baggage (lots) on London-Edinburgh train

Old Jul 14th, 2002, 02:12 PM
  #1  
Bob L
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baggage (lots) on London-Edinburgh train

3 of us (coming into London from Chicago) will likely have 6 bags PLUS carry-on stuff and want to know if the train can accomodate us! Are the trains in the UK like local US service (no place for bags really) or are they like Amtrak? What kind of problems will we run into. (I know I will get messages saying we should take less, but we are carrying what my daughter needs at university next year....). I'd really rather take the train than rent a car and drive up. Any suggestions?
 
Old Jul 14th, 2002, 03:48 PM
  #2  
kitty
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You should be fine. We took the train from London to Edinburgh with 8 pieces of luggage for four of us and had no trouble with places to put it. Between some seats there is space for a couple of bags and when you get in the car there are luggage areas. Also shelves over head for small items.
 
Old Jul 14th, 2002, 03:51 PM
  #3  
Nigel Doran
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I know you said you 'have to' bring a lot of bags as your daugher is coming to college in Scotland, but still I say, don't bring too much baggage with you. There are shops here! You will find it fairly difficult to secure a place for all that luggage. Bear in mind that the trains are long and usually busy, and are often popular with tourists. They are not like local trains, but they don't have special luggage carriages (as far as I know.)
There are places for suitcases at the ends of each carriage, and in certain places at the backs of seats within each carriage. There is also ample rack-room overhead, but this is obv. only good for relatively light luggage.
So, once again, really reduce the amount of stuff you need. You will have to get at least two taxis if you have all that luggage, and if you do that everywhere you go, it will add up!
If you must bring a lot of stuff, then get to the train station early and board the train as soon as you can to get the best spots. Also, seeing as you are travelling all the way, stow your bags accordingly so that you don't cheese off other passengers who are not going all the way but who need luggage space.
 
Old Jul 14th, 2002, 03:59 PM
  #4  
Nigel Doran
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By the way, if you have not yet bought a ticket, go to www.thetrainline.com to get an Apex-style ticket. Don't just turn up and go, otherwise this will be a lot more expensive.
To get the cheaper tickets, try to travel Monday-Thursday, out of peak times.
It might be best to phone the Trainline. There is a number for non-residents to ring.
Also, the train is operated by GNER. Go to its site (www.gner.co.uk) which has a special offer of £59 return (round trip) for Ist class. There are restrictions, but it is a bargain. (ie. no travel before 11am ex London, no travel after midday ex Edinburgh) but there will more room for you. I suspect your daughter is staying in Edinburgh and won't need the return portion of her ticket immediately - they last for 1 month - but getting an Apex-style return ticket is better than getting a single (one-way) ticket. For some odd reason, single tickets here are not simply half the price of a return.
Bottom line - dig around, make a call if necessary, but do not just stroll up to Kings Cross Station and ask for a ticket. You'll choke!
 
Old Jul 14th, 2002, 04:37 PM
  #5  
Bob L
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Nigel - thanks for the advice about paring down the baggage, but try telling this to my wife! She is of the opinion that our daughter will need all sorts of clothes for the social side of her 1st year at St. Andrews. Are the 8 day passes a value rather than buying the Apex style tickets. We plan on using the train when possible getting around (Edinburgh/Glasgow shopping trips I suspect.... yes we do know that we can buy things in Scotland).
 
Old Jul 14th, 2002, 04:44 PM
  #6  
Leslie
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Bob, you might consider shipping some of your daughter's belongings from the US to Scotland, especially the things that she is not going to need immediately (like her winter clothes). What you don't want to do is exceed the weight allowance that you have on the flight, as the penalties can be fairly steep. You're better off shipping a box or two, even if it arrives 6-8 weeks later. If you ship the items now, they should arrive just about the same time you do.
 
Old Jul 14th, 2002, 04:48 PM
  #7  
janis
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I also recommend paring down. If need be, you can ship a LOT more than you can carry. And shopping in Edinburgh is wonderful. Besides - your daughter very likely will want to see what is being worn and end up replacing many things anyway.

Your trip will be MUCH more enjoyable with half that much luggage - or even less.
 
Old Jul 14th, 2002, 08:13 PM
  #8  
help
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Will you even be able to lift all of this stuff? If you ship it, service is door to door. Bringing it with you, you are the sherpa. Gone are the days of baggage porters saying yes massa.
 
Old Jul 14th, 2002, 08:45 PM
  #9  
Nigel Doran
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Regarding the eight day pass - The advantage of this is that you can use it on all trains, in London, from London to Scotland, and you can hop on and hop off along any route in a way you can't do with an Apex-style ticket.(Eg you might want to stop over in York or Durham on the way back. Doing this withouth a pass would involve a complicated mess of Apex tickets, or a full-price round trip ticket that allows stopovers.) You can even use it on the Heathrow Express, I think.

If you get the pass, I would recommend using it a-plenty. You can certainly use it on local trains, but a trip to Glasgow from E'burgh is not that pricey anyway. If you are only thinking of going London-E'burgh-London with a trip or two in Scotland, then it might not be worth it.
 
Old Jul 14th, 2002, 09:53 PM
  #10  
Maxie
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Room for your luggage may depend on what time of day you're traveling. On the way to Edinburgh we were fine, but on the way back to London we had to go to several cars before we could find one with enough space for our luggage. There will not be room at your feet and the overheads are tiny. So have yourselves and the luggage ready the minute the train pulls in so you can load up in a hurry. Good luck!
 
Old Jul 15th, 2002, 01:55 AM
  #11  
Ben Haines
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My bicycle goes happily into the luggage space at one end of the train. So I have just phoned a helpful advisor of the Great North Eastern Railway (0044 8457 225 333), and he says you are welcome to wheel your mounds of stuff to the van and ask the guard (now called the conductor) whether he or she can let your bags on. My bike is always safe, and so will your bags be: the luggage space is locked off from the rest of the train. Scotland has a public holiday on 5 August, and England on 26 August, so you should avoid those weekends, when your bags will not get on.

On weekdays restaurant car trains leave London Kings Cross at 1030, 1400 and 1600 and reach Leuchars at 1558, 1933 and 2136. From there you need a taxi, or two. At Kings Cross please do not use platform 9½.

All this is because you asked: I agree with everybody that you should buy less, and ship more.

Welcome to Britain

Ben Haines, London
 
Old Jul 15th, 2002, 04:12 AM
  #12  
Keith
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I'm going to differ on this a bit from everyone else - I can totally understand why your daughter wants to take so much with her as I did the same thing when I did an exchange at university too! Also, as someone who grew up near St Andrews, she will probably need her winter clothes pretty soon after starting in September as it can get pretty cold very quickly. That said, if all 6 bags are for her then she's maybe taking a bit too much. There's not that much space in the student accommodation, so she really should think about what she needs and then have a spending spree in Edinburgh.

I think that the recommendations above re the baggage are pretty sound, though. You will need two taxis from Leuchars to St Andrews, unless you get lucky and there's a big car there. I would also make sure I have plenty cash for the cabs - it's about 5 or 6 miles from Leuchars to St Andrews so you'll need plenty cash.

You could also look at flying to Edinburgh or Glasgow from London - there also used to be direct flights from Chicago to Glasgow in the summer, but I don't know if they still operate.
 
Old Jul 15th, 2002, 07:05 AM
  #13  
Bob L
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Thanks to all for the advice. We will ship some things over, and plan on buying more in the UK. Whether this will reduce the bag count remains to be seen.... I believe I am being brought along to replace the porter referred. I think I will find a 'medical' board and ask for recommendations on a good chiropractor in Edinburgh or St. Andrews. just kidding.
 
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