Monday, July 06, 2009

At Last - a Real Rail Rant !!!

..since it all went pear-shaped at work, I've taken to catching the "first train outta town" viz 0654 - and with holidays etc over the last couple of weeks, it's been five days a week. Today - train a couple of minutes late when it pulled into Mossley - another minute or so before the doors opened. On arrival in Stalybridge - same - the doors did not open immediately - and someone grumbled .....

Why didn't the doors open immediately ?? Because the conductor was checking tickets - or rather selling tickets to people who were on the train without tickets. I explained same to the "grumbler" - probably because on many days the conductor doesn't bother to check - maybe until the 15 minutes twixt Ashton and Manchester... point being people are on trains without tickets - I'm sure some of them arrived too late at the station to buy one - but I'll guarantee that a good percentage are actually FARE DODGERS - so if the doors don't open in time .. I don't care - and of course the conductor gets his 2.5% commission on every ticket he/she sells (used to be 5% - but strangely cut in half ...).

Have also noticed some of the well-known fare dodgers from Stalybridge/Mossley who go into Manchester Piccadilly have discovered that - if you catch the earlier trains - you can arrive at Manchester Picc before 0730 - i.e. before the semi-useless Group 4 Security ticket checkers come on shift (viz 0730). I've plenty of other tips for the fare dodgers of this world - because I've seen 'em all. My option would be .. not throwing them off the train - more throwing under a train coming in the opposite direction. When you see some of these cocky b*st*rds actually getting "caught" (when the guard starts at the front of the train for example), they attempt to look as though they're in the right / hard done by ????? I live for the day when GMPTE attempt to do something like London Transport - barriers/cctv on every station - in fact NO-ONE should even be able to get on a platform without a valid ticket .... bring on the Manc Oyster Card ....

.... and then I can stop having to subsidise these crooks - on Stalybridge Station recently, they had a "splurge" - and the poster went up saying that 23 people were taken to court - unfortunately it just said "23 people", rather than naming and shaming - photos would have been good as well.

Whoever came up with the "open station" policy should be shot - let's save money on staff ? let's lose money on tickets ? let's waste money on outsourcing ticket checking to people who don't give a monkeys (that's you G4) ?
Privatisation ? total joke ... anyone wanna buy the East Coast franchise .. formally run by a bloody bus company ..

Oh and while in rail rant mode - to all those cocky cockneys who want to take away the "right to strike" from the London Underground staff - maybe you should all move up here where we have Fascist MEPs - maybe you'd feel more at home ... unfortunately - unlike Ferroviaria Mussolini - our trains tend not to run on time - unlike London Underground - be thankful for your system - we'd kill for something like that up here - and we'd probably support the workers, because if you're considered "essential" - it's nice to get the financial recompense as well (and that goes for nurses, police, firefighters to name but a few - unlike financial consultants, bankers, and other similarly overpaid/semi-useless members of society - they're probably the southern equivalent of fare dodgers as well, if they can find a way around the Oyster Card - either that or they claim it all on expenses !!).

Made it through today at "work alone" anyway - but could still do with some ideas behind one weird problem with a Lotus Notes database (custom-built by some bugger else !)

But hey ...... football tomorrow !!!



Anonymous said...

mike are we still doin the train away to kidsgrove


Mike Smith said...

See the Mossley board Stu - sadly off for me

Anonymous said...

Word is that despite the congestion charge blown out of the water here, there is a soon to be instigated referendum in Cambridge. When I was told that today whilst down there I almost laughed