Sorry it's been a while since my last missive. I have been away to the fair isle of Ireland, and not a train did I see during that time, armed as I was with a Ford Focus and a road map.
But, on my return, I have discovered that viewers in Wales will be able to watch the Week In Week Out programme about the train service from Wales to London (featuring my good self) on the 10th of June. So tune in, and let me know if I sound like a bit of a loon, as when you have to explain why you run a blog called "I Hate First Great Western" and send badges out to people bearing this legend, it's hard to come off as normal. Still, no change there.
I was interested to read a comment on my last post from a visitor who thought that free WiFi access was a great idea, and one which would affect their choice of train provider, so hopefully FGW will be watching and listening, and fingers crossed this perk may be available soon. I'm still very much enjoying the free off-peak first class upgrade, that really is a favourite.
This led me to wonder what other PR victories the company could score, by simply adding a few extra bonuses to their service. Answers on a postcard.
I've also been whiling away my leisure time coming up with a controversial theory as follows (I expect much abuse for this one, but hear me out):
Why not make the trains slower? In other words, leave a bit more time for them to get between stations, and stop for a few minutes each time. This is what the little shuttle does between Windsor and Slough, it sits for at least five minutes each end, and as a result is never late. If the train timetables were more realistic, and allowed for a minute or two extra at each station, the trains would be much more likely to be on time, because a few minutes delay here and there could be soaked up by not stopping so long at the next stop.
And, if you think that's mad, just ask yourself if you'd rather take a 30 minute journey that was always on time, rather than a 15 minute journey that was very often late?
I always choose South West trains from Windsor to London. It takes twice as long on paper, but in practice, it's often quicker, and it's virtually always on time.
So, should First Great Western take a look at their services, and give themselves a reality check?