As some of my readers will know I am a key worker and so, despite various tiers and lockdowns, I am continuing to commute from Peterborough to London to do my bit to keep the capital moving despite Coronavirus. These commutes a few days a week have been a way for me to get a small ‘fix’ of train travel, and I thought I’d write this post to give you an idea of what travelling on trains during lockdown is like. I’m not going to use my normal rating scale for this journey, given the unique circumstances.
Continuing my series of ‘5 places I’d like to visit’, this instalment covers 5 places in South America, including the surrounding islands. There’s no real order of preference to these destinations and so I’ve listed them south to north.
I hadn’t actually been planning on reviewing my journey back to London from Portsmouth, however the discovery of a class 444 waiting for me and improved customer service compared to my trip down was enough to differentiate it from the southbound journey (read about that here) and make it worth a short review.
The Island line, the one small remaining part of the Isle of Wight’s once extensive network 55.5 miles of railways, is just 8.5 miles in length and has a total of 8 stations spread across its length, mostly centred on the north-eastern and eastern conurbations of Ryde and Sandown & Shanklin.
The Isle of Wight is the 12th largest island in the British Isles and sits off the south coast of Great Britain close to Southampton and Portsmouth. Isolated from the mainland and with no bridge or tunnel connection, there are six ferry links to connect the island with its neighbouring towns and cities. Three of these are standard vehicle ferries that connect Yarmouth, East Cowes and Fishbourne with Lymington, Southampton and Portsmouth respectively, however the other three are slightly more exciting.
Departing Peterborough just after 6am, the second Saturday in December had brought an early start to allow a full day of exploring and adventuring. The Isle of Wight was my ultimate destination, but first I had two trains and two tubes to catch, as well as making my way across to the Island from Portsmouth.