101 things that sometimes put you off taking the train...

101 Uses For is popular and let's hope it stays that way. Our second book is presently called 101 tips for self sufficiency; we will certainly dip into this section for ideas. So post away and let's try and get at least one thread up to 101.
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hamster
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101 things that sometimes put you off taking the train...

Post: #58888 hamster
Sun May 27, 2007 10:18 pm

Because, even though it is the most civilised form of transport, sometimes it makes me want to scream! Well, in this country anyway.

1. Virgin trains never, never have enough luggage space.
2. It's pot luck whether you'll find cheap fares, and if not it's often really expensive, especially without a Railcard.
3. The website tells you helpful things like '2 single fares could be cheaper' or 'this journey could be cheaper without a Railcard' (????????) so you have to check about four different times. Can't they come up with some software that does this for you?
4. The buttons on the toilet doors, where you're never quite sure if it's locked or not. :oops:
5. They are always, always too full at busy times like Christmas, and carry on selling tickets even though nobody else can get on the trains.
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Post: #58959 hamster
Mon May 28, 2007 10:35 am

Oops.

I'd like to rename this thread '101 positive suggestions we can make towards improving the railway system, and I'll stop being such a ranting madwoman once my exams have finished, I promise'.

The other train thread reminded me I needed to book some tickets, and I got all frustrated by how counterintuitive the trainline website is, and how hard it sometimes can be for the train to be a viable method of getting from A to B, particularly on some routes. I love train travel too, and it makes me sad that it can be so difficult and expensive compared to flying/driving, especially at a time when the government should be encouraging us all onto trains.

Sorry - didn't mean to rain on your parade, Andy, honestly!
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Post: #58966 ina
Mon May 28, 2007 11:00 am

You are right, though...

6. Not enough quiet coaches.
7. Quiet coaches not being quiet - because there's always somebody's b***y mobile going off!
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Post: #59001 Thomzo
Mon May 28, 2007 9:01 pm

Oh don't get me started again. I took my mother to Cornwall last weekend. I thought it would be really nice to go by train. Ha - forget that. It was going to take us over 5 hours by train from Warminster and, according to the website, the earliest we would get there would be 5pm! Also it would cost over £100 for the two of us. I drove, it took about 3 hours and cost about £40 return in petrol!

I went to London the other week with the unfairpak team. I tried to book a train ticket but the website kept telling me that there were no trains between Swindon and London - it's a direct service with trains running every half hour.

If they can't sort out a simple thing like the website what hope have they got of managing a train service?
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Post: #59007 Milims
Mon May 28, 2007 9:21 pm

My step son visits very 2 weeks and comes by train. Because he comes by himself he can't use the family rail card and he's too young for a student rail card. We try for the cheap tickets but there never are any so we have to fork out the full fare. We don't begrudge paying for it at all - we love to see him - but it would be nice to take advantage of the savings that are supposed to be available!
On the up side it does save around 16 hours in the car for my OH to go and pick him up and then take him home the next day!
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Post: #59016 Shirley
Mon May 28, 2007 10:07 pm

I nearly started a thread like this myself after reading Andy's!

Last time I took a long distance train journey - I had to change trains several times... ok, that was expected... but no help between platforms with luggage and small child in pushchair.. often up and down steps.

Often, especially on sundays for some reason... you would be sitting on the train expecting to be taken right through to your final destination, only to hear on the announcement that the train will be terminating at the next station and passengers for xyz should run up the stairs and down to the next platform within 60 seconds to catch the next train, which may or may not take you right through to your next destination.

Oh... and it's a bit scary travelling on train at night as a lone female.

For me to catch a train anywhere I would need to drive 20 miles first... thanks to Beeching!
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Post: #59026 The Chili Monster
Mon May 28, 2007 10:48 pm

Interesting suspension.

Closely followed by having to buy a Permit to Travel from an unmanned station, where the ticket machine had been vandalised and not knowing the fare spending too much on the Permit - guess what, refunds not available!!! *growling*
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Post: #59038 possum
Tue May 29, 2007 12:00 am

Main reason for not using the train

there aren't any


except a few lines run pretty well purely for tourists.

You don't get train spotters in NZ, the whole hobby only lasts a week.

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Post: #59094 Andy Hamilton
Tue May 29, 2007 12:39 pm

Mutiny :wink:

They are not ideal in this country, I will admit that. It is a shame as I get the train all the time.

Ok solely on my local train. - (I think we are on about 12 or 13)

14. There is one button that you can press to get train information and see when the train is due and two platforms. If you are on the opposite platform you don't want to run over and press it for fear of missing your train.
15. When you do press the info button it often does not work.
16. When a train is canceled you have to wait for an hour for the next one. See above for reasons that you don't always know that it is canceled.
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Post: #71937 MrsD'ville
Sun Sep 23, 2007 8:48 pm

17. Having to dodge empty crushed and lethal beer cans thrown by drunken rugby players on the train from Edinburgh to London, and then being totally let down by the cowardly guard who wouldn't confront them and would rather let the rest of us have to endure it for FOUR hours. Hrrrrrrmph.

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Post: #72076 mrsflibble
Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:12 pm

18 the staff at billericay station
19 the lift at billericay station
20 shenfield station lifts (not the staff though, they're lovely for the most part)
21 sophie's buggy- but it's all worth it when her little face lights up and she shrieks with excitement; dont know if it's because she likes trains or if it's because we always go somewhere fun by train.
22 the lack of control
23 my painfuly huge knowledge of FGWT's "Adilante" fleet's problems ranging from bad drivers right through to spontaneous unexplained combustion problems
24 the hillariously camp annoucer at shenfield station. i just can't take him or his slight lisp seriously.:oops:
25 the price would be an issue if I didn't have my discounts.


I have to put here that there is a good thing: having a TOC priv card means that for the most part I am treated as "one of the gang" rather than a member of hte public. and my GWR freepass means we get freebies from the canteen on FGWR trains. it also unfortunately means if the train breaks down, jim has to pitch in... but there's a silver lining to that too 'cos if it ever happens and he averts a cancelled train or line hold up he will get a bonus.
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Post: #72094 Martin
Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:04 pm

26, can't afford a short-term mortgage for ticket
27 as above for car park fees
28 as above, damage to vehicle
29 being expected to get across London by tube between Victoria and King's Cross with luggage? (did it once, never again!)
30 Can't smoke!!!!!!!!!!! :cry:
31 Get fed up with being intimidated by drunks/football fans/blobby children!
32 The other passenger's taste in personal perfumes, after-shaves, mouthwashes etc, particularly the whiff of chewed gum...........
33 All their lovely bugs in the air, or propelled straight at you through the inability to use a handkerchief when they sneeze, slobber or dribble!
34 STILL not allowed to clean soot off the windows! (obscure reference to 1960's trains! :wink: )
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Post: #72218 Clara
Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:40 pm

Just spent a couple of weeks in the UK, travelled a lot by train so I feel able to add......

35. Screaming babies......alright then, just mine. God she hated the train, never again.
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Post: #72227 Annpan
Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:02 pm

Hope you and LO are glad to be back to normal.

I was on a bus once when a child was singing songs and someone went up to the mum and said "Its a bus not a nursery school" :shock: :shock: :shock: obviously this person was never a child themselves...

36. They now sell tickets at the end of the train journey in Glasgow, but they don't allow you off of the platform until you have bought one. So when the train is already 10 mins late they make you wait in line for another 10 mins to buy a ticket which you would have purchase before your journey but the other stations are no longer manned :roll:
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Post: #72235 Clara
Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:43 pm

Annpan wrote:Hope you and LO are glad to be back to normal.

I was on a bus once when a child was singing songs and someone went up to the mum and said "Its a bus not a nursery school" :shock: :shock: :shock: obviously this person was never a child themselves...


Getting back on the plane I went to sit next to a woman (English) who on seeing my babe in arms put her face in her hands and, very demonstratively, cried "no nO NO!" Naturally I called her an effing cow and went and sat elsewhere. The Spanish have many things wrong, but their embrace of children is to be envied.
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