Reasons To Be Cheerful #14: The Great British Rail

16 Apr
The efficient face of British rail

The efficient face of British rail

This weekend I was reacquainted with the great British rail, and what an experience it was! It included sunbathing, cultural discussion and of course, queues. A blog immediately sprang to mind and here it is:

1. Seeing New Places

Whilst more adventurous members of the populace may choose their journey using a blind spin and point at the destination board method, I think it’s safe to say that most of us have a destination in mind on arrival at the station. For example, I had decided to go to Gillingham in Kent on Sunday. But thanks to regular Sunday works (ie: builders sunning themselves on the disused tracks), a 40-minute stop-off in Woking was in order, during which time I saw the sights of platform number 2, purchased a Magnum and got to know a new and rather wondrous place.

2. Making Friends

Obviously if one was staying within the confines of central London, this point would be null and void. But go beyond the M25 (rail equivalent) and suddenly the people of the world are not so out of reach. How often do you get to meet an English man living in China who will tell you about live prisoners being sold for body parts, babies being disappeared and the comparative brilliance of Chinese public transport? Only on British rail.

3. Noone Pushes In

The world knows that being British means having a queue for every eventuality, and nowhere is this truer, than within the bastions of the public domain. Queued to update your railcard? Well, now you’ll have to queue to get cash out, queue to change said cash into coins and queue to use the photo booth. Oh and queue to update your railcard. But noone pushed in did they?

4. Knowledgeable Staff

Before our current Golden Age of transport

Before our current Golden Age of transport

While transport staff are not famed for their friendliness, at least they know what they’re talking about, right? Hearing a train driver taking at least three attempts during each tannoy announcement, to get the order and location of stops correct, really made me appreciate recent price hikes. After all, you get what you pay for.

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: Magnums are now over £2. Really quite unbelievable) 

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