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Ken Jones has sent details of one his rail day trips where he visits obscure places using best value fares and tickets. Ken had already suggested sampling Hull Trains and Grand Central.
Roger Burdett, who travels with Ken on these outings, put the following itinerary together coving over 300 miles for less than £41 each, using split ticketing and senior railcards.
They started their day by using the NCP car park at Grantham, much cheaper than nearby LNER facilities.
Grantham - Selby 08.28 - 09.23 Hull Trains class 802
Selby - York 09.32 - 10.02 Northern class 155
York - Sunderland 10.25 - 12.04 Grand Central class 180
Sunderland - Newcastle 12.32 - 12.55 Northern class 156
Via high level bridge
Newcastle - York 13.30 - 14.29 LNER Azuma
Via King Edward bridge
York - Grantham 16.03 - 17.06 LNER Azuma
Hull trains unit was very comfortable and clean. Their carriages depict towns on their route as part of their exterior livery. The transition from electric power to diesel power on the move was exceptionally good. We were lucky to travel on a class 1555 unit as only 7 sets remain. Built in 1988 all the others were converted to single car 153 units. They were built from Leyland National bus parts on Leyland bus bogied underframes.
It was Ken’s first trip on a class 180 built by Alstrom Birmingham in 2000 / 01 and his first visit to Sunderland plus his first visit north using the coastal route via Hartlepool.
Hartlepool station uses only one platform whereas Sunderland has an island platform used in both directions by Northern, the Tyne & Wear Metro as well as unloading / loading Grand Central passengers. It is located in a cutting with buildings above, making it appear to be an underground station.
LNER services allow you to reserve a seat up to 5 minutes before the train is due to depart a station. To operate this, they have one or two unreserved coaches and a traffic light system at other seats. Red shows the seat is reserved and details next to it such as reserved from Doncaster to Kings Cross. They also have amber lights saying this seat maybe reserved later and many then turn red as we approached major stations heading back to Grantham.
All pictures by Ken Jones
Many thanks to Ken for his report and photos. If you're attending an event or travelling on public transport please feel free to send details and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
This article first appeared on www.focustransport.org
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