As soon as I arrived in Oxford, it was time to depart for my next destination for a short visit – Dublin, Ireland – thanks to the low fares by Ryanair. The easiest way to get from Oxford to Birmingham Airport is definitely by a direct train, operated once per hour by CrossCountry on the core Bournemouth – Manchester Piccadilly route.
Heading into Oxford Railway Station.
The crowded concourse as people look out for their platform before entering them.
As I had booked my ticket online, I headed for the collection machines to print them out.
The credit card that I used to make the booking needs to be inserted to start the transaction.
Entering my ticket reference number.
As I had booked a split ticket to save money as compared to a direct ticket, I needed to do this process twice.
Printing out my tickets.
Heading to the ticket gates.
Entering the platform with my first Oxford to Leamington Spa ticket.
Picking up my ticket to open the gantry.
My train to Birmingham International would be departing from Platform 4.
Waiting for my train to Birmingham International at Platform 4.
Some trainspotting to past the time – the first train was a GWR Class 165 from Didcot Parkway terminating at Oxford.
A GWR Class 800 IET on Platform 3 for London Paddington.
A GWR Class 800 IET for Hereford.
A freight train arriving into Oxford.
Surprisingly, it stopped at Platform 4, probably for a crew change.
The buffer and chain coupling used between each wagon.
My two tickets from Oxford to Birmingham International, broken up for a cheaper fare.
My ticket from Oxford to Leamington Spa.
My ticket from Leamington Spa to Birmingham International, which makes the overall fare cheaper.
My train was 4 minutes delayed.
Finally, a CrossCountry Class 221 Super Voyager train is spotted.
My train to Birmingham International arriving.
The destination sign on my CrossCountry XC3140 train to Birmingham International (terminating at Manchester Piccadilly).
Boarding the CrossCountry Class 221 Super Voyager.
The interior of Standard Class on board the CrossCountry Class 221 Super Voyager.
The legroom on board the CrossCountry Class 221 Super Voyager.
The view of the CrossCountry Class 221 Super Voyager Standard Class from my seat.
My tickets to Birmingham International along with my digital National Rail 26-30 Railcard.
The CrossCountry train conductor coming around to check for tickets.
The cross-country view out of the train.
My checked tickets to Birmingham International.
Making a brief stop at Leamington Spa.
As quite a bit of passengers alighted at Leamington Spa, more empty seats were available so I moved to an empty pair of seats.
A Class 153 Super Sprinter 1-car train sitting outside the station.
Making a brief stop at Coventry.
A few minutes after, the train pulled in to Birmingham International which is my stop.
Alighting at Birmingham International.
Birmingham International is the main railway station for Birmingham Airport, Birmingham Business Park, National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Resorts World Arena and Resorts World Birmingham.
A passenger in wheelchair alighting at Birmingham International with the assistance of CrossCountry and Virgin Trains staff.
The rear view of the CrossCountry Class 221 Super Voyager.
Heading up to the concourse.
Birmingham International Railway Station is operated by Virgin Trains.
Heading out of Birmingham International Railway Station through the ticket gates.
The exit on the left leads to Birmingham Airport via the AirRail Link.
The exit on the right leads to National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Resorts World Arena and Resorts World Birmingham.
A very familiar logo seen very far away.
As I had a bit of time to kill before my flight, I wouldn’t miss this opportunity to check out the European Resorts World to see if it looks and feels familiar.
The Resorts World Arena, a multipurpose indoor arena which mainly hosts concerts.
The Resorts World Birmingham, an integrated resort featuring shopping outlets, restaurants, bars, cinema, Genting International Casino and Genting Hotel. However, as compared with the real Resorts World Genting in Malaysia, this is more like a Kluang Mall to me.
Overall, a quick and easy ride from Oxford to Birmingham International by a direct train. Despite being further away from London Heathrow, it was cheaper and easier to get to Birmingham Airport with a direct train with no changes to be made, which also makes the journey about half the time taken than to get to Heathrow.
Perhaps if I’m visiting Oxford again, I would fly in via Birmingham instead of London next time.