UK rail trip – 2022
Day 35 – 7th May, 2022
Today, my one month BritRail Pass expires. I’ve decided to take a train up to Stockport and spend a few days with my friends Steve & Christine. I checked out of the Wombat City Hostel and walked to Tower Hill underground station. Being a weekend, there were some engineering works on some of the London Underground lines. One advantage was that it was a little closer than Aldgate East. I caught the train to Euston Square and walked the short distance to the mainline terminus of London Euston.
This morning’s train was relatively full. Not surprising, being a Saturday morning. For the last couple of times I’d travelled with Avanti West Coast, they hadn’t had what I wanted to eat in the shop. This morning, though, they had exactly what a wanted – a bacon roll. I picked one up along with a black coffee and watched the world go by from my seat. Today’s trip will be via Crewe rather than Stoke-on-Trent. One train an hour, between London Euston and Manchester Piccadilly travels via Crewe and Wilmslow. It’s a little further, but roughly the same amount of time due to calling at less stations. Instead of alighting at Stockport station, I continued on to Manchester Piccadilly – just to complete the full trip.
After a quick visit to the Sainsbury’s Local, on the station concourse, for a litre of orange juice (what else?) I hopped on board a Cross Country service back to Stockport.
The train was formed of one class 220 Voyager and a class 221 Super Voyager. These trains were introduced back in 2002 by Virgin Cross Country, one of Richard Branson’s companies. Since then, the Cross Country franchise was awarded to another operator. Inside, they have a reputation for being a little cramped. Despite this, I still like them.
8 minutes after departure, I was standing on platform 2 at Stockport station. I exited the station and hailed a taxi to take me to my friends’ place. After a friendly warm welcome, I settled down with a can of cider and took it easy for the rest of the day. Tomorrow, we’re off to the aircraft viewing area at Manchester Airport.