Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

And the wait goes on…

Posted in Customer service, Great Britain by Chairman Pip on 20 December 2010

Having been pumped the the news this morning that the Roads Man was going to make the announcement today about the finally agreed route for the first stage of High Speed 2, we find ourselves still waiting, twiddling our thumbs, as seemingly has been the case for a lot of rail policy announcements from this new government. Let it not be said however that we here at Chairman Pip’s ignore all the other things that are going on. So, in lieu of some kind of announcement from the DfT, some other things that are going on.

Knowing St Pancras quite well, imagine the surprise when I saw footage of what’s been going on there today. The weather has, as you’re probably aware, caused some degree of difficulty to the transport network, and the railways have not escaped this. Eurostar have announced that they’re now taking no more bookings until at least Christmas Eve, and have had to cancel some services at short notice. Which is presumably why there is footage of people queuing from the entrance to the international terminal, out into The Market (the long arcade that runs from the domestic concourse to the tube entrance along the length of the station), all the way down and along the domestic concourse, out into Pancras Road, all the way along the outside of the station to Euston Road, and then halfway along the station front. That’s just fricken’ nuts. If you read carefully, this video speeded up takes 30 seconds, and in fact took 9 minutes to record.


While of course it’s never fun to work at Christmas, the fact is that there are certain professions where it is necessary. This year, Christmas is actually at the weekend, so the holidays here in the UK that we would normally have for Christmas Day and Boxing Day have been moved to the following Monday and Tuesday. As these are classed as ordinary public holidays, it would be expected that those people would work as they normally would on a public holiday. So of course, the unions have decided that these aren’t normal public holidays, and their members should be paid triple time. Hence the reason we have strikes announced on London Underground and Northern Rail over the Christmas period. Sigh.


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