My week on the trains

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Tessa

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Just wanted to share with you my week of numerous train journeys throughout England & Scotland - It's been an experience!!!
http://tessaheywood.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/let-the-train-take-the-strain/

In the last week I have spent upwards of 40 hours on various trains, travelling around the country as part of my latest consultancy assignment.

It started last Thursday when, with about half an hour’s notice, I had to make my way from my home in Glasgow to a hotel at East Midlands Airport for a briefing at 8.30am the following day. After discovering there are now no flights at all from Glasgow Airport to East Midlands Airport (despite the fact that I have done this journey before!), I had no option but to go by train. This was my journey:


18:00 Get dropped off at Mount Florida Station for train to Glasgow Central and pick up tickets
18:40 Take train from Glasgow Central to Warrington Bank Quay – running 12 minutes late for no apparent reason
21:20 Arrive at Warrington Bank Quay and take a taxi (in the rain) to Warrington Central
22:03 Take train from Warrington Central to Nottingham, although this train was in fact running 20 minutes late - no explanation given
01:00 Arrive at Nottingham and take taxi to hotel at East Midlands Airport
01:30 Check into my room at the hotel

Fortunately my journey home the following night was made easier when one of my colleagues very kindly took me to Warrington Bank Quay so all I had to do (after a 3 hour drive) was to take one train back to Glasgow before getting home at some time around 10.30pm – exhausted and none too pleased to have to take the very same journey again two days later as I needed to be back in Nottingham for 09:00 on Monday morning!...(more)
 
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Metroland

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It would be less stressful if the train companies could make more of an effort to run the services on time so that you’re not scared of missing the various connections that might mean you being stranded miles from your final destination in the dead of night.
If there is a delay and you miss your connection, the train company still has to get you to your destination, even if it's a taxi. This fairly uniquely applies to rail.
 
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The only problem, here, seems to be a lack of communication, as to why the trains were late? I'm sure, anyone, who was delayed in the recent wet weather (I wasn't) would have far more to complain about.
 

LE Greys

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I think that's more a problem with connectivity than with railways in general. The next big XC route really ought to be Scotland-East Anglia as an effective merger of Norwich-Liverpool and TPX NW, thus giving a direct Glasgow-Nottingham route, along the lines of the Northern Continental. It also sounds like Tessa was ill-advised to change at Warrington, I would have taken a Manchester route, unless it was unavailable that late in the day.

Still, imagine having to make that journey by car, with miles and miles of motorway driving in the rain, some at night. Unless you're going to take risks with the speed limit, you're hardly likely to arrive before midnight (Google Maps gives 5hrs 5mins, but they're always ambitious), 01:00 if you take an hour's break half-way. No thanks!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The only problem, here, seems to be a lack of communication, as to why the trains were late? I'm sure, anyone, who was delayed in the recent wet weather (I wasn't) would have far more to complain about.
That's true as well.
 

quarella

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If there is a delay and you miss your connection, the train company still has to get you to your destination, even if it's a taxi. This fairly uniquely applies to rail.
No it doesn't.
From the National Rail Conditions of Carriage-
43. Help from Train Companies if you are stranded
If disruption caused by circumstances within the control of a Train Company or a Rail Service Company leaves you stranded before you have reached your destination printed on or stored on your ticket, and the Train Company whose trains you are entitled to use is unable to get you to that destination by other means, any Train Company which is in a position to help will, if it reasonably can, either arrange to get you to that destination, or provide overnight accommodation for you.
Note "..circumstances within the control of a Train Company..." and "..if it reasonably can..."
 

Metroland

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The point is, if you are on a train it's unlikely you are going to get stranded somewhere because you missed your train connection because another train was late. It's not like changing buses, or planes.

You have an awful lot of rights as a rail passenger, which you simply don't get on other modes or as a lone motorist. Yes, TOCs will always use a 'reasonable' clause in their documentation, that's just to cover them in case extreme weather, other act of god etc meaning thousands of people get stranded and alternatives are not available.

Overcrowding is always a problem with 'walk on' transport, adding coaches generally will not solve that because there will always be times demand outstrips supply. The only way around that is to have all seats booked, which is impracticable in some circumstances, and in others passengers should seriously consider it over long distances on some routes especially as it's so cheap or even part of the ticket.

As for train delays, every delay over 2 minutes on the railways is accounted for and most of the time if it's not online, announced or on a screen somewhere a member of staff can provide that info.
 

Zoe

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Note "..circumstances within the control of a Train Company..." and "..if it reasonably can..."
Back in 2002 I had to travel to Newton Abbot from Taunton on a day where services were heavily distrupted due to weather. I was late arriving as the first train didn't end up leaving Taunton until about 2 PM but after then a relatively normal service was running. However when I went to retrun, Virgin had cancelled the last train of the day and the station staff refused to provide any alternative transport as they said that due to weather they could not offer a full train service that day. This was even though the weather had cleared by then and just about every other train after 4 PM was running. I couldn't even get the sleeper as it was on a Sunday and it doesn't stop at Taunton.
 
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Cherry_Picker

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Slightly off topic, but if you want to save a screenshot of a twitter message (or any image with large areas of flat colours) then save as .png instead of .jpg and it looks miles better. You dont get any of the "noise" in the image.
 
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