BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘West Midlands Trains’

#365daysofbiking Lip service

March 12th – I noticed a couple of weeks ago there seemed to be new bike parking at WalsalL Station, but only got around to investigating it this evening.

It’s in a curious, newly built compound off platform one, and isn’t like the secure hubs at other stations, which are lockable and really deter the casual thief. This is a decent enough stacking stand, with a tethered tool station nearby which is, I guess, a nice touch.

It clearly isn’t secure though, despite the claims it’s monitored by CCTV. A new looking bike lies in one station, stripped and trashed.

I’d rather leave my bike locked on Park Street – and the disclaimers are very off-putting too.

This is nothing more than lip service by West Midlands Trains, a company I’m rapidly coming to dislike.

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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.