Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Strike One

Mon 09/11/09


So it begins, with a cancelled train.

Actually, more of an invisible one, as Translink made no announcement to let us know it wasn't coming, it must have been on time - we must all just not have seen it. Probably our own fault, really. We should be more observant. After all, those new trains are harder to see, especially on the Larne line:


More at: http://www.translink.co.uk/stayrailsafe.asp


To give context to this Blog I’ll post some background: I got so angry with public transport this week, for reasons I will go on to give vent to, that I had to find a way to release my anger without harming myself or others! Hence this Blog.


I commute daily from Greenisland (a stop on the Larne line*) to Belfast Central on the train, when it comes. From there I take a number 23 bus to the Stormont Estate. I attempt this perilous journey on a daily basis, and my success is rather mixed. I chose the name of this Blog because, sometimes, this seemingly straightforward journey can become a veritable epic.


I welcome comments from others with a similar tale to tell – it might not change the world, but it’s certainly made me feel better to get it off my chest!


To get back to Monday. On Monday the 07:34 train simply never arrived. On the opposing platform an announcement was made that their train was being cancelled. On the Belfast platform we all counted ourselves fortunate as families packed their children back into cars and people generally dispersed from Platform 2. How wrong we were. Platform 2 were the lucky ones, they got an announcement. We stood like plonkers until an express train whizzed past.


Oh yes, Translink still run express trains on the line, even if they have cancelled a previous train. Even if the train is half-empty, it still doesn’t stop. It’s a very effective way of adding insult to injury. Both platform 1 and 2 were treated to an expressive exhibition as we watched other commuters overtake us, cold, stranded, abandoned.


The 07:54 train was then delayed. Experienced observers like myself were expecting this, as the express had also been late. In total my journey was delayed by around 28 minutes. Perfect. If it wasn’t difficult to believe them capable of such brilliant timing, I’d suspect Translink of doing it on purpose to deprive passengers of any compensation. I arrived just in time for my meeting.



Personal time wasted on this journey: 28 mins

Cumulative personal time wasted by Translink: 28 mins

Total cost of my delayed journeys to the economy: £6.02

Frustration factor: Disgusted [by the Express train]








*see http://www.translink.co.uk/resources2007/pdfs/NIR_routemap_Oct09.pdf



No comments:

Post a Comment