Travelled for leisure in first class from Dundee to London, and have to say I enjoyed the experience.
Got to Dundee early enough to grab a coffee, and we made our way to the quiet carriage. This carriage used to be their dining one and as such had no power sockets, so tip to avoid carriage J.
We had a nosey around and found another unreserved pair of seats together, however, this carriage also had no power due to some problem or another. I have to say this is the 3rd time I’ve been aboard East Coast and the power didn’t work, they need to sort this. We did find yet another seat with working power sockets. Good news is that the wifi DID work and it worked well (for a change) all the way on our route.
I read on other threads people complain about the condition of the carriages, East Coast have their first class areas clean, modern and comfortable. I wasn’t too hot or to cold. I had downloaded a couple of movies from Blinkbox and donned by Bose’s ready for the long journey. Something of a misnomer is that EC only serve booze and a full kitchen service on weekdays. That seems a little ludicrous to me as you’d expect them to offer their drinks service at weekends to leisure travellers, as it was I wasn’t wanting an alcoholic drink on the way to London but I found it rather old fashioned! You can get a drink but you have to go buy it from the bar yourself.
Cold sandwiches, crisps and fruit are brought around reasonably frequently, loos were a little tired but reasonably clean – as clean as an aircraft loo anyway.
So, we enjoyed the teen-flick (was travelling with teen) Pitch Perfect and got most of Jack Reacher watched and we arrived into Kings Cross a couple of minutes ahead of schedule.
We left at 09:06 and arrived 14:45, I was in the Savoy just after 15:00. I’ve said elsewhere my flight timings are below:
09:00 Leave Dundee
10:30 Arrive EDI
11:40 Depart EDI
13:10 Arrive LHR
14:10 Arrive Paddington
All in all the train ‘costs’ me less than an hour of my time, I reckon it is worth that hour to not have the pain-in-the-rear which is flying.
Return journey was marred by taxi driver taking forever to get to station and a missed train, much tutting at agent behind counter when I had to buy another ticket to get home as my advance one was no use. I’ll write to East Coast today and have a whine at them, no real need for the agent to be such a pill about it, we arrived ar 10:00 on the dot to see the train leaving having left the hotel at 09:30.
Journey back was great, Life of Pi and Seven Psychopaths (hilarious) watched and a quick change at Waverley for a local train back to Dundee, was still in fine condition and perfectly clean. I had some hot food which was decidedly average and the coffee was like dishwater….but again the service was adequate and frequent. The time passed really quickly and we were at Waverley quickly.
I can’t see a downside to this, my daughter who is almost 17 also hates flying, not because of any fear or anything of the sort, just all the hassles, she loves the train too and we both think it a far better alternative that EDI – LHR…..far far better. Tickets cost £230.00 for the advance and another £143.00 for the missed replacement tickets, these were in standard class but I sat in First and pleaded ignorance to the conductor fella, he was fine about it.