For all the abuse our railways take, much of its deservedly, there are glimmers of hope. I’m writing this on the 9am Virgin Trains service from London to Manchester. Now, Virgin has picked up a terrible reputation for lateness. True, its trains are often late, but that’s been as much because of the tracks as the train service itself, if not more so. The firm has been steadily investing in better rolling stock and track improvements, with the hope of eventually giving us a better service.
You know what? It’s working. I’m travelling in one of Virgin’s new trains, listening to one of the free radio stations available at the chair. The seats are amazingly comfortable, with plenty of legroom, even for a fairly long-limbed individual like myself. The train is fast and quiet and there are plenty of nice little touches, like digital signs indicating if the seat is reserved or not. People will find that pretty difficult to remove and hide…
I’m actually enjoying this journey, and that’s the way things have got to be if we’re ever going to tempt people out of their cars.