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Train from Devon to Stansted-- cutting it too close?

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Train from Devon to Stansted-- cutting it too close?

A young friend who has never travelled to Europe before has told me that he is planning the following train trip, ending at Stansted Airport at 11:14 for a 12:30-ish flight on Ryanair.

He is staying with friends in a small town in Devon, and planning to take a 6:07 train (First Great Western) to London Paddington, which arrives at 9:21. He would then need to get to the tube station, take the tube to LIverpool Station, and get on the Stansted Express. The Stansted Express apparently runs every 15 minutes.

The National Rail site indicates that he could arrive at Stansted by 11:14--- but this doesn't include the possibiltiy of late trains or getting lost or confused.

Do any of the experts here think this is a safe bet? Or should he take a train in the night before? He really can't afford to miss the flight. I personally am a little nervous about how tight this schedule is.

(I've cross posted on the Train Travel forum, as I'm not sure which would be better for this question. Thanks for any help!)

Edited: 3:36 pm, April 18, 2013
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1. Re: Train from Devon to Stansted-- cutting it too close?

Hello! If it was my flight I wouldn't risk it. I travel up to Reading from Cornwall regularly and usually it's okay, but last weekend, by way of example, the train was taken out of service at Exeter for a mechanical failure, we had to transfer to the next train and arrived an hour late. Disaster if you've got a tight connection

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2. Re: Train from Devon to Stansted-- cutting it too close?

He really can't afford to miss the flight

-------

Then the answer is obvious. But people don't always listen to reason. Maybe he'll learn from experience.

england
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3. Re: Train from Devon to Stansted-- cutting it too close?

far too tight a schedule, even if it all goes to plan exactly 11.14 for a 12.30 Ryanair flight is not enough time

London
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4. Re: Train from Devon to Stansted-- cutting it too close?

If he's starting from Devon, Stansted is a terrible choice of airport. The plan as stated is very high risk, not one I would ever contemplate.

Bingley, United...
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5. Re: Train from Devon to Stansted-- cutting it too close?

12:30 flight = 11:40 close for bag drop. Also as a non-EEA national they will have to get their boarding card stamped before they can use the bag drop let alone go through security or be allowed on the flight.

Tell the young idiot to use the Night Riviera sleeper train or stay overnight in London

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6. Re: Train from Devon to Stansted-- cutting it too close?

Thanks for the responses. Confirms my own concerns. Do any of you know if there's an airport nearer Devon that has low-cost airline flights to Malmo, Sweden? Though I think he already booked that flight from Stansted...worth asking, though.

Oxfordshire
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7. Re: Train from Devon to Stansted-- cutting it too close?

The National Rail site has some quite weird conventions for presenting tube journeys. Actually, arriving PAD 0921, he'll get the 0931 H&C tube, which will ultimately mean the STN Express will deliver him to the airport at 1044.

And, if the incoming FGW train's on time, that will probably happen. But if he hasn't checked in by 1150 (not just got into the checkin queue, but gone through all the paperwork after fighting his way through the Ryanair queue) his booking will be cancelled and he'll have to buy a new plane ticket at his expense - possibly not leaving till the following day (and guess which airline ISN'T going to pay his new hotel costs?)

My FGW trains at that time of day are over 15 mins late about a third of the time. In your friend's position, I'd say the odds just aren't worth it.

He'd probably get away with it. But the damage if anything at all goes wrong is hopelessly horrible.

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8. Re: Train from Devon to Stansted-- cutting it too close?

You want to look at flights to Copenhagen as well - it's a 20 minute train ride from there to the centre of Malmö.

Oxfordshire
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9. Re: Train from Devon to Stansted-- cutting it too close?

"Do any of you know if there's an airport nearer Devon that has low-cost "

swedavia.com/malmo/…

But it's probably longer to get to BHX than to Paddington, Heathrow doesn't do low cost (though that's not to say flights aren't cheap): you need to check Bristol

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10. Re: Train from Devon to Stansted-- cutting it too close?

Thank you all. I'm going to recommend taking the last train the night before (leaves @ midnight) and just snoozing in his train seat, or at the terminal at Stansted.

What is the NIght Riviera sleeper train?