Trains!!!

I’d understand that if it meant it was at least easy to get about and didn’t seem to involve rail replacement legs as standard. Also so infuriating how hard to it so find the route map to see the stations you pass through! Trying to coordinate getting on the same train as someone else at a different stop and it was like finding top secret info

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Rail privatisation is just a race to the bottom. Offer the bare minimum you can get away with to keep more of the money. Don’t worry about failing because the government will have no choice but to bail you out. Operator takes out all the profits and the public picks up the tab when things go wrong. You can’t lose.

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I just wanna get to my god damn hermit cottage and pretend its my life for 3 days

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Oooh that sounds lovely!

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Totally agree with you, it’s a crock of shit.

I’m 99% sure this is exactly the kind of thing you would know about already, but just in case, do you use https://traintimes.org.uk/ ?

It’s the same data as National Rail, but presented in a much more straightforward way so it’s easier to navigate. You can do radical things like have different journeys in different tabs, click the back button, look at journeys in the past, and crucially see what stations your train is going through (and when). Doesn’t solve the underlying shitness of the network, but makes looking stuff up a bit less infuriating.

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Absolutely bloody love that site.

All sorts of good stuff you can set up with basic URLs made up of station names or codes (explained in the ‘More’ bit at the bottom of the page), which can then be bookmarked, or, even better, ‘installed’ as an app-like icon on your phone for quick reference. E.g I have a ‘travel’ folder with a set of icons that go straight to the live departure pages - like so traintimes.org.uk/live/GLQ - for various regularly used stations (you can also save a basic URL that will go straight to a list of the next available trains from one station to another, like so traintimes.org.uk/GLQ/EDB and more besides) to see if it’s worth me waiting for a train, or running to catch one, or whether I’m better off walking instead, or getting a bus.

Speaking of which there’s also https://bustimes.org/ which takes a little more effort to get used to, but you can save a list or map of your locality (and ‘install’ as an app, as above) and then, from there, tap on stops to see upcoming bus service numbers, and from there tap through to see the route it takes. Just really quick to use to get the basic info you need.

Stripped of all the bloat. Beautiful.

Might as well mention http://nextbuses.mobi/ too which is a bit of a one trick pony for listing the next buses due at a stop - sometimes useful when you’re at a stop and it should have a number code on it that you can put straight into this, rather than needing to know anything about the street name or stop name.

Obviously, Google Maps or the service operator will have this info, but they’re almost always overkill for just getting basic quick info.

edit: as per @hardworking’s disclaimer, I know perhaps most of you will know most of this, I’m just blathering for the potential benefit of anyone else.

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Oh wow.


I had no idea such a thing existed!

Traksy is the railway version, I guess. Probably a bit nerdy and overwhelming for ‘general use’ but shows you exactly where all the trains are on a signalling diagram style map. If you click on the wee headcode, it shows you the details of that train. If you know what train you’re looking for (can always use Realtime Trains* to find the headcode) it’s good.

*I like Realtime Trains because you can use it as a simple departure board type thing and see the next trains with all the platforms. If you’re looking at a train, you can then click on one of the stations and it’ll show you the departures from that station too which is useful if you’ve got a connection. Has a geeky, detailed version that shows you all the passing times at junctions, delays at each point, etc as well. Tells you how many carriages and has a little drawing of the train for certain TOCs too.

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Both of those are new to me and will be handy, ta.

Just watched the Fort William sleeper make its way past towards Edinburgh.

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Managed to get a train last night that apparently was gonna stop at a station that doesn’t exist

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I want a train with an onboard playground

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Fuck, I need to take my daughter on this train!

I’m catching a lot more trains these day because of work. Tell you what freaked me out: the station layout at Tamworth. One set of tracks running perpendicular (and at a raised level) to the others. Would have missed my connecting train if it hadn’t been delayed. Crazy station!

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Lichfield Trent Valley, the next stop Down the line, is the same. The high level platform (just the one) doubles as the footbridge.

A few months back, it had to be closed for safety reasons and was shut for 2 or 3 weeks, so they had to run a replacement bus between the two low level platforms because its a half hour walk otherwise.

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Having to catch that replacement bus sounds like a real sanity-crusher

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One of the bike sections on a Danish commuter train:

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[cries in Northern Rail]

(And any other rail company in England tbh, Northern are probably far from the worst in terms of bike spaces)

I once did a big cycling trip with my dad and my two brothers, we were meant to get the sleeper train up to Edinburgh, all pre-booked, but there was a problem with the train line so we ended up having to cross country and catch a train up from York.

Anyway, when we tried to get on with our four bikes, to one of the big big Crosscountry services (12 carriages or w/e, thousands of seats), the guard told us they had space for a total of 3 bikes for the entire train. 3!!

Without being too dramatic, stuff like this (and the play room carriage above) are the stark difference between running something like a public service and running it like a business.

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Absolutely awesome.

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That’s actually worse than the old Mark 1 sets they used on South-West Trains when I was a kid, because at least there you had the lovely dusty guard’s wagon with the cage that you could put bikes in (or that we used to sit in when there weren’t any seats).

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