Southeastern railways high speed service is seen as a great benefit to the local area, which I'm sure it is, fans include local blogger and professional taxpayer funded Labour politician Mark Nottingham and Conservative Cllr. Chris Wells, so a few weeks ago I thought I'd give it a go, unfortunately when I checked, there happened to be a bus replacement service from Ramsgate to Ashford thus making the journey, the typical weekend train journey we all know and detest but no problem I just travelled at a later date.
Subsequently I have travelled on a weekend, when Network Rail and South eastern railways have managed to run a normal on time service, which though not perfect is an improvement on existing routes. Still it's unfortunate that money was not spent on new track allowing high speeds on the entire route.
Southeastern railways, appear have improved standards of service despite charging a premium, to travel on the high speed Train. I understand that passengers were today treated to the usual railway levels of service, this morning, when high speed trains were canceled and replaced with smelly old buses as Southeastern railways were terminating trains at Ebbsfleet but decided not to inform their customers until they were stuck.
Had Southeastern informed customers at Ashford for instance high-speed trains would become no-speed trains at Ebbsfleet, customers could have changed trains been got into London earlier, apparently an announcement to passengers that there would be a 10 minute delay at Ebbsfleet was followed sometime later by the conductor/ticket collector walking up the train and advising customers they would have to get off and on to a bus.
It seems to me that rail operators etc have no idea of how to treat customers, had Southeastern any customer skills, they would have informed travellers at the start of the journey, who could have made alternative arrangements, but no, even in 2010 with the private business sector rail companies couldn’t careless since they still get paid fat subsidies just like the state owned establishments of the past.
You would think that Southeastern having failed to deliver passengers on time or anything like it would instantly refund customers, a check with the “Customer Services” call centre (Tonbridge) reveals what I refer to as the “far queue mentality” in which the customer is always wrong or at least has to jump through hoops to get any recompense, so those who have been short-changed will apparently have to write to the company.
Finally the trains built by Japanese firm Hitachi are brilliant unfortunately British managed rail companies are not.