Travel planning – what a faff

The fleet has had a pretty quiet day today, other than me discovering that yes, the Omega’s battery is flat again. I’ve ordered a new one. I hope it isn’t just a drain. I probably should have checked that. I don’t think it is though…

So, another day driving the laptop only, as I gathered tasty motors for Japfest in April, wrote features for Classic Car Buyer and Retro Japanese and tried to plan the far end of the week – which is approaching rapidly.

A lovely train, just like I'm not catching.

A lovely train, just like I’m not catching. Lovely pantograph wiper, V16 engine. YUM.

You see, I’m at the London Classic Car Show on Friday, which means the awful bother of having to get myself to London again. For half a nanosecond, I contemplated driving, and when the crying stopped, I sat with Google maps and tried to work out the most economical way to make it all happen. To aid with decision making, I went to the National Rail website. I’m not sure why I decided to see how much it cost to get from Coventry to London, but it was probably because I once ended up passing through Cov on a very fancy Chiltern train – I think it had a V16 engine. Anyway, I discovered that I could get to London from Coventry for just £6! DONE! Ignoring the fact that I had no other plans, I booked it.

Of course, it wont’ be a lovely V16-powered loco, it’s a London Midland train, which I think will probably be a commuter-class electric with hideous, green seats. At least they are quiet. It isn’t that quick, but I don’t really care for £6. I can get a nicer train on the way back on the Friday. I think.

The plan is to drive to Coventry, find somewhere to abandon the motor car (not decided which one yet) and enjoy not having to travel on an Arriva Train Wales rattlebox. AirBNB has found me somewhere to stay in London for all of £23, so we’ll see how that pans out too.

But, it’s all terribly frustrating really. Finding cheap railway tickets really is far too reliant on luck. There’s no magic ‘super cheap’ website. The Split Ticketing one I sometimes use wanted over £40 for the return journey, rather than the £22 I’m paying. So, you have far too many decisions when it comes to just picking which website to use, let alone then deciding which journey is best.

It really isn’t good enough, and is a stark reminder of why so many people just think ‘sod it’ and take the car instead. Only the horrors of London driving (and parking!) convinced me to seek an alternative solution.

 

 

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