(Originally written- 07-08-2010)
Pendolio on the way down to Euston and while the ride is quiet it is not as smooth as the way up.. Perhaps this is an older train set but it could be the line is just shit. Anywho the speed is good and still beats having to deal with airports hands down. You gets bumps and noise on a plane and this was roughly about a third of the price of a short notice flight.
There are not many people on here so I get to dump my book and camera on the aisle seat and sprawl which is also nice, but the seat is reserved at some point, but I don't know when the stop is or when I will have to tidy my little area up.
The only thing that truly sucks about the trains is the tmobile hotpoint, which as noted previously is expensive as a hooker on prime hours.. I don't know how expensive hookers are, but the point is, I would rather pay for a hooker than give tmobile anything at all.
Scenery also makes the train much better than taking a plane. Rather than sitting at 30, 000 feet, you are maybe a dozen feet from the ground. And while the plane is sitting at 4-500 hundred miles an hour and the train makes 120-130, you don't have to fuck around with baggage claims or security or anything like that. You just hop on the train and sit on your backside for a few hours and then hop off. In total hours spent, there's not much in it.. I'll take comfort and cash over speed any day.. except when it comes to my bike.. if I had a motorcycle here, I would be using that to get down to London, and CO2 production be damned!
Pleasure means more than cold efficiency, which is why even the train is better than a car. I had a totally painless journey (so far) courtesy of public transport.. Even though you can't actually kick pigeons you can make s show of kicking near them. A neighbour happened to be going to Glasgow, so he gave me a ride to the ferry terminal and we got the same ferry and runabout train to Glasgow. Since I had timed everything for me walking around I had a couple hours to kill I had a nice read at the station after wandering around a few blocks in Glasgow. When I go back north I'll have more time and actually wander further. Today I didn't want to get lost and end up missing the train I had a ticket for.
Again, I am missing the scenery as I type this and would be missing it if I were reading with my head stuck in a book. Passed a couple wind farms already, which is interesting because I hear people say the UK is behind the times and wouldn't know sustainable if it came up and kicked them. This is simply not the case. I have read that there is a plan (may not go into effect courtesy of the new PM) by 2020 there will be enough offshore windfarms to power a good percentage of the population. People in California bitch and moan that these things riun their view, but I really like them. The wind farms, slowly turning are relaxing and an interesting sight. If these people in California can't see the benefit to not relying on fuel, they can plug the Gulf of Mexico with their egos..
People complain that motorcycles produce far more emissions than they should, and they are right. The engines are based on power rather than efficiency. Electric bikes are coming, slowly, but they do not give the same thrills that people want. A silent bike is just dull compared to a waling engine. That said, the materials used compared to a car will be a lot less and you won't need the same questionable materials you need for processor units. Petroleum fuel is used up, but if someone were to figure out how to make a bike spin up on a biofuel or quickly made fuel that does not need questionable materials to control it, they would be either shot on the spot or rolling in cash.
Stopped @ Carlisle at 2:48.. Roughly the border between Scotland and England.. And away we go at 2:50..
Still have my seats, but the next stop is where it may have to be given up... Curses Batman!
What gets me though about the train, and generally around the land is the culture of alcohol. One of the first things advertised at the train café is gin&tonics, hard cider and various other alcoholic beverages, along with sandwiches made from fish fingers.. Healthy People is not a high priority on Virgin Trains apparently. On a similar note, and again I think I have commented before, someone tried to get a minimum tax law put on alcoholic beverages but had the proposal soundly cut down courtesy of screams and shouts from beverage producers and pub owners who feared their market would decline... Of course, that was the fucking idea!! Most people in an adult age can afford a bit more for a pint or a bit more for a 2 litre bottle of cider but young teenagers who just made enough to scrimp and scrounge enough for a 6 pack would have a hard time if it suddenly went up a whole lot. The tax is hardly a nice way of going about things and would have pissed a lot of people with fat wallets off but a lot of people would have had to rethink their budgets at least a little bit. “As in, drive to work, or by a bottle of wine?”
3:25 Looks like I am going to lose my 'space'. Ah well, it was nice while it lasted. Or maybe not. The train's pulled out and no one has stopped by to bitch about me being in their window seat. Always strange how people can book things, spend good money and then not show up. I guess that happened yesterday when I had booked the wrong day and found that you can't directly cancel the ticket. Only in the UK is the system so weirded out that you actually get your ticket at the machine, and then have to send it in AFTER requesting a refund online.. If I find when I try to go back north, I can't, I will be royally pissed off. The whole idea of me trying to cancel and get a refund was that I couldn't make the trip that day and it was literally moments after ordering the ticket..
Wish I had a GPS unit on here so I could track exactly how fast the train is going, and where the line is and how long it stops.. You know, dumb things that interest me. It would be interesting to see how much faster this thing goes compared to cars on the motorways or how much more it costs to use the car per person. You can find a ticket for 24-35 but normally it is 60 for a single... A car for a single person would probably be more expensive but shove 4 people in a car and split the fuel costs between those people and it starts to look better. If there is a group price on a train, it might look better and you can actually talk and laugh as loud as you want and stop wherever you want in a car.. A motorcycle generally gets better mileage than a car but can fit two people (if you're lucky) and has limited luggage compared to a car and unless it as a massive tank is going to need to stop every 150 miles or so, 200 if you're very lucky. For a single traveller covering long distances, the train is hard to beat, especially when paying one's own fuel bill. The downside is when you get to want/need the really highspeed(TGV/Eurostar) trains, and the plane option starts to look good again. The Channel Tunnel is just too expensive, so I think taking a ferry across then belting across or getting a slightly slower train than a TGV is the best option if you can't fly. If you really want to see the area, get the ferry on a motorcycle and put overland and stop at cheap places. Spending lots of money does not guarantee a good night sleep or a happy experience.
This is almost three pages of openoffice, so I am going to call it a day for now.....