Sunday, November 26, 2006

bloody trains

so i figured i would use the train again
i was going up to Victoria for the day
it made sense to just pop up by train
rather than paying congestion charge and having the car parked all day

i checked the times online and found that i needed to leave half an hour earlier than i thought
due to something called engineering works
arrived at the station in plenty of time
the board shows my train was due at the expected time (love the use of the word 'expected' still leaving that little caveat ... we were expecting it hardly our fault if it doesn't make it)
one minute before it is due it changes to 'delayed' ... surely they knew that sooner than one minute before?
i waited impatiently ... after ten minutes the board changes to 'cancelled' ... huh? ... where did it go? ... a whole train can't have just disappeared ... apparantly there have been signal failures at crystal palace
so i cross to another platform intending to try and get to East Croydon (one stop down the line) and catch a fast train to Victoria ... i get on a train and ask a passenger if the train goes to East Croydon ... no West Croydon ... hop off quickly ... announcement says train has been diverted to East Croydon and will no longer be calling at West Croydon ... hop on again ... feel stupid

eventually get a train to Victoria and arrive on time ... just
wife thinks it is funny to call me and ask where i am so i have to say 'i'm on the train'

so after using the train three times this week i have come to the conclusion it is not for me
i can see why sometimes it might be fun and useful but frankly the risks are too great
the messing about ... the lack of proper information ... the time it takes ... the messing about ... being at the mercy of people who can't even fix their own signals or at least have a backup plan (man with red flag walking in front seemed to work well for quite some time)

now ... where did i put my car keys

of course the irony was at the end of the day a friend cheerfully pointed out that as it was saturday there was no congestion charge and that the parking was free in the street outside on a saturday ... why tell me that afterwards!

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