August 28, 2018

This would mostly be a day of traditional sightseeing with my aunt and uncle. But I woke up well before our agreed upon time to begin our day. Giving me a little time for some train stuff on my own.

The hotel was near Paddington Station. Construction proceeds on a project to link some of the passenger railways. Stuff sadly almost unheard of in the US.

At Waterloo Station. Access to station platforms requires a card to get through these gates. Chicago has the Ventra Card, New York City has the MetroCard, Washington DC has the SmarTrip Card, London has the Oyster Card. Stored value cards which in the US cities are only for the city transit systems. Of those US cities, Washington DC's Metro has a distance based fare system, where one also needs the card to exit. The London Underground similarly is distance based, with the Oyster Card used to enter and exit. The Oyster Card works equally well on the commuter trains within Greater London, which have the same zone fares as the Underground.

Waterloo Station, Platform 17, my first main line train ride would be the 7:45 am to Clapham Junction. Under privatisation, South Western Railway operates the trains serving Waterloo Station.

Clapham Junction is one of the busiest railroad stations in the world. In the distance are South Western Railway trains, serving Waterloo Station. While on this platform is a Southern Railway train, which had originated at Victoria Station. Across the platform I would board a Southern Railway train headed to Victoria Station.

Back at Paddington Station near the hotel, here is one of the 125 mph high speed diesel trains, which I had ridden 40 years earlier.

The rest of the day was traditional sightseeing with my aunt and uncle. Including Big Ben with scaffolding.