St Austell to Penzance

This week we went to St Austell in Cornwall. We drove - Because well frankly it's cheaper (just), easier, allows us to drive around, allows us to leave when we want and it's quicker (marginally). Which is all well and good... But I don't get to go on a train! The time before last that we visited St Austell we did get the train all the way from Strood via London Paddington (I've only just realised that I haven't actually blogged about that - whoops). I enjoyed it a bit more than @tigziefc, the idea that you can mooch around, walk to the bar not have to worry about stopping to go to the loo or concentrate on idiotic motorists is very appealing - but it is a long way and does get rather busy! The only disappointing part about last time is that I didn't get to go all the way to Penzance which is a good hour more away from St Austell.

StAustellPenzanceThis time we did get to go! We caught the 2C45 0927 St James' Park to Penzance (alt) service which arrived somewhat late into St Austell. The service was very busy, but luckily we both got seats. We were on a two carriage Class 150 DMU TOPS number 150232.

penzance_trainPenzance station is far smaller than I had imagined with only four platforms, three of which are covered. It is the terminus for a variety of services including Cross Country, First Great Western High Speed services, Riveria Sleeper and Devon/Cornwall regional trains.

While in Penzance we went to a great pub called The One and All - it's situated north west of the station and is just over the road. They had Betty Stogs (alt) on tap which is a very nice beer. penzance_station_compressed

We caught the 2E88 1644 Penzance to Plymouth (alt) service on the way back. It was equally as busy, especially after Truro! TOPS Number 150219.

I think next time we're down in Cornwall we will travel on the Riveria Sleeper, it just sounds like fun! All the way to Penzance of course... got to have that lay-in.

Stratford to Romford

Today SWMBO was in Romford, London seeing her family; I seized the opportunity to venture further than Stratford on Greater Anglia...

It was busy! But a good, quick trip. I took the Jubilee from Westminster to Stratford then caught the train towards Shenfield. Took around 45mins in total.


I'm convinced the Greater Anglia is the most dull operating company in the entire UK, why? Just the colours. I like the red that they are beginning to introduce, but the grey and white mix is just boring and awful! The stock they run doesn't exactly help the case, especially on this route, but the Class 315s are rumoured to be soon replaced.

The cost is something that I can't complain about, £4.00 from Westminster to Romford works out at 0.27p per mile.

Would definitely like to travel further on this line, perhaps up to Harwich International Port.

Bangor - Holyhead

I took this trip with @geekyjames a while back, we also visited Holyhead Lifeboat while we were there. I've always wanted to go to Holyhead, not sure why - I think it's just one of those corners of the UK that needs to be ticked off. The station at Holyhead is directly adjacent to the Ferry terminal and (unsurprisingly) almost all of the passengers headed this way when we arrived. BangortoHolyhead

Tholyhead_1he Wales North Coast Line is jointly operated by Arriva Trains Wales and Virgin Trains. Arriva run stopping services towards Cardiff Central, Birmingham, Maesteg, Shrewsbury. Virgin run intercity services via Chester towards London Euston.

The line isn't electrified so Virgin can only run the 221 Super Voyagers to Holyhead,however they have been known to use the Pendolino sets led by a diesel unit.