Our Bat & Ball correspondent, Keith Alderman, has now retired. However he’s now making good use of his Senior Railcard!
This month’s railway experiences:
- Monday 6 November – Chris Tarrant’s Extreme Railway Journeys programme on Channel 5 was in Morocco and a new excuse for late running was heard, “snails on the line”. Apparently, this causes problems like leaves on the line in the UK whereby the trains suffer poor adhesion problems. Perhaps Network Rail and the train operating companies should add this to their official late running excuse book.
- Wednesday 8 November – My destination was Edinburgh today, departing Bat & Ball on the 06.16 to St Pancras International where the train arrived three minutes late. I made my way to King’s Cross for the 08.00 service to Edinburgh via the first-class lounge. I enjoyed a good full English breakfast and other refreshments on my journey to Scotland where arrival was on time. I walked to York Place and boarded an Edinburgh tram for a ride out to the airport. These trams have the most comfortable seats that I have sat on in a tram. On returning to the city centre I had a late lunch and some real ale therapy in The Booking Office at Waverley station, (a Wetherspoon’s pub in the former railway booking office). I returned on the 15.30 departure to Kings Cross. Again, I enjoyed some refreshments served on board including a very good beer brewed by Rudgate for Virgin East Coast called “Hop Onboard”. Unfortunately, the journey was delayed by forty-one minutes due to problems in Newcastle and vandalism on another train further south that necessitated slow running near this incident. A good bit of customer service was that by 14.00 next day I had received an e-mail from Virgin East Coast apologising for the delay to my journey containing a link to their Website to apply for delay repay compensation in this respect.
- Tuesday 14 November – I travelled to London today to attend a meeting. When I arrived at Bat & Ball station the information screen at the entrance was showing the next service due was the 13.33 to West Hampstead, but I intended catching the 16.03 to St Pancras International! The information screen on platform two was only displaying “Welcome to Southeastern” and when I crossed to platform one the screen there was showing the next service as being the 13.33 to West Hampstead, followed by the 14.03 and 14.33 departures. Despite this the 16.03 service departed on time!
- Wednesday 22 November – My destination was Rochford today. Thameslink started the day badly. the 08.58 from Bat & Ball to Sevenoaks arrived there six minutes late. Southeastern did not do much better, the 09.13 from Sevenoaks arrived at Sevenoaks on time but was delayed whilst the late running 09.06 slow service was dispatched first. Arrival at London Bridge was seven minutes late. My journey from Liverpool Street to Rochford and back was on time.
- Thursday 30 November – I travelled to London to meet some friends for a meal and a drink today. I returned on the 20.19 from London Bridge which arrived on time at Sevenoaks. The 21.00 to Bat & Ball was on time. At Bat & Ball the information screens were running late! The next train information being displayed was about two hours behind current time.
Delay Repay Claims: total 1 January 2017 to 30 November 2017 inclusive = £136.70
(Greater Anglia £10.80, Southeastern £28.80, Thameslink £76.70, Virgin £20.40)