by The Man Standing by Seat 35
We’re all anxious to see as many people as possible using our new rail service. But there’s one train that could do with rather fewer passengers – the Sardine Express.
The 17:39 from Cardiff is the last evening connection from the whole rail network to Fishguard. Unfortunately, as the first train west out of Cardiff after five thirty, it is always standing room only, at least as far as Bridgend. Hence the Sardine Express.
Making the problem worse, a First Great Western 125 arrives in Cardiff from London at 17:22, and instead of continuing to Swansea, terminates in Cardiff. Anyone continuing west is also going to join the 17:39.
So here’s the Fishguard Trains survival guide for coping if you’re heading back to Fishguard from Cardiff on our last return service.
1 Stand till Bridgend. It’s not so far, and there’s usually a seat afterwards.
2 Arrive at Cardiff in time to catch the 17:04 to Tenby. Get off at Bridgend, and wait half an hour for the Sardine Express to catch up. We reckon you’ll get a seat on both trains.
3 Hang back in the crush, and be the last to get on through the front door of the front carriage. With luck the refreshment trolley will be in that vestibule too, and tucked behind it will be a fold down seat. Speak nicely to the trolley manager.
4 Persuade everyone on platform 3a who is going no further than Bridgend or Swansea to wait just 9 minutes for a nice First Great Western 125 which will have plenty of seats.
5 Persuade the station announcer at Cardiff to ask Bridgend and Swansea passengers to wait 9 minutes.
6 Qualify for one of the mobility-restricted seats and hope the occupants don’t wait to be asked .
You have a better idea? Good, don’t keep it to yourself, let us know. We’re tired of standing.