I accept it isn’t for everyone but I thought I’d put up my own experience to see if it helped anyone who hadn’t considered the train as a realistic option, and I guess your own geography would play a part in your decision time. As it is, it works for me but I fully acknowledge it isn’t for everyone. I don’t accept, at all, that flying is the ‘better’ or ‘less hassle’ option…..
One of my friends told me he’d started using the train last year and I mocked him like you wouldn’t believe (sent him note pad, pencil, Thermos flask and old smelly anorak from charity shop) as I didn’t really consider the train viable – at all – not in the least.
Then I had two Heathrow incidents with their security staff – and I had to get another option. I tried the train once and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, particularly as I have a low boredom threshold. But taking in a couple of movies, whizzing off some emails and surfing the web to catch up with stuff is a sedate way to travel.
I’ve not seen “shabby” trains at this point, perhaps I will and I’ll then view it differently, but the reality is I am using the service for health reasons – to keep my blood pressure at normal levels – on this front, for me, and based on my experiences at LHR, I’d pay quite a bit more for my train journey now. (More than I’d pay on a flight I mean) As I mentioned earlier, I’m saving some £140.00 or thereabouts on fuel & parking costs so as long as I can get a 1st class ticket in that sort of window, I’m going on the choo-choo….
Off to buy a tartan blanket…..