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pandora
5th June 2018, 07:40 PM
Do you guys (especially seniors) get free or heavily discounted rail travel that allows you to head off to other photo locations with your copy of Bradshaw's travel guide in hand, just wondering? I've enjoy Michael Portillo's journeys across the land, often to little known places. England has so much interesting history to photograph and with congested roads and soaring petrol prices, rail is the way to go.

Beagletorque
5th June 2018, 07:47 PM
No!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-44366763

pandora
5th June 2018, 08:02 PM
It would seem that things have changed since Bradshaw's day.

Privatisation?

Phill D
5th June 2018, 08:55 PM
Simple answer to that is probably Yes! but I bet there are others who would disagree.

MJ224
5th June 2018, 09:18 PM
I have a Seniors Card, gives me a 20% discount (I think)

Often use the local rail network, and a couple of years ago did travel up to Yorkshire for a car repair (RX8 new engine)

I can commend the rail system for its timing and comfort during that period.

But understand the very heavily used commuter system around the London area is *uch*d. But that lot can make it up in inflated house prices...……….

But seriously, we only hear of the bad bits, perhaps 90% goes without comment.*chr*chr

Otto
6th June 2018, 08:21 AM
I have a Senior Railcard which gives me a third off most fares, but it costs £30 a year (or £70 for three years) so you have to make a fair bit of use of it before it's worthwhile. The Bus Pass is better as it's free and gives you free travel on most service buses. The trouble with both is that out here in the sticks there are few trains and buses!


Rail travel has become much more popular in recent years leading to overcrowding but in general it's more comfortable than the bus - but you need a bus to get to the station! We are fortunate where I live as there's a community-run bus service which connects with trains on the Settle-Carlisle rail line which Portillo was instrumental in saving when he was Minister of Transport. There has been a major rail timetable change recently which has caused chaos is some parts of the country, but once that has settled down it will probably be an improvement.

pandora
6th June 2018, 08:37 PM
I have a Seniors Card, gives me a 20% discount (I think)

Often use the local rail network, and a couple of years ago did travel up to Yorkshire for a car repair (RX8 new engine)

I can commend the rail system for its timing and comfort during that period.

But understand the very heavily used commuter system around the London area is *uch*d. But that lot can make it up in inflated house prices...……….

But seriously, we only hear of the bad bits, perhaps 90% goes without comment.*chr*chrI have a Senior Railcard which gives me a third off most fares, but it costs £30 a year (or £70 for three years) so you have to make a fair bit of use of it before it's worthwhile. The Bus Pass is better as it's free and gives you free travel on most service buses. The trouble with both is that out here in the sticks there are few trains and buses!


Rail travel has become much more popular in recent years leading to overcrowding but in general it's more comfortable than the bus - but you need a bus to get to the station! We are fortunate where I live as there's a community-run bus service which connects with trains on the Settle-Carlisle rail line which Portillo was instrumental in saving when he was Minister of Transport. There has been a major rail timetable change recently which has caused chaos is some parts of the country, but once that has settled down it will probably be an improvement.

Thanks all for the info and answering my query. The reason I ask is I can't recall any of you ever mentioning having taken a train to a shoot in another city or town, I would have imagined that rail would have been quicker, cheaper than driving on heavily congested roads and freeways. My knowledge of London and UK ingeneral dates back almost thirty years when it was easy to disappear like a rabbit down an Underground station and pop up in another thus giving access to a whole new scene, just so much wonderful stuff to photograph. And thanks for that info on Portillo, I didn't know he was once Minister for Transport; I find his series absorbing and superbly presented, he seems like a congenial fellow.

As a Senior I get four free rail travel vouchers per annum from Seniors Australia plus an additional two from the government that entitles me to a free return (economy class) travel to anywhere in Victoria. As Victoria is the smallest Australian State I cannot travel as far as if I were living in any of the other States. My vouchers come in handy for trips to Melbourne which would otherwise set me back around $34 - but although the train is usually not overcrowded it is woefully slow and can come to a grinding halt for anything up to 90 minutes as happened on my last 300km rail trip to 'town'. So when I visited Melbourne 2 weeks ago I decided to drive which cost me around $70 for petrol to exercise my independence but coming home via the Hume Highway (M31) took 7hrs due to a large semi-trailer having overturned about 150km out of the city. Police had closed the highway for 12 hours and diverted traffic on a 100km detour, which left me musing upon the advantages of train travel!

Otto
7th June 2018, 07:30 AM
As my interest is in the landscape and wildish places there isn't much opportunity to use the train to get there. Buses would be a bit more useful if there were more of them; I cannot for instance get to the Lake District easily by bus or train despite living within 30 miles or so it. To get from here in Wensleydale to Kendal, I can get a bus to the railway station six miles away, and then three trains via Carlisle, and it takes about three hours whereas it's a 45 minute drive. I can get a bus to Kendal on a Tuesday afternoon but cannot return until the following Tuesday morning! However if I want to get to Leeds or London, the train is the best option.

MJ224
7th June 2018, 07:56 AM
We are dead lucky here in Pontarddulais, we get the Mid Wales railway line, which takes you all the way to Shrewsbury if wanted. Only does that about three times a day, but you can have a nice trip up to Llandrindod Wells, a lunch and a walk, and catch the train back home. Such beautiful scenery,,,,,,,*chr

Otto
7th June 2018, 08:11 AM
That looks like a nice run, yes. I imagine the scenery would be as good as (if not better than) my local line, the famous Settle-Carlisle route. Now if only we had better trains ... and more of them!

090657
7th June 2018, 08:34 AM
Yes! I have a Seniors railcard (60 or or over) and it provides a tremendous saving. If you travel with a companion a Two Together card is also worth getting.


Tim

DerekW
7th June 2018, 10:02 AM
We have our Senior Railcard linked to the TFL Oyster Card, this gives a reduced daily cap on journeys in London, if you have a bus pass it doesnot give you any extra benefit on the buses.

To link the Senior card to Oyster we had to go to a ticket office in the Uunderground network. In our case the one at Waterloo station.

OM USer
7th June 2018, 11:37 AM
Within the London area a one day off peak travel card (first journey after 9:30am rush hour) allows anyone unlimited travel (including the evening rush hour) on trains and underground for quite a modest fee. Bus journeys are payable only on contactless credit card (or oyster travel card) and although you pay per journey the total daily spend is capped (also at a modest rate). The downside is that each person needs their own credit card! School children can apply for a bus pass.

Outside London or travelling to faraway places from London you need to book well in advance to get the cheapest fares and even then if the whole family is travelling it is cheaper by car.

Naughty Nigel
8th June 2018, 10:51 AM
Err yes. I qualified for a Senior Rail Card almost two years ago, and use it extensively. There are certain peak-time services that do not benefit from the 33% discount, but I rarely need to use those unless someone else is paying.

Living in Co. Durham we are served by the East Coast Main Line, which I have to say is usually a superb service, despite three franchise holders (GNER, National Express and now Virgin Trains) having bailed out because they seriously overbid for the East Coast franchise; which is currently worth (or evidently not worth) about £3 billion over ten years! :eek:

Unfortunately, catering was severely cut back under National Express, and the previously superb 'Silver Service' restaurant stopped altogether. It wasn't just the food that was good, but the atmosphere was often rather special. :(

Things have improved since, both under government control and Virgin Trains with an at-seat complimentary meal in First if you are traveling more than 70 minutes, but I doubt that we will ever get back to the GNER glory days.

The only mainline service operating a silver service restaurant now is GWR, but the catering is provided by an independent contractor, and is limited to certain trains.

I wonder what will happen when the new Hitachi trains come into service, and whether they will retain proper galleys? Or perhaps we will all be served at-seat Sushi? :D

pandora
14th August 2018, 03:27 AM
I regret never having taken the train ride that skirts the coast at in the introduction to Michael Portillo's program. I'm not sure where that line is but suspect it may be somewhere in Cornwall.

MJ224
14th August 2018, 05:52 AM
In South Wales we have a rail line that does just that, ends up in Tenby. Great ride...……...*chr

Naughty Nigel
14th August 2018, 07:32 AM
I regret never having taken the train ride that skirts the coast at in the introduction to Michael Portillo's program. I'm not sure where that line is but suspect it may be somewhere in Cornwall.

Has our night curfew ended yet? :confused:

I'm note sure where the Michael Portillo line is, but there are many lines in the UK which run very close to the coast - sometimes too close!

One of my favourites is the GWR line from Exeter St David's to Newton Abbott which runs along the Exe estuary and then along the sea wall at Dawlish. At low tide there are usually plenty of waders to see on the mud, and at high tide you could be forgiven for thinking you were at sea!

The East Coast Main Line north of Berwick upon Tweed also runs close to the cliff edge for several miles.

Unfortunately the Dawlish line suffers badly with the weather, and a section of it was completely swept away a few years ago, leaving Devon and Cornwall without a rail connection to the rest of the UK mainland. It must have been a mammoth effort to reinstate the line but it was done in just a few weeks.

Closer to home there used to be a line running along the North East coast from Redcar down to Whitby and then on to Scarborough, which must have been quite spectacular, but it was closed in the 1950's owing to geological problems. Significant sections of the original trackbed have completely disappeared now thanks to coastal erosion of the soft sandstone cliffs around Sandsend.

Naughty Nigel
14th August 2018, 07:48 AM
In South Wales we have a rail line that does just that, ends up in Tenby. Great ride...……...*chr

I would love to ride the Cambrian Coast railway from Machynlleth to Aberystwyth and Pwllheli via Barmouth one day, but the services are infrequent so it might not be possible to return the same day.

The photographs below are of Barmouth Bridge.


https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3573/3840238265_d9856efbce_z.jpg?zz=1

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/27/Barmouth_Bridge_from_northwest_in_2014.jpg/1280px-Barmouth_Bridge_from_northwest_in_2014.jpg

Otto
14th August 2018, 08:51 AM
I managed a complete circuit of the Cumbrian Coast line in one day a year or two back, and excellent it was apart from the crummy old rolling stock on much of it. "Pacers" anyone? I started at Garsdale, went up to Carlisle, along the coast via Whitehaven to Barrow in Furness, thence to Carnforth and back to Garsdale. This was all courtesy of Northern Rail who kept me waiting at Skipton for over an hour because their train broke.


I can also recommend the Cambrian Coast line Nigel refers to above :).

Naughty Nigel
14th August 2018, 08:57 AM
I managed a complete circuit of the Cumbrian Coast line in one day a year or two back, and excellent it was apart from the crummy old rolling stock on much of it. "Pacers" anyone? I started at Garsdale, went up to Carlisle, along the coast via Whitehaven to Barrow in Furness, thence to Carnforth and back to Garsdale. This was all courtesy of Northern Rail who kept me waiting at Skipton for over an hour because their train broke.


I can also recommend the Cambrian Coast line Nigel refers to above :).

Good old Northern Fail. :rolleyes:

It seems the Pacers (Classes 140 - 144) will be with us for some time yet, with 140 sets still reported to be in traffic. Maybe they should be sent down to the Southeast commuter lines so they really have something to moan about. :D

I wonder whether any Pacers will be bought for use on preserved lines when their time finally comes?

Naughty Nigel
14th August 2018, 09:11 AM
I can also recommend the Cambrian Coast line Nigel refers to above :).

I didn't realise until recently that the wooden supports were found to be infested with shipworm (Teredo Navilis) around 1980, leading to loco hauled services being banned for several years whilst the timbers were replaced.

The bridge was also nearly destroyed by a naval mine in 1946, but thankfully it failed to detonate.

Otto
14th August 2018, 09:19 AM
I wonder whether any Pacers will be bought for use on preserved lines when their time finally comes?


The original prototype Leyland bus with flanged wheels, LEV1, is owned by the National Railway Museum and has been in occasional use on the Wensleydale Railway. I've been on it. Once! Why anyone thought it was a good idea to put it into production is anybody's guess, dreadful thing. There are at least three Facebook groups in support of the Pacers so somebody must like them :).



Barmouth Bridge is still open to trains though it's not in a good condition. You can walk or cycle across it too and the views are fabulous!

Naughty Nigel
14th August 2018, 09:36 AM
The original prototype Leyland bus with flanged wheels, LEV1, is owned by the National Railway Museum and has been in occasional use on the Wensleydale Railway. I've been on it. Once! Why anyone thought it was a good idea to put it into production is anybody's guess, dreadful thing. There are at least three Facebook groups in support of the Pacers so somebody must like them :).



Barmouth Bridge is still open to trains though it's not in a good condition. You can walk or cycle across it too and the views are fabulous!

I think the harsh reality is that without Pacers many lines would close. But looking on the bright side they do have large windows for some of the scenic routes that they follow, and they are fairly reliable.

I have actually walked across Barmouth Bridge on a couple of occasions and would agree the views are quite spectacular. The bridge also shakes about quite a lot when trains pass over it, but I gather there are plans for major refurbishment some time in the next few years.

On an entirely different subject I hear the plan to bring the new Azumas (Class 800) to Middlesbrough is in trouble because somebody at Network Rail has just realised that the platforms are too short. :rolleyes:

Otto
14th August 2018, 09:49 AM
Yes, the Pacers do offer a decent view, but that's a minor advantage ;). Why is it whenever I use the East Coast Main Line I always seem to get a seat next to a window pillar, and why are those pillars so wide? I'm off to London next month, first class, so we'll see what happens then.

Didn't they have a problem in France recently where they found that some shiny new trains were too wide and scraped along the platform edge at some stations? Too short a platform isn't much of a problem, just walk through to the next carriage!

Naughty Nigel
14th August 2018, 09:52 AM
Didn't they have a problem in France recently where they found that some shiny new trains were too wide and scraped along the platform edge at some stations? Too short a platform isn't much of a problem, just walk through to the next carriage!

Not just in France. There was a new class of train designed for London and the South East that was also too wide, so the platforms had to be cut back.

How can anyone working in the industry make such a basic error? :confused:

Otto
14th August 2018, 10:14 AM
They believe what the computer tells them ;). There was a case up here recently of a car park where tickets were being issued to people taking up more than one space. The idiots responsible for marking out the spaces hadn't taken into account that the spaces were at an angle, so the distance between the lines was less than the distance along the kerb!
A roundabout in Hemel Hempstead was supposed to have two traffic lanes approaching, rounding, and leaving, but they didn't take into account that the outer radius of the curves should be bigger than the inner. As a result there wasn't (and still isn't I don't think!) sufficient width for two lines of traffic as you enter and leave the roundabout. They blamed the CAD software :D.

Jim Ford
14th August 2018, 10:26 AM
A roundabout in Hemel Hempstead was supposed to have two traffic lanes approaching, rounding, and leaving, but they didn't take into account that the outer radius of the curves should be bigger than the inner. As a result there wasn't (and still isn't I don't think!) sufficient width for two lines of traffic as you enter and leave the roundabout. They blamed the CAD software :D.

If you're referring to the 'Magic Roundabout', I quite like it, though many are fearful of it.

Jim

Otto
14th August 2018, 10:43 AM
No, not the Magic Roundabout - that was a stroke of genius, although badly implemented at first. The mini-roundabouts at each exit of the main one were originally just painted circles but they were difficult to see in the wet. A friend who was visiting from Wales told me that in no uncertain terms when a bus nearly took the front of his car off going "the wrong way" round the central circle!
The one I was referring to is on the industrial estate at the junction of High Street Green and Swallowdale Lane. Looking at Google maps (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Hemel+Hempstead/@51.7654379,-0.4480375,114m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x487640d05cd71ac1:0xf0e07 f1fcfdff2b2!8m2!3d51.753241!4d-0.448632?hl=en) it appears they have finally done something about it!

Naughty Nigel
14th August 2018, 10:47 AM
They believe what the computer tells them ;). There was a case up here recently of a car park where tickets were being issued to people taking up more than one space. The idiots responsible for marking out the spaces hadn't taken into account that the spaces were at an angle, so the distance between the lines was less than the distance along the kerb!
A roundabout in Hemel Hempstead was supposed to have two traffic lanes approaching, rounding, and leaving, but they didn't take into account that the outer radius of the curves should be bigger than the inner. As a result there wasn't (and still isn't I don't think!) sufficient width for two lines of traffic as you enter and leave the roundabout. They blamed the CAD software :D.

But gauge is so fundamental to the railway (and always has been) that I fail to understand how it can be so easily overlooked by train designers. Blaming the software just doesn't cut it.

Car parking is another madness. Cars are getting wider and greater in number but parking spaces are getting smaller.

A few years ago there was a government proposal to tax parking spaces with a view to discouraging the use of cars. The proposal was roundly criticised and soon dropped, but I have often thought that it might have encouraged supermarkets, railway stations and others to make the spaces big enough for today's cars.

KeithL
14th August 2018, 03:10 PM
Thanks all for the info and answering my query. The reason I ask is I can't recall any of you ever mentioning having taken a train to a shoot in another city or town, I would have imagined that rail would have been quicker, cheaper than driving on heavily congested roads and freeways.

Read this thread for the first time just now.

I and my wife have used rail for just what you mentioned, going from Wymondham to Cambridge, when we went with a group that visited the Botanical Gardens (very well worth seeing); also from time to time we have used the heritage MNR line from Wymondham Abbey to Dereham. The latter has a small discount for seniors, and doesn't run all year; but it's quite expensive, and not the prettiest route.

It's worth taking the train to Cambridge because parking in Cambridge is your worst nightmare. We also frequently use the Park'n'Ride into Norwich - again because of the parking situation in Norwich. We get a discount; Park'n'Ride fare is £2 each (return.) It's not a bad service, because it actually goes across the city via the bus station, so you can get off where you like, though stops are limited. Most of the railways in our area succumbed to Dr Beeching; there are heritage lines, but they are all independent and separate. At one time, you could get on a train in Wymondham at the mainline station, and go all the way to Sheringham, where you could change for a line that goes along the coast. Not possible now. The only purpose in the authorities' minds for railways here is to get to London or Cambridge for commuters. And there is a snag on the London line: near Colchester there is a very popular spot for those who wish to jump in front of a speeding train, causing big delays when they do so. A friend in Colchester gets really furious over that!

Otto
14th August 2018, 04:17 PM
York is another city best visited by train. There is a park and ride service but it stops around 8pm so not much use if you want an evening in the city. The same is true of Oxford. When in Oxford last year I did manage to get a standard service bus back to my hotel near the park and ride car park around 11pm, but the car park itself was closed!

Naughty Nigel
14th August 2018, 04:46 PM
They believe what the computer tells them ;). There was a case up here recently of a car park where tickets were being issued to people taking up more than one space. The idiots responsible for marking out the spaces hadn't taken into account that the spaces were at an angle, so the distance between the lines was less than the distance along the kerb!
A roundabout in Hemel Hempstead was supposed to have two traffic lanes approaching, rounding, and leaving, but they didn't take into account that the outer radius of the curves should be bigger than the inner. As a result there wasn't (and still isn't I don't think!) sufficient width for two lines of traffic as you enter and leave the roundabout. They blamed the CAD software :D.

Oddly enough I worked on a superyacht newbuild in Holland where the engine room pipework layout was designed by computer and the pipework and bulkheads were all precision cut with lasers....

Except this particular yacht had three main generators rather than two, and whilst all the relevant information had been fed into the computer the holes were all in the wrong places and the pipes were all in the wrong lengths and shapes.

They tried twice and failed. The third time they used a proper drawing board with pencil and paper and it all fitted together perfectly.

OM USer
15th August 2018, 11:51 AM
I've walked across the Barmouth bridge before as well. We once looked at taking a scenic train ride up the north east of Scotland whilst we were staying there on holiday but that is another one where you can't get back in a day. Apparently its all down to the single line track with few passing places so you have to wait for a train to return before the next one can set off.

Naughty Nigel
15th August 2018, 11:59 AM
I've walked across the Barmouth bridge before as well. We once looked at taking a scenic train ride up the north east of Scotland whilst we were staying there on holiday but that is another one where you can't get back in a day. Apparently its all down to the single line track with few passing places so you have to wait for a train to return before the next one can set off.

Single track and limited demand I suspect. Much of the rail network north of Glasgow and Edinburgh is single track, including the lines to Oban, Fort William and Mallaig.

My son and I looked at taking a photographic trip up to Oban by train as I would very much like to do the train journey from Glasgow northwards. With railcards it would only cost us about £38 each return from Durham, which has to be a bargain for a journey of nearly 300 miles.

Naughty Nigel
15th August 2018, 12:17 PM
How long would such a trip take to complete Nigel ?

John

Not that long and probably not as long as driving.

If I caught the 07.13 from Durham I would be in Oban in time for lunch. (06h 30m).

The 09.14 from Durham would take 6 hours and 14 minutes.

A walk-on fare for tomorrow would cost £68.30 in Standard Class, but if you book in advance is it quite a lot cheaper.

KeithL
15th August 2018, 01:57 PM
Not just in France. There was a new class of train designed for London and the South East that was also too wide, so the platforms had to be cut back.

How can anyone working in the industry make such a basic error? :confused:

Easily!! I know of more than one car where the team designing the body didn't (and wouldn't) talk to the team designing the doors. Result, on one, special door seals have to be made to take up the gaps. On the other, there were seven attempts to make the doors fit the body..... And the first one wasn't a British company, but I won't let on where it is.

Naughty Nigel
15th August 2018, 02:01 PM
I remember there were a number of engine failures in early models of the Austin Maxi, which after months of research (and probably £millions in cost) were eventually attributed to the dipsticks being too long.

KeithL
15th August 2018, 02:04 PM
But gauge is so fundamental to the railway (and always has been) that I fail to understand how it can be so easily overlooked by train designers. Blaming the software just doesn't cut it.

Car parking is another madness. Cars are getting wider and greater in number but parking spaces are getting smaller.

A few years ago there was a government proposal to tax parking spaces with a view to discouraging the use of cars. The proposal was roundly criticised and soon dropped, but I have often thought that it might have encouraged supermarkets, railway stations and others to make the spaces big enough for today's cars.

We find that around here - especially in certain supermarket carparks. Another issue with carparks is that the aisles aren't wide enough, so it can be damned difficult to get out of a space it you have a car bigger than a Mini! (And guess what - we do!)

As for blaming software: nope, garbage in, garbage out! I remember a certain person being delighted at one of his engineers coming up with a very compact CVT gearbox design. You could almost hold the mechanism in your hand. It got almost to the point of a production sample being made, when someone discovered that the engineer had got a decimal point in the wrong place.... And that was before computers - but after calculators became ubiquitous. Who got the push for that? The manager - he should have checked. If it looked too good to be true -and it sure did - it probably was too good to be true.

KeithL
15th August 2018, 02:30 PM
I remember there were a number of engine failures in early models of the Austin Maxi, which after months of research (and probably £millions in cost) were eventually attributed to the dipsticks being too long.

That would have resulted in low oil level, so much more serious than it sounds! There was, as you know, a lousy gearbox in the Maxi. The reason? The stylists demanded that their idea for the shape of the nose was adhered too, even though it meant that there wasn't enough room for a correctly sized gearbox - so the synchros were too small.