Dale Haslam's train blog: Free up first class carriages

Dale Haslam

Dale Haslam

First published in Politics The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A FEW months ago I was travelling on a First Transpennine Express (FTPE) train between Bolton and Chorley and many people were standing.

Impressively, the conductor asked people to free up all available seats and then declassified the first-class carriage, so anyone could sit there.

It happened on at least five occasions during busy periods towards the end of last year and first-class ticket holders were invited to apply for a partial refund.

Since then, FTPE has had a lot to contend with after a big shake-up in the timetable due to the electrification of lines, which has led to some trains having fewer carriages and in some cases, overcrowding has worsened.

FTPE bosses have taken some positive steps, such as tweaking some services to ease overcrowding.

For example, an evening rush-hour train from Manchester Airport to Scotland via Bolton now runs via Wigan, but a new service running at the same time goes from Manchester Oxford Road to Windermere — and Bolton is just the second stop so lots of seats are free at that point.

But there seems to have been fewer instances when first class has been declassified at busy periods, despite continued overcrowding.

On Friday, March 14, First Great Western announced it was going to convert some first-class carriages to deliver 3,000 extra standard-class seats on high-speed services between eastern cities into London at peak times, from June onwards.

Perhaps FTPE should follow its lead and declassify first class more often.

There are occasions on FTPE trains when first class passengers have lots of space, with empty seats beside them, while some standard-class ticket holders have to stand and struggle for space.

Comments (16)

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10:13am Mon 17 Mar 14

Darren1951 says...

Common sense? It seems to me that it was almost totally lacking when the TOCs and franchises were set up in the first place. Unless it becomes "official" policy, though, this idea, whilst startlingly obvious to many people, has to overcome the ever-present spectre of too many jobsworths who are too scared to make a practical , on-the-spot decision for fear of being disciplined or, worse still, losing their jobs.
No doubt my rather paranoid "friend" will jump in with one of his ridiculously long diatribes in next hour or so.
Common sense? It seems to me that it was almost totally lacking when the TOCs and franchises were set up in the first place. Unless it becomes "official" policy, though, this idea, whilst startlingly obvious to many people, has to overcome the ever-present spectre of too many jobsworths who are too scared to make a practical , on-the-spot decision for fear of being disciplined or, worse still, losing their jobs. No doubt my rather paranoid "friend" will jump in with one of his ridiculously long diatribes in next hour or so. Darren1951
  • Score: -3

11:09am Mon 17 Mar 14

BWFC71 says...

There are no 1st class compartments on Northern Rail but as First TPE are long distance routes then naturally there are 1st class seats, just as there are on Virgin Trains and any other "inter--city" route.

You forget that First TPE are "inter-city" and as such has to apply the rules governed to them.

I have often used 1st Class and prefer to do so as it guarantees me a seat - which is free to reserve when booking more than 24 hours in advance. And you can book each separate days travel at the same time for up to a week, therefore guaranteeing a seat every day!

Lets not forget that the peak time trains, in both directions are absolutely full and that does include 1st class compartments, so what is the point of declassifying when the compartment is already brimming full!!

Dale, you only travel between Chorley and Bolton (which is only 2 stops on First TPE) and not on to Manchester and as such you do not see the full facts after leaving Bolton! There have been many occasions when no one can actually board the train because they are so crowded, including 1st class -so again what would be the point of declassifying the compartment? Also if you are travelling from Windermere or Blackpool to the Airport and you want comfort, wouldn't you be absolutely miffed if you found out that your guaranteed seat was no longer available?

The problem here is not first class but number of train units!!! Even if it was still a 6 coach rain, how full would the train be , or what about 9 coach train?

Plus there are people who do require seats due to various reasons, and as such, pay the extra for 1st class, knowing that they can get the seats - would you want to see those people cripples in pain because of declassification? I sincerely hope not!
There are no 1st class compartments on Northern Rail but as First TPE are long distance routes then naturally there are 1st class seats, just as there are on Virgin Trains and any other "inter--city" route. You forget that First TPE are "inter-city" and as such has to apply the rules governed to them. I have often used 1st Class and prefer to do so as it guarantees me a seat - which is free to reserve when booking more than 24 hours in advance. And you can book each separate days travel at the same time for up to a week, therefore guaranteeing a seat every day! Lets not forget that the peak time trains, in both directions are absolutely full and that does include 1st class compartments, so what is the point of declassifying when the compartment is already brimming full!! Dale, you only travel between Chorley and Bolton (which is only 2 stops on First TPE) and not on to Manchester and as such you do not see the full facts after leaving Bolton! There have been many occasions when no one can actually board the train because they are so crowded, including 1st class -so again what would be the point of declassifying the compartment? Also if you are travelling from Windermere or Blackpool to the Airport and you want comfort, wouldn't you be absolutely miffed if you found out that your guaranteed seat was no longer available? The problem here is not first class but number of train units!!! Even if it was still a 6 coach rain, how full would the train be , or what about 9 coach train? Plus there are people who do require seats due to various reasons, and as such, pay the extra for 1st class, knowing that they can get the seats - would you want to see those people cripples in pain because of declassification? I sincerely hope not! BWFC71
  • Score: 3

1:09pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Darren1951 says...

No-one, or, at least, not I, is claiming that declassifying first class seats will provide a solution to the overcrowding problem, but it might just help to make travelling by rail a little more bearable for SOME passengers on SOME trains.
No-one, or, at least, not I, is claiming that declassifying first class seats will provide a solution to the overcrowding problem, but it might just help to make travelling by rail a little more bearable for SOME passengers on SOME trains. Darren1951
  • Score: -1

2:35pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Darren1951 says...

The "thumbs down" brigade are (or should that be "is"?) at it! I wonder who it could be?
The "thumbs down" brigade are (or should that be "is"?) at it! I wonder who it could be? Darren1951
  • Score: -4

2:36pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Darren1951 says...

The "thumbs down" brigade are (or should that be "is"?) at it again!
The "thumbs down" brigade are (or should that be "is"?) at it again! Darren1951
  • Score: -5

3:06pm Mon 17 Mar 14

David 1957 says...

British Rail ran 9 coach loco hauled trains from Scotland to various locations
.Virgin reduced this to 6 with a pair of voyagers.FTPE just runs a single class 185 with two and a half carriages.DISGRAFUL
British Rail ran 9 coach loco hauled trains from Scotland to various locations .Virgin reduced this to 6 with a pair of voyagers.FTPE just runs a single class 185 with two and a half carriages.DISGRAFUL David 1957
  • Score: 3

5:34pm Mon 17 Mar 14

BWFC71 says...

David 1957 wrote:
British Rail ran 9 coach loco hauled trains from Scotland to various locations .Virgin reduced this to 6 with a pair of voyagers.FTPE just runs a single class 185 with two and a half carriages.DISGRAFUL
I have seen on a friends FB page photos of the Northern Belle that went through Bolton last week - it was 10 coaches long and didn't even fill the platform, now could you imagine trains like that from Northern or First TPE (or whoever takes over the two franchises in a few weeks, if they do not sign the extensions or come April 2016 the combined franchise).
[quote][p][bold]David 1957[/bold] wrote: British Rail ran 9 coach loco hauled trains from Scotland to various locations .Virgin reduced this to 6 with a pair of voyagers.FTPE just runs a single class 185 with two and a half carriages.DISGRAFUL[/p][/quote]I have seen on a friends FB page photos of the Northern Belle that went through Bolton last week - it was 10 coaches long and didn't even fill the platform, now could you imagine trains like that from Northern or First TPE (or whoever takes over the two franchises in a few weeks, if they do not sign the extensions or come April 2016 the combined franchise). BWFC71
  • Score: 0

8:48pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Frogger123 says...

I travel FTPE most mornings of the week on the reduced carriage 8.08 train. To oxford road. I can honestly say first class is virtually NEVER declassified in fact the message saying " first class is for first class ticket holders only and these carriages are clearly marked" Is played over the tannoy. Ie: do not try to come into first class. Passengers are regularly left behind on the platform on this reduced carriage train, whilst first class is empty. I believe last April FTPE took the decision to stop allowing the declassification of first class . Can some remind me again why I pay £1200 per year for this pathetic cattle truck service??
I travel FTPE most mornings of the week on the reduced carriage 8.08 train. To oxford road. I can honestly say first class is virtually NEVER declassified in fact the message saying " first class is for first class ticket holders only and these carriages are clearly marked" Is played over the tannoy. Ie: do not try to come into first class. Passengers are regularly left behind on the platform on this reduced carriage train, whilst first class is empty. I believe last April FTPE took the decision to stop allowing the declassification of first class . Can some remind me again why I pay £1200 per year for this pathetic cattle truck service?? Frogger123
  • Score: 0

9:08pm Mon 17 Mar 14

BWFC71 says...

Frogger123 wrote:
I travel FTPE most mornings of the week on the reduced carriage 8.08 train. To oxford road. I can honestly say first class is virtually NEVER declassified in fact the message saying " first class is for first class ticket holders only and these carriages are clearly marked" Is played over the tannoy. Ie: do not try to come into first class. Passengers are regularly left behind on the platform on this reduced carriage train, whilst first class is empty. I believe last April FTPE took the decision to stop allowing the declassification of first class . Can some remind me again why I pay £1200 per year for this pathetic cattle truck service??
I actually catch that train more or less every day, since I gave up trying to catch the 7:59 with that being too full, and you are wrong 1st class is full to the brim.. So where you get the idea that its empty I don't know!
[quote][p][bold]Frogger123[/bold] wrote: I travel FTPE most mornings of the week on the reduced carriage 8.08 train. To oxford road. I can honestly say first class is virtually NEVER declassified in fact the message saying " first class is for first class ticket holders only and these carriages are clearly marked" Is played over the tannoy. Ie: do not try to come into first class. Passengers are regularly left behind on the platform on this reduced carriage train, whilst first class is empty. I believe last April FTPE took the decision to stop allowing the declassification of first class . Can some remind me again why I pay £1200 per year for this pathetic cattle truck service??[/p][/quote]I actually catch that train more or less every day, since I gave up trying to catch the 7:59 with that being too full, and you are wrong 1st class is full to the brim.. So where you get the idea that its empty I don't know! BWFC71
  • Score: 2

9:38pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Frogger123 says...

BWFC71 wrote:
Frogger123 wrote:
I travel FTPE most mornings of the week on the reduced carriage 8.08 train. To oxford road. I can honestly say first class is virtually NEVER declassified in fact the message saying " first class is for first class ticket holders only and these carriages are clearly marked" Is played over the tannoy. Ie: do not try to come into first class. Passengers are regularly left behind on the platform on this reduced carriage train, whilst first class is empty. I believe last April FTPE took the decision to stop allowing the declassification of first class . Can some remind me again why I pay £1200 per year for this pathetic cattle truck service??
I actually catch that train more or less every day, since I gave up trying to catch the 7:59 with that being too full, and you are wrong 1st class is full to the brim.. So where you get the idea that its empty I don't know!
I'm not wrong I see this every day. Relative to the crush in the rest of the carriages on that train 1st class is virtually empty by comparison. Last Thursday only 4 seats occupied in 1st class whilst 20 odd people crammed between the doors the width of the carriage in the standard carriage, whilst passengers were left behind on the platform as they can't fit on. My point is that Dale can't of ever heard that this train would be declassified as it never is - the contrary - passengers are told first class is for first class ticket holders only.
[quote][p][bold]BWFC71[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Frogger123[/bold] wrote: I travel FTPE most mornings of the week on the reduced carriage 8.08 train. To oxford road. I can honestly say first class is virtually NEVER declassified in fact the message saying " first class is for first class ticket holders only and these carriages are clearly marked" Is played over the tannoy. Ie: do not try to come into first class. Passengers are regularly left behind on the platform on this reduced carriage train, whilst first class is empty. I believe last April FTPE took the decision to stop allowing the declassification of first class . Can some remind me again why I pay £1200 per year for this pathetic cattle truck service??[/p][/quote]I actually catch that train more or less every day, since I gave up trying to catch the 7:59 with that being too full, and you are wrong 1st class is full to the brim.. So where you get the idea that its empty I don't know![/p][/quote]I'm not wrong I see this every day. Relative to the crush in the rest of the carriages on that train 1st class is virtually empty by comparison. Last Thursday only 4 seats occupied in 1st class whilst 20 odd people crammed between the doors the width of the carriage in the standard carriage, whilst passengers were left behind on the platform as they can't fit on. My point is that Dale can't of ever heard that this train would be declassified as it never is - the contrary - passengers are told first class is for first class ticket holders only. Frogger123
  • Score: 0

9:40pm Mon 17 Mar 14

BWFC71 says...

But you are right in saying that First TPE no longer declassify the compartment. No inter-city service declassifies 1st class nowadays, unless under strict duress and that doesn't happen with Bolton because of the number of trains that calls at the station. If there were only 3 or 4 trains that called at Bolton then it would be a different matter!

You have to remember that First TPE is not a local trains service operator but an inter-city train operator!
But you are right in saying that First TPE no longer declassify the compartment. No inter-city service declassifies 1st class nowadays, unless under strict duress and that doesn't happen with Bolton because of the number of trains that calls at the station. If there were only 3 or 4 trains that called at Bolton then it would be a different matter! You have to remember that First TPE is not a local trains service operator but an inter-city train operator! BWFC71
  • Score: 0

9:46pm Mon 17 Mar 14

BWFC71 says...

Frogger123 wrote:
BWFC71 wrote:
Frogger123 wrote: I travel FTPE most mornings of the week on the reduced carriage 8.08 train. To oxford road. I can honestly say first class is virtually NEVER declassified in fact the message saying " first class is for first class ticket holders only and these carriages are clearly marked" Is played over the tannoy. Ie: do not try to come into first class. Passengers are regularly left behind on the platform on this reduced carriage train, whilst first class is empty. I believe last April FTPE took the decision to stop allowing the declassification of first class . Can some remind me again why I pay £1200 per year for this pathetic cattle truck service??
I actually catch that train more or less every day, since I gave up trying to catch the 7:59 with that being too full, and you are wrong 1st class is full to the brim.. So where you get the idea that its empty I don't know!
I'm not wrong I see this every day. Relative to the crush in the rest of the carriages on that train 1st class is virtually empty by comparison. Last Thursday only 4 seats occupied in 1st class whilst 20 odd people crammed between the doors the width of the carriage in the standard carriage, whilst passengers were left behind on the platform as they can't fit on. My point is that Dale can't of ever heard that this train would be declassified as it never is - the contrary - passengers are told first class is for first class ticket holders only.
You do have the choice of paying for first class with free seat reservation, just like the other, and I do!

Unfortunately I cannot comment for last Thursday as I am currently overseas, but I know I catch the train and 1st Class is always full (i.e. all seats taken and people standing in the aisle) when I am on the train.

One problem I do notice with certain journeys is that people get on the train to where the nearest exit is for them at the other end and that does create a bottleneck of jamming people in, stead of using the full length of the train unit. Also why do people hug around the doors and not go down the aisles? Only 2 weeks ago I literally had to shout at fellow customer to move down the aisles because there were plenty of room and they were stood at the door blocking the entrance so people couldn't get on!!!

Also lets not forget the 1st class passengers who get on BEFORE Bolton - why should they pay extra only to find out at Bolton it becomes declassified, how would you feel then?

But, again, I agree with you with regards to what Dale said - as per a previous post.
[quote][p][bold]Frogger123[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BWFC71[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Frogger123[/bold] wrote: I travel FTPE most mornings of the week on the reduced carriage 8.08 train. To oxford road. I can honestly say first class is virtually NEVER declassified in fact the message saying " first class is for first class ticket holders only and these carriages are clearly marked" Is played over the tannoy. Ie: do not try to come into first class. Passengers are regularly left behind on the platform on this reduced carriage train, whilst first class is empty. I believe last April FTPE took the decision to stop allowing the declassification of first class . Can some remind me again why I pay £1200 per year for this pathetic cattle truck service??[/p][/quote]I actually catch that train more or less every day, since I gave up trying to catch the 7:59 with that being too full, and you are wrong 1st class is full to the brim.. So where you get the idea that its empty I don't know![/p][/quote]I'm not wrong I see this every day. Relative to the crush in the rest of the carriages on that train 1st class is virtually empty by comparison. Last Thursday only 4 seats occupied in 1st class whilst 20 odd people crammed between the doors the width of the carriage in the standard carriage, whilst passengers were left behind on the platform as they can't fit on. My point is that Dale can't of ever heard that this train would be declassified as it never is - the contrary - passengers are told first class is for first class ticket holders only.[/p][/quote]You do have the choice of paying for first class with free seat reservation, just like the other, and I do! Unfortunately I cannot comment for last Thursday as I am currently overseas, but I know I catch the train and 1st Class is always full (i.e. all seats taken and people standing in the aisle) when I am on the train. One problem I do notice with certain journeys is that people get on the train to where the nearest exit is for them at the other end and that does create a bottleneck of jamming people in, stead of using the full length of the train unit. Also why do people hug around the doors and not go down the aisles? Only 2 weeks ago I literally had to shout at fellow customer to move down the aisles because there were plenty of room and they were stood at the door blocking the entrance so people couldn't get on!!! Also lets not forget the 1st class passengers who get on BEFORE Bolton - why should they pay extra only to find out at Bolton it becomes declassified, how would you feel then? But, again, I agree with you with regards to what Dale said - as per a previous post. BWFC71
  • Score: 0

10:51pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Browny91 says...

I got the 18.08 train to Manchester Airport a few weeks ago and as the previous train had been cancelled the train was ridiculously overcrowded. I suffer from a heart condition and felt faint due to the conditions. Luckily (so I thought) I was able to push my way into the First Class carriage with the hope of having a brief sit down. Unfortunately First Class was also overcrowded but I was able to stand without being crushed! Next thing I knew, the ticket inspector was asking if I had a First Class ticket. I showed him my annual train pass (at a cost of £1050) and he demanded I either pay the additional cost or make my way back into the other carriage! I immediately refused to pay to STAND in First Class and explained that even if I wanted to move back into the other carriage, I couldn't physically get back in there. He was rather rude and suggested if I was unhappy with the conditions then I should wait for the next train in future....

To say the service is a shambles would be an understatement.
I got the 18.08 train to Manchester Airport a few weeks ago and as the previous train had been cancelled the train was ridiculously overcrowded. I suffer from a heart condition and felt faint due to the conditions. Luckily (so I thought) I was able to push my way into the First Class carriage with the hope of having a brief sit down. Unfortunately First Class was also overcrowded but I was able to stand without being crushed! Next thing I knew, the ticket inspector was asking if I had a First Class ticket. I showed him my annual train pass (at a cost of £1050) and he demanded I either pay the additional cost or make my way back into the other carriage! I immediately refused to pay to STAND in First Class and explained that even if I wanted to move back into the other carriage, I couldn't physically get back in there. He was rather rude and suggested if I was unhappy with the conditions then I should wait for the next train in future.... To say the service is a shambles would be an understatement. Browny91
  • Score: 0

11:20pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Darren1951 says...

Browny91 wrote:
I got the 18.08 train to Manchester Airport a few weeks ago and as the previous train had been cancelled the train was ridiculously overcrowded. I suffer from a heart condition and felt faint due to the conditions. Luckily (so I thought) I was able to push my way into the First Class carriage with the hope of having a brief sit down. Unfortunately First Class was also overcrowded but I was able to stand without being crushed! Next thing I knew, the ticket inspector was asking if I had a First Class ticket. I showed him my annual train pass (at a cost of £1050) and he demanded I either pay the additional cost or make my way back into the other carriage! I immediately refused to pay to STAND in First Class and explained that even if I wanted to move back into the other carriage, I couldn't physically get back in there. He was rather rude and suggested if I was unhappy with the conditions then I should wait for the next train in future....

To say the service is a shambles would be an understatement.
Ha - what was it I was saying earlier about jobsworths? Voldemort - are you paying attention? We'll be testing you on this later!
[quote][p][bold]Browny91[/bold] wrote: I got the 18.08 train to Manchester Airport a few weeks ago and as the previous train had been cancelled the train was ridiculously overcrowded. I suffer from a heart condition and felt faint due to the conditions. Luckily (so I thought) I was able to push my way into the First Class carriage with the hope of having a brief sit down. Unfortunately First Class was also overcrowded but I was able to stand without being crushed! Next thing I knew, the ticket inspector was asking if I had a First Class ticket. I showed him my annual train pass (at a cost of £1050) and he demanded I either pay the additional cost or make my way back into the other carriage! I immediately refused to pay to STAND in First Class and explained that even if I wanted to move back into the other carriage, I couldn't physically get back in there. He was rather rude and suggested if I was unhappy with the conditions then I should wait for the next train in future.... To say the service is a shambles would be an understatement.[/p][/quote]Ha - what was it I was saying earlier about jobsworths? Voldemort - are you paying attention? We'll be testing you on this later! Darren1951
  • Score: -1

8:12am Tue 18 Mar 14

BWFC71 says...

Darren1951 wrote:
Browny91 wrote: I got the 18.08 train to Manchester Airport a few weeks ago and as the previous train had been cancelled the train was ridiculously overcrowded. I suffer from a heart condition and felt faint due to the conditions. Luckily (so I thought) I was able to push my way into the First Class carriage with the hope of having a brief sit down. Unfortunately First Class was also overcrowded but I was able to stand without being crushed! Next thing I knew, the ticket inspector was asking if I had a First Class ticket. I showed him my annual train pass (at a cost of £1050) and he demanded I either pay the additional cost or make my way back into the other carriage! I immediately refused to pay to STAND in First Class and explained that even if I wanted to move back into the other carriage, I couldn't physically get back in there. He was rather rude and suggested if I was unhappy with the conditions then I should wait for the next train in future.... To say the service is a shambles would be an understatement.
Ha - what was it I was saying earlier about jobsworths? Voldemort - are you paying attention? We'll be testing you on this later!
Not about jobsworth its about the rail passenger charter and other passengers who HAVE paid - how would you feel if you have paid more then you get an imbecile (not matter about heart condition or not because the situation in 1st class was exactly the same as in the rest of the train - which he stated) decided to use 1st class to stand in as an excuse and a no-reason demonstration to the guard. Yes the guard was doing his job, and well done to him as if it wasn't for rues this country, in fact the world, would be still in the dark ages!

As it is he went into 1st class for no reason whatsoever apart from wanting to have a go at the guard as he would have seen what 1st class was like even before entering!!!! It is not an opaque screen that separates the compartment!

Also if had felt faint then why didn't he say something in the other carriage where a customer would easily had given their eat up for him - seen it happen more o less on a daily basis - but he fought his way - thus showing he didn't feel that faint, if he ever did!!!
[quote][p][bold]Darren1951[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Browny91[/bold] wrote: I got the 18.08 train to Manchester Airport a few weeks ago and as the previous train had been cancelled the train was ridiculously overcrowded. I suffer from a heart condition and felt faint due to the conditions. Luckily (so I thought) I was able to push my way into the First Class carriage with the hope of having a brief sit down. Unfortunately First Class was also overcrowded but I was able to stand without being crushed! Next thing I knew, the ticket inspector was asking if I had a First Class ticket. I showed him my annual train pass (at a cost of £1050) and he demanded I either pay the additional cost or make my way back into the other carriage! I immediately refused to pay to STAND in First Class and explained that even if I wanted to move back into the other carriage, I couldn't physically get back in there. He was rather rude and suggested if I was unhappy with the conditions then I should wait for the next train in future.... To say the service is a shambles would be an understatement.[/p][/quote]Ha - what was it I was saying earlier about jobsworths? Voldemort - are you paying attention? We'll be testing you on this later![/p][/quote]Not about jobsworth its about the rail passenger charter and other passengers who HAVE paid - how would you feel if you have paid more then you get an imbecile (not matter about heart condition or not because the situation in 1st class was exactly the same as in the rest of the train - which he stated) decided to use 1st class to stand in as an excuse and a no-reason demonstration to the guard. Yes the guard was doing his job, and well done to him as if it wasn't for rues this country, in fact the world, would be still in the dark ages! As it is he went into 1st class for no reason whatsoever apart from wanting to have a go at the guard as he would have seen what 1st class was like even before entering!!!! It is not an opaque screen that separates the compartment! Also if had felt faint then why didn't he say something in the other carriage where a customer would easily had given their eat up for him - seen it happen more o less on a daily basis - but he fought his way - thus showing he didn't feel that faint, if he ever did!!! BWFC71
  • Score: -1

8:34am Wed 19 Mar 14

Don Kiddick says...

Browny91 wrote:
I got the 18.08 train to Manchester Airport a few weeks ago and as the previous train had been cancelled the train was ridiculously overcrowded. I suffer from a heart condition and felt faint due to the conditions. Luckily (so I thought) I was able to push my way into the First Class carriage with the hope of having a brief sit down. Unfortunately First Class was also overcrowded but I was able to stand without being crushed! Next thing I knew, the ticket inspector was asking if I had a First Class ticket. I showed him my annual train pass (at a cost of £1050) and he demanded I either pay the additional cost or make my way back into the other carriage! I immediately refused to pay to STAND in First Class and explained that even if I wanted to move back into the other carriage, I couldn't physically get back in there. He was rather rude and suggested if I was unhappy with the conditions then I should wait for the next train in future.... To say the service is a shambles would be an understatement.
If you have a heart condition, one would think the sensible thing to do is NOT board a "ridiculously over-crowded" train.

Having a heart problem is certainly not a reason to fare dodge, you put yourself there.
[quote][p][bold]Browny91[/bold] wrote: I got the 18.08 train to Manchester Airport a few weeks ago and as the previous train had been cancelled the train was ridiculously overcrowded. I suffer from a heart condition and felt faint due to the conditions. Luckily (so I thought) I was able to push my way into the First Class carriage with the hope of having a brief sit down. Unfortunately First Class was also overcrowded but I was able to stand without being crushed! Next thing I knew, the ticket inspector was asking if I had a First Class ticket. I showed him my annual train pass (at a cost of £1050) and he demanded I either pay the additional cost or make my way back into the other carriage! I immediately refused to pay to STAND in First Class and explained that even if I wanted to move back into the other carriage, I couldn't physically get back in there. He was rather rude and suggested if I was unhappy with the conditions then I should wait for the next train in future.... To say the service is a shambles would be an understatement.[/p][/quote]If you have a heart condition, one would think the sensible thing to do is NOT board a "ridiculously over-crowded" train. Having a heart problem is certainly not a reason to fare dodge, you put yourself there. Don Kiddick
  • Score: 0

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