Friday, August 19, 2005

Trains and the Donny Rosetta stone.......

I have to be up early tomorrow in order to catch the 3rd world cattle Wagon GNER laughingly call a train from Kings Cross to Hull. Despite this a chap also called Matt Jones is leaving our illustrious company so a few of us are going for a little libation after work (already had the obligatory extended lunch). For now we will refer to him as Matt Jones (Beta) as he isn't as good as me and is clearly full of flaws. :-D Despite my resolve I will probably at least try to persuade Rob to stop until last orders, packing at the last minute and suffering on the journey.

My primary complaints, then, about GNER trains and the implementation of 'fuzzy logic' in their operation and timetabling.

1) The inclusion of 7 first class carriages, while showing an optimism uncommon to the British people, is somewhat misguided as the price of a first class ticket usually involves the surrender of at least one vital organ and your first born child.

2)The rest of the train appears to be aired using a fragrance called 'eau de stale sweat and vomit'.

3) There is one unreserved carriage. This means that should the rest of the train (barring, of course, first class) be full - thus indicating a demand for standard class tickets - then the other 400 people who want to use the service, but are unwilling to submit to a lifetime of poverty by buying a 1st class ticket, are forced into the tiny space provided. Think Veal calves, you'll be close enough.

4)Doncaster.






Ok, I'll elaborate the Doncaster comment. I lived in Hull for nearly four years and in that time never once, ever, caught a train that arrived or left Doncaster on time. When your train eventually arrives you are left in the desolate shed of a station with only a vague perception of if or when the next train will arrive. They have timetables like everyone else but take a somewhat unique view of them.

Much like mystic oracles and seers, they are only accurate if you interpret the messages in the correct way, a method no one has yet discovered. There is talk of an item that is the Doncaster Train timetable equivalent to the Rosetta stone. This will reputedly translate the printed lies into something with a degree of accuracy, though I think this is just a folk tale designed to give hapless travellers hope. As you sit on the metal bench staring at the sign which shows further and further delays on the phantom connection you are awaiting, you can actually feel your will to live slipping away like sand through an hour glass.......

ahem. So I'm looking forward immensely to the trip. Unless I can get the direct Hull train and avoid donny of course, then this rant will be utterly pointless.

I'm nothing if not consistent.

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