Monday, January 11, 2010

The train that never existed...

Bad start to the week on East Coast trains.

Arrive at Peterborough station at 8.10. Plenty of time to get my ticket and catch the London-bound 8.33.

No worries. Wait patiently on the south-bound Platform 2.

The announcer tells us the next train on Platform 2 is the 8.33...


But then he adds that it's going to Lincoln.

Not so reassuring.

No mention of my King's Cross 'service'.

So where's my train?

One of the three ticket stampers at the barrier at first denies any knowledge of such a train as the 8.33 to London.

He produces a sheaf of papers which is apparently his print-out of the timetable.

"There is no 8.33 to London," he confidently declares.

"So it's cancelled?" ask irritated commuters.

"Not cancelled," he insists. "As I have already told you, there is no 8.33 to London. We have an 8.33 to Lincoln..."

When other commuters point out to Jobsworth that they've been catching the 8.33 to London for years, he offers: "Ah, yes sir, but we're operating a revised timetable today and as I say, there is no 8.33 to London."

He then causes more grief with his warning that the next East Coast 'express' will be 'exceedingly overcrowded'.

He advises catching the next First Capital Connect train instead.

But he doesn't mention that this is a 'slow' service which stops at every lamp-post including Huntingdon, St Neots, Sandy, Biggleswade, Arlesey, Hitchin, Stevenage, and Finsbury Park...

Of course, no mention of cancellations earlier when I parted with my £87 for a ticket...And no mention that the next 'express' to London that actually did exist would arrive late into Peterborough...

But of course, when you operate a 'revised' timetable, and don't tell the paying customers, there are no delays or cancellations...

So, not the four hour marathons twice experienced trekking to London in last week's snow, but every bit as frustrating!

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