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There and back again!

UK rail trip – 2022

Day 27 – 29th April, 2022

I checked out of the St. Christopher’s Inn Pub hostel. Not likely to stay at this hostel again! Today, I’m planning on doing one thing – and one thing only. I’ve decided to catch a train up the East Coast Main Line to Edinburgh and then catch a train back down the West Coast Main Line – simply because I can. I caught the London Underground to London King’s Cross and boarded an LNER class 801 Azuma train to Edinburgh.

London King’s Cross (09:30)
4:47 (107:40)
Edinburgh Waverley (14:17)
632.1 km (9723.5 km)

I’ve previously mentioned, on several occasions, about the wonderful freedom of travelling on an unlimited 30 day rail pass. With all of the travelling I’ve done so far, I’d have gone broke if I didn’t have one! One of the reasons why I like travelling up the East Coast Main Line is that the sea is visible around the border regions of England and Scotland.

I switched platforms to catch an Avanti West Coast class 390 Pendolino to London Euston – one of the relatively few services to and from Edinburgh each day.

A class 390 Pendolino – bound for London Euston!
Edinburgh Waverley (14:52)
Avanti West Coast
3:09 (110:49)
Crewe (18:01)
390.5 km (10114 km)

It was a partly cloudy afternoon, as the train pulled out of Edinburgh Waverley. Before turning west and then south to London, the train continued another couple of kilometres north via Edinburgh Haymarket. As a result, there was no backtracking. About an hour later, I was back in England and pulling into Carlisle. Carlisle is at the northern end of the Settle-Carlisle line. One of the most picturesque railway line in the country. I last travelled along the line in 2004. The next time I’m in the area, I’m hoping it will be by bicycle. I doubt whether I’ll have time on this trip.

Because this train was going via Birmingham New Street, I decided to change trains at Crewe. It would chop off as much as half an hour (maybe more) on my journey time to London Euston. Even though I didn’t need to be in a rush, I prefer checking into hostels earlier rather than too late. I’ve already booked the hostel. But I prefer a bottom bunk and they tend to go the fastest.

Crewe (18:26)
Avanti West Coast
1:41 (112:30)
London Euston (20:07)
254.2 km (10368.2 km)

I hopped on the next train that was scheduled to go down the Trent Valley Line. A shorter distance and a faster ride. Still, I didn’t arrive at London Euston until just after 20:00. But it was still quite daylight.

I hopped on the London Underground and made my way to Edgeware Road station. It was only a five minute walk from there. As I entered The Phoenix Hostel, I found it to be quite cosy. It was obviously an old pub with a very relaxed attitude. Much better than the hostel I stayed at last night! I had actually booked two nights, so I was glad I made a good choice.

The Phoenix Hostel

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