REPORTER Dale Haslam continues his regular blog about his daily train commute in and out of Bolton

A FEW weeks ago I praised the way train companies made good use of technology to make our journeys easier.

But on Friday I experienced how, sometimes, this modern wizardry is not always all it is cracked up to be.

Before I leave the house each morning for work, I view the National Rail app on my phone to check if my train from Chorley to Bolton is on time. However, the app was behaving strangely and showed the first few trains as ‘delayed’.

This is not unheard of, but when it happens, a few times a year, the app explains what the problem is and, when the length of the delay is not shown, it is usually due to something major, like a signalling issue or a fire. The problem is, if you go to the station you risk having to stand on a crowded platform for who knows how long while the service gets back to normal — it could be hours — but if you stay home, you could be missing trains that are actually running on time.

I opted for a compromise: I missed the 7.32, shown as ‘delayed’ on the app, and got the 7.56. Later I discovered there were no delays and it was an app technical fault. On Twitter, Northern Rail and TransPennine Express pointed this out, but not everyone is going to be checking multiple online outlets while getting ready for work. So the moral of the story is that, while technology is an aid, it is not 100 per cent reliable all the time, though it is better to have it than not. Sometimes, it has a tendency to make me a little ‘un appy’ though.