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back to article Kettering to London: 18 hours by rail, bus and pack mule

Passengers who fancy catching a train on 23 May from Kettering to London St Pancras are advised to pack a sleeping bag and some heavy reading material because the normally one-hour-ish trip will take no less than 18 hours during which passengers will enjoy "seven changes, five bus journeys and a trip on the London Underground …

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Silver badge

G K Chesterton was right

Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,

The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road,

A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire,

And after him the parson ran, the sexton and the squire,

A merry road, a mazy road, and such as we did tread,

The night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head.

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Jobs Halo

The sad thing is...

...someone actually sat down (just one person mind) worked this out and then thought 'Well, that sounds like a reasonable alternative!' and then expected everyone to be OK with it!

Steve Jobs, because he would have charged double, had old buses painted glossy white and would have filled every seat with fanbois all going on Apples 'journey'.

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Joke

But the real question is

Will it arrive on time :)

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Anonymous Coward

Love this

Quality reporting,

1 hourish journey, 295 miles.

That works out at 295 mph ish

On Network East no less.

Anyone done this journey knows it takes best part of 4hrs on a good day without delays or engineering works.

Lester, what time does the 1 hrish service start during a normal week?

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N
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right century?

Is this really 2009 or 1909 - in fact it would have been embarrassing then, 1609 more like it.

& to add insult to injury, they expect you to pay for it!

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IT Angle

Liverpool St to Chelmsford, Colchester, Maningtree or Harwich on a weekend

This line is down *EVERY* weekend. Without fail. Apparently due to the line being built on a bank and it keeps on sliding down, they have to nudge it back up every 7 days.

Kettering has it good compared to these towns. At least it's just one weekend.

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Slight Oversight

Nice route, but Milton Keynes doesn't have a Tube service??

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Makes Kings Cross to Thurso look fast

London Kings Cross to Thurso is a solid thirteen hours [mainly taken up by a good few hours beyond Inverness] which seems positively lightning fast compared to this!

Steven "previously of John O Groats" Raith

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King insanity

The picturesqe market town of Wellingborough is about 10 minutes bus journey from Kettering and has direct rail link to the big smoke that will get you there in ~3/4 hr. Northamptom, one time cobbler captial of the empire is about 20 minutes by bus and has an equally good rail link.

Surely this is some bizarre and belated April fool, Really. Honetstly. Can't be anything else.

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Black Helicopters

@ Anonymous Coward

The 295 miles refers to the round trip - Kettering to London is around 80 miles, which seems do-able in an hour-ish...

I don't even live in Kettering or London but at least I know how to use Google Maps...

Helicopter coz it'd be a lot quicker to get anywhere in it.

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Go

@ Love This

Sorry to be boring but, the normal direct journey is 67 miles.

To answer your question, the first 1 hourish services are:

dep Kettering 05:01 arr London St. Pancras 06:21

dep Kettering 05:51 arr London St. Pancras 06:54

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Stop

@AC 10:15

It's 295 miles via the considerably long and winding route proposed by the rail operator. Look, it goes via Crewe.

The usual journey to London from Kettering takes about an hour by train.

So wind your neck in.

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Coat

@spencer

"Apparently due to the line being built on a bank and it keeps on sliding down, they have to nudge it back up every 7 days."

I'm tired of the government propping up collapsing banks!

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Flame

Sounds about right

I used to have to catch the trains (sounds appropriately like a disease) every weekend commuting between Huddersfield and Grantham.

Considering that the Primary backbone of this journey consisted of the GNER from Leeds to Grantham, it was still slower, more unreliable, AND MORE EXPENSIVE than doing the same journey by car.

Well done Mr. Beeching.

If I ever have to catch a train again in my life it will be too soon.

The buses are no better. How can they possibly justify the extortionate prices? For my current work commute, it costs £3.60 return on the bus (plus the added benefit of a 1000 yard walk in all weather conditions). It costs me just under £2.50 in petrol to the front door (and that's with the oil companies not putting their prices down to reflect the drop in costs for them). The savings over a year cover my road tax, MOT, maintenance and still leave me in pocket!

I had to get a car because my job was at risk from my poor punctuality caused by consistently inconsistant buses/trains.

Prices for travelling on "public transport" (there's no public in it, now that it's entirely privatised) have been spiralling upwards persistantly over the inflation levels.

The railways were nationalised precisely because they were in this appalling state.

</RANT!>

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Coat

Not surprsing

Why does this not actually surprise me.... Maybe its after I worked out that the normal East Midlands Train fares were more expensive than driving to London, paying the conjestion charge and somewhere to park.

Luckily I got the cheaper tickets after a small fight with their website. Plus when you go the price changes. I took a 'CalTrain' train last year while in San Francisco (to San Jose). The price was good and stayed the same the entire day (and they have overcrowding issues there too).

Anyone think the railways should have never been nationalised in 1947 by a Labour government - I certainly do, we had a world class network then. Not anymore.....

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(Written by Reg staff)

@Wiernicki

Heh.

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@M. Poolman

No, Wellingborough to London takes 1 hour minimum - if you're lucky.

It used to take 50 minutes, but that was back in those days before privatisation, when you didn't have to auction your right arm and right leg to get a single ticket, and the trains weren't electric shopping trolleys, but yer proper big beastie InterCity 125s.

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Anonymous Coward

Re : M Poolman; Peter Thomas

Errr actually if you had regular dealings with the East Midlands staff you would be convinced that this is the best that they can come up with. And Wellingborough 'picturesqe' (sic). Perhaps you would like the name & address of a good optician.

The commuter trains from Wellingborough are either the Intercity 125s or Meridians. The electrification of that line starts (ends?) at Beford. These Electric Shopping Carts take over an hour to get into London, stopping at every station and cow pat on the way.

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Coat

Standard stuff that is

That's standard stuff. I used to travel on the train a lot and used to use TheTrainLine.com and the National Rail Enquiries web sites. It would often come up with things like this when traveling. If you try and get the details for say, a train from Exeter to Torre Station in Torquay (a small little station) and specify a time after the last train that stops at Torre then it would possibly suggest changing trains at Newton Abbot and having a 8 hour stop over until the next train arrives.

Mines the one with the wrong type of snow in the pocket.

Rob

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Go

20 minutes tube from Euston to King's Cross?

Is only one stop. You could walk it in that...

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Paris Hilton

Isn't Kettering a comedy fanzine?

I would be tempted to stay in Kettering. Is Kettering nicer than London? It sounds like one of those quasi-mythical towns, like Keynsham and Dulwich, that would have been the subject of a song by the Bonzo Dog Band. I picture a government film from the 1950s, extolling the virtues of romantic Kettering, Frontier of Tomorrow.

Kettering also sounds like a sordid Japanese sexual practice. A first class ticket from Marrakesh to Casablanca costs about twelve pounds and takes three hours, and that's going slowly.

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@chris byers

You're joking right?

You don't think their website maybe, just maybe, has a database behind it (that of course returns whats it's asked for with no concept of what may or may not be reasonable)...?

...And a dig at Apple as well, wow, comedy gold...

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@Peter Thomas

>No, Wellingborough to London takes 1 hour minimum - if you're lucky.

It's a bit under that now, but it's definitely slower than it was when I started commuting - it used to be 46 minutes, and usually arriving 5 minutes early, but with 1 or 2 trains a week suffering significant delays because of the wrong type of cow eating a junction box at an unknown location in Somerset...

Nowadays, we get slower, less frequent and more overcrowded trains, because EMT have cut services previously run relatively well by Midland mainline (never thought I'd be praising them!), but the excuses are a little more informative.

Sounds to me like they're trying to blame their re-routing software for this 245 mile diversion, which isn't really fair, because it was never designed to handle the sort of wholesale mess EMT is making of "running" the railway.

I didn't get where I am today by having a box set of "Reginald (not Reggie) Perrin" in my coat pocket.

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@20 minutes tube from Euston to King's Cross

you have not travelled at a weekend then! Every weekend this year most of the tube lines have some form of engineering work. There was no rush to this when the tube got it's PPP setup that Tony Blair forced on us, but now that the Olympics are coming and it might look bad there is a big rush to fix it.

What is rather silly is that often TFL will stop bus routes aswell on the same weekend (for fairly spurious reasons) leaving parts of central london with no public transport atall.

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@ Ashley Pomeroy (12:10 GMT)

"Kettering also sounds like a sordid Japanese sexual practice".

I really do need a new keyboard now. As well as a replacement machine-vended orange drink.

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20mins from Euston to St.P

That means walking back to Euston Square and getting the sub-surface line (not the tube) one stop to King's Cross St. Pancras. You can walk from Euston to St. Pancras in five minutes.

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@@M. Poolman(s)

OK it's quite a few years since I was drinking at the OGs and doubtless rail service, like so much else in this once fair country, will have declined somewhat. But +/- ~10 mins in comparison to the figures quoted above might appear a little pedantric.

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Anonymous Coward

@Ashley Pomeroy

"Is Kettering nicer than London?"

As someone who lives nearby, I can safely say no. This whole corner of the midlands is a sh*thole.

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The train-travelling salesman problem

Tickets aren’t yet available? It looks more like a poor algorithm. Having just submitted this journey on the East Midlands Trains website, I was informed that now they “…cannot find any services that meet your request.” As Ross wrote, when commenting on short distances, “You could walk it…” The National Rail Enquiries website already gives routes via Leicester and Peterborough.

---:--- 13:35 Kettering (East Midlands Trains)

14:02 14:15 Leicester (CrossCountry)

15:16 15:39 Peterborough (NXEC)

16:34 16:34 London Kings Cross (Walk!)

16:50 ---:--- London St Pancras Intl

Journey Time: 3:15

Do Trainline.com Ltd, who power that part of the East Midlands Trains website, not considered that most passengers have legs? It does make you wonder what other routes Trainline.com websites might be missing.

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Boffin

@ Ashley Pomeroy

"Kettering, Frontier of Tomorrow"

Well, actually, yes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Perry

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Has anyone noticed...

...that since they finished upgrading the WCML there has been more disruption because they're constantly digging it up again?

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Why not try it ?

I'm one of those people who actually like travelling by train - no hasstle, reading a book, listening to music and eating nice cake. Of course this refers to off-peak leisure travel not a commute which is often nasty (thanks John Major and all the right wingers who followed the great grey railway smasher). Every so often someone comes up with one of these trips and I wonder if you could actually do it ?

Imagine the face of the ticket collector when you point out that this IS the approved route !

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Paris Hilton

Google say:

73 miles. Even in my current state of unfitness I reckon I could cycle that in about six hours.

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Could have been worse!!

Kettring is The Midland sLint Basket

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