Southern Daysave

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tufnellpark
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Southern Daysave

Post by tufnellpark » 27 Dec 2017, 12:50

Having followed Geoff and Vicki's exploits (and excellent videos) visiting all the National Rail stations, I thought I would try to emulate them in a small way by visiting all the stations in a region on a day ticket and using their rules ie a train must stop at the station to count (or be a request stop) and car links are allowed. That way I can afford it and have a good day out. I found an Anglia Plus, Devon and Cornwall Rover, Kent Rover, Southern Daysave and West Midlands Ranger, all of which provide a reasonably tough challenge to visit all the stations covered by the ticket in a day.

I live in Southern territory so that will be the first one I will try. Having looked at the timetables, I have decided to visit all the stations (154) managed by Southern, using a Daysave (valid after 10:00) plus a single so I can start early in the morning. With other operators managing some stations (Network Rail, Overground, Southeastern, South West) my planned route covers 174 stations. The area covered is Ashford to Havant, Tonbridge to Dorking and routes into London Bridge and London Victoria. In effect a triangle covering all of Sussex, Surrey, South London and a tiny bit of Hampshire and Kent. Is it possible to visit 174 stations in a day? I'll let you know when I give it a go in March/April 2018.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_ ... k_Railway)
Last edited by tufnellpark on 12 Mar 2018, 17:20, edited 3 times in total.
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tractakid
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Re: Southern Daysave

Post by tractakid » 27 Dec 2017, 18:49

So you're not coming to Milton Keynes then? :(
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Re: Southern Daysave

Post by tufnellpark » 28 Dec 2017, 13:41

tractakid wrote:
27 Dec 2017, 18:49
So you're not coming to Milton Keynes then? :(
Afraid not. The stations on the West Coast line are managed by London Midland (or whatever they are called now), so I don't have to visit them.
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Re: Southern Daysave

Post by dstock17 » 30 Dec 2017, 10:59

Good luck with Southern service :lol: :lol:

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Re: Southern Daysave

Post by tufnellpark » 12 Mar 2018, 14:10

#1 Southern Challenge

I departed at 06:14 from Ashford International on Thursday 1st March. Some might say this was not a good day to try the Southern Challenge. Yes it was very cold, yes it was snowing a bit but generally the trains ran on time.

I was aiming for 174 stations and covered 151 stations in a day, with just one serious delay and one cancellation. 154 of those are Southern stations and I visited 139, so 15 short of my target to visit all the Southern stations in a day. I missed 5 stations on the Tonbridge branch, 8 on the Uckfield branch, Reigate and Purley Oaks.

I was scuppered by the emergency snow timetable on both the Tonbridge and Uckfield branches, so decided to give those branches a miss. Tricky stations with limited services were Doleham, Pevensey Bay, Cooksbridge and Faygate. All visited on stopping services. But trickiest of all is Reigate, which is only 2 miles from Redhill but is difficult to incorporate into the timetable.

An enjoyable day out but I was knackered by the end after 18 hours of train travel! But yes I will try it again.
Last edited by tufnellpark on 09 Apr 2018, 15:35, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Southern Daysave

Post by tufnellpark » 12 Mar 2018, 14:15

#2 GWR (Devon & Cornwall) Challenge

Having done Southern the week before, I was on holiday in Cornwall so decided to try a day covering all the Devon and Cornwall branches of the Great Western Railway, using a Devon and Cornwall Rover. There are 80 stations including 3 that I didn't intend visiting. Okehampton and Sampford Courtenay are only open on summer Sundays and Tiverton Parkway is the Reigate of the South West ie difficult to fit into the timetable.

I departed at 07:05 from Barnstaple on Saturday 10th March. Devon went according to timetable with no delays. In Cornwall I had planned to catch one of only two trains that serve Coombe Junction Halt on the Looe Valley line. All was going well until mid afternoon, when my bus to Looe was late, meaning I missed my Looe Valley train by 5mins. You can't rely on buses! That delay put me an hour behind which meant me missing the St Ives branch as well. I visited 59 stations out of the 80 after deciding to also miss the Newquay branch later on, so I could get back to my Travelodge at a decent time to watch MOTD.

Another long but enjoyable day out on the trains. Next up is the West Midlands Day Ranger, which I am doing with xcooler123 and A2 on Saturday 17th March. I'll let you know how we get on.
Last edited by tufnellpark on 04 Apr 2018, 14:35, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Southern Daysave

Post by dstock17 » 12 Mar 2018, 18:41

Your not missing much at Sampford courtenay

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Re: Southern Daysave

Post by tufnellpark » 19 Mar 2018, 13:23

#3 London Midland Challenge

On Saturday 17th March, we left a cold Northampton bright and early clutching our West Midlands Day Ranger. We were on the one train a day to Crewe that stops at Polesworth. My ticket cost £26.50 but xcooler123 had used his staff discount and only spent £6.60 for a 450 mile day out. Birmingham City were playing at home. The aim was to visit 130 stations in a day.

Four hours in, we met A2 at Birmingham Snow Hill, after a brisk run up the hill from Birmingham New Street. A2 enjoyed the bouncy class 139 Parry train to Stourbridge Town but left us at Kidderminster to look at steam locomotives on the Severn Valley Railway. We missed a running connection at Worcester Shrub Hill by 2 mins (although we did visit the station on foot) but headed off to Hereford on time and collected A2 on our way back to Birmingham. The forecast snow hadn't appeared yet but we were going well and on time, albeit one station missed.

We missed another tricky station Adderley Park, when our train arrived late in Birmingham. It started snowing in Coventry and was settling by the time we got to Rugeley, having left A2 to return home from Birmingham. Due to the worsening weather, we agreed to cut our day short and leave the last 18 stations on the Redditch and Shrewsbury branches. xcooler123 jumped off at Gravelly Hill and I headed back to Northampton on the 22:14 train.

We had ticked off 107 stations (out of 112) in 16 hours of train travel. The timings work and we plan to give it another go, with some adjustments to make sure we visit the missing stations, and hopefully include the last 18 stations in better weather.

One thing that struck me was that the West Midlands rail network (bounded by Stafford, Wolverhampton, Rugeley, Lichfield, Nuneaton, Coventry, Leamington, Stratford-upon-Avon, Redditch and Worcester) would be a great place to have a Random 15 away day. Advance rail tickets up to Birmingham are cheap (£6-10 each way). Anyone interested?
Last edited by tufnellpark on 04 Apr 2018, 14:41, edited 3 times in total.
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al
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Re: Southern Daysave

Post by al » 19 Mar 2018, 14:11

I would be interested in that, but then I would be as I live in the area concerned!

If you did it, I would suggest a Birmingham City Centre meeting point with all 15 stations being a mystery for maximum starting options. Maybe Corporation Street tram stop?
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tangy
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Re: Southern Daysave

Post by tangy » 20 Mar 2018, 11:23

tufnellpark wrote:
19 Mar 2018, 13:23
One thing that struck me was that the West Midlands rail network (bounded by Stafford, Wolverhampton, Rugeley, Lichfield, Nuneaton, Coventry, Leamington, Stratford-upon-Avon, Redditch and Worcester) would be a great place to have a Random 15 away day. Advance rail tickets up to Birmingham are cheap (£6-10 each way). Anyone interested?
That is actually a very good idea, a West Midlands based Random 15. I would happily organise and endorse this. Either this or one based on the smaller Centro (West Midlands county) area.

Consider me in.
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Re: Southern Daysave

Post by tufnellpark » 22 Mar 2018, 16:19

I've done a bit more research on timings and costs for a West Midlands Random 15.

West Midlands Day Ranger is £26.50 which covers stations from Northampton to Crewe. West Midlands Day Tripper Plus (the old Centro area) is £9.30. Problem is there are 24 stations not covered by the Day Tripper ticket, which removes the ability to connect up the ends of lines ie Lichfield to Rugeley. Cost of Travelodge is £45, which can be shared between two for twin room.

Would need to travel to Birmingham on Virgin, Chiltern or West Midlands Trains. Lots of cheap tickets available on Saturday morning. Leave London 07:30-08:00 to start Random 15 at 10:00 from Birmingham New St. I've tested a couple of routes and it takes 10 hours, so a long time. Set an 11 hour maximum to finish at Birmingham New St at 21:00. Balti and beers in Sparkbrook (which is a couple of miles out of city centre) before travelling back to a hotel. It will be a long day.

The key to success will be good timetable planning. Trains usually run to time and there is little opportunity for running between stations except New St to Moor St. Random draw takes place that morning and stations sent by text at 08:30 to give you a chance to plan your route on the train up to Birmingham. Bordesley and Polesworth stations will be excluded because they only have one train a day.

I think xcooler is thinking about a Sunday at the Severn Valley Railway in Kidderminster. So could be a good weekend.

Likely costs for the Saturday are:
West Midlands Day Ranger 26.50
LON-BHM train ticket 10.00
Balti curry 10.00
Hotel 22.50
TOTAL £69.00
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al
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Re: Southern Daysave

Post by al » 22 Mar 2018, 16:48

Due to the much wider geographical spread of the "full fat" West Midlands Day Ranger, would a Random 12 work better with regards getting the average length down slightly, or do you think that would just limit the alternative possibilities too much?
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Re: Southern Daysave

Post by RJSRdg » 22 Mar 2018, 17:48

TP's costings of course assume the participant is starting in London - there are no £10 Saturday morning fares from Reading to Birmingham! The best I've managed to come up with so far is £8:30 return Reading - Banbury (Network Card), £8:80 return Banbury - Leamington(!) thence on the WM card (can they be purchased in advance/bought from stations outside the West Midlands?).

But agreed this could be a somewhat awkward region - imagine if Crewe, Gobowen and Hereford all turned up? (Would buying a ticket for the interconnecting ATW service be 'allowed'?)
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Re: Southern Daysave

Post by tangy » 22 Mar 2018, 19:31

For those looking to do the West Mids. Random 15 in a day rather than overnighting in Brum (especially from London), note that last trains are particularly early (2115 Chiltern, 2130 Virgin or 2214 LM- which gets back to Euston at 0040).
This is a Central line train to "Woodford via Hainault"- it always is, except when you actually want one!

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Re: Southern Daysave

Post by tufnellpark » 26 Mar 2018, 09:42

RJSRdg wrote:
22 Mar 2018, 17:48
TP's costings of course assume the participant is starting in London - there are no £10 Saturday morning fares from Reading to Birmingham! The best I've managed to come up with so far is £8:30 return Reading - Banbury (Network Card), £8:80 return Banbury - Leamington(!) thence on the WM card (can they be purchased in advance/bought from stations outside the West Midlands?).

But agreed this could be a somewhat awkward region - imagine if Crewe, Gobowen and Hereford all turned up? (Would buying a ticket for the interconnecting ATW service be 'allowed'?)
Your two return fares total £17.10, so it is probably the same as two advance tickets between London- Birmingham. Yes the West Midlands Day Ranger can be bought at any manned station but not online or ticket machines.

In terms of West Midlands stations, I suggested a limited area, so the stations you mention (Crewe, Gobowen and Hereford) are all outside my proposed Random 15 area, which is Stafford-Nuneaton-Coventry-Leamington-Stratford-upon-Avon-Redditch-Worcester-Wolverhampton.
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