Friday, 3 July 2009


Well, after years of ranting and raving about the British railway network, I've finally decided that I might as well preserve some of the rants and raves on the off-chance that someone, somewhere, actually wants to read them. Welcome to my blog.

What finally drove me to creating an online presence for myself is that I'm just beginning a gap year in which I'm planning to travel, and that trying to communicate my various thoughts from the multitude of locations that I plan to visit over the coming year (and beyond) to each interested person individually seems... well, somewhat inefficient. And I don't like inefficiency.

In a couple of weeks, I'm embarking on the first leg of the travelling. Now, it might surprise you to learn that the British railway network will sell you some tickets which are, in fact, very good value.

If, say, you'd like to spend two weeks travelling round the UK, then buying lots of singles everywhere would cost you a fortune, and InterRail passes are only available to people from outside the UK. However, anyone can get two weeks' unlimited travel on the entire British railway network (not including Heathrow Express, Eurostar, or London Underground) for just £650, or £429 with a Railcard. Just one week will cost you £430, or £284 with a railcard.

(To put this in perspective, a London-Manchester Anytime Return is £247 (£163 with a railcard). So suppose you're a businessman working in Manchester and you have to go down to London twice in one week for a 9am meeting. If you buy two Anytime Returns, you pay £494. But an All-Line Rover for one week will cost you £430, a saving of £64 - and you get the entire country thrown in for the rest of the week for free, so you can take a free trip to the Scottish highlands for the weekend!)

So I'm going to be using an All-Line Rover between Sunday 19th July and Saturday 1st August in order to learn more about the British railway network, to see some of its glorious sights and some of its darker alleys. I hope to post my thoughts on the various trains and stations I use each day here for all to see.

In the meantime, there are plenty of things about the British railway network I already know about, and which I shall undoubtedly unleash upon the world at some point. What, exactly, remains to be seen...


  1. First post!
    Are there going to be any blog posts about sheaf cohomology?

  2. > I don't like inefficiency!

    Hear, Hear!