Snatching success from the jaws of defeat, or not

15 February 2011

How rail companies handle disruption, as seen in the recent snow problems, can be really boosted or sunk by information. The train from Manchester to London has become boringly reliable. ]

So, very odd when the other day the 15.55 sat very quietly as departure time approached. You can always tell when something is wrong – the clock ticks around and it is very, very silent. Finally, about 16.05 a totally inaudible announcement – the intercom was not working on coach E.  I set off up the train to find passengers who had heard there was a problem (no train manager), but we should be off soon. The great dilemma – sprint across to try and catch 16.15 or sit tight. One small announcement would do it – give us a clue!  Nothing was mentioned. By the time I had gone back up the platform to find staff who had no idea what was going on, the 16.15 pulled out. Ten minutes later we are off – not a disaster – but I would like to be home earlier.

What happens in these situations? Surely someone should think these passengers need some information? We will keep working at it!

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