The cost of a rail ticket refund

Tuesday 15th March 2022 I’ve been ‘off the road’ for operational reasons since last Monday (otherwise known as testing positive for Covid) which has given me an opportunity to reflect on the rail industry’s policy on ticket refunds. It’s all very simple if you’re a Marks & Spencer customer. Famous for its no quibble policy,... Continue Reading →

D is for Durham

Saturday 26th February 2022 It's time for my fortnightly visit to a small to mid sized town and for D I selected one of England's most beautiful and iconic cities which I hadn't explored for many months. The city of Durham's population is around 50,000. It's the administrative centre of its namesake Durham County Council... Continue Reading →

The crazy world of rail ticketing

Tuesday 15th February 2022 As a Brighton Main Line regular I’ve long been used to playing the ‘Thameslink only’ ticket game to save myself money on travels to and from London, not least during the current hiatus when my local station Hassocks is only blessed with trains to London Bridge and at that a Southern... Continue Reading →

The expansion before the cuts?

Thursday 16th December 2021 As trailed in Tuesday’s blog about Soham, on Monday and Tuesday I took a look at a couple of other developments in the new winter rail timetable which commenced on Sunday. If one of LNER’s no expense spared razzmatazz launches is anything to go by the most exciting December development by... Continue Reading →

More mixed messaging on the railway

Tuesday 20th July 2021 I made six train journeys on Saturday and experienced more mixed messaging leaving me wondering whether our Government controlled railways along with the train companies really are interested in attracting passengers back on board particularly following yesterday’s withdrawal of Covid restrictions. During the early months of the pandemic messaging was all... Continue Reading →

Inconsistencies

Tuesday 4th May 2021 We all know it's going to be a big challenge to get passengers using public transport after the past year's pandemic hiatus. And it's good to see some exciting developments with new bus brands in Lancashire for tendered routes (Ribble Country and Little Hot Line), ambitious new services for the leisure... Continue Reading →

A first class scam?

Thursday 10th December 2020 Have you heard of ‘Seatfrog’? It’s been LNER’s way of offering upgrades from standard class to first class on its trains since 2017. More recently it's begun doing the same for Avanti West Coast and GWR . Although it’s been around for three years I only gave it a try for... Continue Reading →

Revolutionising the Harrogate experience

Friday 17th Janurary 2020 Last month's timetable change saw a greatly improved train service for Harrogate with LNER introducing direct trains to and from London Kings Cross every two hours; a substantial increase over the once a day journey which previously ran. Six daily southbound departures from Harrogate leave at 07:34; 09:36; 11:36; 13:36; 15:36 and... Continue Reading →

AZUMA reaches Lincoln

Monday 21st October 2019 LNER's flagship AZUMA trains started running between Lincoln and London Kings Cross today. They're journeys which previously just ran between Newark North Gate and Kings Cross now projected back to start at Lincoln, so they're not new journeys on the actual East Coast Main Line (ECML). They provide a significant boost... Continue Reading →

Train or plane to Edinburgh?

Friday 18th October 2019 There's rightly a lot of discussion about the impact of travelling by plane in the context of our global climate emergency; it pangs my conscious whenever I take a flight, and I don't do it very often, and when I do it's between London and Scotland, the Scottish islands or across... Continue Reading →

Hard and soft launches in Edinburgh

Thursday 1st August 2019 LNER know all about high profile launches. I guess it helps being in the public sector with a generous marketing budget rather than being a cash strapped TOC with unattainable winning franchise pledges submitted to the DfT in misplaced optimism a few years back. Following LNER's all singing, all dancing Kings... Continue Reading →

May’s new timetable on track: Part 1

Tuesday 21st May 2019 First improvement in the May 2019 rail timetable I experienced yesterday on my tour around was from my own local station, Hassocks where our disjointed two an hour trains to the Thameslink Core stations and on to Bedford or Cambridge (one an hour to each but to a 40/20 pattern) have... Continue Reading →

New trains in 2019 Part 4: Azumas

Friday 17th May 2019 Let's get the usual bit out of the way first .... "at last, after many delays" etc etc. Same old story, of course, and in the Azuma's case it still hasn't quite been sorted with onboard technical issues to do with electrical and signal compatibility north of Darlington still to be... 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 →

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