Saturday, January 21, 2006

Too good to be true?

I've done a lot of travelling around this week. By way of example:

1 Day: Central line to Bond Street, Jubilee Line to Waterloo, South West Trains to Portsmouth Harbour, Fast Cat to Ryde, Train down Pier, Train back up Pier, Fast Cat to Portsmouth Harbour, South West Trains to Clapham Junction, South West Trains to sister's house, bus to Hounslow, tube home. On time all day. Fantastic! The reason for the journey was less happy.

2 Day: Bus to Heathrow, Plane to Glasgow, Bus to Glasgow City Centre, Bus back to Glasgow International Airport, Plane to Heathrow (left 20 minutes late, but landed on time), bus home. On time the whole day.

The above were on Wednesday and Thursday. On other days I have been using the Underground, Chiltern Railways and First Great Western Link. All without a single delay or problem all week.

Today I'm off down to Hampshire via Reading and Basingstoke. It usually works well, but I've no doubt just put a jinx on it.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

It's all going too well

My experience of the Central Line this week:
No delays, no gaps in service, no passenger action. Fantastic.

Don't tell Bob Crow.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

A Sad Day

My sister called today to tell me that her Father-in-Law had died this morning. He had been unwell for a while and died while playing golf at his local course on the Isle of Wight. Geoff was a busy man and lived life to the full.

I last saw Geoff on Christmas Day when my sister had eleven for lunch. An enjoyable day to remember him by. My Brother-in-Law with my young nephew spent Boxing Day Tuesday with Geoff at the rugby, so they will have happy memories.

My thoughts are with Pat and all her family at this sad time.

Now is not the time to go into my latest game of Travel Roulette while returning home.

Link added much later:

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Cumulative Effect of a Number of 'Minor Delays'

Public transport in London's suburbia is extensive. However, unless you are very lucky, it is highly likely that when traveling any distance you will need to change bus, tube or train at least once to reach your destination.

Sometimes the number of possible route combinations between A and B are so high that choosing how to make any particular journey can be like playing a game of Travel Roulette.

Last night I played.... and lost.

  1. Bus towards Hounslow bus garage. Driver: "There's an incident at the Bus Garage and I'm not allowed to go there. I'm only going as far as the Treaty Centre. I got off at the Treaty Centre, walked an extra half mile past the Bus Garage (noting absolutely nothing out of the ordinary) and joined the Piccadilly Line.
  2. When a London bound Piccadilly Line train arrived, all seemed fine. The train moved off and then crawled the whole way to Acton Town. The only announcement was made by the driver at Northfields when, after a three minute wait, he said 'I apologise for the delay. This is to allow the train behind us to catch up.' Total of 10 minutes added to timetable train running time.
  3. At Acton Town the wait for a Rayners Lane train had been so long that I decided to spin the wheel again and take a District Line to Ealing Broadway to catch the Greenford Flyer from there. Twenty minute wait in all.
  4. All was well at Ealing Broadway- my timings worked well and I changed onto the Greenford train within a couple of minutes. Then we stopped (presumably at a red signal) for seven or eight minutes before we even got to West Ealing. Other than a signalling failure/ blip I can think of no logical reason for this. No announcement.
  5. The interchange at Greenford back onto the Central Line was good- a train arrived within a minute.
  6. Ninety minutes door to door. My record on a similar variant to this route is 40 minutes,

It was the first time I had thrown the Greenford Line option into this particular route home. I was unlucky as I wouldn't usually need to consider it. On this occasion, maybe I should simply have caught the 120 Bus from Hounslow- the trouble is I have previously been delayed so much on that route that I only use it as a last resort.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

[Memo to Central User: Find something more positive to say]

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Watford Junction - New Year's Day Timetable Rant

See if you can fathom this one out:

New Year's Day, lunchtime.
Silverlink County operating hourly stopping services southbound from Northampton. ALL terminate (contrary to published New Year's Day Timetable), arriving at Watford Junction at xx.26

Silverlink Metro operating hourly stopping services southbound from Watford Junction departing at xx.22

Southern operating hourly service southbound services from Watford Junction departing at xx.22, first stop Harrow & Wealdstone then Kensington Olympia.

What sort of idiot makes up these timetables? I was of course aiming for Harrow & Wealdstone. In the end Virgin Trains agreed to accept southbound to Euston- so with 95% of the passengers having been herded outside to catch a 'Fast Coach' to Euston, a small number of us lucky cattle were able to get on a big fancy red train resulting in me going the long way round, probably quicker than any other means. Oh- and the screens weren't showing any Virgin Trains going south, because they are only timetabled to drop off.

What exactly is it that Network Rail do? Grrrrrr...

Monday, January 02, 2006

Welcome to 2006!

I'm not one for New Year's resolutions, but I thought I would at least start 2006 by starting this blog. I've had a website for a while now, but in recent times have found that technology has moved on so much that some of the old stuff now looks so ancient, it is probably best to start afresh.

Along the Central Line? Well, maybe a hint to where I live... and work... and just about everything else.

The only other blogs that I've ever posted to have all been Tube related so, while not an enthusiast in the traditional sense of the word, some of my forthcoming ramblings will probably be based on my experiences of using public transport wherever I may be.

Anyhow, whenever you read this, and wherever you are- Welcome! Oh, and all the very best for a peaceful and happy new year.