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How can we rely on rail?

Posted on November 23 2007 at 12:01:27

Once again I arrived at the station in Alvechurch to catch the 9.03am train to Birmingham and ended up waiting in the cold as the service was cancelled.

This time, it was a Thursday in November yet the electronic noticeboard was telling passengers it was Saturday, October 17; its flashing messages describing every service as “cancelled” so that it was impossible for anyone to know for sure when a train might arrive.

Fifty minutes later, a train heading for Redditch finally appeared and, when it returned on its Birmingham-bound journey and we managed to actually get on, the ticket collector explained that at least one service had been cancelled due to “technical difficulties”.

I would have liked the “technical difficulties” to have also prevented me from having to pay, but we don’t have that luxury.

Missing services happen with such regularity in both directions that commuters from this area are often left stranded because the company running the trains is unable to do what should be a relatively simple task – run the trains it says are going to run!

How are we supposed to be “greener” citizens, leaving our cars at home in favour of supporting public transport, when those who win the franchise to run the service consistently fail to deliver?

Jenni Ameghino, Alvechurch


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