Friday, 5 January 2007

Late Again.

Boo hoo
I have realised why South West Trains are being overwhelmingly thoughtful and charitable to me in the mornings by benevolently providing tea and coffee free of charge.

Engineering works means that all services are being delayed by a few minutes here and there.

Normally I don’t object too much about this in the morning. I get to work over 30 minutes earlier than I should do according to my payroll. However, this allows me lots of flexibility with train times and delays, and I can grant myself an unhurried saunter from the station to the office as opposed to a power-walk of stress.

On the way home, though, I require a train that arrives on time and delivers me to my destination on time.

I do not want to wait an extra half an hour on my train as it waits patiently just 10m away from the station I need to get off at, while we wait for the green light. This is what happened last night. I was not pleased.

As the train chugged closer to my intended station, I had put my book away (Daphne Du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’ is the current read) and had checked my phone for the last time before shoving it into my handbag and zipping it up. I had rearranged my scarf around my neck in preparation for the 11 minute walk home. I was ready to go.

And then we stopped. For 35 minutes. I wanted to bang on the doors and say ‘please let me out – I can walk up the track if need be. I don’t want to wait here for this silly train. Oh, signal failure you say? Who needs a signal to say you can go?! You can SEE that the platform is clear!’

As a result, I got home nearly 40 minutes later than I normally do. Which is a shame as it makes the evening feel sooooooo short.

I attempted to comfort myself with watching a bit of the new Celebrity Big Brother on C4. What a total pile of
cr@p and who are all those people anyway? I seem to remember saying this last year and ending up absolutely loving the programme, to my shame. Who knows- maybe that will happen this year. maybe not. However, CBB did not provide much comfort to me. I imagine I’ll be arriving late home every night in January. January is when the engineering works are being engineered. Expect delays. No kidding.


blue soup said...

I thought you had replacement bus services to all stations in your area?

The Boy said...

Yessss, had that last night outside Woking. Its one of the excuses I hate the most.

CoatMan said...

Ahh, train delays on the way home are very not fun, especially meters from the station. Delays on the way to work, however, are somewhat more welcome - especially as they are an excellent excuse to have more (train-board) sleep.

Incidentally, I'm intrigued - where did you get that photograph of an N-gauge model of a South-West Trains livery Class 159?

Girl on A Train said...

I'm impressed Coatman that you know the name of that particular model. and slightly concerned.
I simply typed 'southwest trains' into google images and it was on the second or so page.

Bluesoup, i am lucky enough to just avoid the buses. They start at my statioN!

CoatMan said...

If you're concerned that I know the name, then you should be equally concerned that you know that I'm right ;-)

Anonymous said...

I’ve worked for a train company for just short of two years. In that time I have constantly been impressed by the dedication of my colleagues. I have never worked for a company where the staff have been so committed to customer satisfaction, nor so driven by personal motivation. Only after working for a Train Operating Company (TOC) have I come to realise what problems are faced in providing a passenger train service. Without that knowledge I find it hard to listen with credulity to anyone criticising a TOC.
Passengers only look at their own requirements, without giving a thought to the challenges that TOCs face. Passengers are not generally aware of the way TOCs integrate with Network Rail, who own the tracks. They often don’t realise that the actual train stock is leased. They don’t realise that someone holding the doors so that friends can board can create a knock-on delay that can lead to cancellations and delays. They don’t realise that a yob trespassing can also have this effect.

Girl on A Train said...

I think you are right, anonymous, passengers don't realise a lot of those things. We are wrapped up in our own lives with other things to think about (our own jobs, for example). However, it is TOC's employee's jobs to think about their job, obviously, so they do think about these things. I have said in other posts, that overall I am quite happy with South West Trains, but there will always be occasions (sadly) where I am not so happy because something going wrong (as it inevitably does) from time to time has an effect on my life.
Thanks for posting your comments, I don't want to offend employees of TOCs, but there are times when things could be better managed, and times when they do fine (and therefore, I don't talk about them in my blog. Good news is boring news, and it's sad but true!)

Lee said...

this reminds me of a time when I was coming back from Salisbury and because there was enginnering works I could only get a train as far as Eastleigh and get a bus the rest of the way home, only the train sat just outside of Eastleigh Station for 40 minutes!!! not a lot of people were happy about this, and started sitting dowen after waiting for 10 minutes outside the staion, and guess what no apology (this was FGW, not South West Trains)