Sunday, 30 September 2007

Roy Harley

I have a favourite Train Manager.. Now, you will know that I detest the title of "Train Manager" but I have come across one man who has embraced change and become the customer friendly face of Last Worst Western.

The announcement on Friday last week was as follows:

"Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen. This is your Train Manager Roy Harley speaking. Welcome to the 7.18 train to London Paddington calling at blah blah blah..."

He's so cheery and polite even when he comes through the carriage to check people's tickets. What a lovely fellow. I will try and get a photo one day.


Wednesday, 26 September 2007

The disciplining of children

Any commuter who catches the 7.18 from Kingham will know that, if they sit in carriages B or C, some very VERY noisy children catch the train from Charlbury to Oxford.

Everyday they make the most incredible racket with no cause or defence. Mostly I turn on my MP3 player and let them get on with it although there has been the odd occasion when I have gone so far as to shoot a very bad look down the train at them and I mentally told them to shut the hell up.

But today was different. I don't know exactly what happened but a fellow walked down the train and, when he reached the nasty horrid noisy children, he said in a loud voice.


Instant silence followed. Brilliant.


Thursday, 20 September 2007

TrainMan and others.

Regular readers will recall my fellow traveller nicknamed "Train Man". He is making the habit of commenting on this blog and to much amusement.

Sadly he gets a different train now but it is nice to have his thoughts reaching us through the Interweb.

The 07.18 club continues to expand. There are now 5 of us that travel to Kingham from the same town:

Ridiculously tall, good looking man

There must be others.


The view from my new improved seat

For those of you who enjoy hearing about how our rail network is developing / crumbling, I have provided below a picture of the view I now get from my seat on the 07.18.

Now I appreciate that the idea is to provide better facilities to customers in the form of improved leg room (which there is), a power socket at every seat (which there is), armrests aplenty and a nice new clean carriage feel.
However, you will notice that you can't actually see anyone. This rather limits my fun on the train as most of my writing is of an observational kind. What am I to do? I suppose we could go a bit WWI and buy a periscope for peering over the top.
Also, the height of these new seats means finding a seat when you get on the train absolutely fraught with danger. Imagine if you will that you have just joined the train and you look down the carriage and you see no-one... Your hear leaps for joy at the prospect of so much space, peace and quiet.
But then you start to walk down the carriage and discover as you were about to leap into an empty pair of seats, that they are already occupied by a sleeping person who has been on the train for a number of hours. "Oh, sorry" you mutter as you exrtricate your bag and your hands from their clothes..
How could this happen? Easy. They were hidden by the new seats that are so tall, the tops of them are often covered in cloud.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Famous People on the Train

A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Portillo on Paddington station. We had a brief chat which concluded with him asking if I worked for the Security Service.

Most amusing. Jolly nice chap actually.

So today I was at Paddington waiting for my train and I saw Lord Douglas Hurd. Felt compelled to go over and have a chat. Very jolly fellow and we had a nice chat. Apparently he is keeping busy. He go the same train as me and was sat in Standard class.

You will notice that there is a blue tinge to the people I meet. That's 'cos I would kick sand in the face of any labour MP.


Sunday, 16 September 2007

More Etiquette for the journey hardened commuter

The Trainfellow would like to apologise for the non-running of this blog. This was due to circumstances beyond our control. The trainfellow once again apologises for this and for any inconvenience caused.

Right, now we've got that out of the way, I must tell you about a most amusing Etiquette incident on the train this week.

It was a very crowded morning due to the train running in what is excitingly called "reverse formation" (Imagine a squadron of fighter jets trying to do that - it would end in tears I'm sure). The effect of reverse formation seems to be to distribute people more evenly around the train, thus making my journey a little less pleasant.

I was stuck across the aisle from the man pictured below:

Sorry about the quality but the point is he was properly asleep - not just a polite little nod off. This was a deep level of sleep where you lose awareness of the facts that follow:

1) You are dribbling and muttering into your quite extensive beard

2) You are snoring so loudly that even the people who are wearing headphones and playing their music very loudly (this includes me) can still hear the snore and in fact the driver has slowed down the train to take account of some "unaccounted vibrations in carriage B". All down to this man's snoring..

3) A little bit of a whiff from the flatulence that has been caught in your trousers since you broke wind near Abergvenny where this train starts off in the morning.

So I hear you ask, how does all of this relate to Etiquette and the commuter - well all of the points above should illustrate why this man needs to go on the commuter course run by First Great Western at Paddington on alternate Mondays...