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.
On the final Saturday in January, I decided to have an impromptu ‘railday’ and so headed to Pennines to explore the region with a South Pennines Day Ranger. This ranger ticket costs just £25.20 for adults or £16.65 with most railcards and allows unlimited standard class travel on most operators within a region bounded by Bradford (Interchange), Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield.
Having arrived in Corby on the afternoon train from Derby (read about that here), I had about a 50-minute wait until my booked train to London left at 1837. Unfortunately, Corby station has rather limited facilities and there is no first class lounge available. The station does have both a ticket office and coffee shop located within the ticket hall/waiting room area, however both were closed during my visit and the lone vending machine on the platform was ‘in operation’ but empty.