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  #61  
Old 18.05.2011, 18:58
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

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the US and Uk seem to have this in common, we let our rail infrastructure rot in the name of either privitization or Car Culture, and pay the price accordingly. Midwestern intercity rail was good, is now non existent. California never really had it, its too new. But it did have trams and light rail, and then removed it during the boom of the 50s (with a little help from the big oil, rubber and car companies to city councils all over the western us) to tear them out and put in busses instead. The only place in CA which has it is the Bay Area, and its ... ok. It works. Its not great at all but you can at least get to the city center of SF from the airport by train, i think that's the only place on the western US where thats possible.
I've travelled different Amtrak routes on my various US visits. I never experienced poor service. The whole setup can at times be a bit quaint and nostalgic but then being a tourist that was all part of the experience and I actually found it refereshing to be able to let go and slip into the slower pace of things. And in terms of value for money I found Amtrak to be extremely cheap. Fares ranged between 60$ and 200$ for trips of over 24 hours in a sleeper roomette with all meals and non-alcoholic drinks included. When you've had enough of the roomette you can go and sit in the viewing saloons with big windows to watch the countryide slip by or in the somewhat quaint dining car that look as if it comes straight out of some 1950s movie but the food and service were fine so I really can't complain.

European train operations are so over-organised and lacking in dignity in comparison.
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Old 18.05.2011, 19:18
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

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I've travelled different Amtrak routes on my various US visits. I never experienced poor service. The whole setup can at times be a bit quaint and nostalgic but then being a tourist that was all part of the experience and I actually found it refereshing to be able to let go and slip into the slower pace of things. And in terms of value for money I found Amtrak to be extremely cheap. Fares ranged between 60$ and 200$ for trips of over 24 hours in a sleeper roomette with all meals and non-alcoholic drinks included. When you've had enough of the roomette you can go and sit in the viewing saloons with big windows to watch the countryide slip by or in the somewhat quaint dining car that look as if it comes straight out of some 1950s movie but the food and service were fine so I really can't complain.

European train operations are so over-organised and lacking in dignity in comparison.
That was definitely not my experience. I took one from Cleveland, Ohio to NYC - the only train of the day left around 3am (and of course it was late). It didn't take a direct route, rather, it meandered along the lake's edge and then through New York state - taking something like 13+ hours (a direct line driving is about 7). It was crowded, uncomfortable (no sleeping carriages, no viewing cars) and at dawn, the conductor got on the overhead announcement to yell loudly GOOD MORNING! and proceed to tell us that the dining car had breakfast for those who wanted to buy some. By the time that train got to NYC, I was ready to kill someone.
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Old 18.05.2011, 20:15
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

Last week we took a train from Lancaster down to London Euston. Because the cost was enough to raise my blood pressure I had managed to get a good deal so we left at 5.30 ish in the afternoon.
Well, the train stopped at a station and the driver said it had to be rebooted as only 2 engines out of 5 were working . We got going and of course the train then broke down

So we all got dumped at Crewe and you can imagine what the platform was like with a whole train load waiting to get on a train already full that was due to stop 15 mins later.

When the train pulled in total chaos followed and as the 1st Class carriage stopped where we are we got on. We decided that we would just pay the extra as on this train the 1st class part had restaurant tables and was very comfortable.

A member of staff appeared and said we could not sit but as luck would have it there were 10 middle aged ladies on their way to London who were quite scary and they absolutely refused to move as the rest of the train was packed like sardines.

In the end the guard appeared and said we could stay but without any of the 1st class benefits.

It didn't matter as these ladies got out wine, food, chocolates, cake and invited us to join the "party". Even the guard joined in!!!!

I have not enjoyed a train journey so much for ages and when we arrived back to our english home (somewhat worse for wear) We actually got a telling off from my son
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  #64  
Old 18.05.2011, 20:30
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

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That was definitely not my experience. I took one from Cleveland, Ohio to NYC - the only train of the day left around 3am (and of course it was late). It didn't take a direct route, rather, it meandered along the lake's edge and then through New York state - taking something like 13+ hours (a direct line driving is about 7). It was crowded, uncomfortable (no sleeping carriages, no viewing cars) and at dawn, the conductor got on the overhead announcement to yell loudly GOOD MORNING! and proceed to tell us that the dining car had breakfast for those who wanted to buy some. By the time that train got to NYC, I was ready to kill someone.
I stand to question the credibility of somebody named Evil ...!
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  #65  
Old 18.05.2011, 20:41
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

Wasn't it 3 times? It was all a long time ago.

Cheers,
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How did you brits ..... beat the germans twice with that kind of organization?
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Old 18.05.2011, 20:44
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

Number of times you are likely to need a taxi to any London airport because the trains are all cancelled: Every bloody time

Regularity with which the same situation is likely to occur in Zürich: Once every Preston Guild.

Cheers,
Nick

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Minicab (Mercedes E class) to London airport (40kms) £25 GBP/35CHF
Taxi to Zurich airport (5kms) 51CHF.

That is all.
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  #67  
Old 18.05.2011, 21:05
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

Let's face it: those who moved from the UK to CH will speak of how benevolent the Swiss transport system is...Those who left Switzerland and headed back to the UK will tell you that UK's is efficient and affordable...Those like me, who are knowledgeable on the matter, exceptionally truthful yet neutral will tell you that both are OK...and that I prefer driving my own car especially on a hot day. As you might know, people do tend to smell bad when they sweat and the Swiss aren't too keen on using deodorant or shaving their armpits either...London's underground tends to smell like curry on a normal day however...
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  #68  
Old 18.05.2011, 21:19
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

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Eh london to which airport?? Heathrow is at least £18
Take the tube, not the "fast" train. Much cheaper and gives time for more people watching or to read a newspaper.
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  #69  
Old 18.05.2011, 22:12
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

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I stand to question the credibility of somebody named Evil ...!
That's Ms Evil to you
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  #70  
Old 18.05.2011, 22:31
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

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That's Ms Evil to you
and I thought evil was gender-less
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Old 18.05.2011, 23:03
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

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That's Ms Evil to you
Ms.shelleviled?
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Old 18.05.2011, 23:25
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

I've read through this entire thread and it seems no-one has said what I've been thinking since reading the OP (though I may have missed it as I'm quite tired)... it seems the OP didn't plan his journey to the airport in advance. I would have planned it before I booked the flight to make sure I had enough time (enough time meaning arriving at the airport 2 1/2 hours before the plane leaves). Maybe it's a British thing, and maybe it's because I come from a small island (meaning I have added hassles to my journey, such as shitty and infrequent ferry services), but I wouldn't dream of cutting it so close!
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Old 18.05.2011, 23:26
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

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and I thought evil was gender-less
Maybe you were Miss Informed?
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  #74  
Old 19.05.2011, 00:22
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

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I've read through this entire thread and it seems no-one has said what I've been thinking since reading the OP (though I may have missed it as I'm quite tired)... it seems the OP didn't plan his journey to the airport in advance. I would have planned it before I booked the flight to make sure I had enough time (enough time meaning arriving at the airport 2 1/2 hours before the plane leaves). Maybe it's a British thing, and maybe it's because I come from a small island (meaning I have added hassles to my journey, such as shitty and infrequent ferry services), but I wouldn't dream of cutting it so close!
OP here. I left for the airport at 1pm for a 7pm flight, anticipating 3hrs travel time. Is that cutting close by british standards?

and FWIW, with online check in, if you can do so, you dont need to arrive at the airport anywhere in the world in my experience more than about 45mins prior to boarding. You can be flying to the next town or the next continent: if you're not checking bags (and never, ever, under any circumstances, do so) and pre print your boarding passes you dont need much time, as all you have to do normally is navigate through the normal security check points.
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Old 19.05.2011, 00:34
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

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Maybe you were Miss Informed?
More Likely Miss Anthropic...

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Old 19.05.2011, 01:00
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

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Maybe you were Miss Informed?
Or perhaps it is her misspelling of evile?
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Old 19.05.2011, 01:37
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

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Minicab (Mercedes E class) to London airport (40kms) £25 GBP/35CHF
Taxi to Zurich airport (5kms) 51CHF.

That is all.

No, it is NOT

Much of public transport in Switzerland, both locally (S-Bahn), unionwide (rail-system) and in regard to air-traffic (airports) has been, by British educated Swiss, been modelled along what Swiss people saw and admired in Britain We all, on return to CH, had to realize that every single thing did cost at least twice as much as it did in the UK, making the style a bit "cramped". We all, in the transport business, tried our very best to reconcile our British ideas with the demands of our "natives" here, and I daresay, what we achieved is not too bad afterall
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Old 19.05.2011, 09:09
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

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OP here. I left for the airport at 1pm for a 7pm flight, anticipating 3hrs travel time. Is that cutting close by british standards?
Yes, it is.
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Old 19.05.2011, 10:11
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

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OP here. I left for the airport at 1pm for a 7pm flight, anticipating 3hrs travel time. Is that cutting close by british standards?

and FWIW, with online check in, if you can do so, you dont need to arrive at the airport anywhere in the world in my experience more than about 45mins prior to boarding. You can be flying to the next town or the next continent: if you're not checking bags (and never, ever, under any circumstances, do so) and pre print your boarding passes you dont need much time, as all you have to do normally is navigate through the normal security check points.
Did you check the travel links on a Sunday very carefully? It seemed that you weren't aware that the train didn't run on a Sunday. This is the sort of thing I would definitely check beforehand, that's all I'm saying. I am overly-cautious and always end up in the excrutiatingly boring position of having to wait for hours and hours because I'm so early.
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Old 19.05.2011, 10:50
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Re: A complaint... about the UK!

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was your driver ill?
One sometimes has to make sacrifices.

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