ANOTHER train travel blog! This time Birmingham New Street to Southampton Central and back with Cross Country Trains for an interview.
Ticket Buying & Getting On at Birmingham New Street
Tickets were booked through Trainline as usual and the assistance was booked over the phone with Cross Country Trains assistance team. I then arrived at the New Street mobility assistance desk 20 minutes before train departure to be taken to the platform by a staff member.
There were the usual onboard issues on the Cross Country train: small, tight doors and corridor, a steep ramp onto the train and a small wheelchair space even for my standard sized chair.
Disembarking & Leaving at Southampton Central
On arrival at Southampton, assistance was prompt and it was a case of a lift off the platform, a walkway and then a lift back down to ground level to get to the exit/entrance.
Getting On at Southampton Central
The return journey is where it gets Interesting, there was initially a delay with the train arriving into the station. There was then also a delay in assisting me to the train as all staff members were dealing with some kind of passenger incident.
There were the same issues as usual on the Cross Country train with small tight doors and a small corridor and wheelchair space, along with a particularly steep ramp. Flooding the whole way home also severely delayed the train. That severe delay did allow me to start discussing MMA with a fellow passenger (because apparently MMA gets into every part of my life now!) so I guess every cloud has a silver lining. The severe delay did mean I was worried about whether the assistance would turn up on arrival at New Street.
Disembarking & Leaving at Birmingham New Street
Sure enough, my worries were at least partially correct as there was a delay with assistance on arrival at New Street. Once I’d made my way through the crowd of people surrounding the train (who obviously all wanted to get on a train ASAP given the severe delays) I was able to leave the statin and make my way back to university accommodation.
I hope this post provides an insight into travel between these 2 stations as a wheelchair user.
Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)