My trip from Bristol - Watford and back

Status
Not open for further replies.

freetoview33

Established Member
Joined
24 May 2009
Messages
3,614
Location
Henbury, Bristol
Yesterday I had a trip to the Harry Potter studio tour from where I live in Bristol and thought I would share some of my observations.

First of all I got a lift to Bristol Parkway and realised it does need a 4th platform especially when new services start.

Then I got on the 12:09 CrossCountry service from Paignton to Manchester which was a Class 220. Had to stand but didn't mind as was only going one stop to Celtenham Spa but does show the current set up doesn't work.

Next up was the 12:59 CrossCountry service from Cardiff to Nottingham which was a 3 car Class 170. Only got this service because for some reason services that stop at Ashchurch are cheaper. Had a seat but noticed the train could of done with a refurbishment. If the Cardiff to Nottingham trains are diverted via Bristol Parkway this could help with issues I had between Parkway and Cheltenham.

Got off at Birmingham New Street and the new concourse looks better, but there seems to still be work going on the platforms and a leak at the end of one of the platforms!

From there I got on the 14:14 London Midland train towards London Euston, it was a stopping train which got on my nerves but got it as it was stupidly cheap. It was formed of a Class 350/1 and a Class 350/3. I got on the Class 350/1 which had blue seats and looked rather tatty and threadbare but nevertheless was comfortable. But there was lots of space for the whole trip. So no idea why it needed to be 8 Cars.

Then hopped off at Milton Keynes as that train didn't call at Watford Junction. So hopped on the 15:47 London Midland train to London Euston which did stop at Watford Junction. Which I think was a Class 350/2 which was fine also.

So got off at Watford Junction which was good but the concourse was much smaller than I thought and could do with being bigger, I wouldn't like to be travelling through at peak times and it could do with an entrance on the other side of the station not just the car park.

Then went to the bus station which again looks like it could do with being resurfaced and refreshed a bit. And got on the studio tour bus. Which is well sign posted from the platforms. Then got back to Watford Junction just after 21:00.

From there I got on the 21:21 London Overground train to Euston (As on my previous trips I have missed the Overground) which was okay, very much like the tube in feel, the 5 car Class 378's are good. The only issue I would say is with the line itself which was quite bumpy and some very tight bends.

Finally got into Euston at 22:10 which is the first time I have ever been to the mainline station. From there I went towards the tube, which I found a bit confusing because of building works, as said before it must be a nightmare on a Monday morning!

At last I got down to the Victoria Line, and was impressed that the tube was running well, but I just missed one tube, but only had a 1 minute wait for the next tube. You Londoners are spoilt having a train every 2/3 mins! The 2009 stock is okay but still could do with a refurbishment now, it does show how London takes it's toll on stock.

Then arrived at Victoria went up to the mainline station, which was busier than I thought it would be at 22:30/23:00. I do find Victoria a bit of a maze at times. Yes there is a line on the floor directing you towards the Coach Station but outside the station entrances/exits there needs to be more signs directing people.

Got to the lovely as ever Victoria Coach Station. Which as everyone knows isn't fit for purpose. Waited for my 23:59 coach. Which was on time but for some reason kept stopping at services to change drivers. What I will say about Victoria Coach station is it is in a good place for connections to trains. I know this will never happen but this is what I would do! Build a subway connection to the tube and mainline stations to avoid the main roads. And just simply being bigger as the amount of waiting space is too small and the number of bays that had to be doubled up for serving 2 services is madness and confusing as they are not listed properly on the screens. On the bright side it was the cleanest and most pigeon free I have ever seen it!

Then at 02:30 finally got back to an empty Bristol Coach station!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Also I don't think Crossrail to Milton Keynes would work, but to Tring would
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Techniquest

Veteran Member
Joined
19 Jun 2005
Messages
18,566
Location
Nowhere Heath
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the trip, an interesting time had clearly! Here's a response to some points:

1) No way will the Cardiff to Nottingham services be diverted, in normal service, via Bristol Parkway as otherwise there would be no direct service between Gloucester and Birmingham.

2) Difficult to say why the 1414 to Euston from Birmingham had 8 coaches, it could have been required on its earlier journey or later on during the return journey. Sometimes it's easier to just leave them as pairs, various reasons and at least extra capacity was provided on a weekend, not a common occurance!

3) I disagree the Victoria line stock needs a refurb, not yet. The 350/1s are certainly needing it after 11 years of intense use, and the 170s with CrossCounty were last heavily refurbished in 2007/2008. If you thought they needed a refurb now, you should have seen the state of them beforehand!
 

fishquinn

Established Member
Associate Staff
Quizmaster
Joined
4 Oct 2013
Messages
6,636
Location
Warwickshire
Sounds like a good time there! The 350/1s are certainly tatty and in need of a refurb! It must have been a pretty bad refurb in 2007/08 on the 170s then! I don't like the XC 170s at all!
 

freetoview33

Established Member
Joined
24 May 2009
Messages
3,614
Location
Henbury, Bristol
Sounds like a good time there! The 350/1s are certainly tatty and in need of a refurb! It must have been a pretty bad refurb in 2007/08 on the 170s then! I don't like the XC 170s at all!

The Class 350/1's really are, they just need a good clean and new seats.
As for the XC 170's the one I was on (Can only tell you it was a 3 car) Toilet was tatty and I really don't like the layout! not saying they need a total referb but certainly a refresh!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top