At least Professor X would know to arrive early for his train

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Is it just me or is this a little bit off? Currently at Lincoln train station they're performing some kind of maintenance work on the lifts. Which I discovered, when to my delight, I had to heave my heavy suitcase across the platform bridge. Now, I am not hugely bothered by this but my first thought (after "oh effort!") was 'How's a wheelchair meant to cross?'.

BOXED IN: Works going on at Lincoln Train Station.

I asked one of the men who stand around in high visibility jackets... because that means they're important (or something). And apparently if there's someone who needs disabled access to the far platforms then they need to re-platform the train. I see several problems with this. As there's no way of telling people before they arrive then I doubt they're going to miraculously think "ooh, maybe i'll arrive extra early today. And, as far as I know, I think it's possible for people in wheelchairs to be late too. I mean, I'm not sure, but someone, somewhere, in a wheelchair may have been late for something at sometime.

Anyway, in this situation the concept of "late" can be subjective. For example, the train I catch from Lincoln to go back to the West Midlands is always at the platform about half an hour before it is due to leave. Let's say someone in a wheelchair arrives for their train 10 minutes beforehand. This is perfectly acceptable. Will they take the train out of the station and bring it back in to platform 2 or 3 (the only ones when you don't need to cross the track) and can't they even do that what with other trains coming and going.

This re-platforming plan only works if the passenger arrives before the train. Lincoln is the end of the line for many trains, the only really notable places Grimsby and Skegness further east... they're not exactly the Paris or New York* of Lincolnshire. If they arrive even slightly late or perfectly on time, when their train is already there, then what's the answer? Can they just not travel?

There's definitely something not right about this whole situation. It seems like they've looked at the problem and thought "eh, we'll play it by ear".

*I'd go close to saying Newark was the New York of Lincolnshire because for some reason the similar sounding nature of them makes me giggle.


Mike Hodges said...

Oh, the supreme customer service of our beloved railway network. Never fear, intrepid traveller, the railway will cosset you from one station to another. Carrying you like a mother carries her new born child, cradled in arms of love.

of course the reality is that rail travel is much like being smeared liberally with moose turd and being charged an exorbitant price for the privilege.

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