The Anonymous Widower

Doncaster to Edinburgh

I had a few minutes to change trains at Doncaster, before I got on the fast train towards the North. I’d known when I booked that the last part of the journey to Edinburgh would actually be a coach as they were doing substantial work in the Morpeth area. At least though when I got in the Scottish capital, I knew that it was perhaps a ten minute taxi to a comfortable bed in my friend’s house.

Doncaster is a station that has had a serious makeover with most of the facilities modern and up-to-date. But I don’t know, but it just lacks something.

Perhaps, stations should be destinations in their own right.

I know St. Pancras International is in a different league from every other station in the UK and possibly Europe, if you believe some of the statements of the head of SNCF, but I believe all stations should aspire to be a little bit like that station.

If say you are meeting someone in the station, it should be a pleasant place to wait, have a coffee, read the paper and perhaps watch the trains coming and going.

Moving a Train

The picture shows a Southern train from the routes south of London, probably being moved to the works at Doncaster or York for repair or refurbishment.  There is a lot of movement at a station like Doncaster.

Stations should also be places for business meetings, so that say if you are based in london and want to meet your managers from say Hull and Newcastle, then perhaps a sensible and productive lunch in the middle would be an idea.

I didn’t venture outside of the station, so I don’t know whether their is a nice hotel or restaurant outside or not!

But why not create a sensible cafe/restaurant, shops and perhaps a hotel high up in the station?  Many stations have beautifully structured roofs and the proper structure placed up there would compliment them. In some ways, the engineering involved would be similar to that in some of our art gsalleries and museums, where roofs and mezzanines have been created.  Space should always be use to the maximum, and now that trains make a lot less pollution, the roof space might be ripe for development

It might not be practical, but so many of our stations are cluttered and there is nothing more than a Costa and a burger bar.

We can do so much better!

It’s just a small point, but to get it right, you must get all the details right.  For instance they’d put in nice new toilets in Doncaster, but the toilet roll dispensers were all broken, as they were badly designed.

Coming up, I would have been able to just walk across the platform, but when going north, it meant I had to use the underpass.  Perhaps, we should ensure that as many connections as possible are just a short walk on the level! Doncaster, Peterbough and York aren’t too bad.  They would also be a lot better, if people didn’t travel with the kitchen sink on wheels trailing behind them.

I was travelling very light and all I had was just a shoulder bag, that carried a spare pair of knickers and socks for each day I was away and a shirt for every two.  I didn’t bring a laptop, as I’ve now come to the conclusion that every gram is something else to carry and more strain on my decrepit body.

We arrived in Newastle on time and whilst others were dreading the bus, I was being philosophical.  There was a bit of a scrum at the coaches, but I was on quickly and managed to get a double seat for the nearly three hour trip.  I think it could have been better organised with perhaps a few coaches going direct to Edinburgh, rather than having to drop off perhaps one person at Berwick and Dunbar.  Some American passengers were getting distinctly edgy, as they’d only got into Heathrow that morning. They’d have probably changed their plans, if they’d known about the coach, but then the information their agent got in the US seemed to be incomplete. Travel agents are to me the lowest of the low, as they always book you on the route that gives them the most commission, so possibly East Coast pays better than Virgin! We are lucky in that we have two equally fast routes to Scotland from London and you should use the one that is more convenient, not the one that is obvious.

September 30, 2010 - Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] York and Newcastle, which can be developed into easy change stations to other places.  As I said earlier, Doncaster isn’t bad and I think Peterborough is going to be developed and hopefully linked […]

    Pingback by Reflections on My Journey to Scotland « The Anonymous Widower | October 1, 2010 | Reply


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