Just another train journey – travelling by train in the UK today
We don’t usually take notes of our routine or regular journeys, but after a couple of horrendous journeys, we began to take note of what went right and what went wrong. As keen rail travellers we are used to dealing with the glitches that train travel throws up. However, if more people are to travel by train then these need to be addressed. We have focussed, here on the actual experience of train travel rather than the broader issues such as the cost of travel, private vs public ownership, the bizarre economics that hinder railway development, the plans for post-Covid recovery and the restructuring of the railway system.
The stimulus for the first report was a journey in December 2016 from Durham to Bangor, North Wales to visit friends for Christmas. What should have been a routine, if complex journey, would have been a nightmare for the occasional traveller. It shouldn’t have been. Click on this link to read about it: just another train journey – Bangor by train 2016 (pdf 242kb).
We then began to take brief notes of our UK journeys, trying to imagine what they would be like for the non-regular train traveller. 2017 provided nothing as dramatically awful as that journey, some examples of good service, but too many issues that could be stressful for the leisure traveller. The report is here: More train journeys – UK rail 2017 (pdf 458kb).
The next report covers 2018 to 2020. The report raises issues for when train travel begins to revive following the pandemic. These are important as many people will need convincing to return to travel by rail. The report is here: UK Rail Travel 2018-2020 (pdf 159kb).
The plan is to replace these reports later in 2022, with a clearer focus on the key issues.