Thursday, November 09, 2006

A discussion at the station

I was surprised upon arrival at my favourite London station this morning by the announcement "Managers are available on the concourse for discussion and to answer any questions from customers".

I had a job to get to and in any case I was caught so by surprise that I didn't have any questions. Later I wondered if I should have asked about the empty trains that race past the platform in the morning when the ones that carry passengers are often late and always crowded.

I guess it was just too early for me to have a discussion. I did however go and see what the managers looked like.

In the main they looked quite normal- much like the average passenger but wearing a sort of uniform. They had a stall and were milling around it. Surprisingly a number of passengers had stopped to "discuss" matters- presumably relating to train travel.

I couldn't work out the expression on the managers faces but they seemed to be smiling and open. I suspected that inside they were thinking "some of these passengers are really sad to think that it is worthwhile coming for a discussion".

That is my cynicism but it all seems very un-British to have a discussion at the end of the platform with railway managers.

There did seem an awful lot of managers-about 20 I would say. Despite the enthusiasm of some passengers, managers still outnumbered passengers in the discussion area. They only thing that was missing was refreshments- maybe there will "sherry and nibbles" on the way home this evening ?!

The trains are still frequently late but I suppose we should be very grateful that there are a smiling group of managers available for a chat every so often. Maybe they will next be offering therapy for passengers traumatised by the morning commute into London !

For now, I nerdily record delays to my trains on this website. I doubt it does much good but I am keen for my train company to appear bad in the league table against other train companies.............


Anonymous said...

Hi There

I am the commuter who set up the site and we had exactly the same at our station last week! As if meeting the managers will make a difference. You may or may not know but was set up so that other commuters could make a claim easier. Unfotunatley the stats or not used formally, however we have been quoted as the ATOCs most hated website!! If you want to chat further please feel free to email me at

All the best

The owner

Luis said...

Thanks very much for your comment and information Chris.

It is a great site and I can only hope it becomes more widely known.

I have been tempted to start telling other passengers about it when we have been sitting in a delayed train :-)