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Train Transfer Time

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San Diego...
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Train Transfer Time

My partner and two young teenagers are traveling to the UK in June. From London we travel to Colchester for a 3-day biking trip. From there we take a train to York. I understand we must travel back through London to get to York. Here is my question: we come in to Liverpool Street Station and go out of Kings Cross. It looks like 15 minutes by tube between stations but with luggage and kids, how much transfer time between trains should we allow? Is 40 min enough? We do not travel by train enough to know how much lead time we need. Thank you!

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Train Transfer Time

The Underground journey from Liverpool Street to KX will involve stairs - an up and over (then down) bridge - for the westbound Circle / Hammersmith & City / Metropolitan line platforms. There are also stairs down from the ticket hall to the train platforms.

Since there is no guarantee that your train from Colchester will arrive on time, I would allow at least an hour between scheduled arrival time at Liverpool Street and departure time from KX. The walk from the Circle / H&C / Met line platform at KX to the departures hall will take about five minutes, and I suspect you will not want to have to rush through the station to board the train to York just as the doors are closing.

Taxi from Liverpool Street to KX is also an option, London black cabs can hold up to five pax plus bags, but traffic in City Road may make that journey slow as well, no advantage to the Underground journey.

At what time of day and on what day of the week will you travel from Colchester to London to York? If at the weekend, you'll need to ensure there are no planned works that could have an impact on the Circle line service between stations.

Cotswolds
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2. Re: Train Transfer Time

If you buy a through ticket from Colchester to York the system will allow what it thinks is ample time for the (included in the fare) underground journey. On a quick check it regards 40 minutes as enough.

If you are delayed then you will be allowed on the next train

London
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3. Re: Train Transfer Time

You can avoid London all together if the cross London trek is too much of a hassle, changing trains at Stowmarket and Peterborough instead of routing through London.

Edited: 13 April 2013, 10:54
London, United...
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4. Re: Train Transfer Time

Yep, this is a better plan. By going from Colchester to London , you are going to be adding a lot of extra miles and time heading south and them back north to your journey.

San Diego...
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5. Re: Train Transfer Time

Thanks for that tip. I just plugged in the destination and this is what it gave me. I would prefer to avoid London if there is an easier option.

London
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6. Re: Train Transfer Time

Most train planners have an advanced search option where you can add an "Avoid London" parameter

UK
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7. Re: Train Transfer Time

The National Rail web site assumes that if you are south of Ipswich, and you want to head north, you want to go through London. If you enter Ipswich as your starting point, or anywhere further up the line, it will give you the choice of going through London or taking a more direct route via Peterborough.

Just one of those quirks...

So - what you want to do is look up Ipswich to York instead of Colchester to York. Colchester to Ipswich is 20 minutes, and there are three trains an hour.

United Kingdom
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8. Re: Train Transfer Time

If starting from Ipswich, the journey planner still gives a via London option as well as via Peterborough.

The OP is starting from Colchester, most people from there go via London and use the underground as described in post 1, the London part is fine, it’s only a short ride on a likely new Metropolitan line train, these are larger than the normal tube stock, and the line is sub-surface not deep level.

Whichever route you choose you have to change somewhere and I’d rather get it done early, once you’re on the train at Kings Cross that’s it, you don’t get off until you arrive in York.

This is preferable than changing at up to three stations (Ipswich, Cambridge and Peterborough) with luggage.

UK
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9. Re: Train Transfer Time

You don't go anywhere near Cambridge if you're going the direct route, and you just have two very easy changes. Norwich, where it's all on one level, and Peterborough, where the trains are on the same platform. No carting suitcases up and down stairs or escalators, no fighting the crowds in London.

I know which option I'd choose... there is just no contest!

Cotswolds
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10. Re: Train Transfer Time

It will be quicker via London - the journey planners don't exclude other routes if they are valid, but they always choose the fastest route unless instructed otherwise. The 'direct' routes generally take an hour plus longer and hence are not shown unless you ask for them

London to York is a high speed train, Colchester to Peterborough a slow 2 or 3 coach diesel (generally)

Up to you what you consider 'easier'

Edited: 14 April 2013, 08:01