Thursday, 21 December 2006

Second week - Thursday 21 December

Not a good start. Got up at 0500 as I wanted to get into work early as there's sheds of work to do, but the bloody 0612 is cancelled! Will have to wait here until 0630 so I can catch the 0642. I am glad DT has gone to Sicily already, otherwise he'd be very annoyed this morning. Have just emailed my MP in the hope that we can get some help. The system seems to be falling apart: not enough drivers, broken trains, broken points, empty trains on some lines and overcrowded trains on others.

So got on the 0642, but due to a technical problem (how many technical problems can there be?), there were no hot drinks available on the train. Finally got to Didcot and met Brenda - Brenda had had to drive to Oxford twice this week: once because she could not trust the trains to get her to an important meeting one morning and the second as she could not trust them to get her home safely late one night. It is shocking to think that we pay for our season tickets, but to be doubly sure of getting somewhere for a certain time, you have to resort to driving your car.
For days we have been observing that the sliding soors made an unbearable noise, so today Brenda plucked up the courage to tell the Didcot staff about it. We did not get a postive response though and he didn't seem too fussed when we pointed out that his replies, 'they have always made that noise', 'nobody has complained about them before', didn't do much for customer service. If you're listening FGW, the phone number for the door repair company is 01264 350616. It's on a sticker next to the doors. May be one day I'll ring them myself.

Left work at 1700 to catch the 1721 OXF-DID train. As usual the Oxford driver was not really concerned with the timetable and decided to leave 3 mins late. This was a bit owrrying as this is an advertised connecting train with only a 5 min connection time. So, just my luck that once the train got the Didcot, and about 20 of us legged it to platform 1, the DID-BTM train pulled out. We were late by 1 minute. A member of the dispatch team, CT, said that he could not hold the train for us. However, we have spoken to his station manager and she will if possible. It's only a minute!!!! It's Christmas, come on , give us a small present!

So I had to wait from 1742 until 1841 for the next train to BTM. And I am not sure if anyone has noticed, but Didcot has its own climate. The other morning it was snowing, it was very pretty, but nowhere else had snow. My clever husband pointed out that the moisture from the cooling towers were to blame!


Journey to work/meeting punctuality: 75%, 6/8
Journey home punctuality: 87.5%, 7/8


FGW alerts:
20 December:
1500 Plymouth-Pad cancelled. No further notified problems.
1721 Oxford-Paddington cancelled. With apologies.

21 December:
The 0600 BristolTM to Padd & 0815 Pad to Cardiff are cancelled. The 0602 Salisbury to Cardiff will start from Warminster.
The 0817 Plymouth to Par has been cancelled.
Full advertised service. No problems reported.
1630Pad-Oxford and 1821 Oxford -PAD both cancelled. Train crew resourcing problems.

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