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Transfer: Southampton—London (incl. LHR/LGW) train, car, other?


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1 hour ago, cruise2relax said:

One more question since you have been so very helpful.  I am noting that the weekend (saturday and sunday) of October 28/29 is showing no direct trains at all.  The trains they show have either 1 or 2 changes and are 2+ hours.  I checked other weekends in case it was a weekday versus weekend thing, but alas it is not.  It appears to be just the weekend we will be there,  Am I missing something?  Will they be scheduled later?

There is engineering work on the line that weekend, so a partial closure with a replacement bus service in place (the two change options, which otherwise would be the direct option). This is unlikely to change. 
 

The one change option is a long way round via Reading. 

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4 minutes ago, Cotswold Eagle said:

There is engineering work on the line that weekend, so a partial closure with a replacement bus service in place (the two change options, which otherwise would be the direct option). This is unlikely to change. 
 

The one change option is a long way round via Reading. 

Thanks for the information.  That does not make me happy by any means and may seek alternate means of travel.

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9 minutes ago, Cotswold Eagle said:

There is engineering work on the line that weekend, so a partial closure with a replacement bus service in place (the two change options, which otherwise would be the direct option). This is unlikely to change. 
 

The one change option is a long way round via Reading. 

 

At weekends there's always the small risk of a journey being affected by scheduled engineering work.

Yes, the line is closed for engineering work between Westbury and Salisbury - a gap of about 24 miles.

https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/engineering-works/westbury-and-salisbury-20231028/

But whilst there is indeed a bus replacement service offered for those on shorter journeys (eg Trowbridge to Romsey) it's not offered for Bath to Southampton because the operator considers the longer route via a change at Reading (therefore heading east then south rather than direct south-east) both quicker and easier than using the rail replacement bus service.

Sadly that also means there are no cheap advance fares for Bath to Southampton that day - at £32.70 the off-peak fare via Reading is the same as the off-peak fare for the direct service.

Sorry, @cruise2relax , you've just been unlucky with your date.🙁

 

There's no direct National Express bus service, it goes via a change at Heathrow!! That makes it even longer and more expensive than the revised train option, as well as very infrequent.

And for two people a car service would be more than double the cost.

 

JB 🙂

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18 minutes ago, John Bull said:

 

Sorry, @cruise2relax , you've just been unlucky with your date.🙁

 

 

 

Ugh.  I certainly hope this is not a harbinger of other travel related issues for this trip.  When they do this type of service on the weekends, does it ever bleed over to the weekdays?  We can Stay in Bath until Monday and take the train to Southampton then but that is the date we embark so I would hate to be in a position if something went wrong.  That is why we were planning on arriving in Southampton Sunday not Monday.

Edited by cruise2relax
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18 minutes ago, John Bull said:

But whilst there is indeed a bus replacement service offered for those on shorter journeys (eg Trowbridge to Romsey) it's not offered for Bath to Southampton because the operator considers the longer route via a change at Reading (therefore heading east then south rather than direct south-east) both quicker and easier than using the rail replacement bus service.

That’s not what the rail planner is showing me - the £32.70 fare is via the bus service (hence two changes), the via Reading route (one change) is pricing at £63.80. 

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1 minute ago, Cotswold Eagle said:

That’s not what the rail planner is showing me - the £32.70 fare is via the bus service (hence two changes), the via Reading route (one change) is pricing at £63.80. 

 

Ouch, quite right my feathered friend.😳

But a closer check of the website shows the two-change option as  being all by train. Westbury to Salisbury by train via the Yeovil to Waterloo route but in the same 29 minute journey time as direct Westbury to Salisbury - which doesn't make sense to me - and the additional time being layovers between trains.

Railway timetabling & fares always give me headaches, and this is no exception 🙄

 

@cruise2relax 

They're very careful not to let disruption bleed over into the monday - that would screw-up the business & commuter traffic.

Yes, monday would make a lot of sense - locals travel that sort of distance & more on cruise sailing day.

 

Now I gotta go lay down 😏

 

JB 🙂

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1 hour ago, cruise2relax said:

When they do this type of service on the weekends, does it ever bleed over to the weekdays?

 

38 minutes ago, John Bull said:

They're very careful not to let disruption bleed over into the monday - that would screw-up the business & commuter traffic.

 

However, there's no absolute guarantee. Occasionally (but very rarely), engineering work can overrun. But even if it does, they do their best to clear it as quickly as they can, so any further disruption is usually confined to the earlier half of the morning. Beyond that, you're probably about as likely to have serious disruption on the railway as you are to have serious disruption on the roads if you choose to do that instead; we've all had the experience of being trapped on a motorway for prolonged periods of time because (for example) it's been closed ahead due to an accident.

 

Incidentally, now that I've been looking at the timetable detail, you may want to note that the direct train from Bath to Southampton is actually operated by Great Western Railway (not South Western). You may find GWR a bit more friendly towards US addresses.

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I will travel from Waterloo to Southampton with three pieces of luggage.

Will a first class ticket be the better option rather than standard and provide more storage room?

I wonder because I have just watched a you tube video showing a tiny  first class compartement (eigth seats) basically without any kind of storage room.

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13 hours ago, carlmm said:

I will travel from Waterloo to Southampton with three pieces of luggage.

Will a first class ticket be the better option rather than standard and provide more storage room?

I wonder because I have just watched a you tube video showing a tiny  first class compartement (eigth seats) basically without any kind of storage room.

 

I don't think that any of the trains operated between London and Southampton have any dedicated storage space for luggage. They're fundamentally commuter trains - and so if you have luggage you're always going to have to improvise about where the luggage goes. One type of space is the area between rows of seats where they're installed back-to-back, leaving an A-shaped gap. Otherwise, it's just a case of anywhere you can find a space.

 

The eight-seat first-class compartment made me dig into the detail of the rolling stock that SWR uses. On a quick look, it seems that the most common type between London and Southampton is the Class 444 (see more detail here), but sometimes a Class 450 train may be used (see more detail here). It's the Class 450s that have the small first-class compartment. I don't think there's any easy way for an outsider to know in advance what's planned for the future, but a poke around the last few days suggests that Class 450s tend to appear only on slower trains, and are often coupled with a Class 444 anyway.

 

Are you travelling on your own? If you are, and you have three pieces of luggage, I'd question whether you might be better off using a car service anyway. It's not easy to manage three pieces of luggage on your own, bearing in mind that you'll have to lift, carry and stow them by yourself without assistance.

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Hi helpful Cruise Critic members, we are flying into Heathrow on a Wednesday, mid-morning, and need to get to Conrad St. James. The St. James underground station is just across the street from the hotel, but it has a couple of flights of steps and we have luggage.

 

Does it make sense to take the Elizabeth Line to Paddington and catch a cab (nicer train from what I hear), or Piccadilly to the District line and get off a stop earlier at Victoria (escalators and taxis, I think?) for the short taxi ride to the hotel?

 

Or, if you tell me it's not a big deal hauling 50 pounds of luggage up the stairs at St. James, I'd consider it, but probably not my first choice. 🙂

 

Thanks in advance.

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36 minutes ago, aliciam said:

Or, if you tell me it's not a big deal hauling 50 pounds of luggage up the stairs at St. James, I'd consider it, but probably not my first choice. 🙂

It’s not a big deal 🤣

 

Seriously, could you carry it up two flights of stairs at home? Then you’re fine. The stairs at St James’s are easy - wide and shallow - and I’ve seen people drag and bump big wheelie cases up them. 

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17 hours ago, Globaliser said:

 

I don't think that any of the trains operated between London and Southampton have any dedicated storage space for luggage. They're fundamentally commuter trains - and so if you have luggage you're always going to have to improvise about where the luggage goes. One type of space is the area between rows of seats where they're installed back-to-back, leaving an A-shaped gap. Otherwise, it's just a case of anywhere you can find a space.

 

The eight-seat first-class compartment made me dig into the detail of the rolling stock that SWR uses. On a quick look, it seems that the most common type between London and Southampton is the Class 444 (see more detail here), but sometimes a Class 450 train may be used (see more detail here). It's the Class 450s that have the small first-class compartment. I don't think there's any easy way for an outsider to know in advance what's planned for the future, but a poke around the last few days suggests that Class 450s tend to appear only on slower trains, and are often coupled with a Class 444 anyway.

 

Are you travelling on your own? If you are, and you have three pieces of luggage, I'd question whether you might be better off using a car service anyway. It's not easy to manage three pieces of luggage on your own, bearing in mind that you'll have to lift, carry and stow them by yourself without assistance.

Thank you for this. Interesting to hear about the different trains.

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On 8/1/2023 at 5:23 PM, Globaliser said:

 

£41 is the maximum that you should expect to have to pay, because that is basically a walk-up fare with no capacity constraints. It should be available to buy even if you buy it only 5 minutes before the train departs.

 

Advance tickets do have to be bought in advance, but they are not always on sale immediately that the trains come on sale. This page on Southwestern Railway's website gives you more information. At the moment, Advance tickets are only on sale up to 20 October. Keep checking back to see when the applicable period is extended. If you find that your travel date is a blackout date, then feel free to post again for more advice.

 

 

London Waterloo is the station that you need for trains to Southampton Central. That is not normally the final destination of those trains - from memory, I think that they're usually bound for Weymouth or Poole - but there should be no lack of clarity about which trains will call at Southampton Central.

 

Trains from London Waterloo East go in the wrong direction for you.

Hello again, I noticed that advanced ticket purchases ae not available on the Weymouth Route  Oct 21-22.  My plans are for the 22nd  of October to Southhampton for a cruise.  Does that mean that they will not go on sale for 22 October or that they will go on sale later. I wonder the reason for the blackout?  Another strike? 

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42 minutes ago, bedfordmom said:

Hello again, I noticed that advanced ticket purchases ae not available on the Weymouth Route  Oct 21-22.  My plans are for the 22nd  of October to Southhampton for a cruise.  Does that mean that they will not go on sale for 22 October or that they will go on sale later. I wonder the reason for the blackout?  Another strike? 

 

It's much too early to know whether there will be any industrial action that day.

 

There is, however, some planned engineering work affecting that route. You can see the details on this page on SWR's website, but on a quick look, it appears that trains will run from London Waterloo to Southampton Central on 22 October.

 

Advance tickets may go on sale later, or they may not. But there would seem to be little reason for you to do anything about tickets at this point in time.

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36 minutes ago, Globaliser said:

Thank you for your quick advice. I would wait except someone on my cruise used train line and got tickets for 16 pounds. They said it is direct and but  uses two tix no changes. I looked and there are  two tix left at that price.

40 minutes ago, Globaliser said:

 

It's much too early to know whether there will be any industrial action that day.

 

There is, however, some planned engineering work affecting that route. You can see the details on this page on SWR's website, but on a quick look, it appears that trains will run from London Waterloo to Southampton Central on 22 October.

 

Advance tickets may go on sale later, or they may not. But there would seem to be little reason for you to do anything about tickets at this point 

 

 

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I'm presuming that you'll be travelling from Weymouth to Southampton.

I think Globaliser is replying about London Waterloo to Southampton that day.

 

There are no cheap advance tickets that weekend due to planned engineering works on the rail track, which will mean that the line will be closed between Southampton and Bournemouth. Buses laid on by the train operator will bridge the gap, hence no cheap deals for those two days.

 

I've checked the two obvious alternatives

- train from Weymouth to Westbury, change of train to Salisbury, change of train to Southampton.

Tedious, more time-consuming & more expensive than biting the bullet.

 

- train to Bournemouth, then National Express bus to Southampton.

Very infrequent Nat Express buses, total cost would be about the same as biting the bullet.

 

So unless you can change to, say, the friday or the monday you'll need to bite the bullet and buy off-peak tickets at £32.40.

 

But there's no rush - wait until after 29th August for more information 

NB Choose your preferred train time and click on "view details"

This journey will not run as shown. Buses replace trains between Southampton and Bournemouth / New Milton. Check back for revised times after 29 August.clear.gif

Then click on "more details" for the background.

 

The railways are well-experienced in using Rail Replacement buses. There will be plenty of buses, be sure to get on a quick one which goes to Southampton central, there will probably be two other routes, one which calls at all the intermediate stations and another which goes straight to Southampton Parkway station for passengers wanting to continue to London Waterloo.

..............................

 

Globaliser - I see that cheap advance fares are available Waterloo to Southampton on the saturday but not the sunday.

That can be overcome by buying cheap advance tickets to Eastleigh or Southampton Parkway and standard off-peak tickets (about £5) for there to Southampton Central.

The rail operator has its reasons for this ticketing nonsense, but it's all beyond my ken. 🙄

 

JB 🙂

 

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Actually I am traveling from Waterloo  London to Southhampton.  Is there construction between? Perhaps I will take the  National bus instead to the port. Is it hard to get from the Mad Hatter Hotel to Victoria to get the bus?I planned my hotel to be close to the train.  I was really looking forward to taking the train but sounds like hassle and expensive. 

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On 6/27/2023 at 6:02 PM, njkruzer said:

Not sure who they used but we used Meadway.  Meadway.com.  used them from LHR to hotel and also to Southampton.  Definitely recommend them.  A friend recommended them to us and as former Londoners they had used them for years.

@njkruzer, how much time did you give yourself from arrival to pick-up? I'm not sure how much time to allow for deplaning, clearing customs and collecting luggage when we schedule Meadway pick-up. Also, what time did you have them pick you up at hotel to go to Southampton?

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9 hours ago, John Bull said:

Globaliser - I see that cheap advance fares are available Waterloo to Southampton on the saturday but not the sunday.

That can be overcome by buying cheap advance tickets to Eastleigh or Southampton Parkway and standard off-peak tickets (about £5) for there to Southampton Central.

 

9 hours ago, bedfordmom said:

I would wait except someone on my cruise used train line and got tickets for 16 pounds. They said it is direct and but  uses two tix no changes. I looked and there are  two tix left at that price.

 

9 hours ago, bedfordmom said:

Actually I am traveling from Waterloo  London to Southhampton.  Is there construction between?

 

One of the issues is that it is probably too early to be planning the fine detail of this, because (I suspect) plans for engineering work that weekend have not yet been confirmed. For example, if SWR is selling Advance tickets to Southampton Central on Saturday but not Sunday, it's possible that SWR has not yet confirmed the timetable for Sunday. (Notably, the Advance tickets are only available on every other train on Saturday, so there appears to be some uncertainty about that day in any event.) Also, if there are Advance tickets from London Waterloo to Eastleigh, but not to Southampton Central, then it's possible that SWR may yet do something on the line between Eastleigh and Southampton Central. One indication is the specific warnings on the National Rail website that John Bull has also given an example of: the currently-published timetable is not the final timetable for that weekend.

 

Whatever you can buy on Trainline, you can usually buy directly from the train operating company, but without Trainline's booking fee. This means that you can already replicate what Trainline seems to have sold to your fellow cruisers - an Advance ticket from Waterloo to Eastleigh (£8.70), plus a walk-up fare from Eastleigh to Southampton Central (£3.90) - by simply buying these tickets from SWR.

 

However, split ticketing comes with disadvantages. If all you ever do is look at the total cost, you can miss the hidden pitfalls. If you want to try to save money in this way, you really ought to do it with your eyes wide open and with a full understanding of the rules and their implications. The potential disadvantages, given the (probably) unconfirmed state of the timetable for that day, include:

  • The Advance ticket can only be used on the specific train that has been booked.
  • If you want to take a direct train from Waterloo to Southampton using a pair of tickets like this, then you must choose a train that calls at Eastleigh (even though you don't have to get off and get on again there). There are fewer trains from Waterloo to Eastleigh than there are trains from Waterloo to Southampton, so you have less choice of train times. The Advance ticket is not valid on a direct train from Waterloo to Southampton if the train does not call at Eastleigh - you could well be made to pay a penalty fare for Waterloo to Southampton onboard the train, but you probably couldn't get a refund for the Advance ticket because these are non-refundable.
  • If the timetable is amended so that there are no trains between Eastleigh and Southampton, then you will have to get off at Eastleigh and change, probably to a rail replacement bus service.
  • If the timetable is amended so that there are no direct trains between Waterloo and Southampton that call at Eastleigh (which is the normal situation on a weekday), then you will also have to take a train to Eastleigh and change trains there; or alternatively junk the tickets you have already bought and buy a replacement Waterloo-Southampton ticket.

 

So don't be blinded by the siren lure of saving money. If I were in your shoes, I would stick to what I've already said above: do nothing for the moment and see how things settle down. Your worst-case train fare scenario is that you have to pay £41 for a walk-up fare, just like you would pay now if you were to buy a ticket for 22 October. The difference between that and the best-case split ticketing scenario is less than thirty quid. Historically, whenever I cruised from Southampton I'd always just paid the walk-up fare for the train because the travel flexibility on the day of departure was worth paying the extra money for, although I haven't done one of these for a long time now.

 

Finally, BTW, the place really is spelt "Southampton".

 

9 hours ago, bedfordmom said:

Is it hard to get from the Mad Hatter Hotel to Victoria to get the bus?

 

It's dead easy if you simply take a taxi - on a Sunday morning, I reckon that this should be something like £20.

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2 hours ago, Globaliser said:

 

 

 

One of the issues is that it is probably too early to be planning the fine detail of this, because (I suspect) plans for engineering work that weekend have not yet been confirmed. For example, if SWR is selling Advance tickets to Southampton Central on Saturday but not Sunday, it's possible that SWR has not yet confirmed the timetable for Sunday. (Notably, the Advance tickets are only available on every other train on Saturday, so there appears to be some uncertainty about that day in any event.) Also, if there are Advance tickets from London Waterloo to Eastleigh, but not to Southampton Central, then it's possible that SWR may yet do something on the line between Eastleigh and Southampton Central. One indication is the specific warnings on the National Rail website that John Bull has also given an example of: the currently-published timetable is not the final timetable for that weekend.

 

Whatever you can buy on Trainline, you can usually buy directly from the train operating company, but without Trainline's booking fee. This means that you can already replicate what Trainline seems to have sold to your fellow cruisers - an Advance ticket from Waterloo to Eastleigh (£8.70), plus a walk-up fare from Eastleigh to Southampton Central (£3.90) - by simply buying these tickets from SWR.

 

However, split ticketing comes with disadvantages. If all you ever do is look at the total cost, you can miss the hidden pitfalls. If you want to try to save money in this way, you really ought to do it with your eyes wide open and with a full understanding of the rules and their implications. The potential disadvantages, given the (probably) unconfirmed state of the timetable for that day, include:

  • The Advance ticket can only be used on the specific train that has been booked.
  • If you want to take a direct train from Waterloo to Southampton using a pair of tickets like this, then you must choose a train that calls at Eastleigh (even though you don't have to get off and get on again there). There are fewer trains from Waterloo to Eastleigh than there are trains from Waterloo to Southampton, so you have less choice of train times. The Advance ticket is not valid on a direct train from Waterloo to Southampton if the train does not call at Eastleigh - you could well be made to pay a penalty fare for Waterloo to Southampton onboard the train, but you probably couldn't get a refund for the Advance ticket because these are non-refundable.
  • If the timetable is amended so that there are no trains between Eastleigh and Southampton, then you will have to get off at Eastleigh and change, probably to a rail replacement bus service.
  • If the timetable is amended so that there are no direct trains between Waterloo and Southampton that call at Eastleigh (which is the normal situation on a weekday), then you will also have to take a train to Eastleigh and change trains there; or alternatively junk the tickets you have already bought and buy a replacement Waterloo-Southampton ticket.

 

So don't be blinded by the siren lure of saving money. If I were in your shoes, I would stick to what I've already said above: do nothing for the moment and see how things settle down. Your worst-case train fare scenario is that you have to pay £41 for a walk-up fare, just like you would pay now if you were to buy a ticket for 22 October. The difference between that and the best-case split ticketing scenario is less than thirty quid. Historically, whenever I cruised from Southampton I'd always just paid the walk-up fare for the train because the travel flexibility on the day of departure was worth paying the extra money for, although I haven't done one of these for a long time now.

 

Finally, BTW, the place really is spelt "Southampton".

 

 

It's dead easy if you simply take a taxi - on a Sunday morning, I reckon that this should be something like £20.

Thank you for your wise advice. I will wait. And thanks for the spelling correction. In the States we have a similar named city with two Hs. 

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10 hours ago, sunfan03 said:

@njkruzer, how much time did you give yourself from arrival to pick-up? I'm not sure how much time to allow for deplaning, clearing customs and collecting luggage when we schedule Meadway pick-up. Also, what time did you have them pick you up at hotel to go to Southampton?

I gave them my flight number.  They figured it out.  From hotel to Southampton. figured 2 hrs drive, though it was less.  I think we told what time we wanted to reach Southampton and they suggested a pu time.  They know how long it will take.  They were at the hotel early.

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