Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Three crap days

The Piccadilly restarted normal operations last Thursday. That day there was a problem in the evening that they didn't tell anyone about, and Rayners Lane trains were running only from Acton Town. I guessed this when a Northfields train arrived at Barons Court (I have previously written about this being an automatic sign that something is wrong on the Piccadilly) so took it to Acton. Fortunately my train came in soon after. I drove to work on Friday (Bliss, with very light traffic). Then on Monday they had "signal problems" in the morning (delaying me 25 minutes) and yesterday they had problems "at Arnos Grove" that made me 30 minutes late coming home, the usual story of all trains being diverted to Heathrow and nobody, neither at Barons Court, Hammersmith, Acton Town or whoever makes the general announcements knowing a thing. Indeed, when I arrived at Barons Court at 6:25 there was usual "good services" notice but the station attendant at Hammersmith told me the problems had begun at around 4pm so there was plenty of time for the word to spread. The same attendant opined that the train I wanted would be arriving in under 10 minutes. Given that the indicator board was blank I wonder how he knew? In the end it was about 25 minutes, and 4 Heathrow trains, later. So it was jammed full.

If this was a private sector business heads would be rolling. It is not the fact that trains are delayed but the kneejerk responses of
a) tell passengers as little as possible and
b) cancel or reroute as many trains as possible
that drive me wild.

An open letter to Mr K Livingstone, apparently "Mayor" of London

Dear Ken
I know you care only about buses but the trains are the vital ingredient in preventing total gridlock in London. Why are they so crap? When do we get 21st century communication and information systems that tell us, the people who pay for the system, what trains are actually running?
Sincerely, a bloke who didn't vote for you last time precisely because you only care about buses

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