Monday 7th February | Last Week in Trains

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Bonjour. Nothing to report about French rail, just mixing things up. So. took a rather damning view of Arriva Trains Wales ‘climbdown’ from its threat to strike on the day of the England v Wales Six Nations Rugby match. I’d provided some information about places to stay for people wanting to re-arrange to travel the day before and felt decidedly fallible as a result – though I guess you can hold onto the information, should you fancy staying in Cardiff at any point in the near future.

The site reported that the union is accused of using Welsh rugby fans as  ‘“pawns” in its industrial dispute over pay and conditions and said had the strike gone ahead it would have caused ‘major disruption to more than 30,000 fans travelling by train.’

In the end Arriva Trains Wales in fact put extra services on that day.

The second piece of news comes from the BBC, which reported that Passenger Focus thinks we need a review of train company punctuality. Interesting, I thought, not least because I recall reading a very similar article on the site last year. But also because increasingly I’m hearing that trains are getting better at arriving on time and the article even says:

‘Passenger Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said: “Punctual trains equal happier passengers. The good news is that the industry’s current measure shows that punctuality is getting better with more trains running on time.”‘

Hopefully the ever increasing popularity of rail travel in the UK will raise support for continuing all round improvements to rail travel.

What else? Oh yes – an Italian kid could have died at Milan station last week after becoming too absorbed in his PSP game and falling onto the tracks. Luckily, there was a policeman there to save him. The media in Italy must have gone wild for this one, if the reaction to on-board air conditioning malfunctions in summer is anything to go by.