Newest Review: ... was quite quiet and there was only a handful of people in the carriage we were in, so I did wonder how the company was ever going to make... more
A train company I'd actually recommend!
Wrexham & Shropshire Train Company
Member Name: nixtee
Wrexham & Shropshire Train Company
Advantages: Trains mainly on time, friendly & helpful staff, direct service to London, refreshment carriage
Disadvantages: I'm struggling to think of any!
Wrexham & Shropshire Train Company is a relatively new train company having being set up in 2008. The main idea of the company is to carry passengers from Wrexham and Shropshire (who would have guessed?!) directly down to London and back again without having to change trains.
This service has been a blessing to me as I go down to London several times a year for various reasons. I may not live in Wrexham or in Shropshire, but trains going in that direction only stop at my local station in Mid Wales every 2 hours and then you have to change trains at Wolverhampton or Birmingham, so I usually drive to Shrewsbury and catch a train from there.
The first time I travelled with Wrexham & Shropshire trains, my Dad had won tickets in a local newspaper competition. While it was a worry time actually try to get hold of the competition tickets, the journey was fine (we had to claim the tickets at least 2 weeks in advance of our journey, so we gave them 2.5 weeks, but the tickets only arrived the day before our journey and they only arrived then due to several phone calls!).
One our first journey with them (once we'd actually got our tickets), the train was quite quiet and there was only a handful of people in the carriage we were in, so I did wonder how the company was ever going to make money. However, on my most recent trip with them the carriages were pretty full (nobody had to stand though).
If you decide to travel with Wrexham & Shropshire then I would recommend booking your ticket online. I did this before my most recent journey down to London. The booking process is simple and you can choose which train you want to go on as well as what seats you want to sit in. I booked tickets for me & my Dad (who has a Senior Railcard) and it came to £16 each to get there and back! £16 return! It's a 3 and a half hour journey which usually costs anything up to around £50! So I think we had a real bargain there - the trick is to book about a month in advance if you can then you'll get the best deals.
Anyway, if you book online then you can print your tickets yourself. They will email you a PDF (for each journey - there & back) for you to print on your printer. If you have booked for 2 or more people they will all be on that 1 ticket. The print out has a little barcode thing on it which the train staff scan (so be careful not to fold down the middle of the barcode thingy!). It will also tell you what seats you are sitting in if you have booked seats (at no extra cost).
If you prefer, you can have the barcode sent to your mobile phone, but I prefer to print my tickets out.
Wrexham & Shropshire trains stop at the following stations: Wrexham (obviously!), Ruabon, Chirk, Gobowen, Shrewsbury, Wellington (Shropshire), Telford Central, Cosford, Wolverhampton (currently only setting down southbound and picking up northbound), Tame Bridge Parkway, Banbury and London Marylebone. I must admit, I much prefer arriving at London Marylebone as it's not such a big station as London Euston (where other trains from our area go to) and, as such, it isn't as busy. The tube station is directly to your right as soon as you come through the gates after getting off the train, so it's ideal for catching the tube. There are also plenty of taxis waiting outside the station too.
Marylebone station has plenty of facilities, so there's no worries there either. There's toilets, a WH Smiths, a florist, an M&S food place, Burger King, a soup place, a pub and a few other places.
The trains themselves are clean and tidy, and in my experience mostly run on time. I think their carriages are old Virgin ones. There is refreshments carriage on board, should passengers require any food and drink. Dad had a sausage sandwich on one journey and he said it was very nice! On my last journey down to London the lad opposite me brought back from the refreshment carriage a scone with butter & jam and he seemed to enjoy it. Also, on quieter journeys (such as ones not in commuting times), I've noticed staff asking if they can fetch you anything from the refreshments carriage... which I think is a very nice touch!
Another nice touch is when the ticket staff walk down the train towards the end of the journey down to London and ask if anyone would like any tickets or travel cards for the underground to save queuing at the station. The tickets are exactly the same price as they would be if you had bought them from the station.
So, whereas with most train companies there's a lot to complain about, I can safely say that this is one train company that I actually like travelling with! The staff are friendly and very helpful, I've never been without a seat (which is good considering how long it takes to get to London), there's no changing trains and the prices are good. I'd certainly recommend Wrexham & Shropshire trains!
Summary: My train company of choice!