I can’t really be bothered to rant about this any more. But just look at this trail of misinformation leading to a four hour wait in and around Watford Junction station on a very cold Sunday afternoon – although it could have been a lot worse…
All because of a bit of wind.
On the train from Stoke on Friday evening, there is an announcement.
… Due to engineering works there will be no trains from London to the Midlands before 2pm Sunday.
Our return ticket was for 12:50 Sunday. Once I’m off the train I call Virgin Trains Aftersales. Their Indian call centre knows nothing about the state of UK railways.
… There are no problems with that train, sir.
Saturday lunchtime I call the Virgin Traveller club. Nobody told them either.
… My system says that train is still running.
Saturday evening I check the National Rail Enquiries web site.
… There is no information.
Perhaps we imagined it. Sunday morning, I try National Rail Enquiries again.
… Take a Silverlink train to Northampton, then a Virgin train to Stoke.
Not too bad, just have to leave a bit earlier. We’re there at 11.30 and the man at the station gate tells us the way to go.
… There are no trains to Northampton. Take the train to Milton Keynes, then a coach to Northampton, then the train to Stoke.
Worst route ever? We decide it’s better to wait a couple of hours for a direct train sometime after 2pm. A lady in a Virgin Trains jacket on the platform is sympathetic to our plight.
… Don’t go to Milton Keynes. We haven’t ordered the coaches yet. Wait until 3pm, there’ll be a direct train and it won’t be busy.
Honest at least, glad we decided to wait! She also recommend a very good cafe just up the road. Credit where credit’s due.
The joyous news finally arrives.
… The Mancehster train has left Euston. It’s already full and standing room only.
Thankfully the trend of everything we were told being wrong continued, and we did actually get a seat.
Oh, we were in London to see any random show that they had half price tickets for. Ended up being Blue Man Group. They are still the coolest thing on earth. Fact.