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Cross Country Trains - Hot and Cramped.
Member Name: JennBee
Advantages: Staff did try (belatedly) to help. Train was on time.
Disadvantages: Cramped. Malfunctioning aircon. Seat reservations useless.
For some background, I was undertaking my train journey because I had to go to a conference. The journey was Glasgow to Leeds. I travelled alone, and had a laptop and a small case on wheels for luggage.
I opted for Cross Country trains on my return journey because I wanted to travel from Leeds to Glasgow with no changes. I ordered my tickets online and paid £34.50 for my single ticket.
The train arrived at the station on time, which was all well and good. The problems started as soon as I got on board.
Firstly, the luggage rack was hilariously small - especially for a train whose entire route was Penzance to Glasgow Central. I had no option but to lug my case up the central aisle while looking for my reserved seat.
Sod's Law being what it is, of course, my reserved seat had apparently been taken by another passenger. As is always the case when this happens, the passsenger who has nicked your seat is always distinctly scummy. Not fancying a stabbing, I simply found an unreserved seat and sat there, jamming my case under my feet and reconciling myself to absolutely no leg room for four hours. Generally speaking, the layout of the train was very cramped - real sardine packing.
About ten minutes into the journey, I realised the train seemed very warm. So did some of the other passengers. On managing to nab one of the conductors as they passed through, it turned out that the air conditioning was broken and was, in fact, blowing hot air at us.
The heating situation simply got worse and worse throughout the journey. The windows could not be opened, and the temperature in the carriage must easily have been over 30 degrees. Everyone was looking flushed and tired - and, bluntly, my shirt was actually sticking to my back.
After two hours of this endurance test - a conductress appeared and informed us that carriage B (the unreserved one - where my scummy seat thief should have been) had air con and some spare seats. Some people switched straight away (without waiting for those with toddlers or elderly passengers to go first - nice manners, there) I didn't want to risk losing the seat I had, and couldn't have lugged my case up the aisle anyway, so I had to stay put.
After another half hour, the conductress appeared with some free water.
The aircon issue, though, continued all the way to Glasgow.
On top of this, we were told just before Newcastle that the electronic booking system had managed to erase itself - so there were now no records of any reservations. Seating was now a complete free-for-all! My seat thief could rejoice!
Overall - incredibly uncomfortable journey. Staff did try to alleviate the problems (pretty late on, though) - but the problems shouldn't have happened in the first place. Also, could someone please explain to me why the train didn't have open-able windows!? What sort of logic is that!!?
Summary: I simply wouldn't use this company again.
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