Thursday, 23 February 2017


Sorry for no posts lately, got other things to do, but I'll really try and post as often as I can!

On Thursday, I went to all the 'working' PERTIS machines in London. This is how it turned out...

Getting into London wasn't a problem and obviously I had to have a 'DING!' hot chocolate at Fenchurch Street. The Central Line wasn't busy at all, but still stuffy, so after the journey from Bank I tried the Queensway to Bayswater walk. It takes literally 2 minutes, so is probably quicker than taking the train to Notting Hill then a Circle to Paddington. After arrival at Paddington, I was back on time and jogged through the station to Platform 11 for the 10:45 to Hayes & Harlington.
The 10:45 London Paddington - Hayes & Harlington standing at Paddington Platform 11.
The new GWR Electrostars are lovely trains and I definitely recommend a ride on them - they've even got free WiFi! I had to walk through to carriage 7 to get off at Southall, as it has a short platform.
Carriage 7 of GWR Electrostar 387134
The announcer on the trains seems to have a very bored voice, but it doesn't stop the journey being good! There are loads of disused carriages with graffiti on them in some sidings near Southall and there's also a PERTIS machine! The only problem is, I went when it was staffed - the 'Pay at Ticket Office' light was on.
The PERTIS machine at Southall, unusually embedded into the wall.
Obviously, what I didn't realise was that West Ealing was staffed as well, so a short train ride later I found the 'Pay at Ticket Office' light on again.
West Ealing's PERTIS
I luckily didn't have long to wait for the next Heathrow Connect that would take me to Hanwell, where there was another PERTIS with no lights on! YES! I put a 5p in and... it rejected it. Tried again and... same thing. Only then I remembered they didn't take 5p coins after 2010, so I tried an older one and it worked! I got my first Permit to Travel and 2 others just for fun!
My first Permit to Travel, from the machine at Hanwell.
The first working PERTIS of the day, at Hanwell
I had about 25 minutes there, as the trains are every 30, so admired the old station signs and wonky platform before catching the Heathrow Connect back to Paddington. Another 'DING' from Starbucks! From Paddington, the District Line runs every 10 minutes to Wimbledon, but I just missed one so caught a Circle to High Street Kensington and then a District all the way through to Wimbledon. I had a two minute connection there, but luckily the Thameslink I was catching to West Sutton was delayed by five minutes - a seven minute connection, phew! Anyway, just a boring old 319 to West Sutton for my first Thameslink machine! And it worked... for a while. After I printed my first Permit (I got 3 from each machine), I inserted another 5p and it started printing the next, all ok - and then it just stopped and I couldn't reach the Permit! The 5p dropped through and the 'Not In Use' light came on. 😢Only one Permit from West Sutton.
The West Sutton PERTIS, before it failed!
My only Permit from West Sutton, with a slight ink splatter
Then another old 319 to St Helier, where the machine worked but it was a real rush, as my train there was about 7 minutes late (again - what troubles were Thameslink having that day?) and I ran up the stairs, really speedily grabbed 3 Permits and got a photo.
The  St Helier PERTIS - a surprisingly good photo considering it was so rushed!
Note how the top of the date, time and amount paid is just about cut off from the St Helier Permits!

I just made the train, another 319 to Sutton Common, where it was just another machine. I visited loads on this day, but I'm not sick of them - oh no, not yet!
The Sutton Common PERTIS machine, with a lot of scratchings on it
There's a lot of ink in the machine at Sutton Common, clearly!
Oh no, not another 319! This one to Haydons Road - I was constantly thinking that this was Wimbledon Chase - not sure why. Anyway, the PERTIS there was working well, but I'd run out of 5p coins by now, so had to start using 20p coins.
Nice machine at Haydons Road
Quite faded, but still a nice Permit for my first 20p
A bit of a change now, a nice new 700 for 2 stops to Wimbledon Chase (I don't think you usually get these on the Sutton line). These trains actually have announcements, unlike the 319s. Anyway, the Wimbledon Chase machine was working well too, but the first Permit I got was extremely ink splattered!
This is the Wimbledon Chase PERTIS machine
An amazingly ink-splattered ticket here! The 2nd and 3rd tickets were less ink-splattered
 The good thing about Wimbledon Chase is that it seems to be nearly the only station on that row of stops with things around that aren't houses! I even got a 'DING!' from there! YES! A final 319 for 20 minutes to Herne Hill and then that was the Thameslink hops were over! An Orpington train (15 minutes earlier than planned - YES!) took me to... you guessed it - Orpington! It was a 465 with an odd water sloshing sound that happened every time we got into or out of a station (it sounded like it was coming from inside the sides of the train!) I then caught my first ever 376 - lovely trains, they are - to Knockholt. It was bound for Sevenoaks, which is outside the London Oyster card boundary. Anyway, I'd come a long way for this machine, so it'd better be worki... AAARGHHH! IT ISN'T! IT'S GOT THE 'NOT IN USE' AND 'PAY AT TICKET OFFICE' (which wasn't open, by the way) LIGHTS ON! So, that was pretty much a wasted trip, but at least I'd seen it!
Knockholt's machine, with both lights on!
It makes me wonder whether children have to pay the adult fare, as I couldn't find a child option on the ticket machine... Another nice 376 took me back to London, where I also altered the plan a little. Instead of going to Charing Cross and just getting the Bakerloo straight to Marylebone (Mar-lee-bone), I got off one stop earlier at Waterloo East, before strolling to Waterloo (it's a nice, enclosed tunnel thing) and grabbing an SWT timetable booklet (I LOVE TIMETABLE BOOKLETS - can you tell? Review up some time next week hopefully!) and then I had to barge through the crowds.
The crowds at Waterloo - after all, 99 million people did visit last year!
With that out of the way, I ended up catching a Bakerloo to Marylebone and sprinting all the way through some small crowds and up stairs (really should've taken the escalator!) and all the way to the 18:28 to West Ruislip. Just made the busy commuter train, but realised it was 2 carriages - come on Chiltern, you can do better than that, can't you? - and could barely get on. Just squeezed on though, and stopped at Wembley Stadium station before getting to the 2nd least used station in London, Sudbury & Harrow Road. But that's not the only reason I was there... Yep, there's a PERTIS! The train got there at 18:40, so was the last train from there to West Ruislip of the day and the 2nd to last train of the day there at all. There are 2 trains in the morning peak (7:01 and 7:56), 1 train a bit later (9:05) and one in the slightly later morning (10:41) to London Marylebone. There is 1 train just before the Evening peak (16:45) to West Ruislip, 2 trains in the Evening peak (17:39 and 18:40) to West Ruislip and another train after the Evening peak (19:48) running all the way to Gerrards Cross. Anyway, it was late now, so I just wanted to get Permits and go home! But obviously, the machine had the 'Pay at Ticket Office' light on. NOOOOOOOO!!! I'VE GONE FROM SOUTH-EAST TO NORTH-WEST LONDON (Bear in mind I live in North-East London!) JUST FOR THIS??? Anyway, there's no ticket office or ticket machines at Sudbury & Harrow Road, so that's disgraceful! People would have to fare evade!
The 'Pay at Ticket Office' light was on at Sudbury & Harrow Road, even though there's no ticket office or machine there!
After that, I changed the plan again. Instead of getting the 18 to Wembley and then the Bakerloo, I decided to walk 5 minutes down the road to Sudbury Town station. I must say, night is the best time to visit, with the yellow-y glow in the huge windows, it looks lovely! But there are works in the forecourt at the moment, so don't go if you want to get photos without all of it being dug up!
The lovely old station at Sudbury Town, on the Piccadilly Line
The main entrances aren't open anyway, so you have to use an old footbridge to get in. I went down onto the platfom with Cockfosters trains, so headed over to the other platform. Hang on... Ruislip? Cockfosters and Ruislip are both North! Then I remembered that Cockfosters trains went through the city... DUH! Didn't miss one though, as there was a 7 minute wait which was reduced to about 3 by the time I got there. Then I noticed the roundels, with a non-standard font! NO! Doesn't fit with my need for all fonts to be correct and uniform! Anyway, the train took me to South Kensington/Gloucester Road (I've forgotten, I think it was Gloucester Road) and then went home from there.

All in all, a great day - I got 16 Permits to Travel (I hoped to get 30, but oh well...) from 6 different stations. Expect more posts soon!

Hope you enjoyed,

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