Fans not given the full picture on trains

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A SEASONED train traveller believes more fans would have travelled by train if they knew they could get home in time by travelling to and from Battle station.

Kevin Boorman has written to the Association of Train Operating Companies claiming it mislead fans planning to travel up to the big game on Saturday.

Kevin, a former planning manager for Network South East, travelled up to the game by train with his 10-year-old son Harri.

He travelled from Battle station in the morning and returned back at 1240am on Sunday.

The National Rail Enquiries website stated that there were no trains leaving from Middlesbrough in time to get a connecting train from London back home in time.

But if fans had looked up Battle or Crowhurst stations then they could have travelled comfortably there and back by train.

Kevin, who is head of communications and PR at Hastings Borough Council, said: “My argument is that more fans could have gone by train if they had known about it.

“There were a few on the train with me but I wanted to prove it could be done.

“It was very easy to do the round trip to Middlesbrough and back by train despite NR’s site saying it couldn’t be done.

“My disappointment is that most people didn’t even know it was an option and people who didn’t want to, or couldn’t, use the coach were wrongly denied the choice of going by train.”

Here is Kevin’s train log of his journey:

“The journey north went exactly to plan, I caught the 0836 from Battle to London Bridge, the 1000 from London Bridge to St Pancras International, and the 1030 from Kings Cross to Darlington.

“I was just able to catch the 1330 from there to Middlesbrough, arriving at 1355.

“I’d expected to catch the later 1353 from Darlington, which would have got me to Middlesbrough at 1420, still plenty of time for the 1500 match kick-off.

“Returning I caught the 1724 from Middlesbrough to Darlington, arriving 1754, although I’d expected to catch either the 1755, arriving at Darlington at 1825, or the 1750 direct from Middlesbrough to York.

“There was also a later train from Middlesbrough at 1855 which according to the NRE website got to Kings Cross at 2250 with a change at Darlington, leaving plenty of time to catch the last Hastings line train leaving Charing Cross at 2345.

“I then travelled on the 1833 from Darlington to Kings Cross. It was due in at 2142 but arrived slightly early.

“If I’d rushed I might just have made the 2203 London Bridge - Battle but as I had my 10-year-old asthmatic son with me I didn’t want to run so caught the 2255 from Charing Cross to Battle.

“There was a later train from Charing Cross at 2345; the 2255 ex-CX terminated at Battle with a rail replacement bus service from there to Hastings, although the 2345 terminated at Tunbridge Wells with a rail replacement bus service from there to Hastings.”

Kirk Ward, spokesman for the Association of Train Operating Companies, said he would investigate the issue.