Wednesday, June 04, 2008

London to Brighton: This is NOT the age of the train


End of the Brighton line

Every other week, when the memory of my most recent drive between London Bridge and Brighton is still haunting me like the recurring nightmare of a recently deflowered socially train wrecked teenage at the hands of a toothless, scabies ridden embittered grandmother streetwalker, I decide that maybe the train would be less hassle.

It’s also not nearly as expensive.

Journey breakdown.


Brighton – London circa 50 miles

Diesel = approx 10 GBP

Congestion charge (outward) = 8 GBP (if I manage to remember to do it)

Congestion charge (return) = 8 GBP (ditto)

Parking (with vouchers) = 3 GBP per day

Total cost = Stacks, like can be over thirty quid sometimes, not to mention if I manage to get clamped, which i have 3 TIMES this year, at 120 GBP a pop. 

Obviously the cost can be reduced if I drive at night/ early in the morning, but seriously, who can be arsed.

Travel time = anywhere between 1.30hrs and 4hrs – honestly, when you set out on that journey it’s anyone’s guess. The only guarentee is if you set out in either direction at 11pm, in which case it can be done in 1hr 15mins.


For some reason I always walk to the station.

Return ticket (within one month and on any network) 25 GBP

Travel time = 30 mins walk to station

                      1hr on the train

                      15 mins walk from station


Wow, seems like a much better idea getting the train, right?


Invariably, the train is old, dirty, stinky, very noisy and clattering about. The line between Brighton and London is dreadful, probably the result of way too many fat Londoners weekend day trips.

The train ALWAYS has some drunk on it, I think this is a policy. It will also have a number of yoofs. I’m not keen on yoofs for no other reason than they are the black hearted children of Satan.

Last time I got the train a family of about 6 fat, smelly, sweaty, drunken, sun burnt, football shirt wearing, tattooed up, almost to thick to string a coherent sentence together, bulldog puppy worrying, SARF Londoners sat right next to me. They proceeded to SHOUT EVERYTHING SINGLE FING THAT CAME INTO THEIR BLACKHOLE OF A MIND, and let their tick-infested mutt snuffle around unrestrained.

Between Clapham Junction and London Bridge they decided to have an argument about something, I think maybe they were trying to remember if they were related by blood or by Fosters lager. It quickly got heated and one of them stood up and walked to the other end of the carriage continuing to hurl abuse at the rest. Lovely.

I am English, so therefore I pretended nothing was happening; I had my gort nano on loud and a copy of Edge magazine (surprisingly quality videogame monthly rag).

Suffice to say, don’t like it.

In conclusion.

Avoid both London and Brighton. 

However, if you do need to travel, like I do to see the lovely Lou Lou (not a euphemism MJ), well, it may be a cunt in the car (it is if I’m driving) but at least you don’t have to share it with anyone else and you can listen to Radio 4 without someone calling you a tosser to your face.

Upon reflection...

Christ, I hope all my travel posts from the far east aren’t as misanthropic as my UK ones.


Betty said...

The journey from London to Brighton by car is indeed a cunt. Once we decided to avail ourselves of the marvellous park and ride scheme to see if it would be any easier. The park and ride coach, however, is even more of a cunt and seems to add another two hours onto the journey.

Herge Smith said...

Abso-cunting-lutely Betty. I've total deaded going to London after this anyway.

I can only think of one thing worse than the either the train or car and that would be the coach. Respect to you for trying though.

MJ said...

Try travelling from Chicago to Buffalo on the coldest night of the year and the door's come off the coach and there's nothing they can do about it and you freeze your arse off.

Have you ever sat on a train when it's minus 20-something inside, never mind the wind chill factor?

I would have been happy to have the family of fat Londoners sat on me for warmth.

Herge Smith said...

Cold vs scummy londoners... how do we resolve this epic battle?

garfer said...

I am shocked that you drive a diesel, which everybody knows is the fuel of the devil. All true gents have petrol V12's (like moi).

I shall be going to London by the Caledonian Express sleeper train in a couple of months. They big this up like its the Orient Express, which I'm sure it isn't.

Sure to be more civilized than Ryanair though.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

The train?


We don't do public transport!

Perish the thought.

A few years back, I did once try out public transport on that very same London - Brighton route (I think it was from Victoria).

Fucking shite, so it was.

I clearly remember refusing to give my ticket to the inspector because I'd been forced to stand all the way and he'd refused to eject the fat cunt that had squashed himself into MY reserved seat.

He told me I'd be kicked off the train at the next station unless I showed him my ticket, at which point I told him at least I'd get a seat on the fucking platform - and for free!

I gave him my ticket after he added that I'd also be arrested once I was kicked off.

The cunt.

I never got the train again.

Sadly, I did journey to Brighton, albeit in my nice comfy car.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

Oh Garfy!

The Cally Express (which takes longer than the normal train) sleeper is okay.

Sort of.

If you can put up with the motion-sickness inducing rocking, the clat-clat-clat of the track and - worst of all - the fucking horribly itchy blanket!

Last time, I nicked the blanket. God knows why. I ended up chucking it in the bin a few months later.

Herge Smith said...

Garfer - yep, diesel, as expensive as liquid diamonds, and sounds like you've got liquid diamonds in the engine when you run it.

Piggy - you wanna watch out in Brighton, nice looking fella like you, lots of *cough* unsavory gentleman types down here.

Yep, the train is shite, but alas I am about to walk to the station right now, I will report back when/ if I make it.

Ship Creak said...

I've been in the car with you.


I'd take the train.

Sniffy said...

The only train I ever get is the Manchester-Euston Virgin pendolino. About bearable as far as public transport goes.

I did happen to get on that Brighton-London train (from Redhill) last year, but it was early in the morning and full of commuters so it wasn't too bad. Couldn't sit though and it was full of southern cunts (Trump's brother in law excepted). Plus, the ticket selling woman wouldn't let me pull the protective plastic strip from her shiny new credit card payment machine thing. Bitch.

Public transport should only be used in circumstances of extreme emergency, if at all.


Herge Smith said...

So basically we've done the london to brighton journey (except I'm guessing Ship and MJ - who has suffered worse than any human should) and we're agreed it's shite.


Ship - you make an excellent point.

Sniffy - we're not all cunts down south, Betty seems like a lovely lady and I'm sort of a southerner... the rest are cunts though (except Trumps brother-in-law - confused, does that mean Trump is married? Hmm....)

I have just arrived at my destination and it was a fairly uneventful journey - I did arrive at London Bridge at rush hour which was a bit manic and M&S was absolutely packed to the gils with suits and trouser suits (or suits for ladies as they're also called).


Sniffy, I got a (very) little something to pop in the post tomorrow for you... 'cause your worth it.

MJ said...

And then there was the "death train" experience where I was on a train travelling from Chicago south to New Orleans.

In Mississippi, the train hit a car that was trying to make it across the track before the train arrived, thus killing the driver.

We were stuck inside the train a couple of hours while they cleaned up.

And am I not worthy of a little something in the post?

Sniffy said...

Trump's sister is married... to a southerner.. her brother in law. He's really nice. Surprisingly.

Herge Smith said...

MJ - going to New Orleans is bad enough.

I was also on a train that killed someone - a few years back I was getting the choo choo from London Paddington to Birmingham New Street when the train suddenly ground to a halt just outside of the Brum station. After about 10 mins the conductor comes into the 1st class carriage where I was (worked for a company for a bit that would send us 1st class to London - that was until they realised I didn't deserve it).

He tells us that someone has jumped in front of the train, "...there's been a fatality', and that he is only telling us this because we are 1st class, he's been telling standard class it was a signal familiar.

There you go, wealth and class entitles you to all knowledge.

I am now a poor pikey, subsequently I know fuck all about nothing.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

Sniffy - Hergey seems a bit thick at times, doesn't he? I think it's all that Brighton sun.

Or the gleaming white teeth on the fashionable poofs.

Remind me never to be on a train with MJ. Doom and despair are clearly her travelling companions.

Herge Smith said...

Really nice, or nice for a southerner.

See, Im worried now that if I met you Sniffy you'd dislike me because I don't have an accent.

That and the fact I'm a nobber.

Herge Smith said...

Piggy - not 'seem', 'is'.

Sniffy said...

I like southerners, they're just a bit cunty.

Anyway, you're from the midlands.

And you know I like you.


Herge Smith said...

Ahhhhh... bless your northern heart.