The railway system in the UK is quite an odd one. Great Western being very odd

The railway system in the UK is quite an odd one. The privatisation from the much maligned British Rail, has at best been a mixed success. The main issue, from what I can understand, is the companies that bid for the rights to run various routes bid too much, and so are scrambling to cut costs. This means mixed service based on which route you are on.

As the picture shows, the first class seats on Great Western, that runs the long service from London down to Plymouth are large, comfy and in good condition. The broader service is hit and miss.

I do not use the route a lot, maybe 3 times a year to and from Exeter, every trip has seen apologies for completely nonexistent buffet service to only limited for a few stops out of London. How can this be? The trip from London to Plymouth is about 5 hours and having no drinks, food as a norm seems just sloppy and incredibly incompetent. Not to mention lost revenue.

On our trip today we also had doors that did and then did not and then did work. Air con that played up in some carriages. No water at all in the toilets (and of course no drinks or food)

Pity as train is better overall and faster than cars.

I did not even get into the complex and bizarre pricing of train tickets…

Gary Bembridge

I grew up in Zimbabwe, but I have been based in London since 1987. My travel life spans more than three decades and that includes more than 95 cruises. In 2005, I launched Tips for Travellers to make it easy and fun for people to discover, plan and enjoy incredible cruise vacations. And the rest, as they say, is history. I have the largest cruise vlogger channel currently on YouTube, with more than 3 million video views per month.

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