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  • Last three weeks...

    ...before I start working a whole 20 mins from home in Peterborough.

    It does appear that EC are determined to make those three weeks as filled with transport hell as possible, though.

    Today's gem:

    A signalling problem is causing disruption at Finsbury Park.
    Because of this, there are delays of up to 20 minutes between London Kings Cross and Finsbury Park & between Moorgate and Finsbury Park. These delays are expected to last until approximately 17:00.

  • Ticket barriers

    I'm at a loss.

    Evidently there's some incredibly clever plan to make everyone pass through a ticket barrier if they're boarding a train on Platforms 0-3 at KX. Which I can only assume is to stop people fare-dodging, or something.

    But
    - all it does is prove you have a ticket: since today, for example, there was an FCC train on platform 3, right next to a Leeds train, this hardly helps much, if at all...
    - it's a complete crowd management disaster, as evidenced by the fact that it needs four BTP or other police officers, PLUS at least one railway staff, to be on hand when a train's announced. As for when a train arrives? You're funnelling 500+ passengers through half a dozen barriers in not very long...
    - it doesn't stop people getting on the right train with the wrong ticket....

    In short, WHY?

  • What... the... F....

    I just plugged in season ticket details for my April renewal into National Rail's calculator.

    What on earth are they ON?

    London Terminals (FCC) - 5,320.00
    Z1-6 (FCC) - 6,400.00
    London Terminals (any train) - 6,232.00
    Z1-6 (any train) - 6,760.00

    Either National Rail's site is screwed, or there really is a 1100 quid price hike for Z1-6 on FCC compared to a 400 one for any train.

    Again, what on earth...?

  • Farewell (in advance)

    Dear East Coast,

    This week was the final nail in a coffin you've been building for yourselves. The season ticket DD farce was pushing it. And now, the remaining unique selling point of your service, free Standard Class WiFi, is now free for a miserly fifteen minutes. Never mind that you've supposedly shelled out on better bandwidth on the trains - it's academic when half the time your server won't give me an IP address, or won't actually connect me where I want to go. And if I want to use it the whole of my commute to work to actually, y'know, do some work? It's going to cost me ten pounds a day. Or, to look at it another way, well over two grand a year.

    My season ticket from Peterborough to Kings Cross expires in April 2011. At least, I'm pretty sure it does - it's rather hard to be sure given that, as usual, the printing on the most recent reissue has faded after two weeks of going through ticket machines at Kings Cross.

    I will not be renewing it. Instead, I'll be saving myself a thousand pounds or so a year by switching to FCC.

    The bad side of this? I get into work half an hour later, and have to hurry back from the station on an evening two days a week to make sure I can pick my son up in time.

    The good news? The trains run on time. I can get a seat on a morning. I get ten minutes more lie in. No-one tries to tell me which doors I can or can't get off. The wireless internet is a small MiFi gadget in my pocket that costs me 15 a month, not 9.99 a day, and actually works more than fifty percent of the time. While we're at it, I'll bring my own tea, rather than pay nearly 2 for the privilege of a stewed plastic cup of PG Tips on a train that still doesn't take the debit card I use most of the time.

    No more failed air conditioning making us all swelter.

    No more 'we're sorry but there's no hot food available'.

    No more staff shortages preventing there being a trolley service.

    No more getting whacked in the shoulder by the trolley when there is one, and by inconsiderate passengers with massive bags..

    No more "Attention, train crew. Disabled passenger alarm activated."

    No more shabby trains with hastily applied logos over the paint job from two companies ago, that aren't properly maintained.

    No more train announcements from people with incomprehensible accents.

    No more listening to people getting grief from the train staff because someone sold them a ticket that's not valid on this train, because of a set of rules that neither they or the ticket clerk understood.

    Oh, and my son changes schools in 2011, so that whole hurrying back on an evening isn't going to matter any more. And I'll be parking in Queensgate, rather than the ridiculously over-priced station car park. Which saves me enough to pay for the MiFi.

    I'd like to say it's been nice. But it hasn't.

    Love, kisses, and goodbye in advance,

    Me.

  • Unannounced change - "Free" Wifi

    ...on East Coast trains now means fifteen minutes per journey, and then you have to pay.

    Colour me very unimpressed.

  • East Coast new timetable - Eureka

    So... thoughts?

    Clock-face timetable good. Not sure I'd be happy with the example: 05, 10 and 30 departures from KGX to PBO seems a bit lopsided - 10, 30 and 50 would be much nicer. I'm also a little bemused as to where they get their '4 per hour' to Peterborough from on http://www.eastcoast.co.uk/Documents/PDFs/Eureka/NorthboundComparison.pdf - unless I'm seriously deluded, it's only 2 per hour most of the day (10 past and 35 past).

  • I atent dead...

    ...just had surprisingly little to complain about.

    Until last week, anyway, when on renewing my Annual Season Ticket I was informed that the interest-free DD arrangement that has been going for the last couple of years has just plain ceased. Not amused. At all. The fact that the price of the ST dropped by 28 is not exactly much compensation.

    In other news, Aslef to bid to run ECML as a non-profit.

    Interesting.

  • National Rail's journey planner

    Does anyone know why http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/en/s/timetable/times doesn't appear to show ANY East Coast trains if you plug in PBO and KGX as start and end?

  • Maybe East Coast Ltd could take a tip...

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8428097.stm

    Is it me, or was the ECML better than usual for the weather this past week?

  • Meet the new boss...

    ...same as the old boss.

    Most of the stock has East Coast logos, the staff have East Coast badges (but still NXEC lanyards and uniform), and the posters, website and signage have been rebranded.

    Other than that? same old same old. Friday's 1835 out of KGX was a bit of a nightmare, missing coach C with reservations all over the place.

    Question, prompted partly by that: when did an ECML 225 set last have a regular coach G? Have we effectively been running one coach short for the last however long?

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