04 May 2009

The LEYTR Railrover: Part 2

Part 1 can be viewed by clicking here.

We left Part 1 during Day 2 (27 June) of our week-long first-class Railrover experience, during June 2005. By now we were sampling the most northerly Wetherspoons pub on mainland Britain and their excellent-value menu. We caught a Rapsons (remember them?!?!?!?!) bus to the most northerly settlement in Great Britain, John o' Groats. I seem to remember the driver of Service 77A incorrectly issuing our rover ticket and we gained about a pound each.

After a few photos at John o' Groats, we caught another Rapsons service to Thurso - this time it was a decker, a Bristol VR no less, and one that caught our eye as it was new to Eastern Counties. Services 77A and 80 run to precisely the same timetables today as they did four years ago.

We left Thurso aboard a ScotRail Class 158, back on the rails and in first class.

We arrived in Inverness about 20 minutes before our Caledonian Express sleeper service to London Euston. I'd never been on a sleeper train before and so took plenty of photos. We both sampled the incredibly expensive lounge car as we passed through the very dramatic scenery around Newtonmore, Kingussie, Aviemore etc.

The first-class Railrover permits free travel aboard all sleeper services but does not afford a private birth. From memory we paid £27 each. We received complimentary papers and breakfast the following morning.

28 June dawned for me as we flew through Watford, en route to Euston. Upon arrival we caught a bus (Service 205) to Paddington where be jumped on a First Great Western HST to Cardiff.

We forwent first-class travel to sample Class 37 traction up the Rhymney Valley and back before another First Great Western HST to Bristol Parkway and a Virgin XC Voyager to Temple Meads.

We caught our one and only Pacer of the trip from here to Avonmouth where we overnighted before an early Sunday morning trip to Cheddar Gorge by bus. (GL)

To be continued...

Part 1 can be viewed by clicking here.

The entire LEYTR Railrover will be uploaded in its entirety to the LEYTRavels blog when the final part has been published on this site.