The Joys Of Modern Travel!

Ok prepare for a rant! It’s been one of those days….oh yeah and it’s only midday!
 
So NIR or Northern Ireland Railways for those who have not got a clue what I am referring to. I have always been a fan, even on the nights when trains broke down and I was left stranded at various train stations for various amounts of time. Usually there was good craic and banter among the stranded and time passed. I used to never let it annoy me, other people usually ranted and raved and I just said nothing and felt sorry for the conductor who was getting a finger wagged in his face, muttering these things happen.
 
So let’s be clear, I have no issues with the conductor’s. They are a great bunch of lads and lasses doing a job I would not do for all the money in the world!
 
So I know at this point you are rolling your eyes and urging me on. Settle petal, I’m getting there……..oh look a butterfly……oops hang on, back now.
 
Some stations on the NIR lines get forgotten about. They tend to focus on the better money making routes and not the ones they consider give them a little less revenue. Yes! I do know that makes good business sense, however they are not encouraging anyone from the sticks to travel if they are getting a second class service.  To be fair things have greatly improved since the introduction of the new trains….my are they fabulous, always warm, comfortable seating, little tables and free Wifi, granted coverage is a little sketchy in places but they get 10 out of 10 for even trying, some of those places a man with a satellite dish on his head couldn’t get a reading.
 
So we’ve now established that my rant is not about the trains either.
 
It’s funny, I’ve not reached my point yet and I am running out of steam already, it is true what they say, it’s good to talk!
 
Point of Annoyance Number 1
 
I’ve recently been off work after knee surgery, walking is a bit of a trauma but it’s getting better, it’s all about rebuilding the muscle. On the day I reported fit I decided to check the train timetables to see what was going to work best for my phased return. I was extremely dismayed to see that I no longer had any direct trains to work, someone in their wisdom had decided that once you reach a certain point the train should turn into an express (to benefit the more important people from the more important stations), meaning anyone in between has to get off and change. I have 5 minutes to change between platforms, which involves stairs and subways, neither of which I can manage to well at the moment. The homeward journey is the same, I can no longer travel to work without changing trains on any of the times required to get me to and from work! Not happy, I pay the same as everyone else but feel I am getting a lesser service.
 
Point of Annoyance Number 2
 
Pricing – Anyone who travels by car will probably argue that when all costs are added together the train is cheaper. I would have agreed and would also have said it was less hassle, that is until I had to change, get off, wait, get on…..chooo chooo! So because I have been easing myself back into work gradually, I was not travelling a full week and therefore paying daily for my ticket. £10 a day. Anyone who travels after 9.30am in the morning can avail of a 3rd off a day return. Not anyone wanting to go to work though, there are no benefits for consistent travellers, full fare thanks very much! I am however grateful to the girls in work who raided through their junk mail and found me 50% off tickets issued by Translink in a bid to encourage people to try the train. This did help for a few days. I could have availed of an Mlink Ticket – 3 days travel for £25 saving me a fiver, however you can only have Mlink if you have an Iphone, Blackberry or Android. I am victimised for having a Windows Phone. Hey I am a gamer I like my Xbox App!! So no ticket for me on ye olde Mlink!  Translink say, and I quote “We would encourage all of our customers to consider upgrading to an iPhone, Blackberry or Android Smartphone in order to continue using the mLink app in the future.” Eh here mate, that’s a genius idea only I can’t fecking afford it cos I am paying you £10 a day to feckin travel.
 
So today as it is the start of a new month I am armed with my card to buy my monthly ticket. I get to the station, no one there, position closed, please buy your ticket on the train. So I ask the guard can you take a card, no sorry, but I need to get a monthly. So at this point my options are, get off at a manned station, buy a ticket and then get back on the train or buy a day return. I had to buy the day return for £10 as I can’t afford to be late for work. Really not happy, but I am still in a dilemma because what do I do if there is no one at the station tomorrow.
 
I need to win the lottery tonight, I don’t care if the big hand pokes me in the eye as long as he says “It’s You!”

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9 thoughts on “The Joys Of Modern Travel!

  1. I can’t remember where it was I worked but you used to be able to take your single ticket and when you bought a weekly or monthly pass that ticket was deducted from your pass price if there was noone at the station you could have purchased your longer ticket for.

    btw you might (or might not) enjoy my last couple of blog posts. I’m a bus driver and wrote about various aspects of it with humourous undertones. :D

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B000KKNQBK

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    • I will certainly take a look later, thanks for letting me know. I wouldnt do your job for all the money in the world lol

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      • Hahahaha I really do enjoy it a lot. It beats the nine to five grind, but saying that… maybe I will start looking for an office job sometime soon. It will have to pay better than what I’m earning now though! (and check out my accidental link, too. It’s comments on VEET hair removal by men… lol)

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      • Class! I can’t follow from my phone but will later. I love blogs that make me guffaw out loud on the train! I’m a hardcore eejit lol

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      • btw if you do follow my blogs, make sure you go in and elect to receive updates on them! I find that I follow blogs then just think that the writers are being remiss and not publishing anythign for a long time.. only to find that wordpress has a sneaky little setting you have to tweak to receive updates!

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