TRIVIA: The shortest journey where you've bought and consumed refreshments on-board

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AY1975

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Not sure whether this belongs under Trip Planning & Reports or Railway History & Nostalgia, but what is the shortest journey that you've ever done where you've bought and consumed refreshments from the trolley or buffet car or travelled 1st class and been served complimentary refreshments? Or, for that matter, the shortest journey where you've had a meal in the restaurant car (even if you only had time for a starter or main course).

My record for the shortest journey where I've been served (and consumed) complimentary refreshments in 1st class is Sheffield to Doncaster on TransPennine Express, using a TPE-only 1st class single. That was long enough to drink a small complimentary bottle of water, and would probably have been long enough to drink a tea or a coffee had I wanted one.

When I travelled from Manchester Oxford Road to Manchester Victoria via the Ordsall Chord soon after it opened I again went 1st class and hoped to break that record, but the 1st class host didn't come round before my train got to Victoria.

I can't remember what is the shortest journey where I've bought and consumed refreshments on-board (i.e. paid-for as opposed to complimentary refreshments) but I think it may well have been Sheffield to Chesterfield, Nottingham to Alfreton, or Clapham Junction to Woking or East Croydon.
 
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Ianno87

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Back in 2019, I did Rugby-Birmingham International on (then) Virgin, and splashed out for First Class.

Quite impressed that in both directions, I managed to consume a sandwich, pack of crisps, biscuits and two cups of tea. Also filled my boots in the lounge at International on the return.

(You can tell I don't travel First Class very often...)
 

AY1975

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Back in 2019, I did Rugby-Birmingham International on (then) Virgin, and splashed out for First Class.

Quite impressed that in both directions, I managed to consume a sandwich, pack of crisps, biscuits and two cups of tea. Also filled my boots in the lounge at International on the return.

(You can tell I don't travel First Class very often...)
Wow! That is impressive.

I've taken refreshments in the bistro cars on short journeys on German InterRegio trains (a train category that DB has since abolished). I had a croissant going from Cologne to Dusseldorf, and I think I had a beer going from Frankfurt to Darmstadt during the 2001 Kirchentag (church convention) in Frankfurt. The bistro cars did well out of Kirchentag punters who were staying in Darmstadt!

In the days when Dutch InterCity trains had trolleys, I think I may have bought refreshments on them going from Utrecht to Rotterdam or Ede-Wageningen.
 

Journeyman

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I regularly bought coffees and snacks from the trolley on trains from Linlithgow to Glasgow, a journey of half an hour.
 

Kite159

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Tottenham Hale to Liverpool Street on a Stansted Express service (back when they had catering). Although it was only a bottle of water
 

Mcr Warrior

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Hot drinks (bovril or oxo or some such) purchased on a journey on the East Lancs Railway. (12.5 miles from Rawtenstall -> Heywood?)
 

steamybrian

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On a railtour purchased refreshments from on board trolley at Weymouth Quay and consumed drink and sandwiches on arrival at Weymouth Station a distance of just over a mile.....
The journey took nearly 45 minutes at walking pace including stopping for staff to move a parked car off the track.
Readers who had "route knowledge" of the route will understand.
 

steamybrian

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How was that actually achieved other than by the train driver "opening the throttle"? ;)
At least two members of railway staff plus the local Police accompanied every train to assist in moving parked cars, warning road traffic and one of them walked in front of the train with the red flag warning motorists.
Travelling along the Weymouth Tramway line to the Quay was an "experience".
 

Bletchleyite

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I can offer 0 miles, as I'm near-certain I have at one point bought a coffee from the trolley on a train I had no intention of boarding, though I can't quite recall exactly where.
 

Ash Bridge

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I think for me it would be onboard a Regional Railways NW class 142 pacer that I boarded from Manchester Piccadlilly to Stockport on which the trolley came through whilst still awaiting departure from platform 13, it was only a coffee that I purchased but it was just about finished on arrival at Stockport after a non-stop run. I imagine the fact that maybe 40% of the hot liquid had spilt onto the floor (and my hand) between my feet en-route helped me achieve this!
 

TT-ONR-NRN

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Oh dear, I was offered a picnic tray on a Pendolino in first leaving Edinburgh - not sure she realised I was alighting at Haymarket. I’m ashamed to say I accepted it with delight, didn’t have to pick up lunch then! :oops::lol:
 

hexagon789

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Edinburgh-Glasgow on a 170, hot drinks on a few occasions. That's my shortest at 47.25mi and about 50 mins, though I can see I've been beaten on distance and time by quite a few posters above! :lol:
 

route101

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I think for me it would be onboard a Regional Railways NW class 142 pacer that I boarded from Manchester Piccadlilly to Stockport on which the trolley came through whilst still awaiting departure from platform 13, it was only a coffee that I purchased but it was just about finished on arrival at Stockport after a non-stop run. I imagine the fact that maybe 40% of the hot liquid had spilt onto the floor (and my hand) between my feet en-route helped me achieve this!
Interesting never knew Pacers had trolley services.

When I younger and silly I attempted to get a hot breakfast between Glasgow Central and Motherwell. Got told a big fat no at the buffet car.

I have travelled between Glasgow and Edinburgh in First as part of a advance ticket, which was probably cheaper than the peak fare to Edinburgh alone.
 

Techniquest

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My best record that I can remember was a few years back, on a positioning move from Birmingham New Street to Birmingham International for a flight. I can't remember all the details, but for some reason I'd bought a First Class single just because I could. It must have been on a holiday trip!

8 miles and 18 chains journey, and I just about managed to finish the small coffee (served in a proper cup!) before having to get up and off the train! I'd have been in the lounge if it had been open, and it was an incredibly cold morning!
 

yorksrob

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I had a G&T between Wigan NW and Warrington BQ (purchased in standard).
 

rg177

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I've had tea and biscuits on a Hartlepool to Sunderland journey with GC back in HST days.

Otherwise usually my "short hop" first class trips have been Newcastle-York and v/v on LNER/VTEC where I've been offered everything from a single cup of coffee to the full works (hot meal and alcohol)
 

lxfe_mxtterz

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Really not that short at all, but the shortest journey I've purchased food on would have been York to London King's Cross in Virgin Trains East Coast days. Made a trek to The Foodbar twice - firstly purchasing a very underwhelming "James Martin Kitchen" bacon roll, which was as hard as a rock... the sausage roll I purchased later in the journey was much better, however.
 

xotGD

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Once on a Norwich - Liverpool service, the trolley came round while we were in the platform at Sheffield so I bought a beer. We sat there for some time, and then it was announced that due to some problem or other the train was cancelled. I finished off the ale before getting off. So zero miles covered.

When you got free drinks in Standard on the Midland Main Line I'd always get myself 2 coffees on the hop from Loughborough to Derby. Drink one, and take the other with me to drink on the cross country service I was connecting to.
 

Mcr Warrior

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I've been given a beer between Wakefield Westgate and Leeds before in 1st on several occasions.

Not bad considering a First Class single is only £5.90!

Yeah, it's a good value ticket. Possible worth it just for 1st class lounge access at either end too if you have to wait in the area a while.
Think Manchester Piccadilly -> Stockport is something like £5.80 (FDS) and Birmingham New Street -> Birmingham International is £6.20 (or £6.10 for Route Avanti).

Any other (short distance) first class "bargains" out there that might yield decent complimentaries?
 

vlad

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The first-class host in Cross Country gave me a bacon roll and cup of tea on the journey between Stockport and Manchester (which is about 10 minutes) - I'd been on the train since Stoke, however, and this was the first time they'd showed.

If we're talking about two stations I actually travelled between, then I got a tea and a couple of pastries on Transpennine between Lancaster and Oxenholme (under 15 minutes).
 

D841 Roebuck

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In August 2010, I had several pints of an exceptionally nice dark ale whilst trundling up and down the Gwili Railway behind D9521, 03178 and 08631. Possibly 6 pints in about 18 miles.

Gronking is fun... :E
 

LSWR Cavalier

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What about the financial implications, can one make a profit by consuming 'free' food and drink worth more than the ticket cost?

An 'ideal' situation might be a very short trip where the train is held up, stranded between stations for hours, so f&d are distributed to keep bodies and souls together.
 

greatvoyager

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Shortest journey I’ve had refreshments was Taunton to Exeter. I had a bacon roll which was quite hot and meant I was still eating it when I got to St David’s.
 
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