Thursday, 25 January 2007

25 Jan - FGW 24 Jan Letter?, Didcot-Bath Not Allowed, First Bus Service


0642 turned up OK, and we got to Didcot OK. It stopped today! Got into work OK. Then went off to London and all worked OK. Super!

Left meeting and aimed to catch the 1600 to Bridgwater (stops at Bath). But hold on, it does not stop at Didcot and my ticket is Pad-DID then DID-Bath. mmm. OK, let's get on a train that stops at Swindon, then pick a Bath train up from there. OK. But as we approach Reading, paranoia steps in and as we were delayed by 10 mins (but I had not seen the Bath train overtake us) I thought I'd get off here and then get on to the Bath train at Reading. And if anyone checked my ticket and told me off for getting on a train that did not stop at Didcot, I'd just smile and act all innocent. To be honest, my brain hurt from thinking too much about which blinking train I needed to get on, be legal, and get home! In the end my ticket wasn't checked once! Arrived in Bath 10 mins late, so that's a late in my book. And I missed the bus.

Which brings me on my new topic of First buses in Bath. I had just missed one bus and started to wait for the next. I did think about walking but as the plumber was coming over I wanted to get home quickly.

So the bus arrived, and I asked how much to Lambridge. £1.60! I only had £1.40 in change. 'OK, how much to Ballustrade?' £1.60! 'OK, how far can I get for £1.40?' Hilton Hotel!!!!!! I told the bus driver that that was ridiculous and walked off the bus.

So I started walking. The bus finally overtook me at Morrisons, after about 1 mile and a quarter. OK, it beat me home by 10 mins, but I saved £1.60!!! I was tempted to get on at the Hilton Hotel (if I could have been bothered to wait for it) in the hope that the fare would have been 60p, but I doubt that somehow.

Back to the main issue, trains. Don Foster, my local MP has signed the Wessex Trains petition. Watch this space. He gave a speech in the House of Commons. My favourite bit was: 'The fare from Bath to London on the high-speed train is one of the highest priced train journeys per mile in the entire world.' Why is this?

I am also going to have to admit that I picked up a discarded letter off the ground near Oxford station this morning. It was a letter from FGW. It was wet and soggy, but as they did not have any dry copies to hand out, my ticket-check friend suggested I went into the ladies' loos and used the hand dryer to dry the letter. FGW said lots of things in the letter, like 'but we'll have leather seats, etc.,' but they also mentioned that they will lease some more units and FirstGroup are going to lend them some Class 158 units. Checking my Spotters Guide to Train Units in Reach magazine, I was a bit disappointed to see that they were the carriages for the slower services. Although, to be honest, they are probably needed more that more HST carriages, by the sound of things.

I never thought of myself as a potential train spotter. And I had never thought of any connection between the chaps who stand around Didcot with them camcorders (yes, the 21st century has reached train spotting) and myself.

Time to go.


Journey to work/meeting punctuality: 85%, 23/27
Journey home punctuality: 85%, 23/27


FGW alerts:
0730 Carmarthen to Padd, starts at Swansea, due to maintenance problems.
1545 Pad-Swansea cancelled. Train from Pad delayed in Reading area to due [sic] failed train London side of Reading.

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