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 issues need to be addressed. We have focussed here on the actual experience of train travel rather than issues such as the cost of travel, private vs public ownership and the bizarre economics that hinder railway development. We have our views on these but prefer to discuss them in person, over a couple of pints. Unlike the remainder of the site these reports do not feature photographs and are downloadable PDF files. Also, we are concerned with the occasional traveller, who will have different concerns from the regular commuter.
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. The good news is that 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. Follow this link for our account of travelling by train in the UK in 2017: More train journeys – UK rail 2017 (pdf 458kb).
Pressure of other activities prevented a 2018 report and a document covering 2018 and 2019 was planned. As it was drafted Coronavirus hit, and it was not clear whether the report had any useful purpose. We have decided recently to complete the report as it raises issues for when train travel begins to revive. These are even more important as many people will need convincing to return to travel by rail. To read the report follow this link: UK Rail Travel 2018-2020 (pdf 159kb).