Anyway, Wednesday to Friday I was at the ATSiP conference (travel up Wednesday, conference Thursday and Friday am, travel back Friday. My choice of transport was train (I didn't really want to drive to Wales, some of the roads are a pain to drive).
Now, the company my work uses to organise all our travel, which should give us the best deal etc etc etc decided to give me the most expensive tickets available. Although annoying (what 'best deal' I could easily done better) it did allow me to take any train route I wanted to.
The journey there was easy enough, journey from Derby to Cardiff, then another train from Cardiff to Swansea. It certainly did feel like when I was in Wales the entire rail network reminded me of the (mostly) bad old days of trains in the 80's (there was a lot of good, but mostly bad).
The way back, however was a little more interesting. My plan was to go to Bristol Parkway, then from Bristol back to Derby. I missed the Bristol train by about 5 minutes. One of the station people suggested I took the train to Cardiff and then the another to Bristol (and then onto a Derby train). When I got to Cardiff I discovered a train stopping at Derby not long after the Bristol train. So I took that one.
The journey back was good, until we stopped at Birmingham New Street station. The 'train manager' annouced a 'short' delay due to a 'technical fault' with the train - an engineer was looking at the problem. Thankfully, I overheard somebody asking a station person about another train thats due to leave, and stop, in Derby. She told him yes and which platform it was on. One snap decision by me later and I'm heading for the same train (which was going all the way to Edinburgh).
Although I ended up standing at the end of a carriage by the door (there was seats but with only two stops it didn't seem worth getting settled. Incidentally, I suspect that train was the one I may have gotten from Bristol (which was due to arrive in Derby later).
All in all, it worked. I got home and managed to have enough rest to get to badminton in the evening for a very hot, but extremely welcome bit of exercise (I really should get babyghia to describe my badminton 'style'.
I do enjoy taking the train - but the UK trains are way too expensive at times. Often its cheaper to drive somewhere and pay for parking (including petrol and a bit of maintenance).