• Virgin Cross-Country

  • This is a forum for all operations, both current and planned, of Virgin Rail USA formerly known as Brightline, and Virgin Worldwide Rail operations, past and present.
    Websites: Current Brightline
    Virgin USA
    Virgin UK
This is a forum for all operations, both current and planned, of Virgin Rail USA formerly known as Brightline, and Virgin Worldwide Rail operations, past and present.
Websites: Current Brightline
Virgin USA
Virgin UK

Moderator: CRail

  by ExCon90
 
Question for George Matthews: You mention in the Amtrak forum that you make frequent trips to Scotland. I assume that's on Virgin from Bournemouth or somewhere, reversing at Reading; how do you find the experience in general? Also, have you done it since they finished the rebuilding at Reading? Is that working as intended?
  by David Benton
 
I'm not sure exactly where George lives (southwest england somewhere), but there was a service from Cornwall, all the way up to Scotland . Around 12 hours , probably the longest route for a HST set. whether it still exists , I don't know.
I suspect the fastest way would still be via London.
  by george matthews
 
ExCon90 wrote:Question for George Matthews: You mention in the Amtrak forum that you make frequent trips to Scotland. I assume that's on Virgin from Bournemouth or somewhere, reversing at Reading; how do you find the experience in general? Also, have you done it since they finished the rebuilding at Reading? Is that working as intended?
Yes, I would board the HST train in Bournemouth and go through Reading. I have to admit I haven't done it for over a year. Quite often I would change at Birmingham New Street, as I have interests in Birmingham. The HST sometimes goes via a non-electric cross country route to Newcastle but an electric train to Carstairs is my preference. I usually go to Edinburgh from there. Reversing at Reading is not a problem. I tend to travel from Bournemouth with my back to the direction of movement. But a few trains don't call at Reading and don't need to reverse (but that may be a practice used during BR days).

In a year or so there may be a continuous overhead electric route from Southampton. That suggests it would be best to pick up the Edinbugh train there. I haven't seen the new Reading station - where yesterday on the BBC local news there was an announcement of "rebuilding". I have no idea of what they meant by that - or was it about another Reading station?
  by ExCon90
 
I haven't seen a diagram of the final plan, but I gather they've added an island platform north of the Relief lines as well as a flyover just west of the station enabling trains from Basingstoke to get into the station, reverse, and proceed northward without having to cross the main route on the level.
  by george matthews
 
ExCon90 wrote:I haven't seen a diagram of the final plan, but I gather they've added an island platform north of the Relief lines as well as a flyover just west of the station enabling trains from Basingstoke to get into the station, reverse, and proceed northward without having to cross the main route on the level.
Those changes are finished and in use. But there was a recent announcement of a rebuilding of "a" Reading station, but it is becoming clear that this must be another station. The only one I can think of is a station - Reading South - where the line from Basingstoke approaches the main line. But I don't understand why that station might need rebuilding. Most trains travelling north at that station are going to the main station, turning east. Almost all of them then reverse direction at the main station before travelling to Didcot, Oxford and the north. A few turn west and avoid the main station. (This is based on my regular journeys 20 years ago when I travelled frequently between Birmingham and Bournemouth). Electrification of a number of these lines will make several routing changes necessary.