Any complaints? Actually, there was this one thing.

Our train companies are not national treasures. Mechanical reliability records that would embarrass the state carrier during the USSR‘s latter years. Staff that positively rejoice in their bovine recalcitrance. It’s fair to say they’re less popular than the barman who thought the Fish-tini would make for an excellent cocktail.

Incidentally, have you ever heard anyone say ‘You know, I had a great trip on the train today’? It’s right up there with ‘I got this really stylish jumper at Edinburgh Woollen Mill last weekend. Such good value too.’

But let’s give credit where it’s due. The first step to solving a problem is gaining a deeper understanding of what it is.  So you might be  assailed by a market researcher clutching a survey, interrupting your curious examination of the stain on the back of the seat in front of you (just so you know – it’s the product of a previous seat occupant’s fight to the death with a Greggs chicken bake).

National Rail Passenger Survey

They tried getting the normal staff to hand them out, but they tended to be returned in the form of spitballs.

Now, when you’re presented with an extensive survey like this – 16 pages long, over 70 questions – you have two options. You can:

a) give tedious, tick-based feedback within the thinly-defined constraints of the questions THE MAN has deemed to be relevant to YOUR experience of train journeys.

b) get to the heart of the issue.

I’m pleased to say that Hannah took option b).

Rail passenger survey

I’ll bet the market researchers analysing all this have a numeric code for piss-based feedback. I hope it’s ‘number 1’.

Because if these things don’t get said, I’m afraid it’s not going to get better for any of us. So if you do receive one of these surveys, don’t hold back.

This was going to be a longer post, but I’m afraid you’ll have to excuse me. We’re just about to pull into King’s Cross, and this Fish-tini has gone right through my system.

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