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Sunday, 13 October 2013

It's Class War on our trains! Standard vs First ...

Last week, I travelled some distance across the country, costing me a grand total of £82 ( no, none of that was paid by you, the tax-payer!) to give a speech.  (Many people actually get paid for giving speeches. I've obviously got something badly wrong.)  Anyway, I paid quite a hefty fare for my train journey only to find, joy of joys,  that standard class was absolutely chokka. People were slotting themselves into luggage-rack gaps, had filled the buffet car and some had taken up camp in the carriage corridors themselves. Happy days.

It was then I had a brainwave. Surely the little table, just past the Class-Barrier of the buffet-car, on which free copies of The Times are often arrayed for First Class customers wouldn't be actually First Class?

I squeezed down the train, past the buffet, to confirm my suspicions. The carpet didn't actually begin until after the little table-bit at the end of the carriage. What's more, I reasoned, one pays for a First Class seat, surely? Throwing caution (and images of 'MP travels in First Class with Standard-Class Ticket' headlines) to the winds, I perched myself on said little table, tucked my feet in, and muttered to myself about how much I'd just paid for this dubious comfort.
Grrrrr. Very annoying. Especially when you've been sitting in a packed Standard Class luggage rack.

What made things more galling is that the First Class carriages were virtually empty. More muttering. After some considerable amount of time squished up on a small table, this is why I have quite a bit of sympathy for calls to re-think the Standard:First Class ratio on trains.

You can read a bit more about it here:

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