i’ve just discovered that the stratford international station is already open (since end of Nov 2009 pa pala). had been looking forward to this since journey from Stratford to king’s cross will only take 6 minutes. when currently i take 45 mins to get from stratford to Euston (1 stop away from king’s cross).
so last monday night i gave it a try. king’s cross – st pancras and international is a huge train station. but i love going through the eurostar terminals and the shops just because. I love the architecture and the chance to people watch. Lots of cafes. Brussels, Paris and the rest of the continent is a train ride away from here, so it makes me feel like i’m about to embark on another adventure.
anyway, i got lost trying to find which platform I need to get to to catch the trains to Stratford International. Found it eventually. trains were on time, frequent (every 4-5 mins) and very new, almost like the eurostar trains. not a lot of people on board. got to stratford international in 6 mins. then took the bus that links stratford international to the main stratford station. the bus goes through the still under heavy constuction Westfield shopping centre and the Olympic village (The Olympics will be held at London on 2012).
I tried the same route again Tuesday night without getting lost. And found out I saved ONLY 3 minutes from my usual route. took me 10mins + some waiting time before the train leaves + 6 mins on train + some waiting time before the bus leaves + 10mins on bus transfer.
All this time, my tickets were accepted at the king’s cross terminals, inspected on the train and at stratford international, the only place where the terminals would not accept my tickets, I was waved through by the staff. So I thought it was safe to assume my London travelcard was ok to use on these new trains.
But it had to end Wednesday night when a staff at the stratford International told me that London travelcards were NOT valid on the express trains. And the last couple of days, I had been fare dodging. because it seems like very few staff knew the fare rules.
I was not fined, i just need to get a single ticket fare to get out of the station.
No, will not be using the express again. not really worth buying an extra ticket to save 3 minutes. but i’m going to miss going through King’s Cross.