I had a day trip to Cupar yesterday.
And it was longer than it was supposed to be, thanks to First ScotRail.
Cupar is in the “nice” bit of Fife, and lies on the main line between Edinburgh and Dundee. To get back to Inverness, you either change in Dundee and Perth, or carry on north to Aberdeen and change there.
The way the timetables worked out, I was doing the Perth route, and after my meeting was at the station ready to board the train.
When it arrived, I waited at the end carriage while an entire old folks’ home’s worth of elderly people hobbled slowly off with numerous large suitcases, as I and various other passengers waited patiently. However, they took so long to alight, that by the time they had done so the doors were closing. Only one of us managed to leap on before the doors closed, leaving a handful of us stranded as the train began moving away.
There were no staff around – and because it was a long train on a curved platform, if a conductor had got off towards the front of the train he’d have been unable to see round to the back where we were obviously still waiting to get on.
Quite shocked at this, the handful of us left stranded on the platform were amazed that if indeed there was a conductor that they’d not bothered checking all the doors before closing. Admittedly the train was running a few minutes late (there’s a surprise) but that’s no excuse.
We agreed to go and present ourselves en masse to the ticket office at the station, and to his credit the man there put us all in a taxi to Dundee, where we were either changing or finishing our journeys. While he was sorting this, we all discussed our travel plans, and agreed that if we hadn’t all been so polite and patient with the elderly passengers getting off, we’d be on our way to Dundee by now.
It’s a dog-eat-dog world, boys and girls. Every passenger for themselves.
Anyway, by the time the taxi was sorted and on its way to pick us up, I was going to miss my change in Dundee for Perth – the next train from Cupar to Dundee twenty minutes later would have worked, but it was the cross-country train from England, and was cancelled for some reason.
So, I would either have to wait for the next train from Perth (which would get me home at 2315) or go via Aberdeen (arriving Inverness at 2225). As opposed to 2058 as I should have done if it wasn’t for being Left Behind.
The ticket office man at Cupar told me that because I would end up being delayed by over an hour, I’d be entitled to compensation – probably in the form of vouchers.
For train travel.
So, let’s get this right. Due to the incident at Cupar I’ve been travelling more today than I should have done. I spend more time on trains than is frankly healthy. And what do I get when things go wrong?
Another bloody train trip!
I’ll not be going to Cupar on it, that’s for sure.
I will be writing an email of complaint (polite, of course), and will of course keep you posted.