Dom’s 32 Hours On Trains In the UK Challenge Report – part 2 – Before travel

Virgin Trains First Class Lounge
Virgin Trains First Class Lounge

In this part, I will talk about some news about my trip before travel on the day of the start of my journey and on my experience at Virgin Train First Class Lounge.

More about my plan for a challenge can be found here:

Table of contents for this report can be found here:



The day starts with news that The line between Aberdeen and Dundee is closed due to the derailment.


Stonehaven - Photo Credit @BenPhilip_STV
Stonehaven – Photo Credit @BenPhilip_STV









If you see a picture taken by @BenPhilip_STV that I found on National Enquires website. I was amazed to see that Caledonian Sleeper website states trains to Aberdeen will be run as usual.

Thursday 11th October Service Update:
Aberdeen-Euston: Due to the line closure at Stonehaven, a coach will be provided for our guests on the Aberdeen-Euston service to board your Caledonian Sleeper service at Edinburgh Waverley Station to Euston
All other services are scheduled to depart on time this evening


This kind of things can’t be fixed with some folk with hammer and screwdriver in a few minutes.

On top of that, In the afternoon Virgin trains warn on their website:

With severe weather and Storm Callum on its way, delays are expected across our network tomorrow”.

I checked Cross Country website and GWR website for any news about it, but they didn’t report any expected problem. When I mentioned about derailment on Twitter then surprisingly Crosscountry’s Twitter team replied and provide some updates that gave some terrible news about my trip plans (more about it in the next post).

Lovely, so before the even the trip even starts, it looks like it will not go smoothly.

Anyway. On arrival, I saw London Euston’s main concourse was packed, so I head to the lounge.

The lounge was extremely busy too. (Picture below was taken after peak time so wasn’t too bad, but I just didn’t want to have a picture full of upset people). Almost all seats were taken and were waves of people walk around and hunting for a place. Virgin even put 1-hour restriction only on Thursdays and Fridays due to overcrowding that does not apply to me as .. I didn’t travel on Virgin Trains but on Caledonian Sleeper :).

First Class Lounge
First Class Lounge

This lounge is split into a few ‘zones’ that have different designs. Due amount of people in the lounge I didn’t do pictures. Some zones are working desk stations, some of them are to relax in comfy chairs.  I found a place in ‘work zone’, and this room had really good AC. The seat is quite OK, but you can feel they have a rough life. Overall quite nicely designed lounge.

The staff was very friendly and helpful.

The lounge offers water, tea coffee, cookies, popcorn and pretzels for free.
You need to pay for alcohol too. I bought Tilting Ale.

I feel somehow a bit disappointed and downhearted about the experience in the Lounge, but I guess I watched too much Dennis Bunnitk Travels, Paul’s Trip Reports and Paul Stewart Aviation youtube videos and their review of First/Business class lounges at airports.

Anyway, this is a trip report not lounge review, so in the next part, I will talk about my experience on Caledonian Sleeper from London Euston to Aberdeen.

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