Travelling down to Plymouth today by train made me realise that despite living in the South West now for nearly twenty years, this was the first time I had gone south of Weston-super-Mare by train (well except for once travelling to Bridgwater by train, but certainly no further south than that).
It’s not that I don’t go to places like Taunton, Exeter or Plymouth (even Cornwall) it’s just that I have usually driven down the M5.
Often the reason for using the car was convenience, time and speed. Many of the places I needed to visit were not in close proximity to the railway station and that would have meant getting a taxi. Other times I was carrying a lot of stuff, you would be surprised by how much stuff you need when demonstrating mobile learning! Other times it was time. When I looked at going by train to Exeter or Plymouth, the only “available” tickets were on the very slow trains that stopped at every station, and as a result it would take anything up to twice as long as going by car. I was quite surprised though this time checking the train that I could change at Taunton and catch the “faster” train making the journey time about the same as going by car.
Perhaps I should make it clear that I actually prefer going by train, especially like today when the train is not very busy and I have a table. If I am going to London I will nearly always go by train and going north (unless I fly) I will usually go by train.
I am not entirely sure if every journey in the past I have taken it was necessary to take the car, but what I will say is that the train route this way is spectacular especially as it passes through Dawlish.
So though this is my first time by train to Plymouth I don’t think it will be the last time.