Having spent the night in Glasgow, we were back at the shiny and new Queen Street station bright and early ready to continue our journey north to Fort William. Covering almost two thirds of the picturesque West Highland Line, the journey was due to take us just shy of 4 hours along what has been voted the top rail journey in the world.
My Monday morning started earlier than planned as my excitement building caused me to wake up six hours before our train and the not so pleasant hour of half four. Ahead of us lay a week on the rails as we explore some of Scotland up and along the stunning West Highland line. But first, the longest single train journey I had ever made, just short of four hours onboard one of LNER’s Azumas.
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.