What is your most memorable train journey?

JDi

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I assume that a lot of users of this forum travel at least regularly by train, however...

Does anyone here have a most memorable train journey - for whatever reason - long delay, overcrowding, rowdy passengers, great service, going somewhere special, first time driving a train,...

I travel a lot by train and my most memorable train journey was my first ever on my own - I still remember how strange it felt not having my parents/grandparents with me!

So, does anyone on here have a special train journey that they remember for the right (or wrong!) reasons? If so, please share your stories!
 
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DanTrain

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Probably 4 days across Canada on the Via Rail Canadian service. Now that was a lovely journey (and so many trees!). Would love to do it in winter with drifting snow et al.
 

class387

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Can't beat the Bernina Express for me. The scenery is simply spectactular. Loco-hauled with droplight stock throughout too.

However, I think it has to be the last D78 Stock in passenger service for me. It was the train that introduced me to railways and I wouldn't be posting this today without it. A very emotional day.
 

SpacePhoenix

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Can't beat the Bernina Express for me. The scenery is simply spectactular. Loco-hauled with droplight stock throughout too.
Looking that up on Wikipedia I'm surprised that it isn't combined with the Glacier Express.

I was on a train in Kent back in the slam door days think it was on the line that passes through Tunbridge Wells (would that have been using CIGs?). The train had to do a shunting manoeuvrer due to I think it was a points failure. Whilst we were waiting a Eurostar passed through
 
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Probably heading down to and from the 2015 House of Lords Chamber Event, which was the day after I somehow spoke on BBC Question Time: and thus a few strange looks came my way! However, my 1st visit to Scotland (to Glasgow last May, for a EU Referendum thing on the BBC also) via the WMCL was absolutely beautiful: it will always live in the memory for how stunning of a nation I went through!
 

class387

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Looking that up on Wikipedia I'm surprised that it isn't combined with the Glacier Express.

I was on a train in Kent back in the slam door days think it was on the line that passes through Tunbridge Wells (would that have been using CIGs?). The train had to do a shunting manoeuvrer due to I think it was a points failure. Whilst we were waiting a Eurostar passed through
The Glacier Express goes only as far as St Moritz, while the Bernina Express route goes down to Tirano on the Bernina Railway, which is one of my favourite routes. Chur to Zermatt on the Glacier Express is pretty standar by Swiss standards in my opinion.
 

class387

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The Lucerne Interlaken Express is pretty nice, especially from the panoramic restaurant car!
Another memorable one. When I did it ZB ran an ECS an an 'Extrazug' five minutes behind the normal train, which I chose to get out of curiousity. Ended up having a whole loco-hauled train to myself, instead of the busy tourist unit.
 
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My most memorable rail journey was a diesel excursion from Manchester Victoria to Edinburgh. I boarded at Victoria just after 6am and we went via Atherton then up the settle and Carlisle line, The scenery was beautiful as I have never travelled on this route before. I had a great day out at the festival and it was a lovely day, The journey back was via the west coast main line back to Victoria- It was great at the bar having real ale on pump and having a good old moan about the railways and how they used to be. Most memorable.
 

mike57

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On the continent - Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Kempten on the Aussefern Railway, took the scenic route back north after a holiday in Garmisch one year.

In the UK Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh, in the last days of loco hauled stock. Also been on the Far North line, but Kyle is more interesting in my opinion.

Have to say a trip to Switzerland to travel on some of the railways is on my bucket list
 

chorleyjeff

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I assume that a lot of users of this forum travel at least regularly by train, however...

Does anyone here have a most memorable train journey - for whatever reason - long delay, overcrowding, rowdy passengers, great service, going somewhere special, first time driving a train,...

I travel a lot by train and my most memorable train journey was my first ever on my own - I still remember how strange it felt not having my parents/grandparents with me!

So, does anyone on here have a special train journey that they remember for the right (or wrong!) reasons? If so, please share your stories!
Preston to Llandudno on a summer Saturday in a non corridor carriage. No drink, no toilet ( ok the window opened) and the train staggered very slowly between signal stops on the NWales coast and it was sunny and very very hot and agonising. On the return journey from Bangor the Station was packed, the non corridor train pulled in and my brother jumped in and laid full length on the seat to make sure we got to sit on the awful journey back home. That was in good old BR steam train days.
 

Essan

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Catching the early morning train on the Kyle line out of Inverness (having travelled up there overnight) en route to Skye and my first visit to the Cuillin. This was BR days and loco hauled. No kiosk open in Inverness and no refreshments on the train. So when we got to Dingwall the kiosk there was opened specially for passengers on the train, the guard coming through the coaches to ensure everyone knew they were welcome to disembark and buy a coffee or roll, offering assistance if required. Thought that was great service and "only in the Highlands".
 

Wivenswold

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Nuwara Eliya to Kandy, Sri Lanka. A cultural experience in a wooden open-sided carriage and a spectacular winding journey through the mountainous tea plantations.
 

Kite159

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The 150 working the 0726 Llandudno Junction to Blaenau Ffestiniog service in early October, where I boarded at Llanrwst to alight at Roman Bridge to complete my ~ 3 year adventure to visit every station in Great Britain
 

30907

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Looking that up on Wikipedia I'm surprised that it isn't combined with the Glacier Express.
It's a matter of timings primarily - would be a really long day from Zermatt to Tirano, and Tirano isnt really a tourist destination. More practically, the layout at St Moritz doesn't allow for through Chur-Tirano working, and it's not a stop you could omit.
 

168lover

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May not be the best choice but a full length run behind D8568 Clayton from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster on the SVR during their diesel gala back in May with 7 LMS coaches in tow. In the space of 16 miles having all four seasons of weather. Leaving Bridgnorth in the heavy rain hearing Clayton struggling out the station on slippy rails, then arriving into Hampton Loade in heavy hail with the platforms looking like something out of a christmas card! Then by the time we had pulled into Highley the rain had cleared leaving dark murky cloud layer which stayed until we had hit Bewdley. From Bewdley onwards the cloud disappeared leaving bright sunshine. Then the final leg through Bewdley tunnel with Clayton fully whistling away before finally arriving into Kidderminster after Clayton had done all at the DTG and C&PRRA proud. I left Kiddy that night a very happy person.
 

Hellfire

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The Empire Builder which runs daily between Seattle and Chicago. Takes two and a half days through spectacular countryside and the on board facilities are incredible. All for the price of two Standard class peak returns Glasgow to London
 

xotGD

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Jungfraubahn - a train journey up the inside of a mountain, stopping off en-route to look at the glaciers and then bailing at the end of the line at 3454 m altitude.

On our return, there was a fault with the unit, but there was a spare in the next platform that we switched to for an on-time departure. At the top of a mountain. Northern can't manage that at Leeds or Manchester!
 

AJM580

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D9000 Norwich to Liverpool Street & return, January 1999, 100 mph wherever possible and kept 86 timings. I will never forget the noise and clag
 

Big Tim

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Saturday 5th December 2015, 0634 York - Dundee VTEC on H.S.T. (I am a semi-regular traveller, making that return journey once every month or so).

There were diversions on the Tyne Valley line that month, and it was the first time I had experienced that route, and was looking forward to a "bit of a change".

However, that was the first day of the big storms of December. The first hour was uneventful, and we departed Newcastle without issue, passing the Metro Centre and headed West. The rain had been falling steadily throughout, and much of the night before - and continued to gather force, and looking from the window the Tyne broke it's banks, showing little regard for obstacles - small trees were being pulled from their roots, fences were toppling and no mercy was shown for anything in it's way. We got as far as Bardon Mill and the train ground to a halt - while the rain had slightly relented by this point, the flood waters were still cascading ever faster down the northern Pennine hills, and the track was close to flooding. Several personnel disembarked the train and met with signallers and we waited what seemed like an eternity (in reality just about an hour) before a cheer went up as the Train Manager announced we would proceed but at near enough walking pace until we had cleared the area which was at threat of going underwater (at a guess about a mile of track), and with a view on reviewing the situation at Carlisle - with reports that the Borders were now facing the onslaught of the weather (I'm sure many will remember the scenes of flooding on the news that week from Cumbria). There had been an initial announcement that we may have to return and terminate at Newcastle when the train first stopped - which would have meant northbound passengers would have faced a dilemma, as I believe the main line was closed between Morpeth and Alnmouth.

Despite being an early train, there were a couple of "Hen Parties" on board, who had got a little, shall we say, "lively" by this point, and the Buffet sold out of near enough anything worth having! However, it was all taken in reasonably good humour, and to be honest no one seemed to be that bothered by the ever-increasing volume levels of fellow passengers who had turned to the "party pop" once we headed onwards towards our destinations.

I eventually arrived at Dundee around about 2.45pm - two and a quarter hours late - with the original diversion it was just short of a six hour run (12.27 arrival), but this ended up being a journey of over eight hours - twice the usual length give or take a few minutes on the usual route. However, I was just pleased to have arrived, and utilised the "Delay / Repay" scheme. One thing I did learn from that trip was, being a "larger gentleman", nowadays I rarely book journeys in excess of an hour in standard class , choosing instead to book in advance and go first class - the extra legroom is invaluable! I had a rather nasty bout of cramp around about Moffat on that unusually long journey!

To be fair, we were the luckier passengers that day - had I selected a later train it is unlikely I would have got to my destination at all.
 
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mrcheek

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I would have to say my very first train journey. Merrymaker holiday special, Weston-super-Mare to Aberystywyth and return, circa 1980. Behind a double-headed 47 most of the way.

As someone who suffered from severe travel sickness in cars and on coaches, it was nice to have a journey where I didnt need to throw up all the way.
 
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Ianno87

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Highlights for me:

-At the age of 4, my first proper rail adventure travelling from Bolton to Stranraer for a ferry connection to Belfast
-Interrrailing in August 2008, and crossing through the Tyrol mountains between Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Innsbruck
-Both my experiences of the West Highland Line
-Going up Shap begind a double headed Kettle on the Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express in Feb 2012
-Turning Up at Euston for the first time after the Dec 2008 timetable recast and looking at the beauty of the departure boards
 

30907

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My last proper BR steam journey, 1120 Swanage-Waterloo in August 1966, 34040 Crewkerne, load 12 from Wareham (we attached a short Weymouth portion) with a top speed around 90 somewhere between Basingstoke and Pirbright Jn.
Or the Bernina and Albula lines in late April a couple of years ago, with sun and snow.
 

Welshman

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Returning to university in London in early January 1968 on the 5.29pm express from Leeds. A Mk.1 coach with compartments was included near the front of the train, and was avoided by all passengers as there was a lighting fault and the coach was in darkness.

In those days they didn't lock such coaches out of use, so I made a beeline for it, secured a snug warm compartment to myself, and settled-back to enjoy the journey with a magnificent view through the window made possible through the lack of interior lighting.

The train stopped only at Wakefield Westgate and was then non-stop to Kings Cross. I still remember being awe-struck by the view of the snow-clad fields of Lincolnshire, brightened by the reflection of the clear moonlight, as we dashed southwards with the roar of a deltic up front.

I was sorry to reach the bright lights of London and the Home Counties.
 

gazr

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Two journeys have always stuck in my memory; 1 railtour and 1 passenger. The railtour was "The Court Chester" with 50007+50050, which ended up with a mutiny @ Bedford station gone midnight, and finally a non-stop, green lit all the way run into St. Pancras and cabs home for most passengers. Still wish it had run to time and covered the track it was suppose to do. The passenger service was from Ladybank on a HST at sunrise going over the Forth Bridge for my first time...Stunning. Helped by my headphones blaring Bruce Springsteen on my Walkman (yes, I am old...ish).
 

_toommm_

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Probably York to Newark North Gate when the last major storm hit (I believe it was early 2017 or late 2016). It ended up being the last train of the day Southbound (it left at 2:06pm, 198 late), we had a bit of an umm and ahh moment in Doncaster with whether the driver could continue forward, and arrived in Newark 402 down :)
 

HullMichael

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Despite decades of travelling, a particular favourite was quite recently, at the 2016 NYMR diesel gala. Leaving Pickering we were hauled by a Class 37. At Grosmont the 37 was taken off and a steam engine coupled at the front (I was in the rear coach so could not see which engine it was). Then to my surprise and delight a Deltic was attached to the rear, right next to my open window... The steamer took us to Whitby and the Deltic brought us back. So in the course of a single journey, without leaving my seat, I was hauled (separately) by a 37, a steam loco and a Deltic! A memorable trip indeed!
 

eastwestdivide

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As a student, I spent 4 weeks in Turin. I was returning to the UK on the overnight train to Paris, seated accommodation. Unfortunately, it was the same day that Glasgow Celtic were playing Juventus. They lost, and in the 15 mins before departure from Porta Nuova, increasing numbers of somewhat drunk Glaswegians boarded. The first couple of hours of the journey were noisy, but well-enough behaved, and then the drink and the late hour kicked in, and most of them fell asleep.
In the meantime, I'd struck up a conversation with one of them, who seemed pleased enough to find someone speaking English. He'd brushed up on his Italian for the match, with just the two phrases essential for a visitor to Italy: "due birre" and "viva il Papa" - two beers and long live the Pope.
I ended up half-sleeping in the corridor, sitting on a fold-down seat with my head leaning on the opposite wall.
Strangely there was no sign of them next morning on the train from Paris to the Channel coast.

Equally memorable was a trip back from Scotland to the SE with a couple of mates who worked on the railway. We "accidentally" got too late a train from Inverness for the overnight trains to London, so with their BR ID, they blagged us accommodation on the cushions of a "303" EMU stabled in Glasgow Central for the night. Bleary-eyed in the morning, we had to force the sliding doors open to get off. After some kind of breakfast - might have been Casey Jones in those days - we boarded the first Euston train of the day, which was 47-hauled via Kilmarnock/Dumfries and then the Settle & Carlisle line, finally picking up an electric at Preston.
 

Shaw S Hunter

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Far too many memorable journeys to be able to single out just one. But generally they can be classified as one of the following:
- First time over a particularly scenic route. I especially enjoyed the high mountain routes of Switzerland and Austria, absolutely glorious in early spring with plenty of snow on higher ground. Strangely I had been through our own Lune Gorge many times before I came to truly appreciate its beauty.
- Railtours both good and bad. Someone has mentioned "The Court Chester": a real disaster, I abandoned it early evening at Stafford when it became obvious just how badly things were going.
- The unexpected on normal service trains. My first ever proper spotting trip which produced a class 33 hauled ride on what is now known as the North Downs line: until then I had only experienced 3rd rail EMUs. July 1985 and a class 37 (what?!) from Sheffield to Derby on a York to Penzance. First time over the Rendsburger Hochbruecke (Kiel Canal), a spindly looking bridge with a full 360-degree approach on the north side: I had no idea about it until I came to it!
- Horrible delays. Loco failure on an overnight Zagreb-Split: the crew eventually got it started but it left my day's plan in ruins and train frequencies in Dalmatia are measured in trains per day! December 2000 in the aftermath of Hatfield when a combination of all the speed restrictions and poor weather turned a 4-hour journey from Lancashire to Reading into a near 10-hour marathon, mostly unheated as VXC wasn't too keen on spending money maintaining stock that would soon be superceded.
- Brief moments. Mid-summer evening on a 8-car EPB formation with all the droplights wide open from its earlier peak-hour run so had a proper earful of the traction-motors humming the train up the bank from New Cross Gate through Honor Oak Park and Brockley. Early January morning on the Kyle line waiting time at an intermediate station: sun just about up with a deer visible on a nearby hillside calling out its presence and an eagle circling overhead looking for breakfast all with the class 37 burbling away to itself.
 

cactustwirly

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For me it has to be the HST I took down the Pembroke Dock branch in the summer. It was absolutely brilliant! Especially the jointed track!
The icing on the cake was the expressions of people near Tenby, who looked like they had never seen a HST before!
 

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