The Anonymous Widower

Rail Passengers Can Now Get From Farnworth To London In Two And A Half Hours

The title of this post is the same as that on this article on  This Is Lancashire.

It may seem to be a bit of a parochial story for those near Farnworth station in Greater Manchester, but it is a problem that sffects many rail passengers all over the UK.

From Farnworth, the quickest way to London, is not the obvious one to go to Manchester Piccadilly.

This may involve changes of trains and busy trains in the Manchester Rush Hour.

Locals find a better way, is to take a train the other way and catch a train from Wigan North Western., where the hardest thing is to decide, whether you want a coffee, as you walk across the platform to catch the London train.

The on-line timetable now has been fixed to offer this route in addition.

These computer-knows-best routes crop up everywhere.

If I want to get to Victoria station from the bus stop around the corner, the best way is to catch a 30 bus to Highbury & Isligton station. There is a walk through the everlasting road-works at the station and a long walk in a tunnel to get to the platform, but it works.

However, the recommended route is to take a 38 bus to Essex Road station and then go out of London, by one stop to Highbury & Islington station.

This route has three problems.

  • There is a double-crossing of busy roads at Essex Road station.
  • Essex Road station was last cleaned and given a makeover, when King George was on the throne.
  • The interchange at Highbury & Islington station is not for the unfit or anybody with a baggagge, bike or buggy

Only a computer working without human help, could design such a bad route.

As at Farnworth and with me in London, local knowledge is everything.

Sorting Out Manchester’s Routes

Northern Trains may have been thinking about passengers getting to the less busy stations.

They have introduced three new services that connect the West Coast Main Line and Greater Manchester.

  • Wigan North Western and Alderly Edge
  • Wigan North Western and Stalybridge
  • Chester and Leeds via Warrington Bank Quay, Manchester Victoria, Rochdale, Hebden Bridge, Halifax and Bradford.

The latter route is an interesting one, as not only does it offer some good journey possibilities, but it is a scenic route through the Pennines.

 

August 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 5 Comments

I Finally Catch A Train From Meridian Water Station

Around lunchtime today, I finally caught a train from Meridian Water station.

Trains have been running, but unfortunately, the departure and arrivals page on my phone, doesn’t seem to be working if you type in Meridian Water station. Also if you want to get the stops of a train that stops at the station, you get the message.

Sorry, Something Went Wrong!

Looks like finger trouble to me!

Even now as I write this, if I try and find the trains departures at Meridian Water station on my phone, the system crashes. But on my computer, if I look for trains between Meridian Water and Tottenham Hale stations, I find that there ten trains between 23:00 and 00:10.

So it looks like those who leave the Field Day before midnight should be able to get home.

Surely, the two systems should give the same answers.

At around five this evening, with my phone still saying sorry, I went back to Meridian Water station.

  • I first tried to get a train from Tottenham Hale, but none seemed to be running.
  • It was very busy with passengers for Stansted and commuters going home.
  • So in the end I took a train to Stratford and stayed in it until it returned.
  • Everybody was able to get a seat.

Eventually, I got to Meridian Water station with the festival goers.

Note,

  1. The train was showing Angel Road station instead of Meridian Water station.
  2. the numbers of festival goers were not as many as I thought they would be!
  3. The traffic was still as heavy.

But at least it wasn’t raining.

Conclusion

The station is working, the trains are working, but the information could have been setup better!

 

June 7, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Improving Bus Information

The latest bus shelters seem to have video screen for advertising.

The shelter shown is outside South Tottenham station.

The shelter has no bus information.

Would it not be a good idea to incorporate bus information in a window in this screen?

March 23, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

The Surprising Reason For London Underground’s New Heritage Signs

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on IanVisits.

This post will be finished, when I get a few pictures.

But in the meantime read Ian’s article.

February 8, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Why Aren’t There More Street Signs Like This?

I took these pictures in Walthamstow Village.

It is such a simple idea to put direction indicators on the street name signs.

But I’ve never seen it anywhere else before.

November 2, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

Swiss Pass And Swiss Pocket Timetables

I used a Swiss Pass on my three day trip to Switzerland.

Wikipedia describes it like this.

The Swiss Travel Pass allows unlimited travel on the Swiss public transport network (trains, buses, ships and tramways) for a certain number of days (3, 4, 8 or 15 consecutive days), as well as free or discounted entry to most Swiss museums. Discounts apply to mountain transport (lifts, funiculars, cogwheel trains). Some mountain transport is free of charge.

The Swiss Travel Pass Flex works exactly like the Swiss Travel Pass, but can be used to travel on 3, 4, 8 or 15 consecutive or non-consecutive days within one .

Research the pass you need before you go.

I bought mine from athe SBB ticket office in Zurich Airport.

It also came with a map, where it could be used.

 

In the picture, there are four of the mini-timetables that seem to be available at most major stations.

These timetables give the times of trains from the station to other major cities. They also give the return trains, so are ideal for planning a day out.

The train companies in the UK, should copy this.

One thing that I found out about a Swiss Pass after I bought it, is that you can buy extension tickets for a journey from the Swiss border to say somewhere like Innsbruck, which is a few kilometres further on. It’s a bit like the ticket, I’ll buy in a few minutes to extend my Freedom Pass to Rayleigh.

The Swiss Pass may be pricey, but it’s worth it and is probably a lot cheaper than hiring a car.

 

September 19, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 3 Comments

The Naming Of Swiss Trains

Unlike most countries, a high proportion of Swiss trains seemed to have names.

I like the idea, but there was no explanation on the trains, as to who these people are or were.

September 14, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Class 700 Trains Don’t Have Destination Boards On The Side

I was intending to go between St. Pancras and London Bridge stations, so as I was close to the Thameslink platforms, I decided to use London’s hidden North-South link.

As I approached the platform, I saw a train had just arrived and it would either be going via London Bridge or Elephant & Castle stations.

So I looked on the side of the train for a destination board, which is present on many trains in the UK.

But there wasn’t one!

Luckily, a station man was on the platform and I asked him. He said it was a Rainham train, which meant it was via London Bridge.

So it was a train I wanted and I duly boarded, after taking this picture.

As Thameslink is a complicated route, surely there should be displays on the side saying things like.

  • Rainham via London Bridge and Greenwich
  • Brighton via Gatwick Airport
  • Cambridge via Finsbury Park
  • Sevenoaks via Elephant & Castle

It would make boarding safer and quicker, if all trains had details on their sides.

I know there are excellent displays on the platform, but I couldn’t see one from where I stood.

 

 

August 26, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | 4 Comments

In Bruges

I thought that I was passing the city, I should take a pit-stop in Bruges, with perhaps a gluten-free breakfast.

If you go to most cities in Germany, there is always a handy tourist office at the station.

As I didn’t know the city, I needed information on how to get from the station to the centre, which was a twenty minute walk.

If it hadn’t been for a helpful local man, who spoke impeccable English, I wouldn’t have found out that the buses were convenient, but you had to buy the tickets from the paper shop inside the station.

In addition, there wasn’t any visible staff at the station.

How tourist-friendly is that for a welcome to one of the most important sites in Belgium?

My gluten-free breakfast wasn’t very good either!

It came with ordinary bread and only the tea was good.

My argument is that if you advertise gluten-free, then make sure you can do it properly.

Finding a bus back to the station wasn’t easy to cap it all.

Conclusion

Don’t expect to turn up in Bruges on a train and spend a pleasant hour or two before moving on.

Unlike many cities in The Netherlands, Germany and Italy, the information lets you down.

 

May 16, 2018 Posted by | Food, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Thameslink Information At London Bridge Station – 3rd March 2018

This picture was taken at the foot of the escalators leading to the Thameslink Platforms 4 and 5 at London Bridge station.

Thameslink Information At London Bridge Station - 3rd March 2018

The trains were fairly crowded, although it was mid-afternoon.

But at the bottom of the escalators under the tracks going through the station, in the vast space, there were relatively few travellers.

I should visit in the Peak.

But it does seem the design is working.

May 3, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment