Writing from the train again – so far this morning it’s quite quiet, but then this is not the early morning commuter service which I usually travel on. I’m feeling pretty indignant about trains nonetheless, since it has just been announced that fares will go up in January, and more than the rate of inflation. That will take a saver return between Berwick and
Selfishly, of course, I don’t want people to travel by train. Well, I want numbers great enough to keep the level of service as it is, while not so many that trains are significantly busier. I have almost entirely given up travelling standard class. The seats are too uncomfortable, the carriages are so crowded that the proximity to your neighbour is almost unbearable. First Great Western, on which I travel regularly, has new rolling stock. More seats than ever have been crammed in, so that it’s like travelling by bus – there is no room to breathe, it seems, let alone wriggle. These days my travel habits are exacting: I book as far in advance as possible and always travel on the train booked, so that I can buy cheap first class tickets. Yet despite calculating everything to the last detail so that I can book the instant tickets are released, I can almost never get the cheapest option. But at least my dodgy hip is made no worse by a 3-hour plus journey, and I can get a significant amount of work done (or, in this case, play).
There, a train rant and I didn’t mention mobile phones once!