If you need convincing that Britain's railways are "getting it right", try a journey by East Midlands Trains (a Stagecoach company) from London to Sheffield. No longer the tired decline of the old British Railways ...... but the astounding magnificence of St Pancras - OK, paid for by Eurostar, but who cares!
There's the new East Midlands Parkway station with dedicated bus link to the airport;
Derby Station has been rebuilt and even good old Sheffield station has had a make over and looks really welcoming and clean.
The Meridian Trains, like their Voyager clones, are too claustrophobic and buffets are replaced by a trolley service but - they are quick and adequate. There are two trains an hour between London and Sheffield, the quickest taking just a tad over two hours.
A very pleasing start to fbb's recent trip to the Steel City and a positive introduction to some less than ideal public transport facilities encountered later. fbb's train departed St Pancras dead on time at 1455 and flew "like a bird" with not a single signal check until approaching Sheffield Station. Arrival 3 minutes late. A stroll across the new footbridge to the tram stop, a one-stop hop on a tram (Old Fogey passes being valid!) and a comfortable night in the Travelodge with the bonus of a panoramic view of the trams as they trundled over the Park Square delta junction.
So, a good night's sleep (sadly not - choice of window closed, too stuffy OR window open, too noisy) and ready for the next day of local exploration.
To be continued ...