The very day after the late night Oranges and Lemons tour was a Things You See At Lunch (TYSAL) expedition featuring none other than general train nerd and all round amusing fellow @slowpokesam and his side-kick brother @mmmmmmatthew – You can read all about this epic adventure on the TYSAL Blog but apart form the chance of giving my liver a well earned rest there was also another opportunity for a Carriage Capture on the return leg of the journey.
The 20:35 service to Plymouth made itself the ideal candidate for just that opportunity for two outstanding reasons; one, it allowed us enough time to stock up on Upper Crust #baguette goodness before boarding the train and two, we could sail all the way through to Newbury before catching a train returning in the opposite direction to destination Thatcham.
Now, before the ticket police amongst you accuse us of making an authorised journey I would direct you to compare the FGW journey planner and then look at the National Rail version. Basically and hopefully not becoming too boring, one of the sites would suggest you can travel in this fashion whilst the other one suggests you can’t.
I suppose it should have been expected that an evening service on the day before the Easter Holidays would be busy and indeed it was meaning the three crap musketeers couldn’t sit together and would have to be separated in the way primary school teachers separate unruly children. I grabbed what must have been the last unreserved seat in Carriage 44023 which was performing duties of the quiet Carriage A, whilst the boys slunk off to make a racket in Carriage B.
I discussed in the last update how the quietness of Carriage A seems to diminish throughout the day and this service was no different except that the couple just across the aisle from me were not only chatting like they were through to the last two of the great British “chat-off” but had the temerity to be talking in the most pretentious way possible. He was discussing his book on Istanbul whilst she was eating a takeaway pack of sushi. (I mean, sushi, come on. Sushi is not a packed lunch food and if you’re going to be affected enough to eat it in public then I’m going to judge you and come to the conclusion you’re probably a twat.) Anyway the clincher was when we he, in the middle of regaling a family story about a pregnant relation said and this is an exact quote – “…and Noah, well he is utterly charming….”
At this point I retired to the vestibule and took the photo of the carriage number.