My friend and I had a Eurail 1st Class Pass, and so we used one of our days going around the UK. The pass was simple to use and might be worth it depending on how many times you plan to take the train. For our day journey, we left London, stopped by Stonehenge for a visit, went to Oxford for the afternoon/dinner then returned back to London at night. It was fun that we got to try three different train companies in the process as well.

South Western Railway: London Waterloo to Salisbury

From London Waterloo to Salisbury, it was operated by South Western Railway. The First Class car is in a 1-2 configuration, versus 2-2 in Second Class. There was a power port as well. Unfortunately, there are no drinks or a snack on South Western Railway in First Class. If you don’t have a pass, the pricing for a ticket on the day of departure was 29.50 GBP in 2nd Class, or 80.10 GBP in 1st Class. It seems steep for 1st Class to be so much more.

a train at a train station

South Western Railway Train

a table in a South Western Train

First Class Seating- South Western Railway

a train with seats and a table on South Western Railway

Single First Class Seats- South Western Railway

Seats on a South Western Railway Train

Second Class Seating- South Western Railway

South Western Railway: Salisbury to Basingstoke & Cross Country Trains: Basingstoke to Oxford

From Salisbury to Oxford, we had to hop on two separate trains. The first was another South Western Railway, similar to the one we took to Salisbury.

a South Western train at a train station

South Western Railway Train

Then we hopped on to a CrossCountry Train. On the CrossCountry Train, we were immediately offered drinks which was nice, as we were only on that train for less than 50 minutes.

a train with seats and windows

First Class Seats- Cross Country Train

two cans of soda in a plastic cup

Soda on CrossCountry Trains

This entire journey from Salisbury to Oxford was about 1 hour and 50 minutes, with less than 50 minutes on each train, plus a 20 minute connection in between. A second class ticket on this route was 40.30 GBP, and a first class ticket was 75.80 GBP.

Great Western Railway: Oxford to London Paddington

This was a direct ride, taking 59 minutes and ending in London Paddington. When I saw the train pull up to the station, I was impressed by how new it looked. The first-class car was in the front of the train, and it was practically empty the whole journey.

a train at a train station

Great Western Railway Train

a table and chairs in a train

First Class Seats- Great Western Railway

a train with seats and tables

Single First Class Seats- Great Western Railway

The seats were comfy in a 2-1 configuration and had power plugs. An attendant came by with drinks as well as snacks! I grabbed some peanuts, and he came back with more snacks towards the end of the ride. Other snacks available were almonds, biscuits, chips, crackers, and fruitcake.

a shelf with food in it

Snack Cart- Great Western Railway

a soda can and plastic cup on a table

Soda & Snack

A second-class seat was 31.70 GBP, and a first-class seat was 68.20 GBP on the day of departure.

The Verdict:

Overall, it was kind of fun to hop around the different trains and see various seat colors and drinks and snack services, or lack thereof. My favorite was the newer train on our way back on the Great Western Railway as it was sleek, and provided both a drink and a snack.

Have you been on these trains before? Which one is your favorite? Comment below!




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