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West Midlands or Virgin train?

Avoca, Australia
Destination Expert
for Rusutsu-mura
Level Contributor
3,900 posts
10 reviews
West Midlands or Virgin train?

Will need to connect from Derby at Crewe for a Liverpool train in October, late morning Monday. I'm guessing both trains offer similar services? Virgin is cheaper, but it's not that relevant. Will be travelling with a large wheelie bag and 'carry on' bags. Our main concern is overcrowding/standing in the carriage and navigating luggage. Have seen some unfavourable reviews for Virgin. Thanks for advice.

Edited: 08 August 2018, 08:58
9 replies to this topic
Liverpool, United...
Level Contributor
20,261 posts
76 reviews
1. Re: West Midlands or Virgin train?

The Virgin Trains service will have 4/5 more carriages than the 4 carriage West Midlands trains service and will also be quicker by about 10 mins depending on what time train you get.

The Virgin Trains Pendolino's have more toilets because they have more carriages, but I wouldn't worry about "services".

It's only a 35-45 min journey depending on which train you get, so I wouldn't worry about catering, not that the West Midlands trains have any!

Here's a tip: you can split your ticket to save money, so buy a single from Derby to Crewe, and a single from Crewe to Liverpool. But I've just looked now and you can actually get an Advance ticket straight through from Derby to Liverpool in October for as little £13.10.

What date are you travelling on?

Check train times and fares here: www.nationalrail.co.uk

Edited: 08 August 2018, 09:11
Liverpool, United...
Level Contributor
20,261 posts
76 reviews
2. Re: West Midlands or Virgin train?

P.S. I'm not sure what "unfavourable reviews" you have read about Virgin Trains, but on a late Monday morning the trains will not be full.

This is a Virgin Trains Pendolino:

https:/…5328857_1f4a57b4.jpg

And this is a West Midlands (formerly London Midland) 350:

https:/…2529.JPG

I know which one I'd rather travel on!

Warwickshire...
Level Contributor
1,646 posts
2 reviews
3. Re: West Midlands or Virgin train?

Its the train from Derby to Crewe that may cause problems, it will probably be a single car unit

Level Contributor
24 posts
56 reviews
4. Re: West Midlands or Virgin train?

Personally, I’d get the first one that took me to Liverpool 🙂. Given a choice I would pick Virgin for little more comfort. However, Midland has seating that face each other as opposed to pairs of seats on a Virgin with the odd table seats facing each other. Given your concerned about luggage, and your travelling late morning so shouldn’t be too busy, you should be able to grab a group of seats on the Midland and put your luggage with you as the space between the seats facing each other is reasonable.

Liverpool, United...
Level Contributor
20,261 posts
76 reviews
5. Re: West Midlands or Virgin train?

"Its the train from Derby to Crewe that may cause problems, it will probably be a single car unit"

I've travelled that route several times and those trains aren't fit for purpose! If you're lucky they join two together.

But whoever thought these class 153 Sprinters were a good idea needs their head checking!

https:/…8389530126_418436671b_b.jpg

If the OP gets the train that departs Derby at 9.43 they should be okay.

Liverpool
Destination Expert
for Liverpool
Level Contributor
2,667 posts
38 reviews
6. Re: West Midlands or Virgin train?

have used both train services and for me

Its Virgin all day long

Avoca, Australia
Destination Expert
for Rusutsu-mura
Level Contributor
3,900 posts
10 reviews
7. Re: West Midlands or Virgin train?

I'll look forward to the Sprinter, thanks to all.

Liverpool, United...
Level Contributor
20,261 posts
76 reviews
8. Re: West Midlands or Virgin train?

You still haven't told us what date you are travelling on!

And you can't avoid the Sprinter from Derby to Crewe! Take your own refreshments on that one! ;-)

Edited: 09 August 2018, 05:07
Nottingham, United...
Level Contributor
1,872 posts
1 review
9. Re: West Midlands or Virgin train?

Living and commuting in the East Midlands, I spend a lot of time on class 153s and 156s (158s are a luxury). They're fine once you're on board - comfortable enough for an hour or so, just ignore the aesthetics and the engine noise, and enjoy the scenery. From Derby to Crewe you'll see some pleasant greenery, then some real post-industrial England as you pass through Stoke on Trent.

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