The Great Western Railway operates frequent trains between Oxford and London Paddington, with most of them taking less than an hour to get between the two cities. On top of that, they use the Class 800 Intercity Express Train (IET) for most services, a train which I’ve always wanted to try ever since they announced the Hitachi project.
Heading into the station to buy my ticket to London Paddington. As the fare difference between an advance ticket and a regular Off-Peak Day Return was not much, I decided to just get my ticket on the spot since it would allow flexibility for what train I get for just a few cents more.
Looks like the next train was departing very soon in just 2 minutes.
Quickly buying my train ticket from the ticket machine.
Luckily, there was a quick select option for London Terminals.
Quickly buying my ticket to London Terminals in the hopes of catching the departing train. (On hindsight, I should have purchased the Travelcard All Zones but I didn’t know what it was then.)
I jumped onto the train just as the doors were closing, and made it, making this a very fast journey into London. Here’s my first look at the interior of the IET.
The airline-style seats on Standard Class.
The legroom on the airline-style seats on Standard Class.
A fold-down table is also available on the airline-style seats.
I moved to the right side of the train instead for the views of the main junctions.
The view of the interior from my table-style seat.
My Off-Peak Day Return tickets to London Terminals. This allows me flexibility in how I return to Oxford later at night.
My outward ticket to London Terminals, used on this GWR service to London Paddington.
Power sockets can be found below between each seat.
Passing by Didcot Railway Centre.
Passing by the former Oxford Road Railway Station.
Approaching the Great Western Main Line at Didcot East Junction after Didcot Parkway Railway Station.
Merging onto the Great Western Main Line.
Making a brief stop at Reading.
Heading on to Slough.
The Windsor & Eton Central train waiting at Slough.
Making a brief stop at Slough.
Here, a lot more passengers boarded, presumably transferring from local trains to this direct train into London Paddington.
Passing by Hitachi North Pole Train Maintenance Centre.
Approaching London Paddington.
Arrived at London Paddington on time.
Looking back at my table seat.
Disembarking from the train.
The Hitachi logo on the door step.
Hello London, once again.
Lots of IETs here at Paddington.
Looking back at 800009 Sir Gareth Edwards / John Charles.
As Platform 1 does not have ticket barriers, I could head out to the platform immediately.
Heading down to the Underground station to buy an Oyster card for my travels for the next few days.
Purchasing my Oyster card from the ticket machine.
Putting in £10 into my Oyster card.
And out comes my new Oyster card.
Here, I looked for a staff to link my Oyster with my 26-30 Railcard for 1/3 off train fares.
A short glimpse of the Intercity 125 HST at London Paddington, my first and last time seeing her here. The Intercity 125 HSTs has since departed from London Paddington for the last time on 18 May 2019.
Overall, a nice first ride on the IETs. I’m not sure what the complaints are regarding the seat comfort as it was comfortable enough for me on this 1-hour journey. Perhaps for longer journeys, it would be uncomfortable, but that’s pretty much the same as all other Standard Class seats in the UK isn’t it.