Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Chiltern Railways is to be taken over by Deutsche Bahn

According to a report on the BBC website, the sale process of the Chiltern Railways franchise by Laing Rail appears to be drawing to a close. Formal approval is required from all and sundry, but I reckon it'll happen.

In theory nothing much will change- the trouble is that Chiltern Railways are highly regarded and generally thought of as being just about the best reailway company. 'Best' costs money (or good management) and these things are often in short supply after a corporate takeover. We'll just have to see how things shape up.

By the way, the Central Line is an absolute bloody nightmare at the height of the morning peak. No problems with how it runs, there are just too many people. Roll on the Olympics.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Happy Ending

First of all a very Happy New Year. I hope you and yours had an enjoyable Christmas.

Tonight I was at a quiet country station in Buckinghamshire waiting to catch a train home to somewhere even quieter, when a youngish man tried to engage me in conversation. The trouble was he couldn't engage in a proper conversation because he appeared to have some form of learning disability. He was carrying a small bag with some clothes but did not seem to know where he was, where he was going or how he got there.

Eventually, after a lengthy conversation he showed me a tag around his neck which had his home address and telephone number printed on it.

Using the Help Point on the platform I was able to contact the Chiltern Railways control centre who were in turn able to contact the man's parents. His Father then set off on a journey of over 80 miles down from Birmingham to collect him. S was left in the safe company of the parking attendant in a warm and cosy hut. I suspect the parking attendant will be having a late night and S & his family an even later one.

I can't even begin to imagine the worry his parents must have been going through. Hopefully S will get home all right - well done to the lady at Chiltern Railways for taking ownership of a really human problem, and to the parking attendant for doing the right thing.

The original title of this post was "A Sad Tale" but, with hindsight, it is always better for the glass to be half full, rather than half empty.