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Author Topic: Thursday, 3rd October - a land cruise  (Read 1000 times)
grahame
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« on: October 03, 2019, 03:52:04 pm »

Thursday, 3rd October - a land cruise rather than an ocean one, by train from Melksham to Telford.

The ticket provided by ACoRP / Rail Delivery Group for shortlisted entries to the ACoRP awards is very welcome - but sadly off peak, which means that from Melksham I can't get there for the 12:00 to 15:00 presentations; I always find such useful, but I balked at buying myself a peak ticket to get there in time, having checked with National Rail that my ticket was not upgradeable.  I do wonder at the "off peak" logic ... but mine not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Anyway - 10:02 train off Melksham, 10 people got on, 7 ladies and 3 gentlemen (the gender mix is an interest one and this is not untypical for this train) and there were perhaps 30 to 40 people on the train into Chippenham.   Lots off and on there, and so on to Swindon.  The exchange at Chippenham reminds me of how very odd yesterday's "skip-stop" was.   On time, and into Swindon on platform 1 because platform 2 was occupied by the l-o-n-g layover Stroud Valley train. 



Connection at Swindon into the Swansea train (to Newport), notably much thinner in terms of passengers per carriage than the TransWilts service.  On time, comfortable ride.



Newport was scheduled as a six minute connection, but in practise I was able to change into a late running Fishguard Harbour to Mancherster Picadilly service - a darned long run for a class 150/2 unit - which was skip-stopping (Just Newport - Hereford - Shrewsbury) in an attempt to catch up time. Signal stops at Leominster and Marsh Brook (the latter being a manual box / semaphores and level crossing - though drop barriers not gates) must have lost us much of the time we had regained by leaving out stations, and I was left wondering if there are a couple of signalmen who weren't quite on the ball.  A near-stop at a crossing between Church Stretton and Shrewsbury too.  Skip stops probably not a big issue for passengers, as the following Cardiff - Holyhead (that was supposed to be my train) was pulling in to Newport as we left.  Seat occupancy around 60% (estimate).



19 minutes late, or 11 minutes early (depending on how you look at it) into Shrewsbury allowed me to catch a final train to Telford half an hour earlier than planned - 13:31 into Telford Central and I got to my hotel / base at around 14:30 having stopped for a bite to eat and to pay in a cheque at HSBC who are still open here.   You can kinda spot the Community Rail Event types walking from station towards venue ...





My ticket caused some interest; on the TransWilts, a train manager I know and we had a chat, and a gentleman who's been around more than long enough to be aware of some of the very rare tickets.  No ticket check on the Paddington - Swansea service.  Ticket check on the Fishguard - Manchester ... the train manager hadn't seen one of these, and hadn't seen any notices to bring them to his attention. Bit of a chat through about what it was for / what the event was, and our conversation shifted - moving from what seemed to be an initial suspicion on his part through to a very good fill-in for me on some of the metrics of the TfW services.

Altogether, excellent journey, no big surprises to report. Apart from train managers, only interaction with information staff was on the platformat Newport where I asked which train was next for Shrewsbury.  Sadly directed my to the Holyhead train across the bridge - looking at the departures though I re-asked if the Manchester was going first as it was showing as the earlier departure time, and the inforation team member then amended his advise.  Really should have got it right first time - my querying and using the train as advised on the second attempt saved me half an hour.

I looked online this morning for pictures of Telford station could use here and found surprisingly few - the norm seesm to be lots of historic picture and few of stations such as Telford which was opened in 1985.  Took a few on my way through which I should follow up with.  However, I need to paint my toenails, clear out my bellybutton fluff, brush my hair, crawl into posh clothes ready for this evening, and see if I can remember how to tie a tie.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2019, 08:41:36 pm »

I know I'm shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, but could you not have bought an Anytime ticket to the first station on your journey from where you could use the Off Peak ticket?

Your ACoRP ticket did, I believe, have an origin of 'All Stations'. By my reckoning you could have bought an Anytime Single to Cheltenham Spa for 16.45 with Railcard. Leaving Melksham at 0720 on the direct service to Cheltenham. From there the 0940 to Birmingham New St and change for Telford arriving 1132.

A what could have been.  Wink
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bobm
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2019, 08:43:00 pm »

...and this is where he ended up

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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2019, 09:01:47 pm »

I know I'm shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, but could you not have bought an Anytime ticket to the first station on your journey from where you could use the Off Peak ticket?

Your ACoRP ticket did, I believe, have an origin of 'All Stations'. By my reckoning you could have bought an Anytime Single to Cheltenham Spa for 16.45 with Railcard. Leaving Melksham at 0720 on the direct service to Cheltenham. From there the 0940 to Birmingham New St and change for Telford arriving 1132.

A what could have been.  Wink

Indeed - looked at that / various reasons decided against ... there now, so brief post from event. Meal eaten, awards starting soon.
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