I am so sad that I did not discover the route between Nottingham and Cardiff sooner! The thing about being in a long distance relationship is the traveling back and forth to see each other. I kind of enjoyed (hate packing and unpacking) setting off for the weekend to Welshland, escaping my students and the faculty, and to be honest I don't really mind travelling long distances... train, car, coach... planes are a different issue entirely. Of course, my ease of travel and the amount that I can relax when I am on a train, depends on a lot on the route and changes. In reality, no changes makes my life easy and I can relax and not worry about falling asleep and missing the change. That's why I wished I had discovered this route, especially as it would have saved me changing in London. And since the Welshman always insisted in driving me to Cardiff to catch a train to save me from changing after departing from Swansea, this line was a definite game changer. If I could get the connections right, it would also take less time than the five, sometimes six hour trip via London
The trains are very nice and clean. The service between Cardiff and Nottingham is a much smaller train than what I would have imagined. I worried that it was going to get crowded, but it never really did, busy, but not packed in like sardines on the line between Paddington and Cardiff. The car is slightly more open than say an East Coast train to London... there is no sliding door to seperate the space between the carriages and the seating area, then again some of the doors are toward the middle of the car, rather than at the end. The seats are not quite as comfy (this could be because I was on the train for 3.5 hours as opposed to my usual hour and ten minutes or 45 minutes), but they do seem wider. Luggage racks seem to be plentiful for the route. I also really love the display showing the stops because if you are wearing headphones, the announcements are inaudible, or there are no announcements for stops, this helps you keep track.
The reason I didn't give the fifth star... the fact that this route never came up in my searches before and then when I did discover it, it seemed like there was only one service running a day. And sometimes it didn't line up with my connection between Grantham and Nottingham. I also started suggesting it to my students who were keen to visit Cardiff so they could geek out over Dr. Who, and many of them had no luck with it. In terms of price, it seemed to be about the same price, give or take a few quid, as my route via London. Even if it is slightly more, I would opt to pay more instead of having to change to the tube in London, make my way to the train platform at Paddington, and change again at Newport or Cardiff.
A great train company that you can always rely on to be on time. Plus the prices are great!
The trains themselves are lovely and cosy, I haven't seen a dirty train from this company to be honest. The seats are very comfy and they have seats with tables or without for you to choose from - no matter what price your ticket was.
I am a regular traveller on CrossCountry services, and overall I am impressed with the service which it provides. There puncuality is sometimes poor, but it is understandable that they have no control on some issues sometimes. There trains have undergone refurbushment, and in my opinion this has been successful, and the comfort of journeys has been improved. The Quality of the voyger trains has somewhat declined since crosscountry took over Virgin trains voyger services, and I think that they should try to ensure that the clenliness is improved, and sort of the lights! some dont even work. Overall im pleased with the service they provide, and I hope that the timetable stays as good as it currently is, as I rely on the services very much to get to university in Coventry, from Derby.
i dont travel regualy on cross country trains but i did once when i was goin away for a couple of days. The trains where on time on the way there and on the way back which was important as i need to catch other trains after. The trains were very clean on the seats were confortable. The bag holders were a good size and bigger than some others which was good as there were a few people traverling with lugage. I was pleased with the timetable that these trains offered as they were on a regular basses so there wasent a massic wait if i missed a train. Overall i was very pleased with the service that these trains offered and i hope next time i use them i still think the same thing.
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