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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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Old 5th June 2018
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British Rail

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.
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Old 5th June 2018
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Re: British Rail

No!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england...ester-44366763
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Re: British Rail

It would seem that things have changed since Bradshaw's day.

Privatisation?
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Old 5th June 2018
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Re: British Rail

Simple answer to that is probably Yes! but I bet there are others who would disagree.
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Re: British Rail

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.
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Old 6th June 2018
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Re: British Rail

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.
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Old 6th June 2018
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Re: British Rail

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ224 View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto View Post
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.
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!
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Old 7th June 2018
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Re: British Rail

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.
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Re: British Rail

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,,,,,,,
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Re: British Rail

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!
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Old 7th June 2018
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Re: British Rail

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.


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Re: British Rail

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.
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Re: British Rail

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.
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Old 8th June 2018
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Re: British Rail

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!

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?
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Old 14th August 2018
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Re: British Rail

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.
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