Friday, October 12, 2007

A sad day

Hello again
It was with great sadness earlier today that I stepped into the last first-class carriage in which I am properly entitled to sit down and make myself comfy.
Yes, the free first-class upgrade has expired, no more will a free flapjack and a cup of tea brighten up my trips to work. RIP upgrade, I will miss you a lot.
But, what other news?
Those of you who use Facebook may notice that anti-First Great Western groups are springing up there - it seems the anger is still running just as high as it was when I felt compelled to start this blog more than ten months ago. One has even named itself "I Hate First Great Western", but has no relation to this blog, though I hope its members will come and visit, and perhaps order a badge or two.
So, ten months on, are things any better at all? Well, I do feel that I have a better understanding of why bad things happen, but I must admit the customer service still doesn't seem to have improved much, what's your experience?
I'm about to try and take the major step of changing my season ticket, so that it runs from my new home in Windsor instead of from Pangbourne. I imagine this will not go off without a hitch, but we'll see.
There's still no news of when my meeting with the First Great Western people will take place. They're quite busy with the Ufton Nervet inquest at the moment, so fair enough, but it's been rather a long time since I asked. I hope to be able to bring you some answers to some hard questions in the next week or two.


Anonymous said...

How sad that despite recieving a free upgrade, you can only find time to complain. It just goes to show that even if you people got a whole carriage to yourselves with dancing girls to entertain you and it was offered free, then you would still find something to complain about. Have you tried the car?
get a life

Anonymous said...

Well thank you for that very unuseful comment anonymous. I think the whole article was written rather tongue in cheek and didn't deserve your reply!

Have you tried driving into Central London on a daily basis?

Do you commute into London on FGW every day?

I think the answer to both questions will be no?

Anonymous said...

so if travelling by car is so bad then why dont you set up a website called

I travel to london from reading every day

Anonymous said...

Now I never said driving was bad. In fact I enjoy driving to work.. Most days it's faster than the train. You try finding a parking space though which doesn't require a mortgage!

Did you used to travel with Thames trains. Do you know what it used to be like when commuting worked well from Maidenhead (at least - can't say I've ever commuted from Reading)?

I just think you should take this blog in the manner with which it is intended. Nothing is written on here which isn't true (I hope!) about FGW! A lot of it is tongue in cheek and should be taken as such.. And you shouldn't let it wind you up!

Anonymous said...

your web site is called Ihatefirstgreatwestern. You do wind people up, and then they go on the train and take it out of the train staff.
It is odd that you liked Thames trains so much, the enquiry after the Ladbrook Grove train crash declaired that Thames Trains had a very poor regard for safety, and they were heavily fined for this. You must like living dangerously. I dont. I would rather arrive safelyeven if this means being late. According to the AA you are wrong when you say it is quicker by car. They say it takes one hour and 41 minutes to drive from Reading to Paddington at 8am. It takes about 30 minutes on the train. 2 minutes late and you would think someone was being murdered. I bet the car journey is often late. Please stop winding people up as it only makes the railway staff more un helpful.

By the way, there is plenty on here which is untrue.

I hate FGW said...

Thank you, whoever it is that's defending me here.
It's my site, I'm allowed to hate First Great Western if I like.
If you read it properly, you'd find out that it's read and replied to by staff from FGW who add helpful explanations for why things go wrong.
If you insist on having a sense of humour failure, please go and do it somewhere else, we like having a moan when the trains are bad, and why shouldn't we if we want to?

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree with IhateFGW. Anonymous, we all get wound up by the trains when they are consistently late or cancelled, and hopefully (well I don't anyway) take it out on the FGW staff. But if you're getting wound up by this web site, maybe you're repressing your train rage!!
Anyway, as far as I am aware (and I could be wrong), commuting from Reading is a lot easier as there are lots of fast trains pass through there. In Maidenhead we don't see many.

It's not worth getting into an argument over driving. I've done it. I know it's generally quicker. I can be miles past the M25 before my train even leaves Maidenhead as there are so few fast trains. Obviously it can also take a very long time when there are problems.

Also I assume either the trains from Reading are more reliable than the ones from Maidenhead, or you have a very understanding boss. My train has been 15 minutes, 20 minutes and 19 minutes late this week (so thats a 25% punctuality rate so far). Turning up at work consistently late is not the best way of pleasing the boss.. And no, I can't get an earlier train (as I sure you will tell me to do) as I have to do the school run first, and I'm not allowed to leave the children at school any earlier than I do.

Now, no one is forcing people to read this blog. So if you don't like it. Don't read it!

Anonymous said...

oops. meant to say don't take it out on station staff!

Anonymous said...

And no one is forcing you to use the train, and if you say its quicker by car then there is a solution for you.

You dont realise the damage you people are causing. I remember the press berating british rail all the time and now they talk about 'good old british rail' like they had nothing to do with their demise.

I note there are no comments about safety, and if its your blog site then keep it out of the public domain or expect to get comments back.

It seems to me that you can dish it out but you cant take it.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. I can't believe you're still here. No it's not my blog, I'm just one of the many other passengers who have to suffer FGW.

What damage is this blog possibly doing? It's just somewhere for us to moan about FGW. Much better than doing it to the poor FGW staff who have to work for the company surely?

Incidentally, unless they are well hidden on the internet, I haven't managed to find any blogs about other train companies (although I concede there could be some). If FGW could run their trains on time occasionally, then this website would be obsolete..

And that is the solution!

Anonymous said...

Oh and I refer you to my comment above about taking out a mortgage to pay for parking in central London as the reason I take the train most days and only drive occasionally.

Anonymous said...

yes I am still here, i am not going anywhere. as I already stated, the problem with this blog is that many people read it and because the problems are exaggerated other people believe them.(It must be true because I read it somewhere).

For example you stated that the comments on this blog were true (you hope!) but then say that if only FGW could run their trains on time occasionaly....
Although it might not be the highest I think that 70+% of trains run on time. I think that is more than occasionally. And its comments like this that are damaging. You should get your facts right.

Things are not perfect but if you took the trouble to look for something positive, then you would find that you might be happier going to work and this might rub off on the staff who would then be able to offer a good service without getting abuse or rude remarks that you would not be prepared to put up with at your place of work.

If you took the trouble to look, you will find complaining websites for many of the train companies. Do you have Google?

This website would never be obsolete because people like you would always find something to complain about.

Ollie said...

Just a quick note to say that I personally have never seen anything on here saying this was against the staff.

AFAIK this blog is purely about FGW as a company.

Correct me if I am wrong..

Anonymous said...

Ollie, the point that I am making is that people read what is put on this site, believe that they should have their say and then go on the train and say it to the staff but in an agressive or sarcastic manner, and I bet the staff get fed up with it.
The title of this blog is incitement enough. It encourages people to hate the uniform, not the shareholders or management because they are not standing on a platform day in and day out.

I have been travelling to london for 5 years now and when things go wrong it is usually something that is out of their control (mostly) but even when everything is ok all I hear on my way to work is moaning about something. One morning the moaning was about the colour of the carpet!
No wonder people are getting depressed.
It has been 30 years since network rail invested in this area. they have been concentrating on projects like upgrading the west coast line, so when there is a delay 17 times out of 20 it is down to infrastructure problems. and the long delays are down to things like bridge strikes, suicides, track circuit failure, points failure, signal failure, lightning strikes, suspect packages etc etc. All of which are out of FGW control. Where FGW could improve would be on the maintenance of its trains or on its lack of staff which causes train cancellations. (are they short of staff or are they off sick).
So I would suggest that you find out why your train was delayed and target your gripes to the relevant company that caused it.
thank you

Anonymous said...

maybe the staff are off sick because they have to put up with so much day in and day out.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, when I said "if only FGW could run their trains on time occasionaly" it was rather tongue in cheek (even if my morning train only managed a 40% punctuality rate this week!).

Unless I'm wrong, Ollie is a member of FGW staff (correct me if I'm wrong, I'm sure I saw that somewhere but could be mistaken?), and if he's not worried too much that this blog is doing damage, then I guess it isn't.

Believe me, I'm perfectly happy going to work. Even when there are really bad delays, we all just grin and bear it instead of taking it out on FGW staff. It's my boss who isn't quite so happy at my constant late arrival!

Anonymous said...

how come every time you say something, which turns out to be wrong, it turns out to be tongue in cheek. oh dear oh dear

Anonymous said...

Well the 40% punctuality bit is true.

Am I just supposed to grin and bear that?

Does your boss mind you arriving at work late so often, or are the Reading services more punctual than my Maidenhead one?