Thursday, October 20, 2005

Gloom in the Damp

Maybe it’s the wet weather. Services on the Piccadilly have deteriorated noticeably in the last few weeks. Cancellations in the morning and real problems on several, separated, days in the evenings. Last night a security alert caused the usual knee-jerk cancellation of through services to Rayners Lane, replaced by the dreaded shuttle between RL and Acton Town. No particular interruption to Heathrow trains, of course.

Communications are as bad as ever. Passengers entering Hammersmith last night confronted a message board showing “minor delays” for the Piccadilly. True enough for those going on the Heathrow branch. A 20 minute wait for those of us heading Rayners Lane way. At least the station announcer was on track, telling people on the platform to take the first train and change. And at Acton Town no announcements at all as a large crowd built up, until at last our shuttle pulled in at a snail’s pace from the siding and ground along arthritically most of the way. Perhaps the driver was being considerate and trying not to make the train sway too much, bearing in mind the numbers standing. Or maybe they just run them slowly as part of the whole mindset that goes “there’s a problem, lets screw up the Rayners Lane branch as much as humanly possible”.

I am making far more Customer Charter refund claims than earlier in the year. And they are getting paid too. Yesterday I received one for a claim made for September 26th. Now if only the actual trains were run with the same efficiency as the claims office…

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