Posts Tagged ‘Southwest Trains’

Late October afternoon in Winchester

November 1, 2014

I had decided to give Wednesday a miss, as cold and wet, Friday was a better option.

I knew Friday was going to be warm and sunny, but I did not expect it to be hot.

Nightmare getting down to Winchester.

Weekend rail works make train travel a nightmare. During the week, public transport is dysfunctional.

A bus every 10 minutes. No bus for over twenty minutes, then three buses including two clapped-out double-decker buses fit for a scrapyard. Net result miss train to Alton. Next train running 15 minutes late. Net result miss bus to Winchester. Next bus ten minutes late, and it gets later and later, arriving Winchester 20-30 minutes late. En-route, bus waived down to pick up passengers from the earlier bus. A body lying in the road. Apparently, according to a passenger, man knocked down by the bus.

I arrive Winchester mid-afternoon not late lunchtime as planned had I caught train etc.

A busy market day.

Winchester is a terrible place for lunch. I have a burger off a stall, New Forest Steak Burger Co. It is excellent. I tell the man, Winchester terrible place for lunch. He tells me I am the third person that day to tell him that.

I find Jimmy Bean. Excellent coffee.

Winchester has some excellent food stalls.

  • Jimmy Bean for coffee
  • New forest Steak Burger Co
  • Bread stall
  • Cheese stall

Ask any of them about their produce and they will be able to tell you.

Jimmy Bean will be able to tell you about coffee. The bread stall what flour, how baked, where it is from. The cheese stall, where the cheeses are from how they have been produced, a sliver to taste.

Revolution in WHSmith half price. Person in front, given a 20% off voucher, I use and get a further 20% off.

I am in time to catch six o’clock bus, but as it is a warm evening, I decide to walk along the river and the back streets behind the cathedral.

Very pleasant walking by the river in the dark.

The back streets poorly lit. It is as would have been years ago.

Lovely book display in the window of P & G Wells, as bookshops should be, very tempting, luckily they are closed. Contrast with the display in Waterstone’s Godalming a few days ago, celebrity crap. It empathises once again a disgrace that Guildford Book Festival used WHSmith as festival book seller.

I look in a provisions store around the corner.

Large number of sheds behind Winchester Cathedral. They smell of fresh wood. I assume for Christmas Market. What happens to the sheds afterwards? Available at knock down prices?

I make the 1850 bus, the last bus, with less than a minute to spare.

Luckily at Alton Station, catch the train as it is leaving.

On my way down I popped in Station Cafe, to say hi and see of it was open night time. No, only Wednesdays nights, Biker Night. They said few were there on Wednesday as a cold wet night. I tell them of the bikers who were there Saturday afternoon, disappointed to find closed.

Note: 23.6C, warmest Halloween on record. Nine out of the 10 months so far this year have been warmer than average The planet has marked record high temperatures. And still they deny global warming.

Clapped-out trains Guildford-Aldershot-Ascot line

April 6, 2014
Guildford-Aldershot-Ascot line

Guildford-Aldershot-Ascot line

Why is Southwest Trains running clapped-out trains on the Guildford-Aldershot-Ascot line?

This does not seem to be a temporary measure as the logos have been removed from the exterior of the trains, and Southwest Trains posters stuck up inside the trains.

This has happened over the last few weeks.

The trains are two-car units, joined together to form a train of four carriages.

They are dirty, the seats sagging, worn and dirty, no toilets.

These are basic, inner-city commuter cattle trucks.

They are vastly inferior to the new Southwest Trains they have replaced.

To add insult to injury, trains fares went up yet again in January. For, we are told, an improved service.

This is not acceptable, and the trains that were running on this line should be brought back. Where have they gone?

Disgusting Southwest Trains

June 28, 2013

1830 Guildford-Ascot train, the stench from the toilets unbearable. I felt sorry for anyone who was forced to use the toilets.

For more than a decade the train fares have been rising at more than twice the rate of inflation. We are told the service is improving, but those who use the trains see no sign of improvement in service, they cannot even keep their toilets clean.

‘Body’ alongside the tracks

November 9, 2012

As train pulled into Guildford today, out of the corner of my eye on the side of the track I noticed what could have been a body equally it could have been a rolled up carpet, but what it wasn’t was a pile of rubbish.

Could I be sure? No, but it needed checking out.

I did my civic duty, or tried.

I walked back down the train, to speak to the guard, but too late, the train was pulling out.

I thought talk to the man on the barrier or maybe his boss

The man on the barrier decided for me, he would call his supervisor.

No one turned up.

After nearly ten minutes wait, I had had enough.

Where is he? Apparently in a meeting.

Well tell him to get out of his meeting now, as I am walking out of the station and calling the press.

The supervisor and station manager could not get along the platform quick enough.

I explained to them what I wanted them to do. I explained what I had seen and where. I was not asking them to walk the tracks. I wished them to alert drivers and guards of incoming trains, to spot what I had seen, and hopefully determine what it was. If a body, then escalate and investigate further.

But what a bloody palaver to get them to do anything.

Ironic: All the time announcements on station, on trains, if you see anything suspicious, please report.