Author Topic: Getting to the Wayfarer weekend  (Read 458 times)

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Getting to the Wayfarer weekend
« on: January 20, 2019, 10:51:36 am »
I'm investigating public transport options to get me and my bike to the Wayfarer Centenary weekend from London and I am having some difficulty negotiating the UK's infuriating 'system'. The nearest station to the West Arms is Chirk, so mostly a combination of Virgin and Arriva Trains Wales, though I would have thought that Chiltern Railways was also a possibility. What trick am I missing?

According to A to B Magazine's bike/rail info, there are bike reservations required on Virgin West Coast. Perhaps the bike places are already full as I can't book a bike space, despite selecting seat reservations. There appear to be peak hour bike restrictions out of London and Birmingham despite the bike reservation system, which seems absurd. I think there are no reservations needed for Arriva Trains Wales but A to B says that long distance trains do have restrictions (mostly talking about Cardiff). Few individual UK train journeys take longer than four hours, so don't count as long distance in my eyes anyway.

At this rate, I'll just drive as fuel costs are half that of the cheapest possible tickets anyway.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Getting to the Wayfarer weekend
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2019, 01:27:49 pm »
The peak hour restrictions don't apply to Virgin, as their bike compartment is completely separate from the passenger areas of the train.  You'll need a reservation, and staff won't unlock the compartment without one.  Don't let this put you off, though, as it's by far the most pleasant way to get to Middle Earth and points north, iff you can get a ticket at a sensible price.

Chiltern to Birmingham Moor Street and walk to Mordor Central for something Welsh is probably a sane option, but the search engine may not offer you it in favour of faster connections with Virgin or West Midlands Trains.  You may need to split tickets.

Some of the search engines can't cope with journeys where one leg requires a bike reservation but another doesn't allow them, and will give misleading errors to the effect that no reservations are available.  So far the only sultions I've found are splitting tickets to book the legs separately, or making the bike reservation out-of-band by phone or in person.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: Getting to the Wayfarer weekend
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2019, 04:18:22 pm »
Not that it changes anything, but its not Arriva Trains Wales these days.  Its Keolis-Amey something or other, thankfully trading as Transport for Wales, or TFW.  Same trains, different stickers... 
I'd never heard of it, so having checked, its only 16 miles from my home.

Shrewsbury or Welshpool seem to be your nearest, but Welshpool dumps you into a transport-less void.  Well there is the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway (where I volunteer) but that's not very helpful...  Public transport round here is not good.  I have a bus pass (an English one is not valid) but the challenge is finding a bus.  Well our village (2 miles down a steep hill from home) gets 2 buses a week, into Oswestry.  Wanna go anywhere else?  Forget it.

Sadly, London folk sometimes forget that they live in almost the only part of the UK with decent public transport. 

I suspect you'll be driving, sorry!
Wombat

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Getting to the Wayfarer weekend
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2019, 05:22:42 pm »
Chirk is the easiest station (valley B-road the whole way).

You are right that the name has changed but the code AW for Transport for Wales trains and the out-of-date A to B document led me astray.

Going by Chiltern means a minimum £41 each way. If I can sort out bike reservations on Virgin, I might be able to pick up somewhat cheaper tickets (£16 coming back would be nice).

Driving would be about an hour or so longer than the train.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Getting to the Wayfarer weekend
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2019, 09:02:45 am »
Llanfair Light Railway

Does Dennis Pryce still have his company Gardinia Windows in the factory units at Llanfair Station?
Most people tip-toe through life hoping the make it safely to death.
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Re: Getting to the Wayfarer weekend
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2019, 09:12:55 am »
I lived near Oswestry for 19 years and still have some business interests in the town. Although Chirk station and the Ceiriog Valley is the easiest ride option I think the Gobowen option is better. The climb from Oswestry up to the old racecourse and then through Rhiwliss to Llanarmon DG is a stunning route, well worth the effort at least for one way.

When you leave the pub to go towards the Wayfarers, before you start the real climb there is a property on the left named Glas Aber. 34 years ago me and a friend wanted to buy it and set up an adventure centre, however we were thwarted by agricultural planning restrictions.
Most people tip-toe through life hoping the make it safely to death.
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telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: Getting to the Wayfarer weekend
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2019, 09:32:03 am »
I think for Virgin West Coast you currently have to book cycle reservations via the call centre. You can do this before you book the train tickets and they'll give you a code for the ticket machine to print the reservation coupon.
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