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Not a pleasant experience
London Midland Trains
Member Name: Pinkaims
London Midland Trains
Advantages: On time on outward journey
Disadvantages: Cancelled train and packed train as a result.
This is the first time I have travelled on a train in a couple of years after being a regular commutor.
I travelled to Birmingham from Wellington (return) with my husband, 5 year old and 2 year old.
The outward journey was great, the train was on time, clean and not very busy. We were able to sit comfortably and not worry about the children - especially the younger one annoying people.
When we arrived at Birmingham we checked the timetable to see what time the trains ran home so we would not be hanging around too long at Birmingham with 2 young children.
So we were at the station in plenty of time to catch the train - however it was cancelled. To be honest I know these things happen but it was the lack of information as to why and what we were meant to do. This was very frustrating especially with 2 children and that the next train to Wellington was not displayed which meant we did not know which platform. Once you have gone through the ticket check at New Street there is no where to sit other than on the platforms - really inconvenient with 2 children and with me with bad back trouble. Yes ok there are cafe's pubs to sit in but obvioulsy you need to buy something - not cheap when there are 4 of you and you just want to sit down. My 5 year old then announces she needs the toilet - obviously and hour and then the journey time home was too long for her to wait so off we went to the toilets.The charge 30p to use this facility - great but I had no change on me so that meant we had to go back out into Birmingham to find toilets.
Anyway once the train arrived due to the previous one being cancelled this one was totally packed with people standing/squished in the aisle. I do not see how/why they are allowed to do this as I cannot see how it is safe should be unfortunate enough to have an accident. Luckily we got a seat with our children on ours laps but had I not the amount I paid for the ticket - which worked at the same price as driving and parking to Birmingham I would not have been too happy. I felt sorry for some people in particular though - there were so many young people on seats leaving all the elderly to stand. I would have offered my seat but there was no way I was standing with a child although I did make a point of asking a younger person to give up their seat.
This train was full up until the last stop with people standing the whole way despite people getting off at many stops - more people just seemed to pile on.
They encourage us to use public transport etc. but to be honest experiences like this do not give you faith.
If the previous train had not been cancelled then it would have meant we would have travelled back before the majority of the shoppers had finished, as it happened we travelled back at 5pm which after this I think is perhaps the worse time.
I will use the trains another try but only for a short distance and mostly because my children enjoyed the adventure. I will definately avoid travelling past 5pm.
Summary: Does not encourage me to use public transport - I would have been better driving.