East Coast Line (return)

In a previous post, I showed a few photos from the East Coast Line train from London to Edinburgh. In the interest of symmetry, let’s take a look at the return journey. I took a taxi from my hotel to Waverly Station, where I found a bustling terminal full of snack shops and digital boards displaying train information:

Digital screen displaying train info at Waverly Station, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Digital screen displaying train info at Waverly Station, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Of  course, the train was waiting and ready to go. I boarded for my reserved seat with ease, stowing my luggage overhead, sitting down to a comfortable chair with a small table.

East Coast Line train, waiting at Waverly Station, Edinburgh, Scotland.

East Coast Line train, waiting at Waverly Station, Edinburgh, Scotland.

The staff is friendly and cheerful as they pass through serving food and beverages, including this bacon sandwich for breakfast:

Bacon sandwich served in first class carriage, East Coast Line train.

Bacon sandwich served in first class carriage, East Coast Line train.

And since the journey was about four hours twenty minutes long, I also had the benefit of lunch, which was a chicken breast with salad as you see here:

Chicken lunch in first class aboard East Coast Line train.

Chicken lunch in first class aboard East Coast Line train.

It was a smooth ride, arriving on time at King’s Cross Station, London, that you see here:

A platform in King's Cross Station, London, England.

A platform in King’s Cross Station, London, England.

When traveling about Britain, from city to city anyway, I can recommend this service. It was a nice way to see the countryside without the hassles of airports.

Advertisements

East Coast Line to Edinburgh

As part of the current journey, I took the East Coast Line from London (King’s Cross Station) to Edinburgh, Scotland (Waverly Station). The entire process was quite easy and very comfortable. Upon arriving at the station, I went to the automatic ticket machine to collect my pre-paid tickets. Using the same credit card with which I purchased the tickets and the record locater, I was able to get the tickets in about 1 minute. There was a supplemental charge for use of the 1st Class Lounge, which was okay with me because I wanted to relax after the car ride in from Windsor. So, here’s a photo of the tickets:

Tickets and seat reservation for East Coast Line train to Edinburgh, Scotland.

Tickets and seat reservation for East Coast Line train to Edinburgh, Scotland.

About ten minutes before departure, the platform was announced and I made my way to the train. A reserved card was tucked into the back of my seat as you see in the next photo:

Card marking reserved seat on East Coast Line train to Edinburgh, Scotland.

Card marking reserved seat on East Coast Line train to Edinburgh, Scotland.

Seating was spacious in the first class carriage. There are several different seating arrangements including two facing a table as you see in this photo:

Two seats facing table aboard East Coast Line train to Edinburgh, Scotland.

Two seats facing table aboard East Coast Line train to Edinburgh, Scotland.

There are also groups of four seats facing a table as you see in the next photo:

First Class seating aboard East Coast Line train to Edinburgh, Scotland.

First Class seating aboard East Coast Line train to Edinburgh, Scotland.

Naturally, snacks were on offer, including cooked meals from a menu as well as sandwiches and beverages from the “trolley.” I went with the sandwiches, which were egg and/or salmon. Both were quite tasty and served with a smile.

Egg salad sandwich aboard East Coast Line train to Edinburgh, Scotland.

Egg salad sandwich aboard East Coast Line train to Edinburgh, Scotland.

Along the trip, cabin staff regularly pass by asking if you would like more drinks, including coffee, tea, soft drinks, and so forth. The ride is incredibly smooth and punctual, making for a pleasant journey without the hassle of airports. Scenery along the way was another bonus, although shrouded in rain and mist for much of the time. All in all, I recommend this form of travel within the UK. And finally, a special thanks to “The Man in Seat 61” who operates a fantastic website that is chock full of information about train travel around the world. Please, avail yourself of his website. I did and it helped me plan this trip perfectly. (I hope to make a video showing clips from this and the return journey aboard the East Coast Line.)

 

New Hope & Ivyland (video visit)

The New Hope & Ivyland Railroad operates steam locomotive No. 40 along the tracks between New Hope, PA (USA) and Lahaska. You have your choice to travel in open air cars or a comfortable parlor car. I recently took a ride on this train in the cab of the locomotive, which was very interesting. It’s hot, dirty, and hard work up front. Here’s the video:

Riding in the cab gave me an appreciation for what it was like a hundred years ago. There used to be thousands of locomotives like this working around the country and the people who kept them operating knew what they were doing. If not, well, a steam boiler explosion was a terrible thing. If you have the chance and the inclination, I recommend experiencing this type of living history. If for no other reason, you’ll see what it was like in the “good old days.”