Rail CHAAAAAOS for London - Cardiff over Christmas. Smartest alternative options?

Discussion in 'Wales/Cymru' started by editor, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. editor

    editor hiraethified

    I appear to be royally fucked this Christmas, with the train from Paddington to Cardiff involving changes galore taking the journey up to 3.45 hours (but this assumes I'm starting from Paddington). The return journey royally takes the piss with a thumping 4.45 hours.

    Anyone got any tips for making the journey less painful/lengthy? I'm not a fan of coaches but what's Megabus/National Express etc like these days?

    And no. I'm not getting a plane!
  2. Mogden

    Mogden I like tea

    Sn-ap are quite good coach wise and they don't make a million stops along the way. I get them from Nottingham to London sometimes. Super cheap too. National Express are just about as pricey as the train these days.

    Snap | Intercity coach travel, on demand
    BassJunkie and editor like this.
  3. souljacker

    souljacker innit

    Buy a cheap banger off Auto Trader. Probably cheaper than your ticket.
    nogojones likes this.
  4. Throbbing Angel

    Throbbing Angel Gabba Gabba-pentin

    Hmm, never heard of Snap - seems cheap - not shorter journey times though, depending upon where you're going


    editor likes this.
  5. Throbbing Angel

    Throbbing Angel Gabba Gabba-pentin

    How long is the journey time usually editor ?
  6. Mogden

    Mogden I like tea

    If I get the National Express coach from Derby to London it can take anywhere up to about 4 hours. Sn-ap, even with the trip to Nottingham is far quicker cos it doesn't do masses of stops but obviously trains are usually quicker. That said, as editor has indicated, trains are awful to use at Christmas, both price and reliability-wise. Another reason why I'm glad I'm staying put this season.
  7. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Around 2 hours.
  8. editor

    editor hiraethified

    I don't drive and I don't want to own a car.
    kenny g likes this.
  9. Supine

    Supine Rough Like Badger

    Get the train and buy a good book and a four pack of ale. Pretend your chilling in a pub rather than shitty commuting.
  10. nogojones

    nogojones Well-Known Member

    3-4 hours! Fuck that. I mean coaches ain't all that, but it'll only be about 2.5 hrs and a shit load cheaper.
    hash tag likes this.
  11. nogojones

    nogojones Well-Known Member

    He'll have to change about three time for bus replacement services anyhow, so he might as well just get a proper bus
    hash tag likes this.
  12. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat Santa is an evilous man

    the date i've tried national rail enquiries, it's offering south western railway from waterloo to reading and then gwr from reading - paddington.

    the swr trains call at clapham junction, so that is going to be an option from S London.

    although when this sort of thing happens, they will probably be full and standing before leaving waterloo. and the trains on that line are designed more for commuter than long distance travel, so there's not a lot of luggage space.

    also worth being aware that there are strikes planned on the SWR network for some days in december (SWR are being weaselly about trying to get rid of guards on trains) so worth checking SWR website to see if planned dates are involved.

    there isn't really an express coach service to reading any more.

    and between xmas and new year, there seems to be major buggering around between bristol and cardiff, and i've no ideas about that bit of the world.

    at the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, you are very strongly recommended to book in advance to do the national express thing, especially round xmas. i've never had anything to do with megabus (ethical warning - it is part of stagecoach)
    editor likes this.
  13. Riklet

    Riklet procrastinación

    Just get megabus its really decent normally.. well as long as youre not on a 6 hour one where the toilet is out of bounds cos some fascist driver says so :rolleyes:
  14. editor

    editor hiraethified

    So I've decided to bite the bullet and go for train.
    It's a not-so-bad 3 hours up via train from Waterloo which isn't quite so bad, but getting back is going to take around 4hrs 20mins with three changes and a bastard bus to Bristol which sucks. But at least I won't be stuck on a motorway near London in a traffic jam. Hopefully.
  15. Plumdaff

    Plumdaff joy in people

    National Express is fine. Takes about three hours, but super cheap and you can pay extra and reserve a seat if you think it'll be mobbed. I use it fairly regularly.

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