Here is a copy of part of a real train timetable, showing the times for four trains travelling from London Euston station:
Ignore all the red letters. Only pay attention to the grey d and a letters, which stand for departure and arrival.
The first train leaves London Euston at 0635 and its first stop is at Watford Junction. It sets off from here at 0650. It then stops at Milton Keynes Central and then doesn't stop again until reaching Coventry at 0744. Four stops later and it arrives at Wolverhampton at 0836.
Did you notice that the times are written in the 24 hour clock? It is very important that you understand this or you might miss a train that you had hoped to catch.
Let's have a look at this timetable in more detail.
1. Let's say that you want to catch a train from Euston to Birmingham International and you need to get there in time to catch a plane no later than 5.00 pm. Which train would you need to catch?
You would need to catch the 1510 train from Euston which arrives at Birmingham International at 1627. The next train wouldn't get there in time because it doesn't arrive until 1726.
2. Imagine that you want to get to Wolverhampton from Euston to watch a football match that kicks off at 3.00 pm. Would any of the trains on this timetable get you there at the right time?
The answer is no! Two of the trains leaving Euston don't even stop at Wolverhampton, so they are no good. The last train listed gets to Wolverhampton at 0234 but that is actually early in the morning, not in the afternoon. 2.00 pm would be written as 1400. The only train that might be possible is the first one, but then you'd have six and a half hours to kill in Wolverhampton between 8.36 am and 3.00! Maybe a bus would be better!
3. How long is the journey between Rugby and Coventry?
The journey is 10 minutes long. The train leaving Rugby at 1604 arrives at Coventry at 1614.
Let's move on to some questions for you to try out.