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Poll: Best/Worst Of Britrail

Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:49 pm

I'm pondering the best places to go via train in GB, so I would like your opinions:

1) What's the best rail company?

1a) Who should I avoid?

2) What is the most scenic route?

2a) What is the least scenic (most likely in London?)

3) What are the best non-tourist cities/villages to go to?

3a) What's the worst?

And as a bonus:

What's the best way to get to Alton Towers?
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RE: Poll: Best/Worst Of Britrail

Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:09 pm

1a Trans Pennine Express
3a Euxton Balshaw Lane

 duck   duck 

Virgin have a very good service from London up north, £15 to upgrade to first on weekends which is worth it, and even standard class is pretty decent.
Trains to Exeter and further down get some good views, as do trains up in the highlands and final stops in Scotland

Our resident "Commuter in the know" will be able to help with this I would think.
(The views on this site are my own and no one elses)
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RE: Poll: Best/Worst Of Britrail

Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:18 pm

Quoting Goldenshield (Thread starter):
1) What's the best rail company?

Difficult one really, from the point of view that although there are lots of rail companies there's seldom much choice to be had, as they often don't directly compete.

Chiltern Railways has always had very good press, but unless you're interested in immersing yourself in deepest Buckinghamshire there's not all that much of a reason to travel with them.

Quoting Goldenshield (Thread starter):

1a) Who should I avoid?

First TransPennine Express; they have nice trains really, but the risk of you meeting myt332 is unacceptably high.

Quoting Goldenshield (Thread starter):

2) What is the most scenic route?

Where to start... People have always gone on about Settle to Carlisle, which I've never done. Newcastle-Berwick-Edinburgh is pretty impressive. Actually, no... start at York, as then you pass over Durham viaduct for one of England's classic railway views.

Quoting Goldenshield (Thread starter):
2a) What is the least scenic (most likely in London?)

There's not much to see on the Circle Line on the London Underground...

Quoting Goldenshield (Thread starter):
3) What are the best non-tourist cities/villages to go to?

It depends really what time of year you're thinking of being around. Some places are quiet out of high (summer) season but absolutely unbearable once the tourists start coming in. It also depends how long you'd like to stay in one such place and what you'd like to see. Some of the quaint little villages in the UK are so because they have no access to the railway; if you time it right local buses are usually the best onward route for a day trip to somewhere the train won't take you.

Quoting Goldenshield (Thread starter):
3a) What's the worst?

Unless you have a particular fondness for power stations, don't let Didcot's easy rail connections from London Paddington fool you into thinking there's much to see there. To be fair, it has a little railway museum, and one of the highest life expectancies in the UK. Just not much else, except the aforementioned power stations.

Alton Towers? Haven't a clue!

[Edited 2009-02-20 10:19:27]
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RE: Poll: Best/Worst Of Britrail

Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:14 pm

Do the Fort William-London sleeper in that direction during the summer. One of the great rail journeys that is and I've always had a good experience on the Caledonian Sleepers. Settle-Carlisle is nice as well.

First Great Western are generally seen as a crap operating company and any train operated by cross country usually takes hours to get anywhere south of Birmingham.
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RE: Poll: Best/Worst Of Britrail

Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:39 am

Quoting Davehammer (Reply 3):
Do the Fort William-London sleeper in that direction during the summer.

I agree. The line from Glasgow to Fort William is a great view of the Highlands. It's gorgeous. And then you can do the Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William to Mallaig if you want to do that as well.
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