off at Clapham Junction. I think this is a great station if you're not overwhelmed by the sheer number of train movements (it is MUCH busier than anything I'm used to in central Scotland - or anywhere else in Scotland!) but, still not feeling great, I unfortunately spent most of my time there sitting in one place, and my camera did not see as much activity as it should have done. I was there for just over 50 minutes and got only 9 photos. :(

    When my time at CLJ was up, I boarded 455850/455728 on the 1413 service to London Waterloo and took the long way round to Wimbledon, with the intention of boarding a tram service. Without looking for any sings within the station, I made my way through the ticket gates, out of the station, and wandered the streets for at least 10 minutes trying to find a tram stop. None could be found. It was only after spending a good few minutes on my phone that I realised the tram stop is INSIDE the station! (In my defence, this is not the case at the other rail/tram interchanges I have used.) I therefore boarded a later tram than planned and rode tram 2537 to Mitcham Junction. This was no great loss, though, as there wasn't much due to go through MIJ until 455803 appeared with the 1608 to London Victoria.

    I exited Victoria station for my second bus journey of the day, the 73 to Kings Cross/St Pancras. Feeling somewhat better upon arrival at KGX/STP around 1743, it was now time for my favourite part of the week - a trip to Ashford International on HS1! My diagrammed train was the 1837 to Sandwich, so I had plenty of time to buy my dinner and tickets for the upcoming journey. After going through the ticket gates, I head to platform 12 to see 390011 leading 395008 into the station. I would have been annoyed if these sets were the other way round, as I had a ride on 395011 in 2013! My train was the front set so I happily boarded 395008 and gave my phone some much needed charging time until we arrived at AFK.

    I really like these trains, and also Ashford International station. I could happily spend a whole day here; the hour I spent on this occasion passed extremely quickly, and my camera saw a modest amount of activity (more than at CLJ earlier) and I didn't want to leave when 395006 appeared operating the 2016 to St Pancras International. I had hoped to see this at Ashford, but it was delayed. Actually on my way back to London, it passed us near Ebbsfleet, so I did see it but not where I had intended!

    I said goodbye to 395006 at Stratford International before taking DLR car 60 to Stratford High Street to finish.
     
  16. alexf380

    alexf380 Member

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    An interesting read there Andrew, and a wide variety of transport you've taken! Hope you've had a nice week in London and look forward to reading about the next couple of days!
     
  17. AndrewR232

    AndrewR232 Member

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    Day 4 - Thursday 14 May 2015
    So we're now on to my final full day in London, which unfortunately was ruined by the weather. Non-stop rain from when I left the hotel c.9am until I returned c.9pm!!

    The day started from Stratford High Street DLR station with a short hop on DLR car 122 to West Ham, changing onto Jubilee line car 96472 to Waterloo, changing again to Bakerloo car 3555 to London Marylebone, to board my first NR train of the day.

    The CIS displays took their time to indicate that the 1025 to High Wycombe would be leaving from platform 6 (I believe 5 is the booked platform) so I head there to find 165004, which I board and take to South Ruislip. A couple of minutes later 165025 appears to operate the Chiltern parliamentary service 1057 to London Paddington, which was my reason for heading to SRU. It was a 13 minute turnaround at London Paddington, before I jumped back on 165025 for the 1136 to West Ruislip. There was one other passenger on the train, whom I noticed was also on the train coming in from SRU, after photographing the unit there! Another enthusiast perhaps? Taking this service all the way to West Ruislip, it is time for the first bus journey of the day and I duly leave the station and take route U1 to Ruislip station. After making use of the WC facilities at this station, I boarded a Metropolitan line train (car 23066) and took this to Harrow-on-the-Hill.

    Exiting the station, I headed for the adjacent bus station as it was already time for bus ride #2, the 340 to Edgware station, where I then took Northern line car 51707 to Kings Cross/St Pancras. Here I changed to the Hammersmith & City line, and took car 21367 to West Ham.

    It was now back to the NR network, with my next train being 357009 on the 1508 to Shoeburyness, which I took right to the terminus. I had to stand; this train was busier than I expected, but not busy enough to justify running it as an 8-car. I got a seat after we left Barking, the next stop.

    I had been to Shoeburyness station before, in 2008, when I had no camera of any sort with me, so I was hoping to get plenty of train photos this time! The weather ensured that this did not happen, however, as the platforms are essentially uncovered and as much as I enjoy photographing trains, I'd rather not do so in the rain.

    I left there with 1 photo. :cry:

    Up next, an 8-car in the form of 357209/357033 on the 1650 to London Fenchurch Street. This took me to Upminster, where I almost missed my next train, that being the 1754 to Romford, worked by 315857. I got off at Emerson Park and waited for the train to come back, let it leave, and waited for it to come back when I board it again on the 1828 to Romford and take it to, well, Romford.

    Refusing to make another journey with Greater Anglia, including the short hop to Upminster to pick up a c2c service, could mean only one thing - time for the third and final bus ride of the day, and indeed final bus ride of the 'holiday'. This was in the form of route 103 to Rainham station, where I boarded 357041 on the 2000 to London Liverpool Street. I thought this was rather unusual, with the vast majority of c2c journeys running to/from London Fenchurch Street. We arrived at Liverpool Street 2 minutes late, whereupon it was back to the underground as I took Central line car 91105 to Stratford, before taking DLR car 38 to Stratford High Street to finish.

    And yes, I know I could have got back to the hotel quicker by leaving 357041 at Stratford and heading for the DLR, thereby not going near Liverpool Street at all. But I don't always work like that. :D
     
  18. Kristofferson

    Kristofferson Established Member

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    Epic trip round London - how you spent so long at CLJ is beyond me! It's a horrid place, although there is a good variety of stock moving about the place.

    The 395s are great, best enjoyed at 140mph on HS1 and not at all enjoyable after Ebbsfleet. I understand the extra capacity benefits of running these trains all the way out to Kent, but they really don't look at home on those lines.

    Did you sit at the front of the DLR? Apologies if I missed the bit where you did ;)
     
  19. AndrewR232

    AndrewR232 Member

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    Absolutely!

    Especially on the final morning after checking out of the hotel. My route was:

    Stratford High Street -> Canning Town -> Beckton -> Tower Gateway

    The reason I went all the way to the terminus at Beckton was so that I could be the first person on the train and hence get the best seat to Tower Gateway. It worked! :lol:

    CLJ is hardly the most aesthetically pleasing station I've been to, but it is the place to be to get Southern and South West Trains units. It and AFK were probably my favourite stations. Least favourites? Liverpool Street (although that might be because I hate Greater Anglia) and Wimbledon.
     
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