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European Railroad Discussion > Could y'all help a Texan, in England?


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Date: 12/31/16 19:50
Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: WrongWayMurphy

Mrs. Murphy and I are planning a trip to England in March, neither of us have been across the Atlantic.

She is researching a few things she wants to see and I need your help with the trains, please.

i would like to :

See a nice railroad museum.
Visit a good friendly hobby shop
See a well built model train display.
Visit an acthitecturally pleasing train station.
Take at least one day trip train ride somewhere from London and back.

All we know for sure is that we staying two weeks.  The travel agent will help with details once we
have our list of things to do.  Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Shane Murphy
Tyler, Tx



Date: 12/31/16 21:09
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: wag216

Think about having a ride on the 16" RH&D. I have been there twice and I really enjoyed the railway and the people. wag216



Date: 12/31/16 21:28
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: wag216

And go to York. The National Railway Museum is good for a whole day. The hobby shop that I like is  MonkBar, 2Goodramgate,York - YO1 7LQ, (telephone)01904 659423, (internet)monkbarnodelshop.co.uk.Have FUN! wag216



Date: 12/31/16 23:46
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: 86235

In London most of our major terminals have features of architectural merit, only Euston and Cannon Street are relatively uninteresting. Charing Cross and Fenchurch Street have their nineteenth century head end building, but air rights over the platforms have been sold and they are pretty gloomy, same with parts of Liverpool Street and Victoria. London Bridge is in the middle of a reconstruction programme sweeping away all vestiges of the 19th century station.

Paddington, St Pancras, King's Cross, Marylebone, the north side of Liverpool Street and the eastern side of Victoria retain their original Victorian train sheds, all of which are pretty impressive.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/31/16 23:55 by 86235.



Date: 01/01/17 01:57
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: andersonb109

Stay a the hotel at St. Pancras. Even in the less expensive rooms in the newer section, you get full  run of the older original hotel area. There are restaurants adjacent to the original train shed.   The York museum is worth a half day at best. If you like longer train journeys, take the Caledonian Sleeper to someplace in Scotland. Once there, there are many scenic routes. Assume you are flying to Heathrow, the Heathrow Express will take you to Paddington Station fast and frequently from all airport terminals. If you don't want to pay the high price of the St. Pancaras hotel, the Mercure next to Paddington is a reasonably priced (for London) hotel with a good downtown location. There are lots of operating steam heritage railways in the U.K. Most run year round but with more limited off season schedules. A Google search will produce a directory of them. I particularly enjoy the narrow gauge lines in Wales.



Date: 01/01/17 01:59
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: DKay

Get down to Pecorama in Seaton(Beer),Devon.Their live steam is outstanding,and their layouts in vaious scale's is very nice.You should be able to visit the adjacent Peco track factory.Very beautiful part of the world.
Regards,DK 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/17 11:17 by DKay.



Date: 01/01/17 02:07
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: Hartington

This website click here lists pretty well all the model railway exhibitions in the country.   They vary in size but generally speaking you will find a selection of quite small but very well built layouts and traders.   A quick look leads me to 11th March in Swindon.   The exhibition is in the Steam museum of the GWR.   The train from London takes about an hour from Paddington.   Next to the museum there is a small outlet mall.   The train from Paddington passes through Didcot which is home to click here a live steam centre.

Then, on the weekend of the 25th and 26th, in North London, there is a large exhibtion at Alexandra Palace.

If you go to Windsor there are two routes.   You can go from Paddinton, change at Slough, and arrive at Windsor and Eton Central.   The station platform is uninspiring but then yoy enter what used to be the station but is now a shopping mall.   Make sure you look back at the portico over the entrance as you walk up towards the castle.   Windsor and Eton Riverside will take you back to Waterloo via Clapham Junction (you don't need to change trains but if you get off and walk to the London end of the platform you'll see a continuous parade of trains - Clapham Junction is the busiest in the UK in terms of the number of trains.   Waterloo is worth seeing for the architecture.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/17 02:36 by Hartington.



Date: 01/01/17 03:10
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: exhaustED

For the railroad/railway museum it has to be the National Railway Museum at York, trains go direct from London King's Cross station to York, so very easy. This is the national collection and is fantastic.
If you want another train journey in the daytime to see some superb scenery i'd recommend a trip from London Euston to Carlisle or even further on to Glasgow. This travels the West Coast Main Line and goes through some stunning English countryside from south to far north, including the Scottish lowlands if you carry on to Glasgow. You'd be travelling with Virgin Trains, very comfortable!
In my opinion St Pancras Station in London is the most visually stunning, a huge Gothic masterpiece.
If you need any other advice just let me know.
Hope this helps and hope you have a great trip!

PS. If you want to see some steam trains running on heritage lines there are many options...the Nene Valley railway at peterborough, the Bluebell Line in hampshire, the Great central in Loughborough....etc etc.
 



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/17 03:23 by exhaustED.



Date: 01/01/17 03:27
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: 3rdboxcar

Hi

A visit and if possible a stay inYork would wipe many things off your list - 
The National Railway Museum - one of the best railway museums in the world is 10 minutes walk from the city centre.
3 model shops in York, Monk Bar [UK outline only, N and OO] mentioned above and Cutty Blacks - range of all scales and all outlines and PS models - mainly plastic kits.
Architecturally station - York has one of the best, but there are many throughout the UK.
North yorks Moors railway is about 1.5 hours away from York and considered to be one of the best preserved / heritage lines.
As for a good model railway there are few and far between in the UK, if you were in York on a Saturday our club meets we could put up our UK layout and our freemo US both N scale.
York itself is steeped in history and the second most visited city after London. There would be plenty to do and see for you and your wife.

As for railway day trips from London there are not many places you cannot get to there and back in a day other than the further extremes of the country.

If you are planning to visit / stay in York let me know and I hopefully will be able to be your guide, it is not the first time I will have helped a fellow TO member.  Just drop me a message.

Alexander



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/17 05:47 by 3rdboxcar.



Date: 01/01/17 05:47
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: 3rd_Raton

If you're staying in London I also recommend a day trip to York to see the National Railway Museum. Not only is the museum worth visiting but the station at York is also well worth the trip. The station has a really neat Victorian Arch  over the tracks. Another feature I remember from my visit was a Costa coffee shop (think British version of Starbucks) in what looks like an old signal box. As you can see the Google camera crew has been through the station.

As for hotels in London, I suggest you check out Tripadvisor for listings. My wife and I stayed at the Premier Inn London Victoria which as it's name implies was just down the street from Victoria Station. The huge buffet breakfast filled us up for most of the day.

Edit: for some reason the links I embedded in my message arn't showing up to well. Mouse over "museum", "Victorian Arch" and "Old Signal box". The Google camera crew has also been through most of the stations in the London area. Zoom in on a station and drag the little man over the station to show the blue lines.
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/17 05:57 by 3rd_Raton.



Date: 01/01/17 05:49
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: 3rdboxcar

3rd_Raton Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Another feature I remember from my
> visit was a Costa coffee shop (think British
> version of Starbucks) in what looks like an old
> signal box. 

You are correct it was station signal box many moons ago.



Date: 01/01/17 07:55
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: 86235

exhaustED Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> if you carry on to Glasgow. You'd be
> travelling with Virgin Trains, very comfortable!

The route is great, the Virgin trains are most certainly not. Worse than Amfleet with narrow gunslit windows and too many seats behind wide pillars. They are fast but as a conveyance from which to view the scenery they are terrible.



Date: 01/01/17 08:10
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: exhaustED

86235 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> exhaustED Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > if you carry on to Glasgow. You'd be
> > travelling with Virgin Trains, very
> comfortable!
>
> The route is great, the Virgin trains are most
> certainly not. Worse than Amfleet with narrow
> gunslit windows and too many seats behind wide
> pillars. They are fast but as a conveyance from
> which to view the scenery they are terrible.

They could certainly be better, but i don't agree that they're terrible. I certainly wouldn't want to give the impression that they're terrible to someone who might then decide not to make an iconic journey because someone told them the trains were awful.



Date: 01/01/17 09:06
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: cricketer8for9

My hobby shop in London would be the Ian Allan shop in Lower Marsh (that is the street name) near Waterloo Station. Architecturally some of the London Underground Stations are quite interesting, with Arnos Grove and Sudbury Town on the Piccadilly Line being among the best known 1930s examples.



Date: 01/01/17 11:02
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: 86235

exhaustED Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> They could certainly be better, but i don't agree
> that they're terrible. I certainly wouldn't want
> to give the impression that they're terrible to
> someone who might then decide not to make an
> iconic journey because someone told them the
> trains were awful.

Have to disagree, if you're making an iconic journey to get from A to B quickly they are fine, but if you want to watch the scenery I'm afraid they're terrible. Trains on the East Coast route to Scotland, which is also something of an iconic journey, are significantly nicer to travel in. Alternatively take a ride to Kidderminster for the Severn Valley Railway and enjoy a Chiltern loco hauled set.



Date: 01/01/17 12:15
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: exhaustED

86235 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> exhaustED Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > They could certainly be better, but i don't
> agree
> > that they're terrible. I certainly wouldn't
> want
> > to give the impression that they're terrible to
> > someone who might then decide not to make an
> > iconic journey because someone told them the
> > trains were awful.
>
> Have to disagree, if you're making an iconic
> journey to get from A to B quickly they are fine,
> but if you want to watch the scenery I'm afraid
> they're terrible. Trains on the East Coast route
> to Scotland, which is also something of an iconic
> journey, are significantly nicer to travel in.
> Alternatively take a ride to Kidderminster for the
> Severn Valley Railway and enjoy a Chiltern loco
> hauled set.

Beauty is in the eye and all that!
I guess the important thing is to let the original poster ('Tex-Murphy') know that he's got some great options to be able to enjoy some time with his wife on this great little island and that there are some fantastic trains and spectacles to experience! Oh, and that if he wants some help, there are plenty of people to guide him! I've had more than my fair share of amazing experiences over in the US, so if in some small way I can help a fellow railfan from across the pond enjoy his time over here, i'll be happy.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/17 12:17 by exhaustED.



Date: 01/01/17 14:07
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: 86235

exhaustED Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Beauty is in the eye and all that!
> I guess the important thing is to let the original
> poster ('Tex-Murphy') know that he's got some
> great options to be able to enjoy some time with
> his wife on this great little island and that
> there are some fantastic trains and spectacles to
> experience!

Agree, there are plenty of places to go and plenty of things to see, but if you are doing a single day trip, out and back, would you really recommend sitting on a Pendolino or Voyager for any length of time?



Date: 01/01/17 14:19
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: Hartington

Getting off the orignal theme but sticking with the idea of Didcot and/or Swindon there are some non-railway items that might be worth mentioning.

The main line from Paddington to South Wales and Bristol goes through Didcot and then Swindon.   From Didcot it's a short side trip to the University town of Oxford.   Beyond Swindon you come to Bath.   I maybe biased because I have had sons living in both Oxford and Bath but I think they are both well worth visiting.   You're not going to get to all 4 in a day trip so maybe a visit to Didcot then a night in Oxford.   Next day Swindon and then Bath for a night (or even 2).   You can then come back via Salisbury which is a nice, small, Cathedral city which will also give you access to Stonehenge.   All of that (except the side trip to Oxford) can be done on one return ticket from London to Bath and back - you'll have to research precisely which ticket to buy but there are tickets which will allow the required stopovers.

It might also be worth saying that UK trains don't require advance reservation/purchase.   You simply turn up, buy a ticket and board.   On the route I'm suggesting you can reserve seats London/Didcot (some trains), Didcot/Swindon, Swindon/Bath and Bath/Salisbury but that needs to be done at least 24 hours in advance and given that the routes have at least one train every hour (generally two/hour) and March isn't high season it probably isn't necessary.   There are also tickets that can be purchased in advance that include a seat reservation BUT they come with severe restrictions.   I don't know how old you are but there are a number of "railcards" which in return for a purchase (typically GBP30.00 per person) you get a 33% discount the details can be found click here.



Date: 01/01/17 14:42
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: exhaustED

86235 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> exhaustED Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Beauty is in the eye and all that!
> > I guess the important thing is to let the
> original
> > poster ('Tex-Murphy') know that he's got some
> > great options to be able to enjoy some time
> with
> > his wife on this great little island and that
> > there are some fantastic trains and spectacles
> to
> > experience!
>
> Agree, there are plenty of places to go and plenty
> of things to see, but if you are doing a single
> day trip, out and back, would you really recommend
> sitting on a Pendolino or Voyager for any length
> of time?

Ha ha, yes i honestly would, i would very happily do that trip up the west coast on a Pendolino. I'd book a table seat and would love every minute of the journey.



Date: 01/01/17 14:59
Re: Could y'all help a Texan, in England?
Author: spflow

Dear Texan

As you can see, there are are dozens of opinions about what is best which partly reflect individuals' own priorities and enthusiasms. I guess you need to talk with someone to establish what your priorities are and what your budgetry and stylistic preferences are. This of course is what a good agent should be able to do, but very rarely actually can deliver on.

Without making any special claims, if you wished to PM me I would be delighted to help.

Anyhow, have a great trip.

Paul,  London (and Kent)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/17 15:00 by spflow.



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