trains in england- on time?

Old Jul 12th, 2005, 08:01 AM
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trains in england- on time?

It's been a few years since I took a train farther than 20 miles outside of London, but I'm planning on taking a train trip on a saturday for a premiership game. I can get the cheapest rates if I book a specific train and seat on the London to Manchester route- but I'm wondering how much time I should allow for delay on the trains.
It's about 2 hours and 40 minutes I think of travel time, but I don't know how reliable the train system in England is.
any advice?
thanks
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 08:19 AM
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Trains are a bit like our weather. Can be good, can be dodgy.

If I were you, I would plan to get there early. If the game starts at 3, why not get there for 1pm, giving you plenty of time to have some lunch, go to the club shop, have a few pints in a pub near the ground (a traditional pursuit). This way, if you are delayed, you won't be in a sweat about it.
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 08:34 AM
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Not only are trains liable to be late (some lines boast of 70-80% on time stats!) but trains can also be cancelled (no driver available, staff shortage are often the reasons given over PA) so what's this do with your cheapest ticket? (This happened to someone in Fodors post not long ago.) I'd book a train with a lot of leeway time. UK trains are slowly getting better but the system is still suffering from years of neglect and problems do pop up. OK for casual tourist because due to the sheer number of trains you'll get there but not if you must be somewhere at a certain time. I've ridden UK trains yearly for over 30 years - and many times i've gotten to the station to say catch the 10:10 only to find the 8:38 rolling into the station!
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 08:43 AM
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In my somewhat limited experience with British trains, the trains are usually late. The line from Euston Station to Glacow runs late frequently. Two weeks ago we went as far as Oxenholm on the Glascow route, and we were late both ways.

One young man was having a frustrating time of it because his connections to Oxford were way out of whack.

I would say don't plan anything where timeliness is vital.
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 08:54 AM
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thanks for the replies.
I've got three choices of trains, one that would get me there an hour early (just in case I suppose), one that would get me there 2 hours early, or one that gets me there 3 1/2 hours early. I guess I can just go for the 3 1/2 hours early and be sure to get there on time. Plenty to explore locally I'm sure.

thanks for all your advice.
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 08:54 AM
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Assume the worst and hope for the best. The early Saturday trains to Liverpool and Manchester are always full of southern-based fans, and it's rare that they actually miss the match.

I'm getting 3 hours returned for this journey on most Saturday morning dates this autumn (though it's now only 130 mins on weekdays). Allow at least two hours' leeway, and with luck you'll be able to use that time for some serious pre-match activity in the boozer.
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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thanks flanneruk- I intend to partake in all the rituals and am researching boozers as we speak.
cheers for the info
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 10:49 AM
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If you're ever in Amsterdam on the day of a big United match go to the Cafe Flying Dutchman (a smokey pub patronized mainly by Brits, especially Manchurians) by the train station. Owned by a bloke from Manchester and full of United fans and matches on tube.
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 10:55 AM
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Just where is Glascow? Near to Glasgow?
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 12:28 PM
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And what Manchurians would those be? Do you mean Mancunians, or is there a Manchurian candidate among the Manchester fans?
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 12:46 PM
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I suspected when i said that that it may not quite be correct. Sorry. Is it Mancunians?
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 12:51 PM
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I think it's Mancunians. Sorry to be the spelling police!
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 02:58 PM
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Is the game close to the beginning of the season ? One of the main problems for football fans travelling to away matches is that the dates and times change, often at quite short notice, to accomodate television coverage. At least twice last year, I lost money on train tickets because of a switch in time or day for a game.
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Old Jul 14th, 2005, 10:07 AM
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they already altered the time for the SKY showing, so I'll hope there's no way they can start any earlier than 12:45am...could they? who would be there?! Anyway, I'll plan to be in town 2-3 hours early for it anyway.
thanks
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