Trip Reports - ScotRail314209

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by Scotrail314209, 25 Nov 2019.

  1. Scotrail314209

    Scotrail314209 Member

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    Hey all, first time doing one of these things so here goes.

    After arriving from Brussels on the Eurostar, I took the Underground to Euston Square and then commenced the short walk to Euston. I had about two hours to kill (train was at 15:40), so decided to get a rather delicious cheeseburger from the burger shop in Euston.

    Time slowly ticked by until I got a text saying that my train was ready to board on Platform 16. My chariot for the 5hr 30 minute ride to Glasgow was 390011. I took a seat in Coach K and settled in, with 2 minutes before departure the gates closed, and some poor travellers got stopped because of the policy at Euston.

    We departed Euston at bang on 15:40, and got served food and drink as we passed through North London. The choice for this was a poppadom dip or a mustard and some sort of meat sandwich. (Both of which were meh). But the tea was good. We arrived 3 minutes early into Milton Keynes, and until Birmingham New St the journey was pretty uneventful. We left Birmingham on time at 17:15, but were 10 minutes late by Wolverhampton as we got held behind a Walsall - Wolverhampton stopper. At Wolverhampton the crews changed over, and it was a Scottish catering crew the re of the way. There unfortunately was a shortage of food until Preston, due to the heavy loadings of the service. The host was very apologetic. Just as we approached Crewe, I took a walk to the shop. Standard was absolutely heaving with people sitting in the vestibules, with tons more boarding at Crewe. (If you are travelling in standard on the 1540 on a Sunday, AVOID). Afterwards several tea and coffee rounds followed, with another food service and a relatively uneventful journey. We arrived bang on time at 21:15 into Glasgow. This would no doubt be one of my last journeys on Virgin Trains, in which the new franchise will have big shoes to fill.
     
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  3. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

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    I personally would have walked from St Pancras to Euston. It's not at all far by the time you navigate your way around KCSP tube station and then get back up to surface level. But I fully appreciate that everyone has their own preferences! :)

    An interesting report. Thank you for sharing.
     
  4. 800002

    800002 Member

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    As a slight side there are three ways between St Pancras and Euston:
    Walk the main road (straight and direct) or the back road (along the advertised walking route)
    Circle / Hammersmith + City line to Euston Square and walk
    Northern or Victoria lines (separate platforms) to Euston.

    I prefer to walk, the back way through somers Town. But use the Northern line (as its easier to walk down to) if the rain is too much.

    A good read - would you do it again?



    Edit: 'Northern' replaces 'Piccadilly'
     
    Last edited: 27 Nov 2019
  5. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

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    The Piccadilly Line doesn't serve Euston?
     
  6. VT 390

    VT 390 Established Member

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    I think they meant Northern Line.
     
  7. 800002

    800002 Member

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    In the words of Capt. Mainwaring: Ah, yes... I was wondering who would be the first to spot that.

    Apologies, indeed, I meant Northern Line.

    Orginial copy amended to reflect.
     
  8. Scotrail314209

    Scotrail314209 Member

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    Thank you for all the comments.

    I chose to take the tube to Euston as I wanted to get one last ride before I went home. Also I am pretty lazy. :lol:

    Not sure if I should do more of these covering my long distance travels, may do one for the Azuma I was on during September.
     
  9. Scotrail314209

    Scotrail314209 Member

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    Totally would do it again, albeit maybe not via Birmingham this time.
     
  10. 800002

    800002 Member

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    Would you consider East Coast from King's Cross?
    I've only ever gone London - Glasgow via the east coast (for some reason I'm not sure which) - as an adult anyway.
    They were HSTs though. Think I'd prefer a peno over Azuma today though!
     
  11. Scotrail314209

    Scotrail314209 Member

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    Have done it in the opposite direction December 2017, was enjoyable on the 05:40 off of Edinburgh.
     
  12. 800002

    800002 Member

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    The Flier, 1E01? (memory fading, without looking at RTT...)
    Must have been nice only stopping at Newcastle.
    Can you recall how much that cost you?
     
  13. Scotrail314209

    Scotrail314209 Member

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    As it was around Christmas, and First Class was a bit limited, it cost around £16 for a single. (Advance)
     
  14. 800002

    800002 Member

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    Bargain!
     
  15. Scotrail314209

    Scotrail314209 Member

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    Extremely, keep trying to find deals to no avail.
     
  16. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Bargain is right for the 0540! That is one route I had always wanted to do, just for the novelty of going non-stop through York. Now the 91s are almost all gone, a return to the ECML is more appealing. I should have some time off in late March 2020, waiting for it to be approved, and it's been a long time since I last visited Newcastle...
     
  17. Scotrail314209

    Scotrail314209 Member

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    Saltcoats to Newcastle - 20/09/2019

    During this weekend in September, I went to cover the LNER diverts via the West Coast Mainline. So I thought I'd take the opportunity to stay a night in Newcastle.

    I walked down to the station for the 09:13 train to Glasgow. I got there at about 9am, purchased my ticket and waited for the train to arrive from Ardrossan Town, to take me the 40 minute journey to Glasgow Central. The train rolled in, and shock horror there were plenty of seats. I found a seat at a table, plugged my phone in and watched the scenery rush past.

    We arrived into Glasgow Central and I made my way over to Glasgow Queen Street. I got the 10:30 fast service from Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh, formed of a pair of 385s. I took a seat in the First Class section, the seats weren't that bad. Shortly after departure from Glasgow Queen Street, I received my complimentary drink and biscuit, I opted for a Caramel Wafer and Tea. The 45 minute journey flew past, as we only stopped at Croy, Falkirk High and Haymarket.

    We arrived into Edinburgh Waverley bang on time, and I made my way to the spotless First Class lounge, stopping for a few moments to take a look at the shiny new TransPennine Class 802 that was idling in Platform 6. After admiring how shiny it actually was, I went into the lounge. The lounge was slightly busy with people waiting for the delayed 11:30 to London. My train was the 12:00. I picked up some biscuits and put them into my bag, to eat later. I got myself some orange juice and enjoyed the view over to the concourse.

    I could see my train arriving into Platform 5, which was a shiny new Azuma. I waited for the train to be platformed before heading down.

    At about 11:45 the train was platformed, and I made my way down towards Coach K, which was a half standard/first configuration. My carriage in particular was extremely busy, with most if not all seats fully reserved from Edinburgh. I took my seat and plugged my phone in, with my touch screen going extremely funny. Which is an issue with the new Azuma trains.

    We departed 1 minute late at 12:01, and headed for our first stop 60 minutes later at Alnmouth. Shortly after departure from Edinburgh, the staff came around taking meal orders, and giving out the first round of drinks. I ordered the Spinach and Pea Curry, not what I usually go for, but it was the only thing that sounded like something I'd enjoy.

    A short while later, along comes my Curry. It did look a bit like cat sick, but it was very nice.

    After this point, the journey was relatively uneventful, until a Call for Aid activation occurred in Coach H. Safe to say the automated announcement did get a bit annoying after a while. We stopped at Alnmouth on time. Then promptly departed towards Newcastle.

    The journey was relatively uneventful, then I arrived in Newcastle and a lot of drinking commenced.

    All in all, the Azuma really is a great product, and I look forward to travelling on it more.


    [​IMG]
    Picture of the Curry.
     
  18. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Considering your written description of the curry, I wasn't expecting it to look even remotely appetising, but that actually looks pretty reasonable!
     
  19. Scotrail314209

    Scotrail314209 Member

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    It was really good, considering that was the first time I've had a proper hot dish on a train.
     
  20. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    You'd have no doubt loved the mixed grill that was served in 2005 on the FGW Pullman service out of Swansea on the 1130 to Paddington. Holy fudgecakes that was good! Same for the fillet steak they did as a special once, and I still remember fondly the apple pie with custard. Sadly I fail to remember what I had on the evening Pullman out of Paddington on the way to Taunton way back in June 2004, but it was good too.

    Now THAT was the era to have tried the Pullman dining service. When I last looked at the menu it was nothing like as good as that, and I genuinely doubt the experience is as good on an IET. Those big First Class on FGW HSTs, they just made the experience so much better. I never got to try it with the leather seats in First Class, sadly.

    Oh I've just remembered the beast better known as the Brunel Burger back in Travelling Chef days. It was rather expensive, but SO good! Same for the bacon baguettes, freshly cooked to order, and I used to have one whenever I did the 0709 Hereford to Paddington on a Saturday morning back in the mid 2000s. That service had a Travelling Chef on it, and I can feel my stomach yearning for one of those right now!

    Those were the best meals I've ever had on a train. End of! I've seen what gets served on that Cardiff to Holyhead service, and I'm sorry but it's just not worth the extra money in my opinion. Too arty-farty these days, it's the same sort of nonsense in the air. Whatever happened to simple meals that were hearty and filling?!
     
  21. Scotrail314209

    Scotrail314209 Member

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    We've got some of the ex GWR trailers here, and those big leather seats are so good in First Class. I need to try more dishes, want to try West Coast next, but don't think I'll get the chance before the franchise changes.
     
  22. Scotrail314209

    Scotrail314209 Member

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    This thread has been relatively inactive, but my next form of reports will come in when I tackle Birmingham, London and Oxford in 2 weeks.
     
  23. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Ooh, nice bit of variety there! Should be some good reads soon :)

    My thread is also getting a revival soon, as I've got LA, London and Krakow all coming up in the next 2 weeks :D Sleeping is going to be challenging for the next few nights, excited is not the word!
     
  24. Scotrail314209

    Scotrail314209 Member

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    Just a quick update for everyone, the reviews will still be happening. But due to the overhead wire problems at Lancaster, I wasn’t able to get the dinner on the Voyager. Instead a review will be published of the CrossCountry journey from Glasgow - Birmingham instead
     
  25. Scotrail314209

    Scotrail314209 Member

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    Saltcoats to Longbridge - 16/01/2019

    I started this day off by having a lie in in which I intended to wake up about noon. My train was not until 17:40 that day, so I had plenty of time to relax... or so I thought.

    I woke up around 1pm and had a quick browse of RailForums. I clicked on a thread that showed overhead wire problems near Lancaster, and the possible disruption. Alarm bells started ringing, I looked on JourneyCheck and my train was not yet listed, so I dropped a message to the Avanti team who said it would be unlikely it would make it the full way. Great!!

    I stuffed everything into a bag, flung on the first items of decent clothes I seen and ran down to Saltcoats station to catch the 13:43 train to Glasgow Central. Upon arrival, my first port of call was to speak to a member of Avanti staff to see my options. Luckily there were several staff offering information and guidance, I could not fault them this day, they were doing their best. I was presented with two options:

    A. Take the 14:40 train as far as Carlisle, get on a bus to Preston, then back onto the train.
    B. Take the 15:00 CrossCountry service as far as Birmingham New Street (my final destination anyway).

    I opted for B, as it would save me a lot of hassle at Carlisle with seats etc. The 14:40 was looking very busy anyway. As I had a First Class ticket for the 17:40 hoping to sample some of the evening hot food, I asked the lady if CrossCountry would honour my ticket, she told me it was dependent on space and to check with the train crew.

    I made my way onto the platform and spoke to a member of the catering team who found me an unreserved seat which was unreserved from Glasgow to Bristol: result!

    We left Glasgow on time at 15:00, and made our way to the first stop of Motherwell at 15:13. Motherwell came and went, and along came the first class service. As some passengers would've been doing the service as far as Edinburgh to make connections into London, we were only offered drinks and some snacks, which done quite well for the duration to Edinburgh.

    Once we departed from Edinburgh, the full first class service commenced with hot food and sandwiches being offered. I went for the Chicken and Stuffing sandwich (it was really good actually). This is when EVEN MORE problems started. We came to a stop behind a London service, and learned it was due to a minor signalling problem in the area around Dunbar. We got moving again after a slight 10 minute delay.

    At Newcastle the crew changed over and we were offered even more snacks and drinks, this was essentially the pattern for the rest of the journey to Birmingham. At around York I asked if there was any hot food left, unfortunately there wasn't so I had another Chicken and Stuffing sandwich.

    After Leeds we got held up again behind a Leeds to Doncaster stopping service, which made us 20 minutes late. A further delay happened at Sheffield, and our arrival was 20 minutes late into Birmingham New Street. I had already purchased my ticket to Longbridge (where my hotel was), and was able to make the 21:24 service to Redditch which was running a couple of minutes late.

    There was quite a crowd on the platform, so I was hoping that it wasn't a 3 car. Luckily, a 6 car set rolled in and I made my way to the back where the carriage was practically empty. COMMUTERS TAKE NOTE. We arrived into Longbridge at 21:46, in which I went straight to the hotel and relaxed.

    (PICS TO FOLLOW)
     

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