February 16, 2005

That's How it Works in England

Just the other day, Catheryn got stuck on the train for almost four hours. Apparently a train in front was 'not working'. Everytime they tried to move the train, the brakes went on. That's one stubborn train.

They sent a 'team of engineers' to try and get the train going. 'The engineers' must have lived quite far away to take over two hours to get there. I guess they tried to come by train. The engineers (probably an old man with a spanner) finally got the train out of the way, and all the poor people on the train (including Catheryn) finally got to London.

The poor passengers were all very hungry and thirsty because the man who does the refreshment car on the train (a Stansted 'express' no less) had 'not shown up'. I spent my time at Liverpool Street waiting for Catheryn and loitering around the Stansted Express ticket desk telling people to go and get the coach from Stratford instead.

Catheryn phoned me from the train and asked me to go and get a form to fill in for a refund. In front of me at the ticket desk, some Germans were enquiring when the trains to Stansted might start actually running again.

'I don't know', said the man. 'No-one knows. It might be in 5 minutes, it might be tomorrow. You'll just have to go out onto the platform and see what happens. That's how it works in England.'

Quite unimpressed, the Germans wandered off. I approached the desk and asked for a refund claim form. The man departed and came back with four of them. 'I'll give you four,' he said. 'I'm sure you won't have any trouble using them.'

On these forms, it declares that any refunds will be paid in 'Rail Vouchers'. That's real nice that is. Maybe it's to stop people vowing to never take the train again.

Posted by paul at February 16, 2005 08:59 PM