Saturday, 13 July 2013

Chiltern south, Virgin north: the perfect combination?

Twice last week I had to be in London for early afternoon with an early evening event to complete the day. In such circumstances, you cannot beat using +Chiltern Railways  to go up to the capital and picking up a Virgin Pendolino for the return. My only proviso is that you need to be confident enough of your return timings to book the Virgin leg in advance...

Chiltern Railways walk-on Super Off-peak singles are valid on the 9.55 Clubman service from Moor Street (arrives Marylebone 11.34) and subsequent services. A SOP single costs £27.40 so you might as well buy the SOP return for 10p more (£27.50) and have an extra ticket should you need one later in the 'rolling' month following the purchase date. Clubmans are fine - free WiFi, tables with power sockets, catering trolley on most morning services south - but for true added value use the Silver Sets that form the 10.55 and 12.55 services from Moor Street.

As regular readers of this blog will know, I am not a fan of standard class travel on Virgin Pendolinos... the seats are crammed into the carriages, tables are few as are power sockets, and you have to pay for the WiFi. Fortunately, Virgin offer very competitive advance First Class fares on their evening services back from Euston: £23.50 starting with the 20.23 deparrture. For this fare, you get access to the First Class Lounge at Euston (which is far better than hanging around the concourse), decent seating with tables and power sockets, free WiFi, and, of course, free refreshments. Further more, to be fair - see an earlier blog - the staff seem much more friendly....

Overall, a no-brainer!

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