All change

NEW timetable, new menus, new tableware… yes, the upgrade of the West Coast Mainline has been completed and I am, as I write, aboard the 0940 to Euston.

I heard a report this morning about problems in north London which are affecting north-south services, and undoubtedly the media will want to focus on any problems experienced by passengers today, rather than on on Network Rail’s tremendous achievement. Mind you, I might not be quite so philosophical if my own train is significantly delayed, but so far, so good.

There are fresh, redesigned menus on the table, new cups and glasses – even the reservation system seems to have changed (coach G, previously entirely unreserved, only had one table with no reservations when I boarded, but I’ll get the hang of it after the winter Christmas break).

Even the coffee tastes nicer.

UPDATE at 1030: I take back what I said about the coffee – subsequent cup not at all up to scratch (if you can see light through it as it’s being poured, then it’s not strong enough, and I will tell them this next time they come round).

But the most exciting innovation to the service so far this morning: tomato and parsley with my roll and sausage! I really am living the dream…

UPDATE at 1515: Out of fairness I should point out that (a) the next cup of coffee was much better; and (b) the train arrived at Euston five minutes ahead of schedule.

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8 Comments

Filed under Department for Transport

8 responses to “All change

  1. Hopefully Coventry University’s claims that the city is only an hour away from London will be accurate from today forth.

  2. Johnny Norfolk

    Glad you are enjoying the journey. I am wating for the plumber to arrive to fix the central heating.

    Different worlds.

  3. NFN

    Crikey, don’t they have trains in Norfolk?

  4. I have yet to find any train operating company with decent coffee. I don’t know why it has to be so terrible. Airlines can manage it (just) but train coffee is so bad I am not even sure it is coffee.

    Mind you if they get it right it will have a big impact on the coffee shops on the stations as we all queue to buy the biggest coffee they have 5 minutes before the train leaves.

  5. Don’t you use the sleeper? I mean, it seems to be punctual and clean and you miss out the boredom and the other passengers and the terrible food, the lousy coffee and best of all you get a little bag of things that you can give to your kids.

  6. In the long-forgotten days when I was employed by BR the Holy Grail was five hours from London to Glasgow (one train a day sometimes made it). Now there are six a day scheduled to beat that by half an hour. Hooray, things do get better but the media do so hate to admit it.

    On the wireless this morning a man from Network Rail was pointing out that we run more trains more reliably in Britain every day than almost any other country in the world. I had to smile when one of Today’s miserablist presenters asked him why, if this is so, people’s impression was so different. Perhaps he doesn’t often listen to his own programme.

    I’m delighted that Labour has sorted out the Tory botched privatisation with a classic Third Way solution. Private, more customer-focused than BR ever was, TOCs and a semi-nationalised infrastructure…

  7. Stu

    @ Brian

    Do you really think this Government has sorted out the botched Tory privatisation?
    In 1997 the new Labour Government had the ideal opportunity to reverse the disasterous rail privatisation which was promised, instead we get multiple botch jobs to get we are today.
    What this country needs is for the toc`s to be sacked and let Network Rail take over the running of the trains on a not for profit basis, that way we may get a world class railway that normal people can afford to use

  8. Chris' Wills

    Network Rail are to be congratulated.

    No sniping, they deserve credit for getting there.

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