After the rush to Birmingham International from the Ryanair plane from Dublin via the AirRail Link and finally at Birmingham International Railway Station just barely in time, I’ve never felt so happy and relieved to see that my train was delayed, giving me a few extra minutes to breathe on the platform before getting on the train back to Oxford. The CrossCountry 10.14pm train, also known as the 22:14 to Reading, is the last direct train of the day, and if I had missed it, I would need to wait till off-peak the next day to make use of my ticket back to Oxford.
After the KTM 91 Class sister train, the Iarnród Éireann-Irish Rail 22000 Class InterCity Railcar (ICR) found in Dublin, I managed to stumble upon the KTM 81 Class sister train, the British Rail Class 323 operating for West Midlands Trains.
Unfrotunately, the Class 323 train was on the opposite platform heading to Birmingham New Street, but here’s a peek at the familiar interior. The seats are arranged in a 3+2 formation though.
My 22:14 Crosscountry train to Oxford arriving about 6 minutes late. Thank you so much for the delay.
Boarding the 22:14 to Oxford.
The interior of the usual Standard Class on board CrossCountry’s Voyager trains.
Making a brief stop at Coventry.
The train was running about 10 minutes late by now.
Making a brief stop at Leamington Spa.
My split tickets for this journey. Leamington Spa is where my tickets are broken at.
My ticket from Birmingham International to Leamington Spa.
My ticket from Leamington Spa to Oxford.
The seat reservation signs on top of every seat.
With an empty coach, I get more opportunities to photograph the interior of the coach.
Not many table seats are available on the Voyager.
The overall interior of Standard Class on the CrossCountry Voyager.
Luggage racks are available by the side of the train doors.
Push the button to open doors to the gangway.
Disembarking from the CrossCountry train. This train will continue on to Reading, its final destination.
Heading out of the platform through the open fare gates.
Heading out of Oxford Railway Station.
Overall, a great ride with CrossCountry thanks to the perfect train delay just in time for me to get to the platform and quiet ride with almost no one around me. The journey was also cheaper and faster to get from Oxford to Birmingham Airport and back despite the longer distance as compared with London Heathrow Airport. Perhaps I should fly from small airports more often.
A big thank you to CrossCountry for the train delay to make the journey from Dublin a seamless one. You saved me from an unplanned extended stay in Birmingham.