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Steam Train Question..

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Homosassa, Florida
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Steam Train Question..

I want to prebook my tickets for the steam train and I have yet another silly question. What exactly would be the difference in a "standard" ticket and a "first class" ticket other than price? Would the first class be more private? I had also seen somewhere (dont remember where) that you should ask for a specific side of the train.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Tannedon

Bingley, United...
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for Edinburgh
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1. Re: Steam Train Question..

<<< Would the first class be more private? >>>

No, it just means you are in a carriage with less seats & you'll prbably get free nibbles & tea/coffee

Edinburgh, Scotland
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for Garda, Lake Garda
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2. Re: Steam Train Question..

Hi tannedon, we've just booked the steam train for July and I have the information leaflet here beside me. It says that first class will be served complimentary tea and coffee. I would think that the seats are also more comfortable than the regular carriages, but I'm not sure there would be enough of a difference to be worth paying that much more money.

Are you travelling one direction only or returning to Fort William? I assumed that the train would turn round in Mallaig for the return journey, so it wouldn't matter on which side of the train you were sitting. Perhaps I'm wrong and it has an engine each end so that the train doesn't have to turn! Anyway, as you cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct travelling from Fort William to Mallaig, the loch and the Glenfinnan Monument will be on your left.

Rothesay, United...
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3. Re: Steam Train Question..

Preserved rail line or normal rail line: 1st will be dearer; more comfortable (very little real difference in UK - usually 2 and 1 across a saloon type coach rather than 2 and 2 - though on preserved lines this could be 3 rather than 4 across in a "compartment" of 6 or 8; more "posh" (I won't be there!); usually less kids; but more tourists; and on normal lines more pensioners due to heavy discounts. Try to ascertain if carriage (coach) is saloon or compartment type; standard (used to be called 2nd class, before that 3rd class - not PC!) is more likely to be saloon and you will see out of either side better.

Rothesay, United...
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4. Re: Steam Train Question..

Quick note; trains don't "turn round, they reverse direction. The locomotive will "run round" the train (i.e. the carriages/coaches) and take you back to from whence you came. If train is fully booked, whatever view you had on outward journey, you will have the same on return.

Another thought, "standard" class may have more atmosphere and be more friendly; there can be some real "stuffed shirts" over here.

Edinburgh, Scotland
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for Garda, Lake Garda
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5. Re: Steam Train Question..

Thanks BuddyLancs, if I'd switched on the common sense part of my brain before answering tannedon's question then I would have remembered that train carriages don't turn round!! Lol. I've travelled on enough of them over the years...

Do you happen to know how many carriages are usually on the Jacobite Express?

Rothesay, United...
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6. Re: Steam Train Question..

Hi there; sorry no. However the advantage of old style trains is that the company can add/take off carriages as appropriate to how busy. Of course, this is very much unlike modern trains such as Virgin's or National Express's where they are a fixed "consist" whether empty or absolutely packed.

Don't worry about trains "turning round", I can remember one journey home from Oxford where the train split at Carstairs for Glasgow or Edinburgh. The pride of a Scottish regiment was on board and had been drinking all the way north. They were obviously meant to go to Edinburgh. When we got off the train in Glasgow, two very drunken squaddies in kilts got off with us; held each other up and looked around; "Where are wie, Jimmy? This isnae Edinburgh!". AWOL in a foreign city and 50 miles from the sergeant !

Homosassa, Florida
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7. Re: Steam Train Question..

Okay I think I've got it now, first is as usual, personal preference, but it does sound to me like I should request the left side of the train..

BTW I forgot to put this on my original post (I'm sure you were all on pins and needles wondering) 122 days and counting.

Thanks again all,

Tannedon

Manchester, United...
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for The Hebrides
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8. Re: Steam Train Question..

Yes, you should defintely sit on the left hand side of the train from Fort William, right hand side from Mallaig. Don't know how much more 1st class costs, but I think a more important thing might be to book window seats.

Lisburn, United...
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9. Re: Steam Train Question..

Hi tannedon. As far as I can remember there are eight carriages on the train. Do sit on the left hand side of the train on your journey from Fort William. The scenery is really spectacular.

By the way, the train will stop at Glenfinnan to give passengers the opportunity to visit the railway museum on the station platform.

Have a great trip.

Regards

John.

Lincolnshire...
1 post
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10. Re: Steam Train Question..

Ideally, you should be on the south side (left side out of FW, right out of Mallaig.) First class would probably have more comfortable seats and be a little quieter. If it's in traditional compartment stock (i.e. cubicles with doors) - you would need to check - it would definitely be more private although with slightly limited views. Catering *might* be better in first class. Standard class would be fine, but pre-booking definitely recommended/needed.

James