I've been meaning to post this for ages.

Some time ago, I was invited to a hen-party in a cottage near Matlock on the weekend of the 8th-10th Dec. I was then informed that my Viva would take place in Cambridge on the 8th December. This then left me with the problem of a triangular train journey. There are two approaches to this problem. One is using a Saver and breaking the return leg (possibly buying extra tickets for the final part) and the other are Advance purchase tickets. I hate the latter because they involve specifying trains. This would have been problematic in this instance as I was not quite sure which day I would be travelling to Cambridge. I was hoping at the time to have found employment but as it seemed increasingly likely that I would not have done so spending the previous week there to prepare for the Viva became a good plan. I was thus thinking in terms breaking the journey. I knew that via Birmingham is a valid route for Cam-Cardiff so I was thinking in terms of breaking the journey Leicester and going to Matlock from there. But coming back it would be slightly quicker to go to Brum not Leicester so I asked [livejournal.com profile] caliston whether it was permissible to travel from Brum to Matlock via Leicester. This sent him off to the National Routeing [sic] Guide and he discovered that in fact via Derby was a valid route between Cam and Cardiff and thus all I needed was Derby-Matlock tickets. This made my life much simpler!

I wanted to be absolutely sure of my ground in case my ticket was questioned by a guard so I got him to print off the relevant sections (how to use the guide and the relevant maps); conveniently this gave him something to print to finish the cleaning of his printer head. I was then amused at some of the slightly odd routes which are permitted! The way it works is that there is a list of journeys (from routing point stations) and then the maps usable for that journey. Sometimes one of the routes is LONDON which means that you can do any permitted route from your starting point to LONDON and thence to your destination.

I made it to Matlock fine. I didn't even have to argue with any guards. The guard on the Leicester to Derby train did look a bit oddly at the ticket but thought and said 'yes'. I was slightly irritated at Derby where I bought my Matlock tickets because I asked for a return and she sold me two singles. I did not want two singles. I thought there was a possibility that I would get a lift for some part of the journey the following day, but thought I may as well get a return if that was only 5p more than the single and expected to be told if there was not an actual return. I could not be bother arguing and I've since realised that at least twice I've saved the cost of a Nailsea Bristol ticket when doing similar things because no-one has checked my ticket at the right point so I'm actually still up on them.

As it turned out, I could get a lift part of the way back on the Sunday. As far as Kidderminister. I thought from the maps I had that this would be valid, but it was not a routing point so I couldn't be sure but [livejournal.com profile] caliston checked for me and it was. This saved me lots of time, because driving Matlock--Kiddie was about as quick as the rail replacement buses between Derby and Brum! It was a fun journey though!

I think my favourite permitted journy was going from Cardiff to Cambridge (or vice versa) via Swansea! This seems particularly odd as it involves going in the wrong direction to start with. It also involves travelling on the Heart of Wales line to Shrewsbury, across to Brum and on to Cambridge.

(I'm writing this from [livejournal.com profile] caliston's so I'll post some more of the silly journeys here when I get home)


Dec. 16th, 2006 12:39 am
I'm confused. Central trains have a driver shortage this Sunday which is messing with their timetable. This means that it is unlikely that I will travel to Coventry tomorrow (Saturday) as planned because it will be hard to get back in time on Sunday. This is irritating; OTOH, I like Central Trains policy of not forcing people to work on a Sunday. However, it is this policy which is causing the driver shortage and making me unable to travel. If a shop did not open one Sunday because of a similar policy I think I would be fine about it, but I see trains as services and thus in a slightly different category (and therefore reasonable to work on Sundays for). This reminds me that I haven't yet written about last week's adventures with the National Routeing [sic] Guide. I'll do that sometime.
yrieithydd: (Wyddor)
Or perhaps more accurately `I like Virgin trains!'. I.e. I like the Virgin Voyager rather than the train company seeing as I need to rant at them about being an hour and a half late yesterday.*

The reason I like the Voyager is that it has the wonderful feature of two electric power points per table into which one can plug one's laptop. Therefore despite spending far too much time travelling in the last two days I've got a reasonable amount of work done. Yes I was tired and hungry when I eventually reached Sheffield yesterday but at least I'd been able to use that time productively and the air-con was working so it was actually more pleasant to be on the train than at my parents'.

The 35 mins at Parkway weren't pleasant because that was just too hot and there was nowhere (or much power as battery must have been quite low from the leg from Cardiff) to work.

*It's too hot so the network's in chaos. Amusingly though, today I was only 7 mins late despite both trains running over half an hour because I arrived at Sheffield Station at 1540 expecting to catch the 1553 to somewhere Bristol or South West** only to see that it was running 20 minutes late. What I failed to notice was that the 1523 was still showing on the boards but then it was announced. So I went and caught it. The 1841 (which would have been my connection) was cancelled but the 1813 arrived at 1846, so we got to Cardiff for 1926 rather than the expected 1919. The tickets the trainline had failed to post (again) weren't available there though.

**The 1623 was `direct' to Cardiff but it would (assuming sensible running) been 20 minutes quick to change to a London-Cardiff/Swansea train at Bristol Parkway


Aug. 31st, 2005 12:00 am
yrieithydd: (Wyddor)
I just went to National rail to check on train times for the morning. Firstly I was thrown by it being different, but then I got:

404: File Not Found
Sorry, the file validatejourneyplanner.asp you requested cannot be found.

Perhaps you might find it on our index page.

Interesting variant on 404 but not very helpful!


Aah, I've mistimed it. Going to `Plan my journey' I got

This service is currently unavailable due to essential changes being made to our website. Please bear with us and service will be returned shortly.

This is annoying. I cannot quite remember the times I saw the other day!


Apr. 27th, 2005 11:51 am
There is something amusing about the idea of travelling on a direct train from Cardiff to London on three different tickets, but I am seriously contemplating this!

I need to be in Oxford on Saturday 14th May for a student conference. Although there are cars going, they are going on the Friday afternoon in order to go to a lecture on the Friday evening. However, there are three things I want to do in Cambridge on the Friday afternoon/evening* thus I am contemplating making my own way there by train on the Saturday morning. Life gets even more complicated because CUWCC are playing Cardiff on Sunday 15th May. I have said I am available and although I'm not high up the selectors' list, I suspect that an away match that close to the main exam period might cause difficulties in getting a full side.** Given my parents live in Cardiff and the 15th May is Pentecost, it seems sensible to spend Saturday night*** at theirs and being able to get to a main morning service in Cardiff rather than probably having to leave Cambridge before an 8am service and so not being able to get to church at all.***** This means catching a train from Oxford to Cambridge late on Saturday night (and I won't be popular with my parents as it'll be gone midnight when I get in -- I hope mum isn't in the prison the next morning!). It strikes me that probably the cheapest approach to tickets would be Cam-Oxford return (c. £28 although nationalrail wouldn't give me valid tickets for via London) and Oxford-Cardiff return (c. £20). However, going via Oxford on the way back would slow the journey quite a bit, so buying a single (c. £3) from Didcot Parkway to Reading would, I believe, give me valid tickets for the direct train! An alternative would be single tickets (only a few quid cheaper) and returning with the team.

Life is complicated!

*For once they are basically consecutive not concurrent. Cricket 5--7, Ringing 7:30-9 (last practice before exam silence) and Ecumenical Bar Quiz 8:30--.

**There were problems in this way last year, but I thing we have more squad players now. But being aware of the possibility is important. However, I probably won't know until about the Wednesday of that week!

***When I first saw the dates of the matches, I thought, ooh, I could go home that weekend. Then Punt Party was organised for that Saturday (in Cambridge) so I thought, well I'll go latish on Saturday if necessary. Just for added amusement value, my VIth form college (in Southport) is having a reunion that day!****

****Though given that this Saturday had 6 things which I could have done (ranging from, interesting if nothing else on to must do), 3 is nothing!

*****Given that today's home game against Exeter the team is meeting at 1230 and it's a four hour drive to Cardiff this implies a pre-8:30am departure time, thus an 8am is incompatible.
yrieithydd: (Wyddor)
It was a good day until about 19:50. A lie followed by some Pratchett. Then off to Hills Road for a badminton match (which we lost but not having a third pair makes winning difficult and we played well although we should have beaten their seconds having been 14-11 up). Then back here (via SPCK because it started hailing) and had a bath (as the shower was in one of its 'no water' moods). Then off to the station to catch a train to Ely for Fr Andrew's installation as an honorary canon. This was fine. I was aiming for the 1632 and ended up catching the delated 1612 instead.

It was a good service and was followed by wine (although various people mused that tea and cofee would have been more welcome given the temperature). When people headed back to the coach (which I'd decided against using as the train was cheaper, quicker, less likely to make me feel ill and allowed me to read) I headed back towards the station. I stupidly decided to go to Tescos on the way.

I got to the station at about quarter to eight to find that the next Cambridge train (as opposed to replacement bus)* was at 2012, I thought, that's a pain but it'll still be quicker than the 20:03 bus. So I headed for platform 2. By the time I got there the 2012 had gone from being on time to being 20 mins late. Then there was an annoucement that it had been cancelled due to a technical fault at Downham Market and that the next train would be the 2037. So I went into the waiting room and carried on reading the Church Times. At about quarter past the bus was annouced but I thought that there was no point going for that as a) it defeated the main reasons why I'd chosen to come by train and b) it wouldn't be much quicker than waiting for the 2037 given that the bus takes about 40 mins (on past experience). However, 5 mins later the 2037 was announced to be 12 minutes delayed! Acutally it was nearly 20 in the end. So I finally reached Cambridge station at about 2107. I then reclaimed my back and started cycling. I hadn't got very far when I remembered my sam brown belt and so stopped to put it on. This never happened. When I stopped, my basket (which had my shopping from Tescos in it) decided to break and spill all my shopping over the floor. Having no string or anything this meant I had to walk as I had no safe way of carrying the shopping whilst cycling. I decided that I could hang the bag off the handlebar to push it (even if this is illegal for cycling) and foolishly thought it would be sensible to balance things out by hanging the potatoes from one side and the rest from the other. This was stupid because as I crossed Harvey Rd the potato bag broke and spilt my potatoes everywhere. I reclaimed three. BUt the other two vanished. By the time I finally got home it was 2207 which was getting on for 3 hours since I left the cathedral!

*I don't know why but the Stansted Brum route was replacement buses although everything else was as normal.



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