Thursday, August 31, 2006

I've Gone Off Chiltern Railways

On a number of occasions in the last few weeks, I've dashed up to Marylebone to find that Chiltern Railways have cancelled the 18:37 High Wycombe service.

It's quite annoying when this happens as my next train is not until 19:03.

Chiltern Railways don't seem to make a habit of cancelling many other trains. Just the 18:37.

It was particularly annoying today as I'd had to go to Cardiff today and had left London Paddington at 7:00 am. After a long journey back to London, to say that I was peeved at having half an hour added to my journey unnecessarily would be an understatement,


PS Cardiff was good - I even managed a side-trip to visit Llandaff Cathedral.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Airport Security Checks (Part 1)

For reasons I won't bore you with, I have travelled through four UK airports in the last week or so.

In alphabetical order, those airports are:
  1. Durham Tees Valley (Teeside)
  2. Edinburgh
  3. London Heathrow
  4. Newquay
Now, see if you can match the following descriptions of my experiences of the security checks at each airport:
  • a) Hi-tech (digital photo taken, barcode placed on boarding pass). Small queues. Efficient.
  • b) Massive queue but well managed. Loads of tourists getting stuff confiscated. Grave danger of missing flight if extra time not allowed.
  • c) Ten Minutes from getting off bus to being in departure lounge. No queue. Efficient and effective.
  • d) Officious. Over the top. Plenty of staff.
I'll provide the answers in a day or so.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I Like Chiltern Railways

Baker Street London Underground Station was closed today between about 09:30am and 6:00pm due to a major gas leak outside the station. Trains were running through (but not stopping). Baker Street is a major interchange so this will have been a major pain for many people.

When I got home tonight I noticed the following on the Chiltern Railways website. Chiltern operate from nearby Marylebone Station:

"Baker Street LUL station closure:

Due to temporary closure of Baker street station we will be operating a shuttle service during the peak to run between Marylebone & Harrow.

Marylebone - Harrow departure times: 16.10, 16.50, 17.35, 18.30 & 19.10.
Harrow - Marylebone departure times: 16.27, 17.07, 17.55, 18.50 & 19.27.

Update 18.20 hrs: Baker Street station has reopened, we will still be running the shuttle services as advertised.

I think this is a great example of Chiltern's approach to customer service. I have no idea of the economics of doing what they did, but it can have been no mean feat finding rolling stock and track capacity like this during peak hours.

Credit where credit is due!