Portsmouth and Southsea High Level, 15 April 1986. This was how we used to travel from the south coast to Salisbury, Bath, Bristol and South Wales. Class 33 at the front with 5 mark one coaches, compartments, the lot. Plenty of space, you could be sociable if you wanted to or could normally get a compartment (or even a whole carriage!) to yourself.
Today this is more often than not a vile four or even two coach DMU, usually packed with people and luggage. Great for the railway company of course, but hardly an improvement on the above! Nowadays far from getting a compartment to yourself you're lucky if you get a seat. This is exactly the sort of route that needs loco hauled 8 or 10 coach trains, with a buffet.