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First Trans Pennine Express - a lesson in free market failure
First Transpennine Express
Member Name: msbreviews
First Transpennine Express
Advantages: Usually clean and punctual.
Disadvantages: Not a pleasant journey compared to other companies. Lack of space, lack of caridges, lack of thought
There is not enough space on this review - nor is it entirely relevant - to express the multitiude of failings that privatisation has brought to British railways, but they are so keenly felt when travelling by First Trans Pennine Express trains.
First of all the carridges are almost always clean. The access to the trains are wide and spacious. The train service itself, on its restricted route, is usually fairly punctual. Thus far they seem to have succeeded when British Rail most infamously did not.
However, there is always a perplexing and frustrating lack of space within the trains, as they only ever have three carridges running each journey. There is permenantly a demand for more seats during busier times, and also off-peak there is never a guarantee of a seat.
The seats themselves are not overly spacious, nor much comfier than racing seats in a car. The fold down table can not hold a pad of A4 paper (what I would consider to be the right sort of requirement for these), and the net pocket underneath can barely hold a newspaper.
The bike storage is ridiculously inadequate. There is a "designated" space for bikes in the middle of the train which also doubles up as seating. The problem is that if you are not the first person onto the train with your bike these seats will very likely be in use and there can be difficult situations which cyclists are confronted with which shows a complete lack of forsight or disregard by the train companies. How are we supposed to develop an integrated transport system if taking a bike onto a train is such a laborious task?
For a train which visits Manchester airport regularly there is a distinct lack of storage space for more than two families with suitcases.
The brightness of the lights on the train also make the journey feel very exposed and more communal than comfortable.
For those who would like to travel first class there are few benefits to the extra money it costs except for bigger seats. The first class area is tiny, very exposed -as it is set behind large paines of glass, and often looked upon as several customers are often forced to stand, squashed up against the doors.
Overall the company shows little regards for the public, too much for its profits, and gets away with low standards comparatively as they hold a monopoly on the route.
Summary: If there was an alternative I would use it.
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