Does anyone have a feel for the on-time track record of the Paddington to Bath weekday train at 9 am? It's scheduled to arrive Bath at 10:30. I live in California and would need to get up at 1 a.m. to check the live departure schedule on thetrainline.com. Just wondering if someone has a feel for it so I don't have to set my alarm for 1 a.m. several nights in a row. We're scheduled for a tour that starts at 11 a.m. in Bath.
If you click the link that follows and put BATH SPA in the location box, you can check the record for that (or any train) at any location in the UK. Use the - hour to find the correct time for this train arriving in Bath. Each train has a code number with that for an express beginning with a 1 (Virgin express trains have a 9). By clicking the code number, you can see whether it left on time and was it on schedule at any intermediate stop. Usually, trains in Britain run bang on the minute. http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced
Don’t forget to advance book to get a lower price. Pay on the day can be expensive.
You are running things a bit tight to be meeting up with a tour starting within Bath (I presume not from the station itself). Yesterday there was some general disruption leading to this train being 10 minutes late but it was on time Friday.
Most UK trains run reasonably on time and with relatively few cancellations but when there are problems, they tend to be lengthy.
Having been a daily commuter to London for 20 years, most trains run within 5 minutes of their due arrival. If a train is delayed longer, eg due to signal failure, trackside fires, broken down trains blocking the line (even llamas on the track once!) etc, the delay tended to be 30-90 minutes.
A 9am train for an 11 tour would be too tight for me.
You are assuming everything will be running on schedule.
Yesterday, there was a signal problem between the two Bristol stations. This affected all the Bath departing trains that headed for Bristol--including the one I was supposed to be on. Luckily, I took an earlier train and made my connection in Bristol Temple Meads. There were "trespassers" outside Salisbury and that caused delays on trains going into Bath from the southeast.
A few years ago, a cousin of mine was visiting London. He is a huge Beatles fan and while his family wasn't he decided to take a train to Liverpool and spend the day there. He had lined up a tour. His train was late and he missed the tour.
A train could be on time for days on end but the one day you need to take it, there could be problems.
I would not take a train arriving 30 minutes before a tour is scheduled to start. Not enough leeway for problems.