Stevenage to Newcastle & back Not as easy as it sounds!

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richa2002

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Today (31/12/05) I went up to Newcastle with my Dad to drop off my Gran after she stayed over for Christmas.

The 09:50 London Kings X - Edinburgh rolled into Stevenage which was unusually formed of an HST (43008 + 43167. Got some excellent sound recordings. Would you like them TC for your BVE HST ?) bang on time and we made our way to Coach M. After a few minutes on board, it is announced that the boiler has failed so there will not be any hot drinks on this service. Not a good start. Other than that it was a good a journey up and we arrived at Newcastle on time.

After dropping off my Gran, my Dad and I get on a metro at Pelaw and make our way to Central Station in time to catch the 16:29 Edinburgh - London Kings X. We arrived at Central Station and we both decided we would get a magazine at WHSmith's. The 16:29 was 7 minutes late so that gave us time to get it. By this time it was about 16:13 so we walked along the concourse to find out WHSmith's was closed! As we still had time to spare, we ventured outside to see if there was another newsagents nearby. There was but they didn't stock railway magazines. It was now 16:17 and my Dad suddenly had a great idea. While we had checked the board we noted there was a 16:20 Virgin Voyager service to Derby. My Dad said we should get on the Voyager to Darlington and if WHSmith's is open, we get off there and buy our magazine and then catch the train which departed Newcastle at 16:29 which stopped at Stevenage. Anyway, we get on the Voyager at Newcastle and sit down on a table. At Durham a girl gets on and sits down relatively close to us. After about 5 minutes she phoned up someone to tell her that she had a got on a Derby train instead because the Newark Northgate train was badly delayed. She kept losing the signal so she repeated herself quite alot (this will be relevant later on in the story). So my Dad and I thought that the 16:29 may be stuck somewhere or failed. We decided that we would have a quick look at the departure board at Darlington and if it was getting later, we would stay on till Doncaster in the hope of getting a Leeds to Stevenage. We pull into Darlington and the WHSmith's is open so we had a quick look at the screen and by now the 16:29 is running about 37 minutes late. We decide to stick on till Doncaster. We checked the screen at York and that just said 'Delayed'. So we got off at Doncaster (17:45) and checked the screen for a train from Leeds. There wasn't one. We asked one of the station staff and he said that the last train from Leeds had already gone, he said to go to Customer Information for more information. We go in and they say that the 16:29 is stuck at Morpeth which is bad news but luckily there was a Saturdays Only Hull Trains 19:05 to Kings Cross. So we get on the Hull Trains and we had one of the best journeys we had for a while! The seating was much better than the Voyagers & Meridians with the majority of seating not being airline. We shot down to Kings Cross arriving 10 minutes early. We did Doncaster - Kings Cross including the Grantham stop in 1hr 31mins. That's an average of 101 - 102MPH! We then had enough time to buy our magazines at WHSmith's and travelled back to Stevenage with authorisation by GNER on the 20:51 to Kings Lynn. We arrived back at Stevenage and just as we were walking out od the station I said "Let's see how late that 16:29 was and the one after that." This is the bit that will make this story all the more worthwhile telling. They were both cancelled.

What makes this journey back extremely weird though is that firstly we don't usually want a magzine. Secondly, if it wasn't for WHSmith's being closed. We would have waited for that 16:29 instead of catching the 16:20 to find out it was cancelled! The next strange thing to happen was for the girl to sit near us and say that the Newark train was badly late and she kept losing the signal so she had to repeat herself, it was like she was trying to tell us! If it wasn't for us overhearing her, we would have got off at Darlington thinking the 16:29 was still 7 mins late and bought the magazines to find out the 16:29 was cancelled (about 2-3 hours later!). We would have been stranded. And why was the WHSmith's at Darlington open and the Newcastle one not. If the Newcastle one was we would have waited for the 16:29 as we would have had no reason to go on the 16:20 Virgin to Derby. The last lucky thing was that New Year's Eve happened to fall on a Saturday, if not, there wouldn't have been the 19:05 Hull Trains! We would have been stranded again. From then on the trip was normal.

So that one small trigger cause that my Dad and I wanted a magazine got us home that night! All in all an extremely lucky and creepy return journey!
 
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Julian G

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Richard Armstrong said:
Today (31/12/05) I went up to Newcastle with my Dad to drop off my Gran after she stayed over for Christmas.

The 09:50 London Kings X - Edinburgh rolled into Stevenage which was unusually formed of an HST (43008 + 43167.....

Snap! 43167
 

Techniquest

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What a creppy trip! All those things telling you to change onto another train, to get that Voyager in the first place...

Fun in terms of bashes, but it could have turned out to be very horrid.
 

Techniquest

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*Walks off, my mission was already achieved by TC.*

'In this one, the force is strong'
'Yes, these 91s have an incredible power, wrapped in Dark Forces livery Master Yoda.'
 

richa2002

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FGWFan said:
What a creppy trip! All those things telling you to change onto another train, to get that Voyager in the first place...

Fun in terms of bashes, but it could have turned out to be very horrid.

Yeah, it wad good going on Hull Trains for the first time.
 

Techniquest

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What else could you be interested in I wonder...

I'm not overly interested in the units either, but I'm sure they're nicer than Voyagers. I'm definately interested in doing one in First Class, that looks lush. Nicer than Mallard FC!

Complimentary meals? Interesting. Thanks for the reply R. Armstrong, I'll check out HT some time then.
 

yorkie

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Richard Armstrong said:
Also, if you pay the £15 Weekend First upgrade you can try their complimentry meals.
What do you mean by try a meal? you get a full 'free' meal if you pay £15? What is on offer? Or do you just mean a 'snack box' VT style?
 

91119

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Delays were caused by a number of signal and crossing failures on the Tyneside and Morpeth signal box boundary (Stannington area). Eventually temporary block working and hand signalling was put in place.

1E19 14:00 GLC - KGX (your 16:29 from NCL) was the first train to get caught up was delayed by 2 hours. 1E21 16:30 EDB - KGX was 90 minutes late. Both trains ran through to Kings Cross with 1E19 making an additional stop at Grantham.

Not sure why they were showing as cancelled at Stevenage. Was that on the departures board? Maybe it was to stop people waiting for those trains when there was others to Kings Cross or something.

Thanks to John (COL on 1E21) for the info.

I'm glad I was off :lol:
 

voyagerdude220

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yorkie said:
Richard Armstrong said:
Also, if you pay the £15 Weekend First upgrade you can try their complimentry meals.
What do you mean by try a meal? you get a full 'free' meal if you pay £15? What is on offer? Or do you just mean a 'snack box' VT style?

If Hull Trains can do more than a snack box in FC with their Pioneers, I don't see why VXC can't do better in FC with their Voyagers.

Is the FC galley area on Pioneers behind the cab , just like the Voyagers?
 
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