Friday, 6 November 2009

More Inspiration

We've been getting poor service recently (the stats FGW produced are not correct for my route), and since we are not going to be given the usual 10% crap service discount I sent my 5 month log of real-life statistics to FGW. I hope to receive a nice payment...perhaps in time for Christmas.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Inspired again!

Due to popular demand the blog is back! We feel a need to start recording our experiences, as although we have enjoyed a long period of relative calm, we are starting to see it slipping. And with the prospect of losing the poor performance discount, there is a need to document the perofrmance we experience.

For starters, the 1742 to BTM is delayed due to a fault on this train. Chris is rather worried about this and thinks it sounds quite serious.

The morning journey went well, so it looks like a 50% service today. We had 50% yesterday, but 100% on Monday. So far this week we have 66% performance this week.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

It's only taken them a year, give 'em a chance

Come on, it's only taken them a year to work out that wasting an hour of your life every day if not good customer service. So roll on Monday 10 December for the old, sorry, new, timetable. (Even if it means 5-6 min connections....and yes, you 1721ers from Oxford, you know what that means! 'It's not a connecting service')

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

9, 12 and 14 March - 3-day birthday pressie

I haven't posted anything for a while as everything seems to have settled down and I have not had anything to day or winge about.

It was my birthday on 9 March and FGW kindly ensured that the Cheltenham train was delayed at Didcot so that we could catch it and then get on the BTM train at Swindon. Bit of a nightmare legging it between trains with a bike, a heavy bag and a bottle of wine, but it was worth it! Same thing happened on 12 March. And today on 14 March the train for Bath stopped at Didcot so we went straigh through to Bath, just like in the old days. It was fab.

Monday, 19 February 2007

19 Feb - Driver didn't know the way to Chippenham!

I was sitting at Swindon station this evening, thinking that I wouldn't have to do a special entry for today's on my blog, as this morning's journey had been uneventful, when the train to Bristol Temple Meads turned up (this train calls, and has always called, at Chippenham, Bath, then Bristol TM). I had caught 2 trains to get this far, and it had taken me over 1 hour. I was pleased to be getting on the thrid and final train of the day.

So we got on and sat down, and started to settle down. After a few minutes we were still sitting in Swindon station. 'What's going on?' we thought. I said, 'I bet you they are going to tell us that we are not stopping at Chippenham or Bath'. Then the train manager came on the tannoy and made an announcement. Well, I guess that's what she did, but the sound system in our carriage was broken so we didn't hear it. Concerned, JF got up to see what was happening as now the electronic departure board said that the train was only calling at Bristol TM (I could be a psychic). I went into the next carriage and asked the passengers if they heard the announcement. Nobody in that carriage had either. So I announced that it looks like we won't be calling at Chippenham or Bath. I then went back into my carriage and informed the passengers in there. Someone asked me why. I replied 'I dunno, just one of their whims', which is sort of true - one never knows what is going to happen next of a FGW train, the timetable is a fantastic piece of fiction!

So we got off the train. I ran along the platform (with my 10kg bike) and tried to ask the train manager why we weren't stopping. She refused to talk to anyone, so I had to ask the train dispatch man. He said, and I quote 'the driver does not know the route to Chippenham or Bath'. I replied that it was one railway and there were a few lights along the way, so what is the problem? (I could tell her the way as I've done it enough times!) He then said, she could not 'sign' for the route. Essentially, she should have been relieved at Swindon and another driver should have taken us to the advertised stops.

Needless to say, most people were livid. Especially when 90% of the passengers on that train were going to Chippenham or Bath.

Am I being cynical ifI were to suggest that this was a ploy to get to BTM on target? Much better to reach your target than the serve the paying passengers. Why was it that the driver could go to BTM but not the stations inbetween?

So, I arrived 30 mins late. Not impressed. What a shambles. What a pathetic excuse for a train company. A long complaint is in the post.


Journey to work punctuality: 84%, 37/44
Journey home punctuality: 77%, 34/44


FGW alerts:
nothing exciting to say for themselves today. Of course, no reports of what really happened!

Friday, 16 February 2007

15 and 16 Feb - Half term correlation with driver sickness?

Both 15 and 16 Feb went well. All trains (2 going to work and 3 going home on both days) appeared on time. The only excitement was tonight at Swindon when a few drunk lads got hold of the microphone on platform 4 and started making annoucements. At first we ignored this as we are used to hearing incomprehensible utterings from the station staff, however, when they started giggling and getting a bit giggly we realised what had happened.

Other gossip from this week: DT gave a member of the Oxford station staff a lesson in how to say thank you. And today, the 0755 connected with the 0754, sorry DW!

I was going to entitle this entry 'nothing too exciting' but then I remembered about the messages I had received this week about why trains were cancelled: driver sickness. And then I noticed all the kids hanging around Didcot station. It was half-term week! Of course, I might just be imagining it all.


Journey to work punctuality: 84%, 36/43
Journey home punctuality: 79%, 34/43


FGW alerts:
15 Feb
0650 Wchstr FG St yo Oxf cancelled, traincrew sicknedd. Next train 0728, road transport. 0733 Oxf Paddington, train fault.
1605 Oxford-Paddington cancelled. Possible delays between Swindon and Chippenham due to signalling problem.
16 Feb
Late start expected 0651 Oxford to Paddington approximately 10 mins.
Full advertised service. No problems reported.
nothing to note

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

14 Feb - Go With What You Know, My Lucky Day

I caught the usual 0642 today - I couldn't face another 0612 and not actually reaching my destintation on time. Did the usual wait at Didcot for 25 mins, but we got in on time.

Caught the 1621 home - we were lucky when we got to Didcot as a Cheltenham train was delayed so we got on that, then went to plaftom 4 and caught the slightly delayed BTM train, and I was in Bath for 1740! Fantastic! Enough time to make myself beautiful for my Valentine...


Journey to work punctuality: 83%, 34/41
Journey home punctuality: 78%, 32/41


FGW alerts:
nothing to note or of amusement