Blowin’ in the wind – Virgin Trains London Euston to Birmingham New Street
- Don’t go you go anywhere else that’s remotely different?
- To Manchester Airport, British Airways Terraces Lounge
- American Airlines AA55 Manchester Airport to Chicago O’Hare International Airport
- Automated Processing Chaos
- Crowne Plaza O’Hare
- Intstawalk: State Street Chicago
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- A wind of change
- Chicago O’Hare Terminal 5, British Airways Terraces First Lounge
- British Airways BA9294 Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow
- British Airways Arrivals Lounge London Heathrow
- Virgin Trains London Euston to Birmingham New Street
- The Answer My Friend Is Blowin’ in the wind…
With a train ticket in hand, it was a rush to the departure platform for the first train – a Heathrow Express over to Terminal 1, then the Heathrow Connect back to London Paddington.
Why the Connect? I’d rather save the money for a 10 minute longer ride, and spend it on a taxi ride.
With everyone aboard, it was 25 minutes to Paddington (and I’m sorry, I don’t call Paddington “Central London” in any shape or form). Accomidations were commuter style on this train – but that suited me for this short journey.
Although for the price of it – it was only £1 more for my long distance journey. The joy of UK Rail pricing. Thankfully, whilst it was a local train to London, the locals weren’t out in force, making a peaceful journey over to Paddington Station.
The other big advantage of taking the Heathrow Connect is that it arrives at Platform 12. Why is this important? It’s a short walk or elevator ride to the taxi rank (so, another reason why it’s better than the Heathrow Express).
As usual, there was an ordered sea of humanity waiting for the next taxi. I was keeping an eye on the clock – whilst I had time to play with, I still needed a few minutes to collect my train ticket. Thankfully, the taxis kept on coming, and I headed for mine to Euston station.
Inside – well, it’s a classic London taxi with a classic London taxi driver. This one was comparitvly quiet, and sliced his way through the traffic well, to make Euston Railway station in good time.
The only minor part was that at Euston was that the driver parked way away from the curb. Sigh. More lugging when it’s least appreciated
I made my way up to the main station, and straight to ticket collection. A simple matter of popping the credit card in, and tickets spitting out. With 20 minutes to go at that point, the platform for the train was annouced, and it was off to Platform 13.
As usual, Virgin Trains manually check all tickets by hand to ensure you’re boarding the right train (or not trying to board on the wrong ticket. My tickets were stamped, and I was on my way to Coach C.
The waiting Virgin Trains Pendolino.
After finding my way to Coach C, it was a matter of negotiating the corridor of the train – which isn’t great if you have a large suitcase – it’s more designed for flight wheelie bags.
Thankfully, I found my seat in a bank of 4. All good as the banks of four have power sockets at seat.
The train filled up as departure time neared, with two other people joining me. No unexpected in the least, so I got as comfortable as possible as the train pulled out for the 1 hour 20 trip to Birmingham.
WiFi was available, and as it was charged, I skipped the privilege for this trip – to be honest, I was too tired to even flip the lid of the laptop.
With this service being an express service, the train wasted no time coming up to line speed as we raced through Watford Junction, and onto the fast segments of the West Coast Main Line
For me, that was the most of the journey I could remember. There were announcements for people to come to the shop (located in Coach C), but I drifted in and out of sleep, only waking up near Birmingham International Station.
I’ll be honest, it’s rare for me to come from this angle to Birmingham International station – normally, I’m coming the other way. But on the other hand, it gave me a chance to see what was parked at the Birmingham Airport apron.
With Birmingham International passing, it was time to organise myself as Birmingham New Street was 10 minutes away. I rolled my luggage as best I could towards the vestable area so they would not get in the way depending on which platform the train would come into.
Passing the old Birmingham Curzon Street station was a sign that the train was a minute or so from arriving.
With the train pulled into New Street, I made my way off the train, through the barriers and straight into a taxi rank – and into a cab for the short ride back to the flat.
With everything in the flat, I did what I normally did. Sit on the the sofa, look through the window and dream of my next trip… before realising I had the joy of the office in the morning…
Next: The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind…
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