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.
The last planned trip of my busy August and September was a couple of days in Bristol, travelling to Bristol Temple Meads (TM) station and back with Great Western Railway (GWR). GWR run four trains an hour to Bristol, with two an hour heading to Bristol TM via Bath and two calling at Bristol Parkway en route to South Wales.
The morning of the 2nd January saw me at Euston station before 6am following the completion of my final night shift of the festive period. Although my final destination was Derby, I was heading first to Birmingham and en route trying out the first-class service of Avanti West Coast. Avanti are the new operator of inter-city west coast mainline services, having taken over from Virgin Trains the previous month
ee hours after having arrived at Leeds with LNER I was back at the station for my trip back to Peterborough. With about an hour until my train back south, I headed to the first-class lounge at Leeds, which is located next to the ticket machines in the North Concourse. The lounge itself is quite small with about 30 seats mixed between bar style, lounge chairs and booths with tables. As expected, there was a small range of snacks and drinks, although on my visit the coffee machine was out of order with jugs of coffee provided instead.
Just over a month after my last trip northbound with LNER, I was back at Peterborough for a last minutes trip to Leeds. I won’t go into the reason for my trip, however I did decide to treat myself to first class again, especially following my previous good experiences with LNER (you can find them on my Train Reviews page here!)
The first Monday in January saw most of the UK returning to work or school following the break for Christmas and New Year. For me, having been lucky enough to get an extra day off, the day saw me at Derby station in the early afternoon ready to head home, via London with East Midlands Railway (EMR). This journey came four months after my last journeys with EMR (a three leg round trip from London via Derby and Corby) and I was interested to see what changes had been made in the months since the franchise changed hands.