Victoria Station to Swanley by train

Old Aug 13th, 2003, 05:52 PM
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Victoria Station to Swanley by train

My wife and I need to travel by train from London Victoria Station to Swanley (just inside the orbital, SE of London) on a week day. Ideally, from a time management point of view, we would be doing this trip in PM rush hour. Our question is are there times that we should absolutely avoid with respect to crowding on the train? We will have luggage for an 8-day trip. Would first class help make things more civilized? Any logistical tips are appreciated.
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Old Aug 13th, 2003, 07:03 PM
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I do not think I have ever been in London Victoria in the afternoon commuter rush, but have been in other London stations. If Victoria is anything like Charing Cross you will have hundreds of people standing around in the concourse watching the departure board and, as soon as their track number is posted, making a mad dash for it. Given that you will only have roll aboards to deal with, I do not see any problem in participating in this dash.

England should be awakening in 3 or 4 hours; maybe someone who makes regular commutes into Victoria can give a more definitive answer.
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Old Aug 13th, 2003, 07:15 PM
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The train won't be too bad - crowded but if you pack light you will be OK. But the concourse at Victoria gets very, VERY crowded since it is a major hub - not only the tube, buses and the trains, but also the Gatwick Express and Victoria Coach Station make it one of the more crowded mainline stations.

So if you could possibly delay your journey until after 6:30 PM or do it earlier in the day you might have an easier time of it.
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Old Aug 14th, 2003, 01:09 AM
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Must it be Victoria ? I ask because an equal number of train s run from London Blackfriars direct to Swanley, and Blackfriars is a smaller and less crowded station. It takes Thameslink trains from Kings Cross Thameslink, Farringdon and City Thameslink, with a cross-platform change to the Swanley train. Or the Circle and District lines come in below it, you go up to platform level by escalator, and a display of monitor screens tells you which platform has the Swanley train. The site http://www.natioinalrail.com says that on weekdays fast trains leave Blackfriars at 1727, 1800 and 1810 and take 34 minutes to Swanley, while slow trains leave at 1713 and 1735 and take 44 minutes. The screens go up in Blackfriars a deal sooner than they do in Victoria, so herds of commuters do not sweep around the station.

As you go in, at platform level, you may notice on your right the departure list carved into stone by the Victorian founders, including Carlsbad and St Petersburg. The latter name stood there, in stone, throughout the whole time there was a Leningrad. The founders ran trains to Dover, with connections to Calais and the great sleeping car expresses of the continent, Nord Express, Sud Express, Orient Express, Simplon Orient Express, and cars for the Blue Train. But soon Blackfriars lost fashionable custom to Charing Cross and Victoria, which is why Blackfriars has no station hotel.

Please write if I can help further

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Old Aug 15th, 2003, 05:04 PM
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Now that we are back in the land of the electrified I can say thanks for the tips.
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