At just after half past 8 on the penultimate Friday in July, I pulled out of St. Pancras International (STP) on a momentous day, my first railday in months! The Government guidance had recently changed to allow the use of public transport for non-essential travel and so with my facemask in hand (well on face) I headed down to King’s Cross and crossed the road, ready to review the UK’s fastest domestic rail service.
So, June 2020, a very strange time in the UK due to Covid-19, and after 10 weeks of living in London, I was finally travelling home in the middle of lockdown. Obviously, this is going to be a slightly different ‘Train Review’ post to normal, but given it was my first time on one of Greater Anglia’s new intercity trains, I decided to still do a review of sorts. I won’t be including the usual rating due to the measures in place as part of the situation.
After an excellent but exhausting day in Hull, we were back at the city’s Paragon station well ahead of our train’s departure time. Unfortunately, Hull Trains doesn’t have any first-class lounges, including at Hull, and so we camped out in the Café Nero across the road for 45 minutes or so before heading across to the platforms.
A cold and clear morning in January saw us up early and on our way to Grantham to catch a train. Although not our local station, most direct services to our final destination, Hull, don’t call at Peterborough and so we had driven one stop north to catch our train. For our journey today we were travelling with the home operator of East Riding, Hull Trains.
The early evening of Friday 17th January saw me back at Brunel’s railway cathedral, London Paddington, having finished work for the week and ready to head to Bristol for a weekend with friends. Due to the timing of my trip, I was unfortunately not able to travel first-class, however I was able to try one of GWR’s new ‘Superfast’ services in standard class.
After a couple of days in Bristol visiting friends and exploring the city, I was back at the wonderful Bristol Temple Meads station for my journey back to London. Temple Meads was originally opened in 1840 as the western terminus of the Great Western Railway from London Paddington. As with the rest of the railway, Temple Meads was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, although his original station is no longer part of the current operational station.