Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Owing to a line side fire at the Hawthorns all Chiltern trains are suspended between Birmingham Snow Hill and Kidderminster. Disruption is expected until 09:00 01/10.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Where does one start?
Well, "It was a dark and stormy night" would be one way but, to be frank, that's a bit passé. so, i guess I'll have to think of something else.
How about "The sun was shining and Elsa decided to go for a walk along the beach."?
I think that is a little better, it has moved on from just describing the weather (a very British pastime) to something else.
How about, "Alphie was still feeling cross so, as the sun was shining, he decided to go for a walk along the beach to see if it would calm him down."
Why was Alphie cross? What does the weather have to do with anything? Would a walk along the beach calm him down?
Alphie was still seething after last night's argument with Elsa. He didn't understand why she had got so upset. After all, he was only going to be away for three months.
Elsa had stormed out in a rage and hadn't come back. With no idea where she had gone, or when she would be back, Alphie was frustrated. He didn't want to leave things like this, but his flight was due to leave at lunch time. He needed to get out. He needed to clear his head.
Elsa meanwhile had other things on her mind.
The evening had gone badly. After what had seemed like a perfectly normal start to a Saturday night, Alphie had told her what he planned to do the next day. It had come as a complete surprise. Actually, it wasn't a surprise, it was a massive shock. They had had a massive row.
What a complete bastard. How could he even think of doing something like that? It was pure selfishness. They had been making plans together for months. Now this! She had to get out. Away. Away from the devious little shit that she thought she loved.
She screamed. She hit him. She slammed the door and she ran. She had no idea where she was running to, but as she ran out into the storm, tears was streaming down her face. Elsa was not thinking straight. She just wanted to run... and run she did, straight from one nightmare into another.
To be continued.
Saturday, August 09, 2014
In the beginning was the plan.
And then came the assumptions.
And the assumptions were without form.
And the plan was without substance.
And darkness was upon the face of the workers.
And they spoke among themselves saying,
"It is a crock of shit and it stinketh."
And the workers went unto their supervisors and said,
"It is a pale of dung and none may abide the odor thereof."
And the supervisor went unto their managers and said,
"It is a container of excrement and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it."
And the managers went unto their directors, saying,
"It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength."
And the directors spoke among themselves, saying to one another,
"It contains that which aids plant growth and it is very strong."
And the directors went unto the vice presidents, saying unto them,
"It promotes growth and is very powerful."
And the vice presidents went unto the president, saying unto him,
"The new plan will promote the growth and vigor of the company, with powerful effects."
And the president looked upon the plan and saw that it was good.
And the plan became policy.
This is how shit happens.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Sunday, June 15, 2014
- Passengers for the High Wycombe line should travel to/from West Ruislip using the Central Line.
- Passengers for the Aylesbury via Amersham line should use the Metropolitan Line. Chiltern Railways trains will start/finish at Harrow on the Hill.
- Northbound Bakerloo Line to Wembley Central and then a 10 minute walk to Wembley Stadium station or
- From Bakers Street or Edgware Road (H&C) stations take the Hammersmith & City Line to Wood Lane. White City station is a 3 minute walk from there, from where the Central Line runs to West Ruislip. Allow at least an hour from Marylebone.
Wednesday, June 04, 2014
Instead of cash, you can use an Oyster or contactless payment card to pay as you go, or a Travelcard. A single adult bus fare is £1.45 with Oyster or a contactless payment card. Only touch the card you want to use on the yellow card reader."
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Monday, May 26, 2014
- Virgin Trains. London Euston to Birmingham New Street. Fast. Expensive.
- Chiltern Railways. London Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street / Snow Hill. Not so fast, better value.
- London Midland. London Euston to Birmingham New Street. Really slow. Good value.
- The availability of wi-fi and it's cost.
- Refreshment services
- Station ambience
- Plug charging points
- Types of trains
- View out of the window
- Friendliness of staff
- Availability of seats
- Awareness of what choices there are
- Cleanliness of toilets
Saturday, May 03, 2014
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Thursday, February 13, 2014
This caused the total suspension of services between Bicester North & Leamington Spa for almost six hours.
I expect many long distance commuters will work from home today, simply due to the times that they eventually got home.
Anyhow, at present, it would appear that the problems at Banbury have been fixed and the vast majority of trains operated by Chiltern Railways are running, and to time.
Good show chaps and chapesses!
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
The wi-fi service is usually available on all Class 168 'Clubman' style trains and on the fancy 'Silver' trains that have electrically operated doors. If your train has tables, it should have wi-fi, unless you happen to catch the old 'blue & grey' train (with slam doors) that does one trip from Banbury to Marylebone each weekday morning, with one return trip in the evening.
The service is obtained by registering for the service the first time you log on, and then by using your email address on subsequent visits.
The wi-fi doesn't always work for everyone, usually for technical reasons.
You should also be aware that the wi-fi system on board the trains uses the mobile phone network. This means that there is not an unlimited amount of bandwidth (usage is slowed down after 20mb of data) and if the train is passing through a mobile-data Bermuda Triangle, then the data connection will drop off.
The service is provided by a company called icomera, which is based in Göteborg in Sweden. They have staff in the UK, but the company's customer Help Desk is located in Scandinavia. They are a jolly helpful and friendly bunch of people.
What support options are available when the wi-fi doesn't work for you?
Telephone: A geographical London based Help Line number was announced in September 2014. It is 020 8028 0375. [Edit Sep 2014]
Email: Provided you have 3G access (presumably the on-board wi-fi is not working), you can email firstname.lastname@example.org You should include basic information about the nature of the problem and what train you are on. It is really helpful if you can include the carriage number you are in - this isn't always obvious, but is usually above the door to the drivers cab if you are in one of the the end carriages of a Clubman 168 train.
Sending an email will automatically generate a service ticket, with an auto response email. My experience is that these tickets do usually take a few minutes to feed through the system before they come to the attention of an icomera Help Desk agent.
Internet: There is also a support website - Once you have logged an email ticket, you can respond and log further tickets via the support system. I like this because I have a record although, as with the emails, it can take a short while before your problem is picked up.
The web site also offers a Live Chat facility - of course you will need your own means of accessing the internet to use this. Also, if you lose your signal, the conversation may break off. With Live Chat, you can have the system email you a copy of your conversation.
The icomera Help Desk service is supposed to be available from 0600 to 2200 every day. Occasionally response times are not immediate, but please remember that the agent(s) on duty are likely to be multi-tasking. Very occasionally response times suggest that no one is there - When that happens, I tend to get grumpy.
Support is not currently available from icomera via Twitter although the lovely Chiltern Tweeters will occasionally log a fault - I find it much more efficient to do it myself.
Monday, January 27, 2014
I've just had an email from FlyBe to say that they are flying three times a week, this Summer (2014) between Southend and Newquay.
The route will be operating between 16th May and 27th September. It will be possible to book flights from tomorrow.
I hope the new route works well for FlyBe and both airports. Cornwall is a beautiful county and the beaches are amazing.
This is not a plug-a-torial. I have had many a happy family holiday in the far South a West of the UK - If you haven't' tried it, why not give it a go.
** Other travel options to Cornwall are available.