The Foundry · Thoughts

Transport For London and their trains

This post is about Transport for London and their trains specifically. I recently had a very annoying experience on the train, it doesn’t happen every day but maybe once or twice a week something will happen to annoy me. Today it was my train being delay at various stops due to lots of people trying to get on, the overcrowding today was more then usual.

I get the train to work every morning, it usually takes around an hour from door to door. 40 minutes on the train, followed by either 15-20 minutes of walking from Liverpool street to work.

My post today is mostly about the trains themselves, they cannot handle rush hour traffic. Sure they are good enough for off-peak travel, however during rush hour they are a nightmare. I am slightly lucky as I get on the train before the busier stations, and am able to get a seat. However for those people getting on at the busier stations it is another matter altogether.

Pushing, sometimes shoving and some irritated talks go on between passengers at these times. However this doesn’t happen every day, but enough to stick in my mind. As I said I can grab a good seat, for some people its different. They would have to push on, and stand squeezed in between other people, making a morning commute even more unbearable for some people.

All types of people are forced to stand in very cramped spaces, from old men to children. They are all squashed in together, the training quickly gets packed. For those people getting on the train further down the line it is hard, at this point lots of pushing occurs for these people to get on. Who then ask “Can somebody move down, please?”. Now the please is the big word here, the person can usually see that the train is packed but still asks, still hopes that someone, anyone can move through.

Now moving on from the people the main issue is the trains themselves, the operators can hardly put more trains on the rails so what is the alternative? More seating, if that were to happen there would be less standing space during rush hour. On certain lines they have brought in new trains cars that have less seating but much more standing space. That makes a huge difference, the space used for people standing instead of seats frees up a lot of space making journey for those travelling from horrid to just about bearable.

Again this is only one way to improve an experience on the train, while the amount of time we spend on the trains may be small compared to the whole day it is still significant and one that we may need to be address. It can lead to having a good or bad day, the little things add up and can affect you greatly.  With Transport for London increasing their fees almost every year there must be some improvement in in the actual trains, the current design of trains has been the same for the last 10 years that I have been travelling on the Shenfield to Liverpool street route. I am not slamming everything they do, the trains are good for non-peak times, just not enough for rush hour. Transport for London has made many improvements to the tracks and stations, but it is the trains that need improvements now. They are bringing in new trains in the next few years, hopefully these trains will be able to take the load of the rush hour better then current trains.

I can’t wait for that to happen, it would hopefully make a train journey better.


One thought on “Transport For London and their trains

  1. Urgh the idea of getting onto a packed train and having to fight for enough standing room to be able to breath without my face being squashed into somebodys back makes me shudder… As you said- a bad journey in the morning can throw your whole day into chaos; hopefully TFL will get there act together soon and start thinking about ways to address this problem xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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