Before I got my driving licence, I took the train to a lot of places around the country and hence I have been to quite a lot of train stations around the UK.
I found that most train stations in the UK are pretty much the same. Platforms, stairs, ticket office, trains and over priced coffee shops. A lot of a stations these days tend to look dirty, unkempt and bland, with peeling paint, faded signs and graffittied walls and benches, with litter around the place, despite the fact there is bins for the purpose of people litter.
Some of the larger stations do look like someone cares for them, they have been cleaned and tidied and the paint isn't in a total state. It seems the smaller stations in the middle of no where get no love or attention, and my local train station is one of those that seems some what forgotten about. Where as the station is clean, it just looks old and un cared for. The ticket office is usually closed due to staff shortages, although I would have thought after all these years someone would have taken a job there!
Main stations in big cities can be either fantastic looking, or just a terrible mess. I have seen some stations in London that were amazingly clean and tidy, with great information and staff to help you with anything you need, and there were some stations that had miserable and rude staff, that really didn't help me with any problems and questions I had, and the station looked like it needed a whole rebuild.
It seems that train stations in the UK are an item that is somewhat forgotten about, just depends on which station you are at. You can almost guarentee that a coffee will cost you more than it ever should, there will be rubbish somewhere, and you may not be able to find any staff members when you need some help.
Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway.
The Paignton Station is located at Queens Park Station Torbay Road, Paignton TQ4 6AF It is right next to the mainline station and close to several car parks and the bus station.
The journey along seven miles of track is fantastic, it is a great way to visit Dartmouth if you are staying in Paignton. There are several stops, Goodrington, Churston and Kingswear. At Kingswear you can get the ferry over to Dartmouth which is well worth a visit. You can also buy a ticket that includes the ferry crossing or a round robin ticket which includes train trip between Kingswear and Paignton, ferry between Dartmouth and Kingswear, river cruise between Dartmouth and Totnes and open top bus between Totnes and Paignton.
Return train Paignton - Kingswear
Child (3 - 15 years) £5.50
Senior Citizen £8.00
Family Ticket (2Ad and 2Ch) £25.00
Return train Paignton - Kingswear including ferry
Child (3 - 15 years) £6.50
Senior Citizen £10.00
Family Ticket (2Ad and 2Ch) £30.00
Child (3 - 15 years) £10.00
Senior Citizen £15.50
Family Ticket (2Ad and 2Ch) £50.00
They also offer a special half price ticket for locals, but this is only available on certain trains and does not include the ferry or Round Robin.
You can also go on special trips e.g. Murder Mystery Trips, The Halloween Ghost Train, Thomas the Tank Engine are a few.
The old steam engine are lovely and bring back memories of a bygone age of steam.
The views are terrific and my children love it.
The rail network is poor, there needs to be something more exciting about it! Whether you are travelling in the morning or afternoon, to work, school or to see some friends, some music would be nice while you await your train or on the way to your destination. Being a student I regulrly use different rail companies and have visited a number of stations. There have been countless times when my train has been delayed and I have to wait. The time seems to drag and sfter a while you get fed-up with watching trains come and go and watching people walk by. The tannoy is not exactely exciting. You could listen to a personal stereo but then you have to worry about 'what you are missing', if someone talks to you or there is an important tanoy announcement. On the train is better if you are going to use a personal stereo but again 'you might miss something, like the three occasions the train I was on was terminated at an earlier station! Music at stations and on trains would be great. Local radio, national radio or pre-recorded music, it wouldn't matter as long as it makes for a more relaxing atmosphere. And when your train is late, it is cold and the station is littered with rubbish the music will relax you and make the wait go quicker. Music on the train may provide a conversation topic on long journeys. Radio can provide news, weather, travel information and a variety of music, giving travellers something to listen to rather then listening to others conversations, which after a while can get tiresome all parties. Perhaps there are negatives, but the costs would be small and it may help confidence in Britain's rail service.