Following on from my June post about CrossCountry trains, I’ve had to eat my words this weekend while travelling with Great Western Railway. I stand corrected that all rail services are not the same and therefore should not be tarred with the same brush. My faith in the UK rail network has been restored- for now, at least.
After my experiences on CrossCountry, I vowed that I would never step foot on a train again. In fact I would rather sit bumper to bumper on the M6 than travel by train with them again. However, this weekend’s rail journeys on GWR could not have been more different.
As I’d had to upgrade myself to First Class on CrossCounty in the past, I was determined this time to be prepared. So I did a bit of tweeting beforehand with Josh at GWR Help, who was quick to provide accurate information for my journey regarding costs, availability and possibility depending on ticket type and zone.
On boarding, I have to say that I was very impressed by both the first class and standard class carriages. I had a good nosey around them both! The conductor, Dan, was on hand to answer all my customer service questions. He was efficient, friendly, helpful and genuinely interested in ensuring his passengers enjoyed their journey and was quick to solve a problem when the charging socket wasn’t working in my carriage. That’s the problem when you’re a twitter ninja like myself- need a phone with longer battery power!
Phone now revived, I was able to tweet Josh again- lucky Josh- to say how much I had enjoyed my journey with GWR and commend Dan for the excellent service provided. This feedback has seemingly been passed on to his line manager. I really hope that this is the case because I think we’re all very quick to complain when service is poor but always much slower to praise.
I’m now on the final Swindon to Gloucester leg of my GWR journey and although the train is much smaller and has a few open windows which pass for ‘air con’, it’s still on time and there are clean seats, modern carriages and up to date screen displays. Despite potential delays at Paddington, journeys this weekend on GWR have been an absolute breeze. Admittedly, I might still never venture back on a CrossCountry service but think that with Great Western Railway, I could almost be back on track.