The Freedom Pass Project

Sounds kind of grand doesn’t it? Don’t worry, it’s not. Having reached State Pension age, I have been given my Freedom Pass. That entitles me to free travel in the London area on almost all forms of public transport. It’s quite surprising how far out that takes me – here’s the map…

Looking at the map gave me an idea for a reason to get out and about for exercise that ties in very well with my trainspotting. I have set my self the target of visiting all the farthest points on the map as well as any terminal stations within the area. Obviously, all the mainline termini in London get visited regularly by me anyway but, discounting those, I have worked out that there are 68 ‘far-points’ or termini of services to be visited (but that list will grow as I check out end points for TfL services).

My card arrived on the 19th of February and my first Freedom Pass trip was on 22/02/2022 when I went out to test it around the London Underground. The first run out for the project was on 28/02 when I took a train from London bridge to Dartford. Here’s the station…

…and here’s a shot of the High Street…

I picked up another terminus when I went to Football at Potters Bar – Cockfosters on the Piccadilly Line. It was horrible weather and I didn’t want to miss my bus, so no shots of the station itself on this occasion but here’s the inside of a Piccadilly line train on my way home…

…I’ll probably revisit to photograph the station properly as it’s on my doorstep compared to some of the other stations😎

On Monday, 07/03, I headed southwest to visit three Stations – one terminus and two far-points. First was Chessington South. It was never intended that this would be a terminus – the line from Motspur Park was supposed to continue through to Leatherhead but in 1939, when war broke out it had only reached Chessington South. The rest of the line was never completed. The stations on the line were designed by James Robb Scott and featured concrete platform awnings. Here’s the booking hall of Chessington South from the street…

…and a view of the station with the disused platform displaying the concrete awning…

Services on the Chessington branch are currently still in the hands of the venerable class 455’s…

After my visit to Chessington South, it was time to retrace my steps to Motspur Park and head for the Ewell’s. Class 455’s supply the motive power on the Dorking line too so I logged another ride in the type. This took me to the station at Ewell West – a more traditional building…

…and here’s a view of the platforms from the road bridge…

…Nice new destination boards – that white lettering looks clearer than the old flickering orange displays.

I planned to walk across town to Ewell East. I use the term ‘planned’ in the loosest sense – I only thought up the idea when I was already on the train out of Waterloo🙄 So I had no idea where I should be going and there weren’t any signs to tell me. I did know which way to go initially because I just had to head east! I soon found myself crossing a body of water…

…This is water from a spring that rises in Ewell and forms the Hogsmill River. Finding myself at a junction and choosing to walk into an area of shops, I was now unsure of the route ahead, so I fired up maps on the mobile. It was a little disconcerting to be looking at New York, but I soon got it to relocate to Ewell and having confirmed my route I continued on my way to Ewell East station. The walk should probably have taken around 25mins but, with the period of uncertainty, took me closer to 35.

Ewell East is served by Southern – so green is the colour for bridges, shelters and signs…

…The trains also come in shades of green. Most of the services through here are formed of Class 377 units like 377605, seen arriving from London with a train to Epsom…

From Ewell East, I caught a service to London Bridge. A pleasant run to complete an enjoyable day out in the sun.

I won’t be doing Freedom Pass Project trips every time I go out but I will do update posts as I progress – lets see where my next outing takes me😀

7 Comments

  1. This is such a wonderful addition to your life, Martin. I envy you! We don’t have anything equivalent to the Freedom Pass here in the US, which is really a shame. If anyone will make the most of the opportunity it will be you! I feel like I need to say “congratulations!”

    1. I’m sorry you don’t have similar passes in the US Debra – I thought there might at least be a ‘city transit pass’ for places like LA? This pass has given me new impetus to get out and about😀 I’ve been updating the list of locations to visit on my ‘stations’ list since this post – there are quite a few more that fit the termini designation 🙄 – so the target just got bigger although quite a few of them are easy for me to visit. I’ll be posting an update either today or tomorrow, so you can read all about it then 👍

  2. I too have reached an age where I can get lower cost train rides. Unfortunately there is one a day and that takes me to Sydney for $2. Not sure about what the cost of riding the Sydney network would cost but the accommodation would outweigh any trips.
    As a kid, we used to get a Childs Excursion ticket and my mate and I used to go to the end of the lines or as far as the ticket allowed. I grew up where the station was a main junction so it made it easy to travel about the lines.

    1. Wow – Some history there 👍 I’m lucky to live in an area where there are so many trains and buses to ride. If you have to wait more than 7 or 8 mins for a train on my local underground line you’d know there was a problem somewhere!

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