Train? Thataway. – APEX Expo and The Lufthansa Flying Lab
In this adventure
- A call from Germany
- Off to Heathrow T2. Wait. Terminal 2??
- LH2473 London Heathrow to Munich Airport
- Exploring innovation on the ground at Munich Airport
- LH424 Munich to Boston with Lufthansa and Recaro Aircraft Seating
- Into Boston, The Holiday Inn Bunker Hill
- Exploring Boston
- Robot and Bowl Food – Exploring Spyce… and lessons for the Passenger Experience?
- Oodles of Noodles – Pho and Ramen in Boston
- The APEX Conference and Expo – What you missed
- Back to Boston Logan International airport
- LH423 Boston Logan to Frankfurt-am-Main
- The joy of Frankfurt Airport
- LH924 Frankfurt to Heathrow… with a neo
- Train? Thataway
- The outlook for the next six months
Exiting the plane I exited straight into the immigration hall. Well – that’s more than a bonus shall we say.
There’s lots of options – and most arrivals were being
I went to the ePassport machines… and broke them again. I was then manually cleared into the UK.
Unlike T5 where immigration and baggage claim are on separate floors, it is a single floor design, allowing passengers to speed through. I couldn’t – as I was waiting for luggage to arrive.
Sadly, whilst Heathrow T2 may be a new terminal, Heathrow luggage delivery was it is wonderfully slow self – with a good 15-minute wait for the belt to come to life, and another 5 for my luggage to appear. Which for a short haul flight isn’t too hot.
With that – I exited the secure section of the airport.
Now – I had a choice again to get into Central London – TfL Rail or Piccadilly Line/Bakerloo line to Marylebone. Sadly, by the time I had reached the underground walkways – the decision had been made for me – the TfL Rail service had long gone.
Rather than wait another 30 minutes for a service, I headed towards the Piccadilly Line ticket barriers
Back to the Piccadilly Line.
I blipped my iPhone and headed downstairs to the platform. Thankfully, there was only a two-minute wait for the train coming in from T5.
With me in a corner of a carriage, this seemed like a place I could stay awake-ish for the ride to Piccadilly Circus.
Others had better ideas of staying awake, by cracking open some duty-free vodka. Which whilst the Mayor of London wouldn’t have liked (nor TfL) I could only look in wonder and amazement.
Instead, I tried to fall asleep on my luggage.
This being 8:40 in the morning, it’s still commuting time into London (the one reason I wanted to avoid the tube). Nonetheless, I kept awake for the trip to Piccadilly Circus.
Nope – not my choice to change here during the morning rush – but this was the simplest choice to get to Marylebone.
Heading to the Bakerloo line – we were going northbound – so it was a much quieter affair. Wonderful.
Eventually, the tube arrived at Marylebone – and by a stroke of luck – I had positioned myself so I was near the stairs.
A spritely walk to the escalators, and ride up – and another phone beep – I was in Marylebone station.
My next challenge was to get a train ticket home. Now, I was hoping I would arrive after 9:30 into Marleybone – least of all, it could mean I would qualify for a super off-peak ticket to Birmingham.
And as it was 9:40 when I popped out… what’s the term… Winner Winner Chicken dinner.
And the best part was I didn’t need to fish into my wallet to pay for it – the contact pad readers could handle a transaction at £30.50.
That done, I headed to boots to get some cold caffeine – yes a coke zero.
With that in hand – I passed through the barrier as my train was waiting for me – and my luck continues – with the train being a locomotive hauled set as opposed to the multiple units I normally encountered.
I boarded the Chiltern Trains Silver Train (what the train watching/spotting community would call a Class 68 with Mark III carriages and a DVT at the London end).
I went for the first open table with seats I could see – and promptly collapsed into it.
The IC70 seats.
From what I could tell, the train left on-time and raced its way out of London. With a mixed stopping pattern, we should reach Birmingham by 11:40. I wasn’t moaning. (and 1h 40 to Birmingham is very receptacle).
There’s no catering service on these trains anymore – mainly as people were buying off the train. I’m still not sure if that’s true, or an Arriva excuse to cut services back. The truth is somewhere in the middle, I suspect.
The stop at Banbury was fruitful – if for once thing
With the train approaching Leamington Spa, my thoughts turned to the real world – and I made a check-in in the office. Finding things were actually pretty settled down… I didn’t have to get off the train and into the office
That was a welcome thing.
Eventually, the train pulled into Birmingham Moor Street. As I was in the lead carriage, I managed to get out before the masses.
Passing through the ticket barrier – my thoughts turned to how I was going to get home.
And with Birmingham City Council continuing to dig up the city, there were a bunch of diversions in progress. Rather than deal with that, I just walked for the first available cab.
With the cab driver going around the houses, eventually, he dropped me at my flats entrance.
With a last flourish, I headed to my front door.
After setting publish on a couple of posts I lined up, I fell face first into my bed and called it quits until 7 pm that evening.
Because I was exhausted.
Finally: The Outlook for the next six months
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