I have spent a fair amount of time and money recently traveling between London Paddington and various towns to the west of that. So, unfortunately for me, I have to use First Great Western trains.
The other evening I was trying to get back from Cardiff as I didn't really want to spend another night surrounded by close harmony singers cooking cheese on toast, and so I attempted once again to get a First Great Western Train.
I almost killed someone. How, just how, can any company be so useless? I felt that I had a duty to inform them of how I felt...
I am writing to congratulate you on a truly outstanding performance. As a former commuter on South West Trains, I really did think that was as miserable and traumatic as train travel could go.
I was wrong.
Having spent the last week traveling between London and the West Country, I can conclude that your service (and I use that term loosely) is simply one of the most miserable experiences that a human being can endure; and I say that as someone who has had to go to the premiers of modern music.
To be blunt: you shouldn't be running a train set, let alone a train service that people have to rely on. I'm not sure if you are aware, but the general idea is for trains to arrive at the station at the scheduled time. This means that people can actually plan their day and make arrangements which they can keep. A clever concept, I'm sure you'll agree.
I question whether this is a notion known to you, because you seem to be really rather bad at it. Perhaps 'bad' is the wrong word; 'dire' might be better.
Over half of the last six journeys I have taken on First Great Western in the last ten days have been late. By late, I do not mean a few minutes late, but an irritatingly inconvenient amount of time late.
Also, most of your trains are crammed full of passengers, leaving one feeling like an extra in the film 'Schindler's List'.
I wish I could bill you for the time out of my life you have wasted, the years knocked off my life expectancy through stress and the damage to by wallet and liver from drinking too many gin and tonics in a desperate attempt to stop me killing myself whilst I am on board one of your trains.
But I can't, so I will send this letter and wait in blissful anticipation for the reply.
I am, and remain,
p.s I have just been notified that on Thursday, 3rd May I have to travel down by train to Newton Abbot. Would it be too much to ask that the train is on time?