The Anonymous Widower

92 Clubs – Day 40 – Swindon, Torquay, Tottenham

Swindon was surprisingly easy, as it was only about twenty minutes walk from the main railway station.

Swindon's County Ground

Or it will be when they finish the roadworks and sort out the pedestrian access around the station.  There are a few maps and signs, but due to the location of the ground, the road signs are a great help once you get started in the right direction. They also have helpful distances on a lot of them.

I’d arrived on the 08:15 from London at 09:13 and had plenty of time to catch the 10:55 direct train to Torquay. I was surprised it was a direct train, but even more surprised that it was a High Speed Diesel Train on its way from Paddington to Paignton, via Swindon, Bath, Bristol, Weston-super-Mare, Exeter and Torquay. I hope that after electrification of the main line   to Bristol and Cardiff, that they use these trains to run lots of holiday trains to the West Country.

I was meeting an old friend in Torquay, so I took a taxi to Torquay‘s football ground. I didn’t see one signpost.

Outside Plainmoor

I certainly needed the coat, as it wasn’t weather typical of the English Riviera. Afterwards it was back to the station to catch a train to London.

A Pacer at Torquay

Unfortunately, it was a Pacer to Newton Abbot for the High Speed Diesel Train to London, where I arrived soon after 18:00. 

I still had time to visit Tottenham in the dark, by taking the train to White Hart Lane.

The Entrance to White Hart Lane

Afterwards, I was able to get a bus back from the ground to close to my house. Except for Arsenal, where I just walk, it is the easiest ground to get to from my home.

In some ways it was a day of three lessons.

  1. The High Speed Diesel Trains used on West Country services are a superb asset to the railways. Passengers like them and in some ways they are irreplaceable in serving the far-flung parts of the west and the Scottish Highlands. They may be forty years old, but  engineers know how to keep them going for a few more years yet. Many of them will outlive me! I suspect too, that there is a strong cost benefit in keeping them running, rather than electrifying all the lines, where they run.
  2. The Pacers still used in various parts of the country are a disgrace.  To make matters worse, they were a disgrace when they were built. They should be replaced with a modern train as soon as possible. The train used on the Overground from Gospel Oak to Barking would probably be an ideal replacement.  And they would be built in Derby!
  3. The train from Liverpool Street to White Hart Lane station may have been thirty years old, but it had been well-refurbished.  On that line it is the stations that are a disgrace which deny access to no-one but the fit to the railway. I wouldn’t like to try to tranport a baby in a buggy either on many of the stations. So perhaps, one of the priorities after the Tpttenham riots, should be to fix those  stations.

November 10, 2011 - Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , ,


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  3. […] Swindon – When I went to Swindon, the road in front of the station was being dig up, but I don’t have any fond memories of my walk to the football ground. […]

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