Posted in Railways on Sunday 4th November 2007 at 2:22pm
The curse of First Great Western strikes me again. After the touch and go game of roulette with cancellations of Taunton-Great Malvern services on Friday, today it's the mainline which is causing grief. There seem to have been numerous times now that I've booked to return from a weekend trip and been scuppered by a cancellation at Paddington. Whether it's lineside fires, breakdowns - or as in this case oversleeping on-train staff, it's provided a slightly bitter ending to some excellent weekends. Today, it's really not a major issue, however, the poor Sunday service to Highbridge presents some challenges. The staff at Paddington were also clearly unhappy and genuinely concerned that they had to apologise for yet another problem entirely within the company's control. The ongoing resourcing and rolling stock issues present a fairly poor public face, and its going to be hard to convince customers that things are changing behind the scenes whiles this kind of situation continues to occur regularly. Naturally, the performance figures which the industry now holds so dear will also suffer.
On a more positive note the refurb on the HSTs is great, and I'm sitting in a comfortable, light and airy Mk III FO carriage writing this. The company seems to want to provide quality, but whether its the infrastructure, the Department for Transport or some other external problem, there appear to be constant barriers to progress. Having managed the odd project, I know how frustrating these bits outside your control can be, and I feel some empathy with the incoming MD, Andrew Haines.
On a beautiful Sunday morning heading westwards in the comfort of a newly refreshed carriage, it's easy to be positive about things despite the delays.
I've had a home on the web for more years than I care to remember, and a few kind souls persuade me it's worth persisting with keeping it updated. This current incarnation of the site is centred around the blog posts which began back in 1999 as 'the daylog' and continued through my travels and tribulations during the following years.
I don't get out and about nearly as much these days, but I do try to record significant events and trips for posterity. You may also have arrived here by following the trail to my former music blog Songs Heard On Fast Trains. That content is preserved here too.