Monday, October 16, 2006

Train overcrowding

My daily journey to and from work involves the wonderful First Transpennine Express trains. These are always full to the point of busting and today was no exception. This is not normally too much of an issue. After 2 years, I'm used to it. However, today one chap seemed to suffer some sort of seizure en route to Leeds. It took an unreasonable amount of time to find the conductor, the emergency stop switch, the intercom to speak to the driver... anything that may have been of help really. And all of this could have been avoided and help got to the bloke quicker had the aisles not been completely full of people. Demand massively outstrips supply and we commuters just take it.
Does someone have to die before anything is done? Suffice to say I'll be writing to the operators with my concerns and copy the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive in. Not that I think it'll help.

16 comments:

The Big Fat Phony said...

Lovely new trains thay've got on that route. No extra carriages mind, just lovely new trains. No seats, a free sauna on every journey due to the close proximity of your fellow commuters.

To train drivers/conductors, don't bother including reasons for "the overcrowding on this service today" - it's not due to leaves on the line, the train before hand breaking down or swans on the line, it's due to whoever decides on the number of carriages per service being a set of complete and utter wankers that either can't count or have no idea that the train with 8 carriages would be better of put in use at 8am rather than 1.30 when everyone has already got to work!

Apparently the 8.27 was still on "on time" as I was stood on the platforma waiting for it at 8.45 this morning. This isn't a one off, it happens virtually every day.

Not to put too fine a point on it, First Transpennine Express you are a shower of robbing f*cking bastards that wouldn't know customer service if it clamped itself to your bollocks and pulled very very hard.

Asim said...

You've got it lucky, try commuting on a Northern Rail line for a while.

Give it two days and you'd be begging for the relative utopia of the First Transpennine trains.

John_D said...

Asim - after today, you're wrong.

BFP - following this morning's wonderful journey, anything you care to add?

John_D said...

Forgot to add: we got filmed this morning. Chap with a camera (obviously) with a stick attached which in turn had a train ticket attached so that in one corner of the frame, you would be able to see the price while the rest of the frame was filled with us - packed in like veal calves. I'm sure it was a good shot. Wonder what he'll be using it for.

The Big Fat Phony said...

What more is there to add? The train was late again - it's got to the stage where I'm not entirely sure if I'm on the 7.45, delayed 'til 8.30 or the 7.45 that's arrived at the right time but is a day late.

The train may have been been late an overcrowded but at least everyone had paid up - the fair collection operatives (aka Satans Little Wankers) saw to that. Not enough cash for enough carriages but enough to pay a bunch of un-employed bouncers with an attitude problem to hold you up in the morning and no doubt this evening as well.

John_D said...

I'm taking no chances - I'll be ducking out through the pub this morning.

John_D said...

57 minutes late today. What a service.... Well worth £87.50 every month for the privilege.

Anonymous said...

I reckon they're just taking the piss on purpose. Jeremy Beadle or yer wan from the States is gonna pop out any day soon and we'll all have a laugh about it.

John_D said...

Speaking of Beadle. He's got a tiny cock, apparently. On the other hand, it's massive.

Sorry. Back on topic....

The thing with jokes though, is that they're funny. Being robbed blind by that shower of bastards isn't my idea of humour.

The Big Fat Phony said...

Ah, Greenshield Boy strikes again....

Yes jokes are supposed to be funny and I can only imagine that First Transpennine Express executives are pissing themselves at the fact that they have control the only real viable route into and out of Leeds so they can treat their customers like shit and we can do cock all about it.

John_D said...

Except cough up another £87.50 next month as well. That'll show 'em eh? Eh? Oh.

The Big Fat Phony said...

www.firsttranspenninearashowerofbastardsandireallydoloathethemwithapassion.co.uk anyone? :)

John_D said...

You've reminded me. Last week, I managed to get a seat one day, just by the forbidden doors to first class. Jobsworth conductor was punting punters out of first class and herding them into the already chock full bit the other side of the forbidden doors, such that one lass was stood up in the doorway between first and lower class having nowhere to move to. Jobsworth conductor comes back through as we approach Leeds and proceeds to charge her a first class fare.
At this stage I noticed the conductor's name badge. It didn't say 'Conductor' under the name. They're not conductors. They're "Revenue Protection Officers". Which sort of sums First Transpennine Express up for mine.

Asim said...

One, ancient, carriage on my lovely (20 minutes late) Northern service this morning. That to serve people commuting between Leeds, Bradford and Halifax, then picking up from there the folk getting into Manchester.

I had to stand up the whole way and, at Littleborough, saw a woman fall out of the train back onto the platform because there simply wasn't room on there and people were pushing to get a bit more space.

By the time we got to Rochdale the guard finally decided to stop anyone else getting on, which seemed to induce a mini-riot on the station platform there.

Thank god I'm only making the journey 11 more times!

John_D said...

It's not been that bad. Yet. Late every day this week though. Which is impressive by itself.

Anonymous said...

Overcrowding is unlikely to change in the short term and will continue to be an issue certainly between Manchester and Leeds whilst additional rolling stock is sought. This has been promised in government statements specifically the High Level Output Statement published earlier this year.
Given this, it is unlikely that we are going to meet your aspirations (which lie outside our contractual obligation) which I believe to be the guarantee of a first class seat every day you use the service, especially as the take up of first class tickets between Manchester and Leeds has grown by 17% since 2005.

This is the official response from Edith Rodgers Customer Servces Director - edith.rodgers@firstgroup.com. They don't give a shit about passengers, its revenue and contracts.