Information Underload

Things SouthWest Trains saw fit to tell us this evening:

Where our train was going
Where it would stop
The fact that all seats on the service were Standard Class (handy when it’s standing room only…)
The fact that safety information was displayed throughout the train
That we should try and keep all our belongings with us at all times
…and many other pieces of recorded information too tedious to repeat here (which makes it all the more of a shame that the on-train tannoy sees fit to repeat them as frequently as possible, but never mind)

Things it did not:

Why the train was late
What had happened to the preceding train (which hadn’t exactly been cancelled so much as quietly disappeared, like an inconvenient critic of an autocratic regime)

It’s not as though being told would have made us any less cold, wet and miserable, but, as brave new starts to Brand New Eras go, it’s not very impressive, is it? Still, the shiny new ticket machine seems to have survived the weekend intact so we can still buy our tickets, we just have to wait around to see if there will be a train to use them on


12 responses to “Information Underload

  1. Slightly unrelated, but I was once amused by an announcer at Bristol Parkway, who I suspect was stoned. He gave a little ‘review’ of most of the destinations called at by the following train. I recall he particularly liked a chip shop in Aberdeen.

  2. How terribly useless of them, it’s odd how transport people can just have whole trains and busses disappear and neglect to ever tell you why!

  3. Squash – Bristol Parkway to Aberdeen’s one hell of a journey – it must have taken him ages to get through it all.

    Pete – they daren’t say what happens to the disappearing buses and trains in case it sows civil panic. Don’t tell anyone I told you this, but they are all eaten by intergalactic star goats …

  4. Just what do you want from SW trains?? You say there’s no ticket office or machines at your station, so…they put one there, you say there aren’t enough PA messages, so they record loads, and now you expect trains and whats more a seat too.


  5. I know, who ever heard of a train company that actually ran trains? sheesh!

  6. I don’t know whether you’ve seen the ES’s “Seats for Commuters” campaign, but I was in it last night. I was the one who’d “had a work out by the time she got off the train”.

    Shite picture of me though…

  7. Actually, to be fair, I usually do get a seat on the train these days (which makes it all the more of a pain when I don’t)

  8. There used to be a driver who would regularly chirp, as he was pulling into Charing X:

    ‘Good morning ladies and gentlemen, this is your driver speaking. We are currently travelling at a speed of approximately 5 miles per hour at an altitude of 1 metre above the ground. We will be landing shortly at Charing X. When leaving the plane – sorry, I mean train – please remember to take all your luggage with you. Thank you for flying British Rail and we look forward to seeing you again soon.’

    Conspiratorial smiles all round.

  9. So now your moaning ‘cos you do get a seat…?

  10. LLD – no, I’m moaning when I don’t. This blog is called ‘Disgruntled Commuter’, you know…

    Pog – they’re all frustrated comedians, these guys, I tell you. I knew an airline pilot who used to announce ‘this is your hatrack speaking’

  11. S’pose it’s got to be better than one I heard – this is a hijack and we’re now not going to where you wanted…

    needless to say the whole train emptied out smartish

  12. That one’s actually quite funny … was it before or after the July 7 bombings though? Might be a bit less funny these days …

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