What do you (dis-)like most about train travel within the UK?

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fowler9

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But which languages would you want the station signage to be in to make it easier for those visiting (keeping in mind the wide-range of tourists who visit the UK)?
Yeah, without wanting to sound conceited English is pretty much a universal language. Perhaps Spanish as from experience a lot of people in South America don't learn English as every country in the area speaks Spanish (Or Portuguese). Maybe Cantonese or Mandarin? I really don't have a clue about how many people in Asian countries speak the various languages. I don't see much point in German, French, Dutch etc. as they generally speak better English than us. :D
 
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rg177

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Having travelled on Spanish Railways recently, i've came to the conclusion that I like the staff here. Not once did I encounter someone on RENFE who even cracked a smile this week.

Yes, we do have some less than pleasant individuals working the trains in the UK, but at least they are the exception, not the rule.
 

NLC1072

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Not everyone does get the train, as is demonstrated by daily congestion on parts of the UK motorway network.

For optimal value, drive and find three other people who wish to do the same journey, then divide the mileage costs amongst all four people. That would be cheaper per individual, I expect, than all those four people each paying to travel by train. The driving option also negates the possibility of having to pay for a bus or taxi from origin to station, then from station to destination, but on the other hand there is the possible added expense of parking at the destination.
Or get a seven seater people carrier like me and drive to Edinburgh from East Anglia on a tank for £60 rather than the train and split the cost seven ways... FAR cheaper!!!
 

randyrippley

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Cost
Fragmentation of what was an integrated service
Bad toilets
Pendolinos
Any labelled "Virgin"
Anything labelled "First"
Anything labelled "Northern"
Crap food
Multiple units
 

Ianigsy

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Off the top of my head- cramped seating (after the time I ended up with a trapped nerve in my leg from two hours in a TPE airline seat), lack of shelter/facilities on stations, being made to feel like a weirdo anytime I ask for anything other than a straightforward point to point ticket...
 

Merseysider

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But which languages would you want the station signage to be in to make it easier for those visiting (keeping in mind the wide-range of tourists who visit the UK)?
To clarify, I don't think everything should be translated; and I haven't got a clue how it would be done in practice. But even after learning some of the local language it's easy to hit a brick wall.

Spanish would be a good start as it's the second most spoken language in the world, and this may be a controversial suggestion in some circles but possibly Arabic too. It would cost money but in my view all TVMs should have a multitude of languages as an option. I don't propose that conductors/automatic recordings start making announcements in different languages however unless it's an airport service.
 

Master29

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Railcards are an excellent money saving thing especially when you use rail a lot for someone on a low income.
Dislike is, all the train companies should allow you to pick your own seat where reservations are available and not just a few. It`s a real pain on FGW but XC seem to have cracked it.
 

charley_17/7

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It takes all of about 2 minutes to buy a walk up ticket from a TVM. Most journeys are paid for in this manner. Don't worry :)
Have you ever travelled from MKC during the weekday morning peak? Sometimes the queue reaches beyond the entrance doors! That's with every ticket office window open, all the TVMs in use, and the RPIs helping with queue-busting.
 

anme

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It takes all of about 2 minutes to buy a walk up ticket from a TVM. Most journeys are paid for in this manner. Don't worry :)
It's not buying a ticket that takes time. It's queuing to buy a ticket. This is also one of my pet hates about the UK railway - having to allow a lot of extra time to buy or collect a ticket if travelling at busy times. This is made much worse by the inexcusable lack of print at home tickets or similar.
 

Master29

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I dislike the fact that tickets are date specific, for instance on a return ticket you have to specify the date of your outward journey, ok you get a very small amount of flexibility on an "anytime" ticket, but these are usually expensive.
I will be making a return journey sometime towards the end of this week, not sure exactly which day, as I live 10 miles away from my nearest manned station I will have to make a 20 miles round trip just to get my tickets, I can't risk buying on the day due to time constraints, print at home is not available on this journey so that is not an option either.
The return half of a ticket is valid for a month, so why can't the outward half be?
Ironically I was at the station yesterday, and could have bought my tickets then if there was a little more flexibility.
Not sure I understand what you mean by time constraints? If you mean queueing for tickets at a machine then I agree, particularly in the rush hour. Other than that, I don`t get your point?
 

60163

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Sadly unless sleep-inducing gases can be tactically leaked out of the headrest of the inevitable loudmouth moron/pack of morons/mewling child's seat, all the changes to UK rail travel will never be able to stop people from being people.
 

MrCub

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The obsession with short and cramped trains, some yet to be introduced, which will clearly be insufficient and then the inevitable overcrowding. We appear to be going backwards, and I feel this is to do with fragmentation.
 

Dr Hoo

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The obsession with short and cramped trains, some yet to be introduced, which will clearly be insufficient and then the inevitable overcrowding. We appear to be going backwards, and I feel this is to do with fragmentation.
Quite. One could never imagine an integrated British Railways using single car trains with 3+2 seating.

What's your avatar, by the way? Not seen one on my local line.
 
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bramling

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The obsession with short and cramped trains, some yet to be introduced, which will clearly be insufficient and then the inevitable overcrowding. We appear to be going backwards, and I feel this is to do with fragmentation.
Agree with this. The increasing number of 5-car Intercity trains is a bit of a concern. If used singly overcrowding will be likely, whilst if doubled up then you have wasted space in the form of middle cabs and extra accessible toilets.

A good thing about HSTs, 225s and Pendolinos is you know you will get a decent length train. Peak overcrowding is excusable if the network is at capacity and trains are already at maximum length, but it's frustrating to have overcrowding at off-peak times when a short train turns up. 5-car trains on Cornwall or Norwich runs, for example, will be a potential nightmare - but this is what I can see happening.
 

beeza1

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Not sure I understand what you mean by time constraints? If you mean queueing for tickets at a machine then I agree, particularly in the rush hour. Other than that, I don`t get your point?
Apologies if my original post was not very clear, I will try and explain.
Basically, I arrive at the station straight from work around 6 minutes before my train is due,(I know I should allow more time but that just isn't possible), as this is usually in the evening peak when the station is very busy there just isn't the time to purchase a ticket, either over the counter or from the TVM. I have managed to collect pre paid tickets from the TVM but, I only managed to catch my train because it was late!
If I miss my train I have to wait an hour for the next one.
My local station, which I don't use for this particular journey, is unmanned and does not have a TVM.
 

beeza1

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Could you buy the ticket on arrival that morning?
No afraid not, I travel to work in my car, leave the car in the car park and either get a lift or the bus to the station after I finish work. I can't use the local stopper either as my finish time is just after the stopper has left, it's a real pain, on my return journey though everything connects well, unless there is a delay.
 

miami

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It's very relevant to a discussion on likes and dislikes about train travel in the UK, if one of the 'dislikes' is the reason for these higher fares. Not so much lack of state support; subsidies are massive but largely go into the pockets of shareholders, or funding an inefficient bureaucracy to allocate funds between companies, rather than a nationally owned and funded network run as a public service. But we won't see any change as long as British people keep voting for Tory governments.
We had a labour government for 13 of the first 17 years of privatisation.
 

DeeGee

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To clarify, I don't think everything should be translated; and I haven't got a clue how it would be done in practice. But even after learning some of the local language it's easy to hit a brick wall.

Spanish would be a good start as it's the second most spoken language in the world, and this may be a controversial suggestion in some circles but possibly Arabic too. It would cost money but in my view all TVMs should have a multitude of languages as an option. I don't propose that conductors/automatic recordings start making announcements in different languages however unless it's an airport service.
It's not so much the languages that are the problem, as the scripts. A Spaniard, or someone from Latin America using the Roman alphabet and a dictionary or smartphone would have a reasonable stab at being able to work out how to search for a meaning.

Having travelled to Japan, I wouldn't have had a blue's clue how to look up a word written in Kanji. I could probably have a reasonable pop in Greek, and might manage in Cyrillic, but the more "fancy" looking scripts would be a no.

I don't think it's unreasonable to hope for additional signage at major stations in Urdu and Mandarin, I think that would cover most options.
 
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AJG3

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Around September 2014 I had to use the Cumbrian Coast Line from Carlisle towards Whitehaven. Having grown up in the area, I had been riding it intermittently since around 1968/9. Never, as they say, in all my born days, had I seen a couple of DafT survey monkeys on that line. Well, have clipboard and tick boxes, will travel. I told them that I had no time for their anodyne tick-box culture and that the abolition of pacers was, to my mind, the most pressing problem. First, survey monkey is startled that someone confronted him directly, and secondly then goes onto give me a technical description of classes 142/143/144, in the manner of a "speak your weight machine". Classic!

However, I wonder if the reinstatement of Sunday services between Whitehaven and Barrow for the first time in a generation had anything to do with DafT surveys, or was it pressure from local government and/or local MPs etc?

Andrew
 

Groningen

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From Wikipedia: The Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations require that all public passenger trains must be accessible to disabled people by 2020. No Pacers currently meet this requirement and will therefore need to be withdrawn by that date unless they receive an extensive refurbishment. Hey; they drive also in Iran. Now that is a bonus.
 
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