Advantages Seems cheap for my admittedly small excursions
Disadvantages Akin to sitting in the back of a very poorly maintained refuse truck
|Frequency of trains|
|Reliability of trains|
|Speed of trains|
|Safety of trains|
|How extensive is their Rail Network?|
|How well does it cater for disabled people?|
I used to be a frequent user of the trains back in my college days, in the last few years that has tailed off somewhat, and a welcome break it has been too. Last summer, regular visits to Bath and Bristol did nothing to improve my love of the Wales and West service or Bristol Temple Meads.I am sure that I am not expecting too much when I ask a member of staff whether I am boarding the right train. I should know if I'm boarding the right train, it's not too difficult, except for when platform changes go unnanounced (a particular favourite of mine), or a later train beats the scheduled train in, or the train pulling up is to all intents and purposes a ghost train, no destination markings or hints as to where it might go. Naturally on occasions like these I ask for a bit of help, only to receive shrugs of shoulders, grinding of teeth, tsk's.
Last summer, duff information led to my mate and I boarding the wrong train on 4 consecutive weekends. I am not a cretin, despite all the howls of laughter these stories generated, but for 4 weeks Wales and West helped me to see Bath from every conceivable angle. I grew quite attached to Bath Spa, and when the monitors were finally fixed at Temple Meads, I quite missed having to ask a strategically shaved gorilla if I was boarding the wrong train with no hope of getting home.Last weekend I travelled back and forth to Bristol visiting friends, and boy did I wish I'd walked. Wales and West can't honestly operate a smello-rama service, but last weekend I was treated to some truly exceptional stenches as I attempted to find a spare seat on the woefully inadequate shuttles. C'mon Wales and West, it's summer, and I have the misfortune of living in a seaside 'resort', 2 carriages is a little stingy, where will all those midlanders sit?
Delays were the order of the day too, without apology or explanantion, the prices were reasonable enough, but for the sheer hell of it all they bloody well ought to be. So, lack of information and help, lack of carriages and seating, hygiene and cleanliness a very low priority, but they've got a captive audience. People have to get from work to home and back again, what do Wales and West care if they operate one of the shoddiest services on the rail network? What are people going to do? Walk?.....I might next time.
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