Dave the Taxi Driver's
Guide to London
Arriving by Rail
London major railway stations serve the whole of Britain with rail links to all five of London’s airports, plus the Eurostar Service to Paris and Brussels.
It can be bewildering to arrive in London for the first time but do not panic. Before you get off make sure where you need to go next and if you need to consult your papers or a map again for directions, place yourself close to a wall so you are not blocking any exits. People will be running around all over the place. Just be patient, assume they are mad and calmly proceed to the taxi rank which will be signposted and tell the driver where you want to go. This is the easiest way to avoid getting lost and will give you time to compose yourself.
You might be confident enough to use the Underground (Tube) but it is always packed and if you have luggage then it will be difficult squeezing yourself onto the train and also going up and down escalators. By the way if you are not used to the Tube it is expected that you stand on the right side of the escalator as there is always someone racing up the left in a mad rush. You will not be popular if you block their way.
If you have been provided with a car from a company or a minicab has been booked on your behalf then it is between you and them to arrange your meeting point.
If you intend arriving at Paddington via the Heathrow Express or Heathrow Connect, allow plenty of time as there usually a very long queue for taxis. I have to assume that you are coming here by rail for the first time, maybe from a provincial city, in which case you might not be fazed by the cacophony that hits you as you disembark from your train. On the other hand you might be from a peaceful rural area and your only friends might be sheep.
London Rail System
The network of lines of the London Rail system are franchises owned by private companies. The London Overground Network operates mostly within Greater London- Watford Junction-Richmond-Clapham Junction -Stratford-Barking.
All the other rail companies have more extensive services to the suburbs, the whole of the south eastern region including London’s Airports and the rest of the country.
National Rail Enquiries Tel: +44 (0) 457 48 49 50 or visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for detailed fares and maps of destinations. For journey planning telephone Train Tracker + 44 (0)871 200 49 50 For departure and arrival details direct to your mobile Text the station name to Train Tracker on 84950.
Many people don’t want to lug their
baggage on the Tube so here are some approximate journey times in
minutes between stations by London Taxi:
Going in the opposite direction does not necessarily take the same time because traffic flows fluctuate but these are average journey times.
Main London Stations and Rail Companies:-
Paddington---Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect to Heathrow Airport Chiltern Railways, First Great Western to West London, West Country and South Wales. Destinations include: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Newbury, Oxford, Reading, Slough, Swindon, Windsor & Eton.
Marylebone-Chiltern Railways to North West London, Buckinghamshire and Birmingham. Destinations include: Amersham, Aylesbury, Banbury, Bicester, Birmingham, Denham, Gerrards Cross, Harrow on the Hill, High Wycombe, Leamington Spa, Wembley Stadium.
Euston-London Midland, London Overground, First Scot Rail, Silverlink, Virgin to North London, Midlands, North West England, Scotland. Destinations include:- Birmingham, Carlisle, Crewe, Glasgow, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Lancaster, Liverpool, Newcastle, Northampton, Preston, Rugby, Watford Junction, Wolverhampton.
St.Pancras International-Eurostar to Paris and Brussels via Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International,Calais and Lille. East Midlands Trains, First Capital Connect, South Eastern ( Javelin High Speed from December 2009) to Bedfordshire, East Midlands and South Yorkshire. Destinations include:-Bedford, Blackfriars, Brighton, Derby, East Croydon, Gatwick Airport, Leicester, Loughborough, Luton Airport, Nottingham, Sheffield, Sutton, Wimbledon.
King’s Cross-National Express East Coast, First Capital Connect, Hull Trains to North East London, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Eastern England and Scotland. Destinations include: Aberdeen, Berwick upon Tweed, Cambridge, Doncaster, Dundee, Edinburgh, Grantham, Hertford, Hull, Huntingdon, King’s Lynn, Leeds, Peterborough, Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City, York.
Moorgate-First Capital Connect to and from Bedford, St.Pancras, Hertfordshire Monday to Friday Peak Times.
Liverpool Street- Stansted Express to Stansted Airport. c2c, National Express East Anglia, Stansted Express to North East London and Essex. Destinations include:-Ely, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Clacton, Colchester, Felixstowe, Great Yarmouth, Harwich, Ipswich, King’s Lynn, Norwich, Lowestoft, Southend, Tottenham Hale.
As from Fenchurch Street from Barking Station.
Fenchurch Street-c2c to East London and Essex. Destinations include:-Basildon, Benfleet, Chafford Hundred, Grays, Leigh on Sea, Pitsea, Shoeburyness, Southend, Stratford, Tilbury, Westcliff.
London Bridge-Southeastern , Southern, First Capital Connect to South East London, Kent, East Sussex, and West Sussex. Destinations include:- Battle, Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Canterbury, Charing Cross, Chatham, Dover, Faversham, Folkestone, Gillingham, Greenwich, Lewisham, Margate,Ramsgate, Redhill, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Waterloo East, West Malling.
Blackfriars-First Capital Connect, Southeastern to South London, Surrey,West Sussex. Destinations include:- Brighton, Charing Cross, Gatwick Airport, Waterloo East , Wimbledon on the Bedford -Brighton -St.Pancras International line.
Cannon Street-Southeastern to South East London and Kent. Destinations as for Blackfriars, Charing Cross& London Bridge onto the same destinations as from London Bridge.
Waterloo--South West Trains, First Great Western services to South West London, Surrey, Hampshire and the West Country. Destinations include: Aldershot, Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Bristol (Temple Meads), Clapham Junction, Dorking, Epsom, Exeter, Guildford, Hampton Court, Havant, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Poole, Reading, Salisbury, Southampton, Weymouth, Wimbledon, Winchester, Windsor& Eton.
Waterloo East Station services connect to London Bridge and Kent.
Charing Cross-Southern and Southeastern to South East London, East Sussex and Kent. Destinations include: Battle, Blackfriars, Canterbury, Chatham, Dover, Faversham, Folkestone, Gillingham, Greenwich, Lewisham, Margate, London Bridge, Ramsgate, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Waterloo East, West Malling.
Victoria-- Gatwick Express to Gatwick Airport. Southern and Southeastern services to South London, Kent, Surrey, East and West Sussex. Destinations include:- Ashford International, Bexhill, Bognor Regis, Brighton, Clapham Junction, Dover, Eastbourne, East Croydon, , Dorking, Epsom, Folkestone, Hastings, Horsham, Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells.
I think every train that uses Victoria and Waterloo stations call at Clapham Junction plus some routes from the north which don’t call at Central London Termini such as the Southern service from Milton Keynes to Brighton.
Any questions? E-mail me
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