Alderney’s Northern Line

Wednesday 8th May 2019 I spent last weekend’s Bank Holiday break on beautiful Alderney, one of the Channel Islands. Alderney’s not renowned for its public transport - there are no buses - they’re not really needed on an island that measures just three miles long and 1.5 miles wide with a population of 2,000. It... Continue Reading →

Breich, Borders, Bike Buses and Berwick

Friday 3rd May 2019 Finding myself in Glasgow at 7.30am yesterday morning (after my inaugural Caledonian Sleeper Mark 5 journey) I thought it would be an opportunity to continue the first-time experiences by taking a ride on the recently completed electrified ScotRail line to Edinburgh via Shotts and then catch a Borders Buses X62 down... Continue Reading →

New trains in 2019 Part 3: Sleepers

Thursday 2nd May 2019 The long awaited Caledonian Sleeper CAF built Mark 5 coaches began running on the Lowland route last Sunday night. I booked myself a ticket and travelled from Euston to Glasgow last night/this morning to see whether the salivating I'd been reading on social media from high profile commentators blessed with their... Continue Reading →

Cumbrian travels between LNER and Virgin

Tuesday 30th April 2019 My Funday in Furness yesterday exploring three small islands off England's north west coast came sandwiched between two other great travelling days. I travelled up the East Coast Main Line from Kings Cross to Newcastle on Saturday with LNER (always a favourite journey) to meet the lovely members of the Northern... Continue Reading →

Funday in Furness

Monday 29th April 2019 Today's been a fascinating day visiting three tiny islands off England's north west coast alongside Barrow in Furness. Until a few months ago when planning this adventure I had no idea they even existed! The Borough of Barrow, including neighbouring Dalton, has a population of around 57,000 and is Cumbria's second... Continue Reading →

New trains in 2019 Part 2: D Trains

Wednesday 24th April 2019 It's been a long wait with some well over a year late, but finally an avalanche of new trains is entering service; well one train has. First off the blocks is the much anticipated Class 230 train which began running on the Marston Vale line between Bedford and Bletchley yesterday. Not... Continue Reading →

Long live the HST

Monday 18th March 2019 During my initial trip on a brand new Class 800 train when they began running between Paddington and Bristol/Cardiff at the end of 2017 my first thought was to lament the end of the luxurious comfortable seats GWR had introduced in first class in HST trains the new IEP units were... Continue Reading →

Home from scenic Scotland

Day 5  Sunday 3rd March 2019   Glasgow to Carlisle I always look forward to a journey down the West Coast Main Line between Glasgow and Carlisle, or for a bit of variety, ScotRail's alternative via Kilmarnock and Dumfries, but today I thought I'd try out the bus option. It takes much longer than the... Continue Reading →

A few days in scenic Scotland 2

Day 3 Friday 1st March 2019  Mull of Kintyre When planning trips it's not often I'll schedule a long journey out and back by exactly the same route and mode of travel in one day. It's always much more interesting to devise a circuit taking in different routes and scenery, villages, towns or cities along... Continue Reading →

Sparks are flying on GOBLIN

Monday 28th January 2019 You've got to feel sorry for the growing number of passengers who rely on the GOspel Oak to Barking orbital railway line in north east London, known affectionately as GOBLIN for short. The former down-at-heel and unloved Silverlink Metro line transferred to TfL back in 2006 when the future was bright,... Continue Reading →

railair & you’re there

Thursday 24th January 2019The recent launch of First Bus's nine brand new Scania Irizar i6 bodied K-series coaches for its prestigous RailAir nonstop service linking Reading Station with Heathrow Airport attracted a shoal of positive comments on Twitter and in the trade press so I thought I'd give it a road test today. All the... Continue Reading →

My Hundred Best Train Journeys 4

Wednesday 26th December 2018 And so the final forty of My Hundred Best Train Journeys ranked 61-100. You can read the top 10 here, 11-30 here and 31-60 here. 61 Brighton - East Croydon This line which passes my home station of Hassocks. I reckon I know just about every inch of its track and... Continue Reading →

2018 Quiz Answers

1 What are passengers in Basingstoke soon to miss, that those in Leicester suffered a loss of in the summer? Printed timetables …. as Stagecoach South announced they wouldn’t be printing timetables for upcoming changes next month. It follows Arriva Midlands doing the same in Leicester in 2018. 2 What did passengers do to force... Continue Reading →

2018 Review, Awards and Quiz of the Year

Tuesday 18th December 2018 After my fortnightly French Connection column got ditched last summer, readers of Bus & Coach Buyer have reportedly been worried sick they’ll miss my ritual round up of the year with its concoction of fascinating facts, august awards and quirky quiz questions.  Fear no more. I’m delighted to report BusAndTrainUser has... Continue Reading →

My Hundred Best Train Journeys 3

Sunday 2nd December 2018 Back on track(s) again to describe thirty more wonderful train trips, ranked 31-60 in My Hundred Best Train Journeys. For the Top 30 previously published click here and here. 31 Exeter - Exmouth I love this journey not only for the truly superb views as the train trundles along the east... Continue Reading →

My Hundred Best Train Journeys 2

Thursday 15th November 2018 Following the top ten listing in Part 1, welcome to the next twenty most wonderful train journeys around Britain - they're part of my Hundred Best Train Journeys. Read along for the rides ...... 11  Shrewsbury - Llandrindod - Swansea  After the Cambrian Coast line entry in tenth place, we're still... Continue Reading →

My Hundred Best Train Journeys 1

Sunday 11th November 2018   Part 1 of 4. This started out as my top ten favourite train journeys but I quickly realised I couldn't possibly do justice to all the many fantastic rail lines across Britain by being so limited. It quickly grew to a top twenty, then thirty as favourites easily clicked away... Continue Reading →

TramTrains arrive … at last.

Thursday 25th October 2018 It's taken around ten years to deliver at over four times the original budgeted cost but today passengers could finally get on what seemed like a 'train' at Rotherham Central station and get off what had turned into a 'tram' during the journey right in the heart of Sheffield's city centre... Continue Reading →

10 reasons to like Devon

It’s always a pleasure to spend a few days in Devon. Superb coastlines, rolling rural scenery, two great cities, many attractive towns and lots of delightful villages. Best of all it has an excellent network of well run bus and train services making it very easy to get around. Here are ten reasons why it’s a... Continue Reading →

It helps to have a Plan B

The plan was to catch Stagecoach operated route 4 from Axminster station at 1215. It runs via Honiton to Ottery St Mary where I’d pick up the four-journey-a-day Hatch Green operated rural route 382 via Whimple and Feniton. A scheduled arrival at Axminster on the South Western Railway train at 1202 provided a nice 13... Continue Reading →

Reported issues from last week’s travels

OK, let’s get this writing journey underway. First up, a few miscellaneous reflections on last week’s travels...... Monday 18th June to Oxenholme and the new West Coast Railways operated fill-in part-time train service to Windermere while Northern continues its May Timetable Meltdown. It certainly got the media coverage. It was overrun with train buffs and the... Continue Reading →

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