I arrived at Newcastle Central Station a few minutes ago to catch the 7.40am fast service to London only to find the damn thing is cancelled again. I should be thankful for small mercies. After all, it has been a few weeks since National Express last pulled that trick.
In the space of five minutes however we have had two different excuses. The information desk tells me the cancellation is due to engineering works. The train announcer however tells us it is due to a "fault on the train."
Perhaps the real reason is that National Excess couldn't run a Hornby trainset, never mind a real rail service. I have just boarded the slow service which arrived at Newcastle as the fast service I was originally supposed to get. That just makes this whole National Excess screw up all the more annoying.
Cancellation rather than finding trains to run scheduled services appears to be the policy of this company. It is the lazy option for a company that has a near monopoly on the East Coast It allows them to claim they are running a full service without actually putting on a full service. It's time this bunch had some competition on this rail route to give them a kick them up the backside.
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