#365daysofbiking Station to station:
October 9th – I’m curious about long term plans for Telford Station. At the moment, it’s a bit player in the huge new linkway bridge project, but for an interchange serving such a large area it’s a fairly poor facility: Just two platforms, a booking office with short opening hours and a couple of waiting rooms.
There are just two trains an hour in each direction, 15 and 45 minutes apart which is a bugger if you miss the one and have a 45 minute wait.
The peak time trains are fiendishly busy and Telford doesn’t get a fair crack of the whip here at all.
This was destined to change with the introduction of the new timetable in Autumn with a ramping up to three services and hour with an extra, welcome, stopper: However with the Chase Line electrification not completed, the rolling stock is not yet available and the change has been postponed until 2019.
For such a large, economically powerful town Telford’s railway provision is pretty poor.
August 16th – A dreadful morning commute in heavy rain to the railway station was a shock to the system, on slippery roads with a worrying amount of spray. Getting to the station, when the train arrived I found I was sharing the bike space with a hardy cyclist in shorts.
Looking at his bike, a respectable singe speed, I saw what can only be regarded as the worst bit of rear light positioning I’ve ever seen.
Almost lower than the rear wheel, on the seat post behind the seat stays.
I hope this guy doesn’t do anything engineering-based for a living.
January 12th – I came from Derby to Leicester, made a call in Leicester, back to Birmingham and then Walsall. At 4:30pm I was in Derby; by 6:30 I was in Walsall. Not bad, really.
Through my increasing aches and congestion – the cold was really clouding things now – I got the Late Night Feelings vibe in several places, and a bit of a Peter Saville in Walsall.
I love travelling. I love riding a bike. I don’t love the cold virus.
I was glad to get home.
December 6th – Well, this’ll be the end then. So long, it was… memorable.
I was working away today, and whilst stood on a cold, dark platform at New Street Station in the early hours I realised that this would in all probability be my last journey ever with London Midland Trains. It’s not been a wholly enjoyable relationship, to be honest with you.
I’m not going train negative, it’s just that the local operating franchise changes on this Sunday coming to West Midlands Trains Ltd.
The transition will be hardly noticeable of course – the same staff, the same trains, probably the same crap service – but the current rolling stock will get new graphics and it’ll feel new for a bit. In reality, it’ll be same old ordure with a different multinational putting it’s own brand of polish on the turd.
I’m concerned about the future. West Midlands Trains have been allowed to bid on increased passenger density, and I fear they’ll ban cycles. I’m concerned about some of the services I use, and whether this new team of profit-hoovers will actually tackle the staffing issues that have dogged the outfit since, well, privatisation.
Then there’s the question of new trains. Will we ever get any? With other franchises in trouble (East Coast in particular) I’m not positive.
As I watched the appropriately delayed, cut short Lichfield Service disappear into the blackness of a drizzly, windy winters night, I felt it wasn’t so much goodbye, as same old mess, different logo.