This proposal, reported on the BBC News website gave me the best laugh I’ve had in a while.
“Arriva Trains Wales, which operates most rail services in Shropshire, said it wants to extend services from Aberystwyth and Chester [to Birmingham International].”
What, you mean the services which get terminated at Wolverhampton rather than going on to Birmingham New Street because they’re running late? Going to work in Birmingham my routine excluded the Arriva Trains Wales services because they tended to be unreliable. And invariably packed to what I would call dangerous limits. Coming home from work it was not uncommon to see the Arriva Trains Wales services showing as cancelled, meaning they were starting from Wolverhampton (often because the service was running late).
This paragraph is, of course, my perception based on my experiences of travelling to and from Birmingham to work every day. That surely gives me the right to air my perceptions here. Which is that I prefer to travel on the London Midland Desiro 350 services or the Virgin Pendolino services to and from Wolverhampton. Because they are, in my view and experience, more reliable and more comfortable than the class 150s Arriva Trains Wales use. “Perception is reality” and all that kind of thing.
I don’t doubt the sincerity of Arriva Trains Wales and I genuinely wish them well in their proposed endeavour. There are already many services which run to or through Birmingham International from Wolverhampton and Birmingham New Street. Whether Network Rail thinks it has the space and flexibility to fit more services in would be my question.
Good luck to them. Ideally I’d like to see a couple more late night services – post midnight – to and from Wolverhampton. But then I’m a public transport user who likes to go out to things like concerts and often has to leave early so I can get the last buses, trains or trams home.
Sometimes public transport is a wonderful advert for learning to drive.