Train From London {Waterloo) to Southampton

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#1
CA
20 Posts
Joined May 2017
Would really appreciate any information and HINTS regarding train travel to QM2.
Sidebar, is First Class a guaranteed seat and is it recommended on cruise ship departure days because of crowds?
#2
bournemouth,uk
928 Posts
Joined May 2007
The train service is not particularly fast, but generally reliable and efficient. If you get on at Waterloo, unless there are unusual pcircumstances, you will get a seat. Personally, I don't think it's worth booking first class. What is worth booking, if you can, is in advance, as it can make it much cheaper. Be aware that there is not an awful lot of room for luggage, but you will manage.Jane
#3
1 Posts
Joined May 2015
Sadly there's no guarantee of a seat, even in first class. South Western Trains don't offer seat reservations.

You'll probably get a seat if you're travelling outside of peak times (leaving London any time before about 4pm or so).

Got to reiterate the comment about not a huge amount of luggage room. Booking first class may make this easier, but I'd also price up a car transfer. I live on the outskirts of London (not a million miles from Heathrow) and find this a better option than the train.
#4
New York City
135 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
I have found the train from Waterloo the best for me. Folks are correct about the paucity of luggage space but I have found that the guards are reasonably indulgent. I think that the best train for low crowds and speed. is the 10:35; it makes only a few stops and gets into Southampton Central about 12ish. The !st Class carriage is at the very back and if you are not in 1st stay toward the rear of the train and you’ll detrain right at the station exit and the taxi rank is a very short walk to the left out the door. On sailing days there are always cabs available.

If it’s a Saturday you can upgrade to 1st for a minimal charge. I also take the train up to London.

I’ve used the Cunard transfer from Victoria and you’re guaranteed NOT to miss the ship but the Coach Station is a grotty and unpleasant way to begin a crossing.

If you use the coach transfer to Victoria Coach Station from the ship; unhappily, if you are a person of color you can and I have been caught up in a police sweep for drugs traffic despite my luggage w/Cunard tags, blue blazer and slacks and the fact that I have just gotten off the coach with dozens of other Cunard passengers. There follows lots of embarrassed police apologies after one has been sniffed by a dog and had to empty one’s pockets.

I prefer the speed and comfort of the train.
#5
New Hampshire
737 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
We did it on a Sunday...never again! The train schedules are spotty because of rail work. We also had the fun of being on the train with TONS of soccer (football) fans going to a game. If your day is a Sunday, don't do it.

There was quite a wait for taxi's because of the number of passengers going to the cruise terminal. We shared a cab with another couple (we noticed their cunard tags).

People have already mentioned about the luggage storage. We had to put ours a little distance away and had to watch to make sure no one walked off with them at every stop.

We've done five east to west transatlantics now and apart from that first time on the train we have always used a car service. The way we look at it...with the total cost of the trip taken into account...how much is a car service?..really worth it to us anyway.
#6
2,189 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by canoncruiser
I. I think that the best train for low crowds and speed. is the 10:35; it makes only a few stops and gets into Southampton Central about 12ish. The !st Class carriage is at the very back and if you are not in 1st stay toward the rear of the train and you’ll detrain right at the station exit and the taxi rank is a very short walk to the left out the door.
If it’s a Saturday you can upgrade to 1st for a minimal charge. I also take the train up to London.

.
I second the vote for the 10.35 from Waterloo, did it for the WC last year. I had booked the trip about 90 days out for a very low 1 pound for 2nd class and once on the train upgraded to first for 5 pounds as it was the weekend. I think it is an all year round deal, but its worth booking in advance as soon as they are available. At that price if a better option came up it was no great loss.
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#8
1,279 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
Originally posted by roscoe39
I second the vote for the 10.35 from Waterloo, did it for the WC last year. I had booked the trip about 90 days out for a very low 1 pound for 2nd class and once on the train upgraded to first for 5 pounds as it was the weekend. I think it is an all year round deal, but its worth booking in advance as soon as they are available. At that price if a better option came up it was no great loss.
A ticket for £1, did you buy a cheap Megabus train ticket? If so you won't have caught the 10.35 as they sold tickets for the 10.39 which takes about 15 minutes longer.

However due to a change of ownership of the franchise to run the line these very cheap tickets have now ceased and the cheapest ticket is around £40.

As to how busy the trains are, that can vary tremendously with the time of year. When I was on the 10.05 on a Saturday in June there were people standing from Waterloo.

The 10.39 was always virtually empty as everyone was on the faster 10.35.
#9
2,189 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by insanemagnet
A ticket for £1, did you buy a cheap Megabus train ticket? If so you won't have caught the 10.35 as they sold tickets for the 10.39 which takes about 15 minutes longer.

However due to a change of ownership of the franchise to run the line these very cheap tickets have now ceased and the cheapest ticket is around £40.

As to how busy the trains are, that can vary tremendously with the time of year. When I was on the 10.05 on a Saturday in June there were people standing from Waterloo.

The 10.39 was always virtually empty as everyone was on the faster 10.35.
damn. ok cancel my input then but that was a good deal, sorry they have done away with it. Possibly was the 10.39, and yes it was a megabus train deal.
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2016 World Cruise Blog http://exitviathegiftshop.blogspot.co.nz/?view=magazine
2017 World Cruise Blog http://butarewethereyet.blogspot.co.nz
the more polished general cruise bloghttp://roscoesseafever.blogspot.co.nz
QE2 2002 Tahiti - Auckland
QM2 2004 Southhampton - New York
QE2 2006 New York - Panama - Los Angeles
QV 2008 Singapore - Southampton
QV 2010 Singapore - Southampton
QE 2011 Auckland
Pacific Pearl 2011 South Pacific Cruise
QV 2011 Venice to Rome
QV 2011 Rome to Rome
QE 2012 San Francisco - Sydney
QM2 2013 Auckland - Africa - Southampton
QV 2014 Rio to Sydney
L'Austral 2015 Auckland
QV 2015 Auckland
Qv 2016 Southampton - Southampton Full World
Qv 2017 Valparaiso to San Francisco
#10
27 Posts
Joined Sep 2015
Hi,

I did the MegaBus/Train ticket from Waterloo to Southampton in November 2015. At that time, the two tickets combined cost were less than 4 pounds. I recall we took the early 6:30am train, around that time.

We stored our luggage on the seats and floor across from our seats. No one ever needed to sit there, as there were plenty of seats available all the way down to Southampton.

The Mega site said to show proof of ticket (we printed our confirmation) and board the car with the Mega sign in the window.

We went up and down the traincars and never saw any Mega signs, so we boarded a car near the rear of the train.

The only hiccup was getting off the train, as people had brought their bicycles on and it was awkward moving the suitcases past the bikes. One or two fellows lifted a suitcase down to the platform, without asking, (appreciated) and then we were on our way.

We went one day earlier than boarding the QM2 as we wanted to go to Portsmouth and see a bit of the area, shop at West Quay, which is across from the Premier Inn, and so on.

Last year we were with friends and had a car ride down to Southampton.

If you can get a Mega ticket for a bargain, it's certainly worth it, for us it saved us over 80 pounds. I haven't checked the site, could be days and times are not as cheap all the time.

Best of luck and Happy Crossing.
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#11
Vale of Glamorgan
3,560 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
The megatrain tickets are no longer available on this route. A new franchise holder took over from August 2017.
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#12
midwest
973 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
DH and I have trained both ways---Waterloo to Southampton and Southampton to Wateroo. We have booked through Megatrain (or is it Megabus?) and saved scads of money (note: you need to sit in your assigned train-car, but not in a particular seat).

Never sat in first class, but sat near end of train car to have adequate room for large suitcases.

Look at the train schedules online. There are both commuter trains, which stop more and take longer, and quicker trains.

You do need to be able to handle your own bags. There is a small step, or two, onto the train and you might need to be able to lift your own bags up if a conductor isn't nearby.

At Southampton station there is an elevator, which helps connect you from tracks to depot. Easy to manage because there are signs directing.

We have never had to wait for a taxi to get to the ship---plenty are waiting by the depot. (I believe this was about 10 pounds November 2016). We have met fellow travelers on the train and shared a taxi, halving the expense.

All in all, taking we have found the train from London to Southampton easy and reasonable in price as well as comfortable.

Happy Sailing!

Jimmybean