March 01, 2005

Everyone Knows the Trains are Crap

Everyone in Britain surely already knows that the trains here are now crap and overpriced, and that the system in general is totally and completely useless - but that's not going to stop me writing another little story about it is it?

On Friday, I ambled in to Liverpool Street station at about 6.30pm, with the aim of getting a train to Chelmsford. I could have gone earlier, but that would mean having to buy two single tickets instead of a return, as returns ARE NOT ALLOWED between 3pm and 7pm leaving London, unless you pay about a million pounds.

I was confronted with several very long lines of people waiting to buy tickets, and not really wishing to join a massive line of people, I looked around for an automatic ticket machine.

I spotted six of the new machines, which I rather like, and which take credit cards, but was dismayed to find that five of them were out of order. For those of you who like statistics, that means that about 83% of the machines were not working.

I joined a queue behind the only working machine, which was still considerably shorter than the ever growing queues at the ticket desk, and was somewhat put out when after 15 minutes, this machine became out of order before I got to the front of the queue.

I was pretty annoyed, but not as annoyed as the man in front of me who said 'This is a fucking joke.' With all the new machines out of action, I went to check out some of the old machines which only took cash, but at least didn't seem to have any queues.

There was a good reason for this - they only sold singles and a good range of special overpriced tickets - not saver returns. How convenient. At this point, I knew I was a beaten man, and I hung my head in shame and joined one of the queues at the ticket windows.

In total, it took me 45 minutes to buy a ticket. That's crap isn't it?

Posted by paul at March 1, 2005 11:13 PM