Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Don't worry, be amused by the train manager

Hello again all.
Things are getting serious here at blog central, what with various members of rail staff of different kinds across the network ordering "I Hate First Great Western" badges (no names, no being fired for being naughty) and you unhappy commuters giving me your grievances to ask the company's managers.
But, as I continue to feed my local postbox with protest badges, on a lighter note, I was most entertained by the train manager on last night's exceedingly slow train from Paddington to Reading. As each station was reached - Acton Main Line, Ealing Broadway, Hanwell, Southall, Hayes and Harlington... (god, it's endless), the manager announced the station with words such as "It gives me immeasurable pleasure to tell you that we will shortly be arriving at Maidenhead" and "I can hardly contain my excitement as I let you know that we will soon be at Twyford". Fair made me chuckle so it did, which is a difficult thing to achieve at that time of night on the stopper-from-hell I can tell you.
And my happiness was made complete this afternoon, when a lovely First Class Host brought me a cup of tea in a way that made me feel like some kind of VIP. What a wonderful way to travel, thought I, it took me right back to the old days of the Orient Express. No, not really, I've never been on it, but I think maybe I should, though it's probably the only train service that costs more to use than First Great Western.
Bizarrely, I was even quite happy about the tube strike, because it was a nice day, so I walked to work across Hyde Park and most pleasant it was.
So, there you go, a moment of happiness in this sea of complaining.
Normal service will be resumed next time.


Anonymous said...

Re: Orient Express expensive

Sounds like you are referring to the Venice Simplon Orient Express (VSOE) or the Nostalgic Orient Express (NOE) anmd not the Real Orient Express, as "The Man in Seat Sizty One" explains.


Anonymous said...

If you were stopping at all those small stations, it's very unlikely you had a train manager.
Driver only operations on those stopping services dontcha know!

Bodolph said...

WARNING: FGW are starting to enforce the no standing in the first class carriages again. This is even when you are outside the sliding doors and next to the exits. Two mornings running I've been threatened with penalty fares for something I've had to do for the last 3 years. My journey is now switching from uncomfortable to intolerable. Hopefully commonsense will eventually come out of its slumber at FGW.

However I do have a suggestion for FGW; why not always run the trains in reverse formation? Standard at the front and first class at the rear. I'm pretty certain this will reduce the number of standard class passengers in the first class carriages.

Richard said...

Obviously, then these won't be first class carriages anymore - because being at the rear, means that when they pull into Paddington, they have much further to walk to the station exits than the standard class plebs.

Maybe FGW should ask some of the standards to piggyback a firstclasser to the station exits.

"Our next stop is Paddington. Before leaving the train, please make sure you have all your belongings with you. Please ensure that on leaving the train, you have a first class person on your back, as the ticket barriers are in operation"

Anonymous said...

Re the comments about FGW trains and disability scooters.... I tried to book a trip on a train using my electric scooter and was told that it would have to be dismantled BEFORE the train arrived and that I may or may not get help to get it on and off the train.I only needed to be on the train to travel ONE station and I am OUTRAGED that FGW put their lack of comp

Anonymous said...

I was told by FGW that I would have to dismantle my electric scooter before the train I wanted to travel on got to the station that I wanted to travel from and that I may or may not get help with lifting the parts of my scooter on and off the train.As I am disabled there is no way I can do as they suggested.If I wasnt disabled! I wouldnt need an electric scooter would I? I think the government should make them carry disabled scooters without them having to be dismantled. Why do they have portable ramps in the stations if they are not for the use of disabled people? and why blame their laziness on health and safety I HATE FIRST GREAT WESTERN THEY ARE MAKING ME A PRISONER IN MY OWN HOME! I live in a village and now feel that I have to move to a town because I dont have any other means of transport

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonymous (27th September). I'm at the Reading Chronicle - I've been doing a few pieces about FGW, would love to hear your story if you live nearby and want to get in touch.

My name's Adam Hewitt, get me on adamhewitt AT readingchronicle.co.uk
or 0118 nine six three 3152.