UK rail trip – 2022
Day 48 – 20th May, 2022
Today I’m off to Portsmouth. So, it was going to be a fairly long day. I walked down to Liverpool Lime Street (with orange jucie in hand) and boarded the 08:48 Avanti West Coast service to London Euston. It was a wet morning, but hopefully there would be better weather down south.
The rain continued for much of the journey to London Euston, so was starting to doubt my decision. I pressed on regardless. By the time I arrived at London Euston, though, it had stopped Things were brightening up!
A quick transfer on the London Underground and I’m at London Victoria. I had a little time to wait so I went to the upstairs food court and grabbed some KFC. By the time I made my way back to the station concourse, it was almost time for boarding.
I always found Southern‘s class 377s as being quite comfortable and they were so on this service also. Appropriately so for a two hour trip, which is probably one of their more longer services. By the time I left London Victoria, the sun was out and shining brightly. Looks like it was going to be a good day after all! The train split at Horsham, with one half going to Bognor Regis and my half going to Portsmouth Harbour.
Arriving at Portsmouth Harbour, there was plenty of blue sky. About one third clouds, two thirds blue sky. A reasonable ratio! Upon exiting the station, I walked around to the old Gunwharf Quays. The area had been turned into a residential and shopping area.
I walked back around to the harbour end of the quays. Portsmouth Harbour is a busy harbour, with all sorts of ships.
I walked back around the quays and out to the main road. I’ve never seen Dubai number plates before. But within the space of five minutes, I saw two Dubai-registered cars. VERY expensive cars! It was time to make my way back to the station. Leaving now, I still wouldn’t be back in Liverpool until around 20:30.
On my way to Portsmouth, I travelled with Southern from London Victoria. As always, I try to choose a different route back to London. This time, I decided to catch a South Western Railway service to London Waterloo. It took around the same amount of time, but change is always good. You get to see more! By the time I got back to London, it was becoming quite overcast again. Looks like it might rain.
I caught the London Underground to London Euston. Upon arrival, I found that one of the trains to Liverpool Lime Street had been cancelled. It would be up to more than half an hour before the next. The station concourse was quite crowded. This was the rush hour period. I already knew which platform the next train would be on, thanks to Real Time Trains. So I wandered over to the platform gates. Sometimes it might change. But when it’s stated that the train is at the platform, it’s generally a safe bet.
About 14 km north of Wolverton, the train was diverted to Northampton. Apparently there were issues with the line in the Rugby area. Suffice to say, the train crawled along for the next 40 km. It was evident that it was going to be a late arrival at Liverpool Lime Street. And it had started raining again. Sometimes the train would pick up a little speed, but then suddenly reduce back to a crawl. Due to the number of trains having to divert, the line was quite congested. Eventually, the train passed Rugby and things sped up again. The arrival into Liverpool LIme Street was almost 45 minutes late.
There was quite a bit of rain on arrival at Liverpool Lime Street. A stark difference to the fantastic weather down in Portsmouth. I dropped my stuff off at the hostel and grabbed some dinner at the pub. You guessed it: Steak and a pint of cider! Tomorrow, I’m checking out of the hostel and spending the next couple of nights in London. In two days time, I’m meeting up with Ed Pratt (the guy who unicycled around the world for the charity School in a Bag) at a microbrewery not too far from London King’s Cross. We will be assisting with Luke Grenfell-Shaw, a cancer survivor, to complete his Bristol to Beijing tandem bike ride, which had to take on a different approach due to the Chinese border being closed due to Covid. I’m looking forward to meeting up with them both!