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I'd rather walk!
Member Name: steve010575
Date: 17/11/01, updated on 17/11/01 (129 review reads)
Advantages: Gets you there- sometimes!
Disadvantages: Overcrowded, Dirty
My job takes me from my home in Sunny Scunthorpe to Coventry a few times a year for training courses, and being a non-driver I am at the mercy of public transport.
There are several routes available to me but the one which suits my travelling times best involves a return journey which includes a Virgin train from Birmingham New Street to Doncaster.
I used this train today (16th Novemeber 2001) and was delighted that for once it was actually on time as in the past I have waited upto one and a half hours due to 'problems'.
However upon boarding the train I was horrified to find the all-too-familiar situation -no seats!
I dont object to giving up my seat for the elderly or infirm but the situation was worse than you would want to imagine,. Every carriage was absolutely jam-packed of people- sitting, standing, crouching and packed in like an over-full tin of sardines, for want of a better phrase.
I was unfortunate enought to be wedged between two carriages, next to a luggage rail and close to a toilet which was almost impossible to get into. (When the odd person managed to squeeze through the crowd, they came straight back out declaring that they could not use the toilet due to the state it was in!)
I was 2 carriages away from the buffet car and people who managed to push through the uncomfortable throng took at least 20 minutes just to reach the buffet car and get back, giving you some idea of the overcrowding I experienced.
I shudder to think of the consequences if the train had been involved in any kind of accident- the number of people on board would not have helped in an emergency situation.
I dont expect complete luxury on a train, but surely a little comfort is not too much to ask after purchasing a ticket?
I have experienced the same over-crowding on Virgin trains before and was informed by fellow passengers today thats it happens 'all the time'.
Surely it would not b
e impossible to have more carriages or perhaps more frequent trains in use.
As luck would have it there was a BBC reporter on my train ytoday recording 'vox-pops' from people on their opinion of Virgin, needless to say I aired my views.
If you want to feel squashed, uncomfortable and gain an intimate knowlegde of the stranger next to you by the end of your journey- use Virgin. Otherwise, avoid if you can!
(Do you notice that when it's standing room only, no-one ever attempts to check your tickets- they are not afraid of complainig customers, surely.....?)
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