Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Bristol, London

Today I'm leaving Plymouth and heading to London. Unfortunately it's going to be a very grey and rainy day, but I guess it's not unusual here. Due to the extremely heavy rain, I skipped to visit the town of Plymouth and got directly from hotel to the station by taxi.
Plymouth station
British Rail Class 153 DMU used for local services in Devon and Cornwall
Service to Penzance

My first train today will be this British Rail Class 220 "Voyager" operated by CrossCountry company owned by Arriva UK.
"The Class 220 Voyager is a class of diesel-electric high-speed multiple-unit trains built in Belgium by Bombardier Transportation in 2000 and 2001." (Wikipedia)

"CrossCountry operates many intercity and other long-distance trains in the UK which do not serve Greater London, including the UK's longest direct rail service from Aberdeen in the north-east of Scotland to Penzance in Cornwall, in the south-west of England." (Wikipedia)
2nd class coach
1st class
It is not possible to reserve seats in advance for Interrail pass holders, but there were many empty seats in 1st class

Breakfast is included for 1st class passengers
Newton Abbot
Much more passengers in the 2nd class than the 1st


Between Teignmouth and Dawlish Warren, the line is following just next the sea, which is named as South Devon Railway sea wall

Exeter Cathedral
"South west trains" from Exeter

Tiverton Parkway

British Rail Class 66
St Mary's Church and St George's Church at Taunton

Bristol Temple Meads station is where I get off
British Rail Class 150

First Great Western company began operating in February 1996, as part of the privatisation of British Rail. Since 2015 it is being rebranded as Great Western Railway.

British Rail Class 43 power cars
The train continues to Aberdeen in Scotland. The trip from Plymouth takes 11h 23min.

Bristol Temple Meads station opened in 1840

Next is this GWR train to London. The trains from Bristol to London departs each 30min
Inside 1st class "British Rail Mark 3" coach
In 2006, 40% of British rail network was electrified (both with 25kV AC using overhead wire and 750V DC using third rail system. Great Western main line is currently being electrified all the way from London to Bristol and Cardiff.
Even without electrification, the speed is not that bad.

"InterCity 125 was the brand name of British Rail's diesel-powered High Speed Train (HST) fleet, which was introduced in 1976. An InterCity 125 train is made up of two Class 43 power cars, one at each end of a fixed formation of Mark 3 carriages (the number of carriages varies by operator). The train operates at speeds of up to 201 km/h in regular service, and has an absolute maximum speed of 148 mph (238 km/h), making it the fastest diesel-powered train in the world, a record it has held from its introduction to the present day." (Wikipedia)
Here is a Class 43 power car with original "Inter city 125" livery.

Since I have Interrail, I can jump off/on at the stations along my way to London. I decided to make at least one stop between Bristol and London, and it was at Swindon.
Waiting hall at the station
Class 66 operated by English, Welsh & Scottish Railways

Class 66 operated by GB Railfreight (Swanage Railway)

Waiting in the rain
Next high speed train to London
2nd class coach
This part is already electrified

British Rail Class 387 "Electrostar" EMU from Bombardier operated since 2016 the line between London Paddington and Maidenhead
British Rail Class 57

British Rail Class 360 EMU from Siemens (part of Desiro family) for Heathrow Connect service
London Undergroud S stock train from Bombardier
British Rail Class 180 "Adelante" DMU built by Alstom for services London Paddington–Worcester/Great Malvern/Hereford/Oxford
Final stop is London Paddington. Mark 3 coaches have these classic doors.

It's raining a lot...

Great Western Railway War Memorial
Paddington bear status at platform 1
To the right of bear is the photo of the author Michael Bond who recently passed away

British Rail Class 800 "Super Express" is a type of electro-diesel train to be used in the UK, built by Hitachi from 2015. The first units will enter service on the Great Western Main Line (GWML) in October 2017, and on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) from 2018.

"As part of the UK Government's Intercity Express Programme, the Class 800 units are to be partial replacements for the aging InterCity 125 trains which currently operate services on the Great Western Main Line and the East Coast Main Line. The Class 800 units will be electro-diesel multiple units, able to draw power from electrified overhead lines where available and power themselves via underfloor diesel generators outside the electrified network." (Wikipedia)

The train is still undergoing tests
Pantograph for overhead wire operation
To the left is British Rail Class 332 "Heathrow Express" manufactured by CAF/Siemens. To the right is British Rail Class 165
Paddington Underground station

Edgware Road
My hotel is located near St. Pancras station which I will be using on the following day
Since 2007 it is the International station for services to Paris and Brussels
Eurostar trains Class 373 and Class 374
'The Lovers' statue
After checkin in at the hotel, I'm taking the Underground to the central London - Covent Garden station.

One of the best ways to see London when having little time is by boat, so I'm taking Thames Clipper river bus.

London Cannon street station

Speeding up at 28 knots (50km/h)

Arriving to Greenwich Pier

Greenwich is notable for its maritime history and for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian (0° longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time. (Wikipedia)

General James Wolfe Statue

Greenwich train station
British Rail Class 376 EMU from Bombardier takes me back to central London

Passing close to London Bridge station
London Cannon street station

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