Wednesday, 3 January 2007

3 Jan 2007 - Late Trains, Wingeing, Price of tickets from Bath

Caught the 0707 again but was not as lucky. The 0754 had already left by the time our train arrived into Didcot, so we had to wait 25 mins for the 0825 slow coach to Oxford. I bumped into Sara today, which was nice as I had not seen her for a while. She reported that the day return fare had gone up to just over £30! Apparently, a year ago it was £18.60. That's an increase of 61%. Arrived at work on time. Caught the 1653 home. Saw DW at Oxford station and he called me a luminescent gnome: I think it was his way of saying he was pleased to see me. It was nice to see DW again after the Xmas break and he told me that after my text on Tues, he had signed up to the FGW alerts as well.

When we got to Didcot, we bumped into Angus who felt the same way we did about the new timetable. It looked like the 1656 to Swansea was coming in very soon, so we decided to 'keep moving' and go to Swindon. However, by the time we got to Platform 1 it had been delayed even more to 1730 and we also met a very annoyed Brenda. Poor Brenda had caught the 1620 from Oxford and had been sitting there for ages. She managed to get on the very late Swansea train to Swindon. We decided to wait for the 1741 train to BTM as we would not have to change trains. (What HAS happened to the 'sorry', 'very sorry' annoucements?)

In the meantime we had a jolly good winge at the new timetable, decided how FGW could run a better rail system, decided what they should do with the mad person who designed the timetable (apparently it was done by a human this time, hence it does not work; the previous working timetable was done by a machine). Someone said that FGW had a message on their website saying that they were aware of the problems with the new timetable. It's at:

mmm, let's see what they do.

I especially liked this bit: 'Whilst not wishing to promise something we cannot deliver, the purpose of this note is to assure you we have a team of people looking at what may be possible for early in the New Year.'

I agree Brenda L, it's best if you don't promise to deliver anything, you have trouble delivering the trains. Also, I hope the team of people are different to the team you used when making the new timetable. Finally, early in the New Year

It took ages for us to get to Swindon, not sure why as nobody told us, but as soon as we had got to Swindon and departed there, the Train Manager thought it was safe to come and check our tickets. DW and I went and sat in D carriage and treated ourselves to a free coffee and a very expensive bag of saugage and mustard chips (aka crisps). Arrived into Bath 10 mins late, but 'Down the Line' was on Radio 4, which is very funny and made me laugh, so I forgot how annoyed I was at getting home late.


Journey to work/meeting punctuality: 82%, 9/11
Journey home punctuality: (only just) 82%, 9/11


FGW alerts:
0710 BRI-PAD cancelled. (Again?)
Delays into Pad caused by earlier points probs at Southall and signal probs at Didcot. Some reactionary delays from Pad.


Anonymous said...

Interesting blog, but you're doing pretty well on 82% punctuality! I catch the 1721 from Oxford to (supposedly) connect with the 1742 to Swindon (the infamous 5 minute connection...). So far this has worked - wait for it - 2 out of the 7 times I have tried it (a mighty 29%), due to a combination of late running and cancellations. On the remaining 5 occasions, I (along with around 50 or so 'happy' commuters) have had to wait almost an hour at Didcot for the next Swindon (1833) or Bristol TM (1842) trains.

Max said...

I have also tried this 'connection' a few times, and yes, it does not work. I am not why they bother to advertise it: the connections are looney, there are either minus 1 minute, 5 mins or 25 mins, with no happy medium. Apparently, there is a consulation process going on until 18 Jan. Read the blog in the next few days as I hope to get hold of an email address to send 'feedback' to.

thanks for your comment!