I wrote this to release the homunculus in my skull which was trying to stop me breathing.
Oh, Coventry Station, you have failed on intelligence, ingenuity, imagination.
And Virgin…well, here we go again.
Another hopeless night on the railways.
I fear Russell Brand’s revolution will not be one of us rising above our humdrum consciousness, but of people daubed in woad, naked and shitting on top of the remnants of train carriages they have pummeled and punched, like a pornographic version of The Changes that never ends. They will see the carriages as representing devils that steal their lives and joy. A vast mud and piss Richard Branson will be perpetually ransacked (if the real one is unavailable), in the hope of appeasing the gods of “actually knowing how to run something” and “getting you to wear you wish to be without weeping or aneurysm”.
I was a little too hasty at my Warwick Arts gig. There was some kerfuffle trying to find Grace and her car outside the theatre, but then the journey was simple. A few roadworks with poorly signed diversions, you know, those signs which they put up beyond the place you had to turn, and other examples of failed human endeavor.
Yet still, we arrived with plenty of time to spare.
Hmmm, the indicator boards say nothing.
A train comes in, not the one I require. The Virgin Station Agent quickly vanishes once the train is waved off. Hmmm, I am sure they would hang around if there was anything to announce. If there was a problem, they wouldn’t hide, that would be unhelpful.
The train that goes directly to where I live comes in, but not the one I have a ticket for. That one is due only 5 minutes later. And I am sure someone like that Virgin Station Agent on the Virgin Run Coventry Station Platform would announce something if the Virgin train was not well. Three minutes after the direct train has left, once there are no more alternatives at all, just Virgin trains, then it is announced that Virgin Trains are not feeling well. They could not have known before as the Wolverhampton train was only due to leave 45 minutes earlier, so how could anyone have know that it would not have just been teleported directly to Coventry.
And they couldn’t have known as the train line had only become fucked many hours earlier at Watford and the ramifications had been going on since, so you can see why no one would say anything, how could they have known.
(are there any financial ramifications that meant they played their cards so close to their chest?)
So that was my connection screwed.
(are there fewer crew than there used to be, it seems to only take one delay to mean the system has run out of people to operate the trains. cutbacks for profit?)
Another easily remedied situation, pathetically screwed up by a financial institution masquerading as provider of transport, that may well now be screwing up the east coast line too.
(“wait, Paula, wait. Don’t tell these ninnies on the platform about our crumbling service until all other options are gone. Brilliant, their final alternative has left, give it a minute, then explain to them that we are fucked”)
How quick these companies are to fine the passenger, to shrink the off peak hours, to force you to buy a full price ticket if you get hold up on a bus in bad traffic on the way to the station (“not my fault mate, that’ll be another £121”).
Our blood pressure rises. Our days are more angry. Our hours with our family are shortened. But the shareholders keep getting paid, and they can afford a shiny car and, every now and again, a chauffeur.
(the Virgin Maitre d’ has just announced he is closing soon, and can only accept cash as there is a fault with the machine)
There will always be some people who say, “well, it wasn’t so great when it was public”, but it wasn’t so fucking costly either. And the trains are so full. and the alibis are so poor. and the introduction of “our exciting new travel menu including beef and strawberry herb crepes” is not recompense enough.
(I was going to post the blog while on the train, but it turns out Virgin wifi is “currently experiencing some problems”).
They really don’t give a fuck. And they have not earned the right to take over the East Coast. Branson is a Boris Johnson, “I’m one of you, just a goofy guy, look at me in a dress twirling a woman upside down so we can see her pants, fun, fun, fun” monstrosity, hiding his lust for power and profit in a buck-toothed grin of psychopath sincerity. He is the future.
“I am afraid offering a service is costly, so we’ll offer a sort of rough approximation, please stand crushed by our faulty toilet and shut your face”.
Still being cross on further trains, but The Kings Blues are helping me through this journey.
Still on shitty trains so I can tour to Bordon, Exeter, Edinburgh, Berwick and on http://www.robinince.com
Good, and justified, anger. Sometimes the state of the trains is just one big advert for saying “fuck it” and purchasing oneself a bloated planet-poisoning MPV of some sort in which to drive around alone.
Actually, if I did that I’d probably save money otherwise spent on alcohol.
I commute from Rugby to Euston daily. Virgin are considerably more reliable than British Rail ever were, but the problem is as you rightly say, one of communication. None of the staff know what is going on and they rarely tell you what little do know. Of course this is the worst time of year for it all; wrong sort of wind, rain and snow everywhere.
For future journies I recommend you take two things with you. A good sense of humour will stop you having to reek vengeance on those responsible but equally necessary is an attitude that this is organised chaos and no one in a red jacket can be relied on for anything.
Once there are any form of delays, all bets are off!
i always get extra cross when the problem would have been so easily remedied and if it is my first chance to get home in a while, but I know what you mean.
I trust that you have made a claim for the delay? You could make up a whole show from that process, but unfortunately not really worth the tenner that they may eventually cough up.