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Right Track Wrong Track Tuesday, 15 January, 2002, 16:11 GMT
Right Track | Wrong Track - your comments
I was on the 0803 Rochdale to Leeds service this morning, when it pulled into Bradford station at around 0855 there was an announcment saying due to signalling problems there would be no services in and out of Leeds. About 30 passengers had to get off train and get a bus from Bradford into Leeds.
Jason Thomas, England

I used to use the Reading to Waterloo line every day traveling from Egham into London. The service was always late and so overcrowded that after 6 months of working in the City I gave up my job so I didn't have to use the railway. This was 4 years ago, and from my recent trips the service has gone even more downhill since then.
Tez Gale, UK

I would sincerely hope that the bosses of the train companies mentioned by these two intrepid investigators are following their exploits very closely. What are the chances of Richard Branson and co making a similar expedition and seeing this for themselves? No, I didn't think so.... they're probably on holiday!
Iain Holloway, England

Just reading the postings by John and Megan makes my blood boil. It reminds me that, while I'm safely sitting at my desk at the moment, I'm soon going to have to endure another evening of rail misery. And worst of all? Stephen Byers travels by chauffeur-driven government car, so won't even know what we're talking about.
Frank, UK

Jonathan: 1217 Manch'r-Birm'ham, Virgin - "passengers are voicing their tetchiness about the delays to each other"... No good voicing it to each other. Voice it with the staff. Get the senior conductor to the carriage and have it out with them.
Bob, UK

Bear in mind that when a train comes to a stand "for no reason", there may be a complex reason you don't know about. And if that reason is 20 miles down the line at the signal box, the guard won't know it either.

Which is better - the guard making up plausible but no-real-information reasons for PR purposes, or no announcements at all?
Russ J Graham, UK

Two typical journies endured by most commuters every day. I caught the 1926 East Grinstead service from London Victoria on Sunday evening. The carriage was ancient and Megan's comments about the dirty headrests prompted me to write-in! European visitors must think its like stepping back in time.
Tim Bishop, UK

I'm glad to see you experienced the delights of the Reading to Waterloo line-the delightful upholstery and state of the art slam shut doors make taking the train a real pleasure - especially when escorting an inquisitive three-year-old who enjoys nothing more than opening doors!
Paul Chandler, England

Not surprised by Megan's experience on SWT. I use it daily between Reading and Egham. Today 0753 departed Reading on time (amazing) but was 3 min late Egham - often much worse. This evening I'm taking my wife to a film in Reading; theoretically my usual train should give plenty of time, but I think I'll go for the one before, or the one before that. At least there is still room for bikes - I'm concerned when they phase out slam-door trains that there might not be.
Robert, Reading, UK

Am I the only person that prefers the strong, well built, comfortable old trains? Megan Lane said she struggled with the old train doors. Is it really that hard.
Matt, UK

Jonathan, when you say "0951: Spoke too soon - just come to a stop in the middle of nowhere", were you advised of the reason for stopping?

I was on the Milton Keynes to Birmingham Virgin train service recently and we were stopped in the middle of nowhere for 20 minutes and there was no explanation given.
Richard Lea, UK

(Jonathan Duffy adds: It turned out to be only a stop of about five or six minutes, and they had warned us to expect delays, but they didn't give any reason for the stop, no.)

For Megan Lane: if you want an entertaining detour when you get back to Staines try the branch line between Staines and Weybridge - you are guaranteed a shocking example of poor service, with close to 0% of services running on time, frequent unannounced cancellations, and unstaffed stations. I recommend around 6-7pm if you dare...
Paul Taylor, Chertsey

It sounds like Megan has drawn the short straw with the routes so far! Commuter routes into London from provincial towns like Reading or Peterborough, where I travel in from, suffer the most. Even though I travel on GNER from Peterborough, there are always delays, and if you aren't lucky, you only have standing room available, unless you like the smoking carriage (which I do)! Travel from Central London outwards during rush hour is much less of a hassle on the majority of routes, so I suspect Jonathan is going to have a more pleasant day - prove me wrong if you can :-)
Kevin Ede, UK

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