Into London, stopping the stopwatch and Chiltern Mainline home – Train vs Plane!
- Train vs Plane? What the blazes is this?
- Off to St Pancras on the Early Train (Virgin Trains Birmingham to London Euston), St Pancras Departures Lounge
- Eurostar train 9114 London St Pancras to Amsterdam Centraal
- A walk around Amsterdam
- Setting the timer off: Off to Amsterdam Schiphol
- A light bit of spotting at Amsterdam Schiphol
- British Airways Terraces Amsterdam Schiphol
- BA441 Amsterdam Schiphol to London Heathrow
- Into London, stopping the stopwatch and taking the Chiltern Mainline home
- Who wins?
Off to Marylebone, and stopping the timer
I headed off the plane, and towards the UK Border.
There was a short wait for ePassport machines, but I cleared the UK border with speed.
From there, I cleared baggage claim and customs – and was out into the public area.
Whilst the stopwatch is still going I had choices – do I take the Heathrow Express (not at full price at this time of the evening) the Heathrow Connect (on its last day of service… and I just missed the train) or take the Underground?
Underground it was for the hop into town. At £3.10 for a single ride – it’s good value – if a little long-winded.
As I cleared the barrier and headed down, a train pulled in.
This was good. However, a lot of other people thought it would be a good idea. Well, whilst that’s the idea of mass transit, the carriage I was in was full of suitcases, with the train packed out by the time it left Terminal 3.
This was going to be a long ride into Central London – and considering I’d be changing trains at one of the pinch points at Piccadilly Circus… it was a journey I wasn’t looking forward to.
And it’s a slow old ride, with only a fast bit between Acton Town and Hammersmith, so time to zone out. Or let some drugs work through the system.
I was happy to do that.
With the train emptying out a bit at South Kensington and Knightsbridge, I headed off the train at Piccadilly Circus… with my passport almost not wanting to travel with me.
It had been a long day.
I re-zipped the passport up, and headed to the Bakerloo line for the ride to Marylebone station.
Exiting the barriers I hit the stop watch to end the trip time
At 4 hours and 54 minutes – and thanks to the trains delay – the plane won comfortably in terms of time. But we’ll talk about that later.
Slower trains home.
With a few minutes on the clock, I headed to the ticket machine to get a train ticket to Birmingham. £30 later, I headed through the waiting barriers and onto platform 2 for the train to Birmingham Snow Hill.
Off Peak Saver Return £30.10
I found a set of seats and promptly collapsed on them. It wasn’t exactly beautiful how I collapsed… but at this point… I wasn’t exactly feeling human.
I noticed the stopping pattern of the train – with the first stop being Wembley Stadium.
I forgot that the FA Cup final had been played. A quick search indicated that Manchester United lost, and that my interest in football was as minimal as usual.
The train pulled out on time, and speeded down to Wembley Stadium station.
Thankfully, the train didn’t fill out much at all – with the fans being rather muted than loud.
That suited me to a tee.
The train continued onwards, operating as a semi-fast to Warwick Parkway, a local to Dorridge, and a semi-fast to Birmingham Moor street.
And with the comfort of the seats on these trains – I could handle that nicely.
Eventually at 23:20, the train pulled into Birmingham Moor Street.
I darted out of the train and cleared the barrier – with a priority of bus stop.
Why? Because I really didn’t want to pay for a Uber, or fight for a taxi.
As I crossed the road, the bus turned up.
A tap of my Swift card, and I had a ticket for the ride home. Alas, the local traffic for some bizarre reason was at a standstill.
Sums up Birmingham.
I bundled out of the bus, and headed to the flat’s front door. Because, a day trip like this did knock me out for six.
Less than 18 hours from I left my front door, I was back at it, with a few hundred miles under my belt, and a lot more experiences
Finally: Who wins? Train or Plane?
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