Rail from Paddinton to Bath Spa

Old Sep 27th, 2004, 02:08 PM
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Rail from Paddinton to Bath Spa

Can anyone please answer the following questions for me. Is the rail train, I think it's First Great Western, direct from Paddinton to Bath Spa? If yes, does that mean you do not have to change trains anywhere and are there no stops in between the 2 stations? Can anyone also confirm for me that you can buy your ticket somewhere at Paddinton Station? Is Paddington also a tube station, is the ticket booth at the same place? How does the ticket work, i.e. are there only so many seats allotted to any given time so you can't buy a ticket if all the seats have been allotted on a particular run? I'm sorry if these seem like very basic questions, but it's the first time I've ever travelled using the rail system anywhere and I hope it won't be too complicated. Thank you very much for your help.
monique54 is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2004, 02:38 PM
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Yes.

There are no nonstop trains, but only a few involve train changes. Check schedules at

http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

The Tube and rail ticket windows are separate. This is true at every rail station I know of.

You can reserve a seat, but if you go out of London in the AM, you won't need one. Having one in the PM isn't a bad idea.
Robespierre is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2004, 09:37 PM
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Reservations are hardly ever necessary. Get to Paddington 15 mins before departure and get on the train. If you get on an evening rush hour train after all the seats are taken, you simply stand for the 90 mins or so it takes to get to Bath.

In practice, the commuters don't arrive till 2 mins before the train leaves, so you'll have got a seat before they do.
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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 02:11 AM
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There are trains at least every hour from Paddington to Bath; they make brief stops at intermediate stations, but you do not need to change trains. Paddington is served by the District, Circle, Bakerloo and Hammersmith & City underground lines. From the underground platforms, just follow signs to the main-line station where you'll find a ticket office. Some cheap fares need to be booked in advance and are sold in restricted numbers. A standard full-fare ticket allowing you to catch any train is expensive, but there are other fares ("saver" or "supersaver") which are reasonable and have a few restrictions (they cannot be used at certain peak times): the number of these tickets is not limited, so you do not have to catch a specific train. You can see the schedules and fares available on www.thetrainline.com. The trains will very rarely be full; in the evening rush hour, the train might be full from Paddington, but most commuters will alight at Reading (30 minutes from Paddington). The trains continue beyond Bath to Bristol, and may be busy at weekends if people are travelling to football matches or other sporting events.
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Old Oct 5th, 2004, 04:19 AM
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The Paddington underground station is - literally - underground, that is, downstairs from the railroad platforms. It's well-marked and easy to find.
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Old Oct 5th, 2004, 05:23 AM
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I travelled from Paddington to just beyond Bath Spa last Friday. I had booked my ticket/seat in advance but missed that particular train (thanks to someone throwing themselves under the tube I was on to get to Paddington - hate it when people do that!), therefore I had to queue in the ticket office and it can take AGES (they also charged me almost as much for the alteration as for the original ticket itself). One of the reasons it took so long was because a lot of people were getting tickets when they could have used the Fast Ticket machines located within and just outside the ticket office. I strongly recommend that you use those, although I know that a lot of people are nervous of them, particularly if they aren't familiar with the country and/or system. But they are straightforward.

Basically 1) don't get stung by buying a ticket in advance, unless travelling in peak time as mentioned above, and then missing that train and being charged a small fortune to change the ticket; and 2) use a machine wherever possible - it doesn't cost any more and is a great time-saver.
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Old Oct 5th, 2004, 05:59 AM
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Tallulah (or anyone else equally unfortunate):

One of London's best kept secrets is that are actually TWO railway ticket offices at Paddington, in addition to the tube ticket offices and the now huge bank of ticket machines.

The one near the Boots shop hardly ever has queues, while the one on the same side as the taxi rank does seem to be always full of very slow-moving people with even slower brains.

So next time someone throws themself at your tube's feet...
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Old Oct 5th, 2004, 06:06 AM
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As "Tallulah" says, it may not be a good idea to buy a cheap ticket that restricts you to a specific train. There are reasonable fares, generally called "savers" or "super savers", that can be used on another train if you miss the one you'd intended to catch. The train companies try to persuade people to buy the advance-purchase tickets because they make more money out of them, but they are not necessarily a good deal.
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