Anyone who’s had any occasion to have to use the West Coast Main Line railway between London Euston and the North West and Scotland over the past decade or so will have as likely or not come across some difficulties at some point or other. Indeed any attempt at travelling on any weekend since as long as anyone can remember will have almost inevitably resulted in journey times hours longer than those of weekdays and may well have required excruitatingly slow bus substitution services for substantial stretches.
December saw what we all hoped would be the turning of a new leaf for the line. Years of engineering would be all but complete and a new timetable would come into effect offering a greatly enhanced number of services. Rejoice! If only it was so…
The Guardian features an excellent article on the seemingly declining state of railway catering, and the passing of the traditional buffet car.
It poses the interesting question as to whether the often poor quality or indeed total absence of catering on-board trains actually puts travellers off travelling by railway. The same could I’m sure be applied to the aviation industry which, unlike the railway’s golden age of waitered on catering cast so seductively by the likes Agatha Christie, has always rather been a byword for substandard food. Of course one generally has more choice in the type of transport taken when considering to travel by train, whereas by plane you typically have to fly; it’s more a question of the carrier. I may also being entirely unfair on the aviation industry’s catering, given that I’ve never flown in the silver service first class standard.