Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Wed 6 April - Better? Nope...

The 07:14 is cancelled again. Have I mentioned I'm very set in my ways of catching this train? OK, thought so. Anyway, I'm not happy as I got the notification at 06:40. I would've had enough time to catch the 06:59, were it not for the fact that I'd left the car at the station because I got a taxi last night! Oh well get the 07:49 and it's pretty much on time.

Home again, going for the 17:38. Haven't had any SMS alerts, but the sign at the entrance says the next trains are the 17:49 and 18:01. So it fairly strongly suggests the 17:38 is not running. Stroll up to platform 8 and sure enough the monitor is not showing 17:38 to Sandringham. At 17:37 they announce that the 17:38 is running after all, but from platform 10. A quick sprint over there and I make it with a little time to spare. So it leaves about three minutes late and, not surprisingly, it's fairly empty. Presumably because several people went off and did something else to wait for the 17:49 as scheduled, or just didn't get enough warning to pick up the platform change. The little kicker for them is that at 17:45 they sent an SMS to advise that the 17:49 was cancelled. Bet they were happy!

This is a great example of the lack of information, or worse, complete misinformation to passengers. You get there, you believe the sign that your train is not running so you take a stroll - maybe even make the fruitless search for a staff member who can tell you what's going on. You amble up to platform 8 and the monitors confirm that your train is not running. You idly look over at platform 10 just as your train pulls out. Spewing! So the monitor shows you that the 17:49 is on its way and you relax a little. Then a few minutes before it's due you're told it's not running... where's that AK-47 when you need it?

How hard would it have been for Connex to have managed this better? For example, get the sign at the entrance right... yeah that's a challenge. Make it display that the 17:38 is running and that it's going from platform 10. Have a staff member at both entrances to platform 8 and tell people that their train is on platform 10, waiting to whisk them home in comfort. If I can figure out what's required, why can't Connex?


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