Tim's South West Trains Diary
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Journey Origin: Guildford
Scheduled Dep. Time: 16:02
Journey Destination: Waterloo
Estimated Delay: 1:05
Details of complaint: On this journey I headed off to London to address a room full of Labour MPs and/or their staff on the value and potential of weblogs.
I left with plenty of time in the pot, but I didn't count on both ticket machines at the far side of Guildford station being 'exact change only' and for the ticket window to be closed.
A staff member finally picked up his ticket machine, but his handheld ticket machine couldn't issue Travelcards, so I had to trek all the way to the town side of the station to buy one. I missed two trains as a result (the 15:32 and the 15:47). The next train arrived on time.... and then got stuck less than a mile from Waterloo station behind another train that suffered a points failure. It took SWT a full half-hour just to decide to take us backwards to Vauxhall and let us off.
I was delayed by over an hour and - as a result - arrived at Westminster with only 10 minutes of the arranged time remaining.
Someone was on hand to run through the bulk of my presentation, but they were not familar with it. I took over and did what I could to make the right points as fast as possible, but I'd regard the meeting be a washout.
No ticket refund can make up for that. No apology from South West Trains can give that vital hour back.