Monday, 2 November 2009

A simple Train idea

I know this is a blog about glass, crafting and the universe, but an idea occurred to me this weekend that isn’t about any of the above. Doubtless it will be ignored when I try sending it to National Express (humm, not sure about the express part after this mornings delays) but on the off chance some transport mogul is reading this I though I’d share in my general effort to do a little thing each week to improve the world.

I popped on the train this Saturday to go to pick up some crafting supplies. Now the train was quite packed with people taking advantage of cheap day returns etc, but as they weren’t ‘real’ commuters they clearly didn’t understand how it works so had made themselves comfortable with plenty of space defended with bags on seats etc – and who can blame them for wanting to enjoy their journey.

Now at the moment I can’t afford to ‘do glass’ fulltime so suffer the soul numbing, shoulder squashing misery and expense of a daily commute. So I wondered, ‘why can’t I have some perk or preferential treatment at the weekend?’ I pay a very scary amount of money each month for this discomfort – with the annual increase I expect it to be over £400 a month next year! – so how about doing something for me Mr Train People? And it won’t loose you any money, but you might make more!

This is the idea; At weekends let people with monthly or yearly travel cards go and use first class. There aren’t going to be many of us wanting to suffer the abuse of another train trip after 5 in one week, and I very much doubt many – or even any – first class tickets are sold at the weekend. This would give us a little ‘thank you’ from the train companies, with the added bonus of freeing up some standard seats for those buying fares on the day. And it won’t cost you a bean Mr Train-person.

Also you might start selling some first class fares too, if I wanted to travel to London for an event at the weekend with my other half I’d hardly want to sit in first class and leave her in standard, so I’d might want to splash out and get her a first class ticket – thus Mr Trainman you get to sell a more expensive seat, although I’d prefer you to give me a special discount to encourage that. Not forgetting all that extra revenue the coffee kiosks would make as I might want to travel at the weekends if I was going to enjoy it.

This wouldn’t cost the train companies anything. Those seats are unused at the weekends (bar the occasional chav with a can of pseudo-Australian lager whose probably not paid his fare anyway!) So the cost of a little ‘thank you’ and comfort is nil, and maybe a few people will even get to like it enough to upgrade their regular tickets.

So, does anyone else think this is a good idea, or even better is in charge of ther railways?!


  1. I think it's an excellent idea (and I do have a family member who's working their way up towards running the reailways - I'll send them a link!)

  2. Well I've emailed them my suggestion, they promise a response in 6 days but I'm not holding my breath! I shall be intrigued what excuse they come up with though!