|Comparing a different part of the country
I'm training this week in Beeston, in Nottingham, with a view from my training room over the station. I'm struck by the number of trains that come through, the high proportion that seem to stop, and by how modern they look - they seem to make even our most modern "158" units look slighly vintage! I know I've read that FGW has the older fleet, but this really brings it home.
But some things are the same. One of my delegates commutes from Stoke-on-Trent by train, and was telking about how it works well when there are no delays ... but come delays and connections that miss, he gets stuck at Derby.
It must have been about 20 or 30 years ago that there was a tendency to start stringing semifast and crosscountry services together, end to end, to provide a better passenger experience for the people making longer journeys. I know I travelled on the Crewe to Skegness train once - not all the way, but certainly for a substantial time, and I've been on the Manchester to London Waterloo train and the Brighton to Exeter one too.
There are still some such services around - Norwich to Liverpool is one I can think of, and now there's Brighton to the Worcester area. But some are getting cut in pieces again for operational / franchise / reilability reasons; I'm certainly not happy with what I have heard about Cross Country trains terminating in Birmingham in all directions, and I wonder about hordes of luggage-laden Grannies souting around having arrived from Bournemouth and looking for the onward train to York.
The Crewe to Skegness has gone too - at least at the time of day that my delegate travels. For it used to provide a good service for passengers from Stoke-on-Trent to Beeston. It seems that as well as forward steps which have doubled the number of passengers travelling by train since the low point, we have taken a number of backward steps.
Written 2008-01-31 18:33:43
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