The surprise birthday we were invited to, was in Worthing. It is a quaint town down on the western seaside of England.
We we stayed at the Chatsworth Hotel as did all of the birthday guests. Only the daughter of the birthday “woman” knew that we were coming to England. We had be careful not to be seen when all of the family arrived the next day.
We took the tube to Victoria Station to catch our train to Worthing. It’s just over an hour long journey.
We have “prepaid oyster cards” which are cards that we have placed money on for riding the transit system. You simply place the card on the turnstile reader as you go through the gate.
However, they are not good for the train after you leave a small area of London. So buy a ticket for your journey or you will have to buy a ticket from the conductor when he comes to ask for your ticket. We learned that lesson the hard way also.
I often find the signage and information available while traveling confusing and or useless. I hope this little bit of information is helpful.
As I understand it, the trains are no longer part of British Rail. They are now owned by private companies which each own a piece or pieces of the former state run train system.
This “scheme” was created to have more competition in this sector of the economy and to get better service for the public. Unions often shut down the whole system. Is the system better now? I will let the locals argue about that point. I found the trains and the “underground” to be clean and safe, as always.
Just be sure to look for the red electrical sign flashing on the side each car of the train as you approach it. Not all of the cars will arrive at all platforms. Be sure that your car will arrive at the platform of the stop you are headed to or you will not be able to get off of the train at your stop.
We weren’t aware of that and had no idea until I happened to hear an announcement on the train. So there we sat, not knowing which car we were on or if it would stop at the platform we needed to get off at.
I went through the train asking people if they knew which car we were on. None knew or seemed to care as far as I could tell. I must apologize to all those that I jostled and disturbed as I wandered down the path between the seats trying to figure the whole thing out.
I did get to see much of the train and its occupants, however. It was a varied group as is the population of London and England is in general, to say the least.
Even the employees I came across and asked about about or problem didn’t know which car they were riding in. I can imagine what those poor transit “victims” thought of me as I walked back and forth on the train trying to figure this mess out. I do apologize. Not all Americans are idiots, just many.
Anyway, we did eventually find the answer to our dilemma and moved to the correct car. We were in car eight of eight and needed to be in car three.
We made our way up front to the proper car with our small pieces of luggage in plenty of time.
The train station in Worthing is within walking distance to the shore and our hotel.
I hope this little story will make your train riding a little easier.