I am off, again, on the Eurostar train today to go to Italy via an overnight to Firenze. It is more expensive than Ryanair but far more pleasant and a part of the holiday itself, which can never be said about a journey that starts in Stansted.
Indeed, one of the advantages that the railways have over air travel is that generally the experience is pleasant and relatively easy, but this does seem to be changing on some routes as the train operators become ever more desperate to maximise their revenue. I was emailed a cutting today from the Sheffield Star about a soldier returning from serving in Iraq who was thrown off the train because he did not have his armed services card which entitled him to the discount (http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/War-hero-thrown-off-train.4384272.jp).
The soldier admits that he lost his rag somewhat but one of the issues, about which I intend to campaign, is the fact that the conductor wanted to charge the squaddie for a whole new ticket, rather than taking into account what he had paid already. This is an outrage and one that should be changed. If, for some reason, a passenger is travelling on the wrong train or the wrong time,but has paid, perhaps quite a lot, towards his journey, then the amount already paid should be taken into account.
I would be grateful for any examples of this where people have been effectively been charged twice for the same journey. There is no conceivable justifiaction for it. Contrast this with the airlines where, in general, if you miss your flight, even if it is entirely your fault, they put you on the next available plane. When I went to Oz, I sat next to a boy who had checked in but then missed his flight because he did not understand that the time on the pass was the departure time and not the boarding time. Yet, Qantas let him fly for free a couple of days later. My daughter, too, recently missed a flight from coast to coast in America and was only surcharged $50 for taking the next one. It is time the railways changed their policy or otherwise increasingly they will be seen as Ryanrailways.

Scroll to Top