BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Audio/Video: Programmes: Panorama
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Andrew Jenkins
The worst day that we encountered...
 real 56k

The Wrong Track

Train Diary
Andrew Jenkins, Architect
Travels from York to Kings Cross weekly. The journey should take 2.5 hours

What I'm tending to find is that on three or four occasions I've got to the station only to find that the train has been cancelled without any previous warnings.

So I've been getting up at half past five in the morning, getting to the station for about 6 o'clock and the first thing I see is the list of cancellations.

What I'm having to do then is generally sit around waiting for the next train to be available. But what I do find if a train is cancelled, the next two trains that come along are full from picking up passengers who are delayed further up the line, so then you can't actually get on the next two trains at least.

By the time the train has got in at say midday it's not really been worth travelling down to London

On a couple of occasions I've actually had to cancel meetings to get down to London so I've actually spent at least an hour on the platform trying to contact various clients to cancel meetings for that day because by the time the train has got in at say midday it's not really been worth travelling down to London.

You've lost half the day as it is and when the trains are so delayed that it's taking up to 5 hours to get back from London. You need to be setting off back from London about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. So four hours in London is just a complete waste of time.

My message to people who run the railways
I mean to be honest, what I would say is that before the Hatfield accident, really speaking the trains were running pretty much okay.

But having said that, it's only since the Hatfield accident that you realise what the potential of the problems were that were underlying, i.e. the tracks and the potential dangers that were there. That's a pretty scary prospect.

I think that they need to do a lot of work on the tracks to renew my confidence in the railway.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Panorama stories