Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

For God’s sake, MAKE SURE!!!

Posted in Customer service, Great Britain, Other general stuff about railways by Chairman Pip on 12 January 2012

I’m not sure whether I’ve ever told you the story of the one occasion I ended up on the wrong intercity train. I was making my way home from Nottingham on what I believe was a Monday evening. Owing to my unending desire to get the cheapest possible price, I was not making my way to St Pancras but was instead on the roundabout route to King’s Cross via Peterborough. Of course, whenever you need to take more than one train you run the risk of missing your connection. As it was, my train was late getting to Peterborough, and so I flew off it, up the stairs onto the footbridge and across to the train waiting at Platform 2. By the time I reached the bottom of the stairs onto the platform, the doors had started beeping (for it was a GNER Mallard), so I (almost literally) threw myself through the door just as it was about to close, and thanked my lucky stars. Until that is I noticed it had started pulling out in the wrong direction – specifically the direction I had just come in. Obviously this was a source of some panic, as the next stop could potentially have been Doncaster or even York. Thankfully, it was only Grantham, but even so, it was a hairy experience.

Of course, there was also the time I committed a complete epic fail by ending up on totally the wrong train when I had plenty of time to determine whether or not I was on the right train. I also recall the time I was on the other side of such a conversation, watching and imparting knowledge to try and ease other people’s misery. Well, one person’s misery – but that was alright because I couldn’t see him. So of course I had to enquire further when the following tweet flashed up from Tom Harris MP, the Honourable Member for Glasgow South and a junior minister at the DfT in the last government:

Feel sorry for the poor bloke who shouted “I’m on the wrong train!” but couldn’t jump off in time. Next stop: Preston.

Upon me making further enquiries, it turns out that the train had just departed from Euston. My reaction to this was “Holy crapsie doodle!!”. According to the Honourable Gentleman, these were:

Not exactly the words he used, but quite.

I’d imagine that the words our mistaken passenger used were more likely to be closer in both tone and volume to Fenton’s owner, though likely with even more colourful language. I guess this proves that you should always check the displays on the station concourse, and on the platform and, if you really aren’t sure, ask somebody. Or you too could end up on a train from London to Preston when you probably only wanted to go to Milton Keynes.

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